CITYCON OYJ Press release 4 May 2015
The winner of Citycon’s business idea competition aimed at entrepreneurially minded students and launched last autumn has now been announced. The competition ran in Finland and was open to students and recent graduates aged 18-30.
The top prize presented to the winners is a free three-month lease at a Citycon shopping centre and a EUR 10,000 seed fund to help get their business off the ground. The runner-up was rewarded with a free three-month lease and a seed fund worth EUR 5,000.
The winner of the competition is a venture titled Remarket. The young entrepreneurs behind the concept launched their online store selling high-quality second-hand clothing and accessories at www.wst.fi around two years ago. According to their competition submission, the young team now wants to combine the online store and a bricks-and-mortar service in a shopping centre setting.
“The winning pitch brilliantly brings together online sales and a more traditional retail environment, combining them with recycling, which is a strong trend in Finland and internationally right now. I believe this team will add something new and exciting to our shopping centres,” Citycon Leasing Director Jussi Vyyryläinen commented.
”Remarket renews the images attached to second hand clothes and brings the possibilities to reuse the clothes to the next level. Remarket is a quality market place for second hand clothes and it combines the online and offline shopping experience. Customers can easily bring products for sale and make discoveries from our wide designer selection”, says Laura Nyyssölä, a member of the winning team.
The second prize went to Spiro, who are the first to bring the popular Southeast Asian fried ice cream concept to Finland. The healthy and additive-free ice cream is made to order using a specialist cold pan.
“Spiro caught the jury’s attention not just with the strength of their genuinely interesting product but also with their excellent competition submission and their determined, business-minded attitude,” Citycon’s Commercial Director Sanna Yliniemi said.
”Spiro is not a regular ice-cream, but rather a new cold delicacy. The fresh ingredients will be frozen in front of the customer´s eyes”, says Emmi Kuortti, the member of the runner-up team.
The idea behind Citycon’s Citycontest competition was to encourage young people to venture into business.
“The smaller markets in the Baltics often offer brands that we in Finland simply don’t have. This is not due to international companies’ lack of interest in Finland but actually attributable to a shortage of entrepreneurs and people’s unwillingness to take the risk of venturing into business. With this competition, we set out to foster debate on this important issue and offer young business-minded people the chance to set up their own ventures and succeed,” Citycon CEO Marcel Kokkeel said.
The competition attracted more than 40 business plans, with seven shortlisted for the final round. The standard of the submissions was very high and they clearly demonstrated that students in Finland are highly aware of international trends and able to turn them into workable business plans. The competition jury comprised representatives from Citycon as well as Jungle Juice Bar founder and managing director Noora Fagerström and Kauppalehti newspaper’s editor Pirkko Tammilehto.
“The Finnish Citycontest competition has been a huge success. We are currently looking into launching it in other countries that we operate in,” Marcel Kokkeel concludes.
Helsinki, 4 May 2015
For further information, please contact:
Commercial Director Sanna Yliniemi
Telephone: +358 41 456 3421
Leasing Director Jussi Vyyryläinen
Telephone: +358 40 589 4448
Citycon Oyj (Nasdaq Helsinki: CTY1S) is a leading owner, developer and manager of urban grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic and Baltic regions, managing assets that total EUR 3.4 billion and with a market capitalisation of approximately EUR 1.8 billion. For more information about Citycon, please visit www.citycon.com