Kalasatama Innovation Challenge: Winning Future Last Mile Solutions in Urban Areas

Is your startup working on the next generation of last mile solutions? Would you like to lead the change in city logistics? We’re looking for you!

Kalasatama Innovation Challenge aims to co-develop and kickstart innovative solutions for eCommerce delivery flow. The challenge brings together Smart Kalasatama, an innovation friendly district of the city with a vision of providing one more hour a day for the residents, corporate partner Posti, Avanto Ventures and best Nordic and Baltic startups.

The challenge aims to seek innovate solutions  for future city logistics that:

  • are good for the people and the planet (better everyday, e-mobility, resource efficiency)
  • are scalable and innovative on a global scale
  • are innovative in global scale
  • have business potential

The selected teams joining the challenge are offered:

  • 3 day long Innovation sprint together with Posti with the option to continue to a pilot phase.
  • Co-creation with the locals:  User feedback from the residents of the Smart Kalasatama innovation district.
  • Best pilot concepts are offered a unique opportunity for validating and scaling your solution in real life urban environment.
  • Up to 30 000 euros for selected pilot concept(s) or depending on business potential.

Join the challenge by filling the form by April 23rd. Sign up here.

Benefits for startups:

  • Instant customer feedback and validation for the concepts
  • Visibility through the partner communications channels
  • Potential for future collaboration with Posti
  • Opportunities for validating and scaling your solution in real life environment. 
  • Access to networks and International scalability through partners

About Posti

Posti is Finland’s leading postal and logistics service provider. The company has the most comprehensive parcel locker and retail network in the country. Posti offers fast parcel deliveries available up to six days a week, diverse and quick delivery types and flexible return channels. All of Posti’s domestic transport services are 100% carbon neutral. As a pioneer in online store delivery solutions, Posti continuously tests new innovations in order to make everyday life smoother for their customers.
For more information, please visit www.posti.com

Smart Kalasatama as a testbed

Kalasatama district in Helsinki is a developing new residential district located in Helsinki, Finland. It is a former harbour and industrial zone on the waterfront east of the city centre.

In 2013, The city of Helsinki decided to make it a model district for smart city development and innovation. The vision is a district providing “one more hour a day” for the residents , more efficient and carbon neutral services in the area. By 2035 It will be home to about 25,000 people, and the site of about 10,000 jobs. Currently, 3,500 people live in the district. The district aims to become a high quality neighbourhood with services supporting smart and sustainable choices. Kalasatama is located by the metro line, offers good opportunities for electric vehicles and developing public transport, eg. a new tram line.

About the Last Mile Challenge

The Kalasatama innovation challenge seeks to identify how to take the last mile transport to the next level. This includes home deliveries of goods and groceries and also last mile solutions for the companies in the area. The Helsinki metropolitan area is developing and changing fast and  there are similar opportunities for development in the region, e.g. Espoo West Metro Corridor and Vantaa Aviapolis. Solutions also have potential to be scaled up globally.

What we’re looking for:

  • Ways to build city hubs
  • eCommerce delivery flow
  • Combining last mile and last meter as one customer-centric service flow
  • Crowdsourcing partners with mobile platform
  • Green solutions
  • Winning customer experience solutions
  • Alternative best practice distribution models for urban areas

How to Succeed in the Innovation Challenge?

The innovative solutions should aim at:

  • Offering better service experience for end users, “one more hour a day”
  • Finding new potential ideas, and piloting them resource-efficiently
  • Inspiration, sneak peek in to the future

The pilot proposals of the teams will be evaluated based on the following criteria:


The innovativeness of the pilot       

  • The novelty value and innovative qualities of the service or product.
  • The pilot can create new practices or perspectives

The scalability of the service

  • The functionality of the service and the business model and their potential to form a permanent solution.
  • The solution can be implemented both locally in Kalasatama and on a larger scale in Finland.

Teams and resources

  • The competence and other resources of the participating team, other resources ( funding, co-operation)
  • The capability to carry the service forward after the pilot.

Smart, agile and user driven

  • The solution uses digitalisation, data and new technologies.
  • The development uses user-centric and agile development methods.
  • Value for the end user
  • Happy customers


The Innovation Challenge consists of four phases:

1. Open application & Screening: April 1st-23rd

Open call, screening and evaluating the best Nordic & Baltic startups and corporate innovation teams related to the selected themes.

2. Selection process: decisions by May 20th
Inviting the most suitable pilots / concepts and teams to the innovation challenge.

3. Innovation sprint in Kalasatama Urban Lab, Helsinki, June 10-12th

3 days of co-creation with corporations and startups. User-centric validation with people living and working in the area. The three day sprint ends with a  Demo day and pitching for the jury consisting of corporate partners, Smart & Clean and Forum Virium Helsinki experts.

4. Optional: Piloting in real environment summer 2019

Selecting pilots out of the best concepts after the innovation challenge. Best pilot concepts are offered a unique opportunity for real-life experimentation in urban environment of Kalasatama. The selected pilot concept(s) have access to a budget of up to 30 000 euros or depending on the business potential.

Apply now

Send your application here to offer your solution to the challenge  by filling the form by April 23rd.


The Innovation Challenge programme is organized by Avanto Ventures, Posti – the leading postal, parcel and logistics service company in Finland, the Smart Kalasatama project, Forum Virium Helsinki and Smart & Clean Foundation.

Forum Virium Helsinki

Forum Virium Helsinki is the innovation company of the City of Helsinki, building Helsinki into the most functional smart city in the world in collaboration with companies, the scientific community and residents. Smart Kalasatama is an Urban Living Lab for speeding up smart city development in Helsinki. Smart Kalasatama grows through co-creation and experimentation in close co-operation with stakeholders including residents, companies, city officials and academia.

Avanto Ventures

Avanto Ventures is a corporate venturing agency based out of Northern Europe. Avanto helps customers in various industries to find new paths of growth and innovation by working with the growth company sector. Avanto builds new ventures, operates innovation labs and sets up ecosystem programs that make a positive impact on the people and the planet.

Smart & Clean

Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation’s goal is to make the Metropolitan Area and Lahti the world’s best test bed for smart and clean solutions by 2021. The Smart & Clean project is a fixed-term non-profit foundation in operation during 2016–2021. During these five years it challenges the status quo, guides and gathers together initiatives that help the city battle against climate change and advance circular economy. By gathering the different stakeholders together such significant changes are achieved that they are adopted also in other cities around the world.


Kaisa Savonius
Startup Analyst, Avanto Ventures
+358 44 322 3318

Samu Hirvonen
Senior Development Manager, Posti

Kaisa Spilling
Development Manager, Forum Virium Helsinki
+358 40 744 8831

Photo: Posti

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