Monthly Archives September 2014

University models for entrepreneurs in Helsinki

Success of such mobile game companies like Rovio and Supercell did not happen by a chance. In Helsinki, Finland, Aalto University has created a relatively young, but very inspiring programs for start-up companies. The change of how we work, and the fact that the former “safe jobs” have disappeared has led to an increase of youth entrepreneurs in Finland.

Young start-ups, or business ideas need mostly consulting, brainstorming, funding and a lot of testing. That in mind, we´ll introduce three models from Aalto University that answer those needs.

Aaltoes – Europe´s most active student run entrepreneurship community

Aaltoes entrepreneurship community does everything against the codes how things used to be done in the past: Events and the space is very easy-access, all information possible is shared and doing mistakes is positive. The focus is to make joining in Aaltoes community very easy, so one could start making the dreams come true. After the beginning of Aaltoes in 2009, the community has changed the way masses think about entrepreneurship in Finland and many communities alike has been born in other universities.

Hosting and organizing free events is the main focus of Aaltoes. Start-up Sauna and Slush-event are originated from Aaltoes, here´s one nice example of an Aaltoes/Start-up Sauna program called “Summer of Start-ups”:

Start-Up Sauna – Accelerating, start-up programs, events and meetings in sauna

If you have visited in Finland, you have most likely also been in a sauna. A hot, steamy room used for relaxing, a place where all the titles disappear and people are equal to each other. If you have visited sauna, you probably understand why so many Finnish innovations have been born in the comforting heat of sauna, maybe sipping some beer at the same time. No wonder they have several saunas in Helsinki´s Start-Up Sauna Headquarters.

Start-Up Sauna (Credits: Antti Kokkola)

Start-Up Sauna (Credits: Antti Kokkola)

Start-Up Sauna Accelerator program connects the most promising start-ups from Nordic countries, Russia and Eastern Finland. Focus is heavily on business development and going global. The best teams of each accelerating program are taken to Silicon Valley to meet investors and make contacts. Every company that is accepted to Start-Up Sauna Accelerating program, gets access to Slush. One of the biggest events of its kind, Slush brings together 10.000 attendees and more than 2500 companies for the two-day event, which takes place this year on November 18-19th 2014 in Helsinki. The event is a massive meeting point for investor, start-ups, executives and media to connect and make business.

As a non-profit organization, all Start-up Saunas events and programs are free of charge. For boosting companies economically, Start-up Sauna Foundation was established in 2012 to support the main agenda of building a functioning start-up ecosystem in the region.

Aalto Design Factory – Prototype lab for testing the idea in practice

Sometimes you have to dirty your hands on the way to success.
Offering a space to work, tools and expert guiding Aalto Design Factory is the place to physically make things happen. It is used to making prototypes, testing stuff in lab, meeting potential buyers for the idea/prototype and much more.

PDG (Credits: Mikko Raksinen, Aalto Design Factory)

PDG (Credits: Mikko Raksinen, Aalto Design Factory)

Constant communication between students and companies is a cornerstone of Design factory. One example of co-operation with students and real-life business is a one year program of Product Designing in Aalto University. Companies give product development challenges to students and the final results are presented in annual Product Design Gala.

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