A big incubator and Protomo support the entrepreneurship in the Aalto University
Aalto Small Business Center organized an impressive conference between Aalto University and Saint Petersburg State University. In the event at Aalto Design Factory, there were about 80 researchers and professors from St Petersburg. Their main aim was to see and hear experiences about innovations and their organized programming in the university. Aalto Start-Up Center and Protomo projects were very interesting models in creating new businesses from the university.
Project director Marika Paakkala introduced the Aalto Start-Up Center business incubator. – We are the essential part of the innovation system in Aalto University. We have about 80 young and brave companies in and all of them are seeking the growth, internationalization and a strong foothold in their markets. We focus on our training in their sales processes, sales content and in the first appointments with their real, potential customers. This is not the easy task, but necessary, Marika Paakkala introduced the role of the incubator in Aalto University innovation structure. Aalto Protomo Helsinki were involved in the event and Seppo Rantalainen told the main idea about Protomo-project to the foreign visitors.
A successful business needs failures
Director Will Cardwell from Aalto Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) explained the meaning of the entrepreneurship in Aalto University. – We try to create the growth in the community of our university. We have versatile tools supporting and pushing the new and innovative teams in their way to the serial businesses. Our vision is to be the best innovative growth business training program in Europe 2014. And we are in this path just now. In the ACE we have about 300 business proposals yearly and 10 – 15 % of them get our funding. It means 15 – 20 new start-up companies from the Aalto University and it is a remarkable achievement, Mr. Cardwell emphasized the role of ACE. – The other big issue in our work is to courage the innovators open their ideas. It is not typical of the Finns but if they open their ideas for colleagues and other students, they get real feedback and are able to improve their plans. And the failures are acceptable, too, Will Cardwell told. - Our concept works and there is a good example for the Russian universities.
- 556 people employed
- 209 start-ups created since 2009
- 206 active teams