Founder member of start-up business granted Aalto Initiative of the Year Award
The Aalto Initiative of the Year prize awarded by Aalto University’s President went this to Academy Research Fellow Tapio Lokki. The grounds for the award were the recipient’s contribution to commercialising the ideas of his research team.
Tapio Lokki has been involved in many invention disclosures and has also been a decisive actor in setting up a research-based enterprise that has achieved excellent results in accumulating capital. Founded at the end of 2010, Blaast is a cloud-based software enterprise that has made it possible for owners of cheaper mobile phone models around the world to access applications comparable to those available to smart phone owners.
Blaast, which at the moment employs about 40 people, has solid investors and an international clientele. The company has also received considerable funding from Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.
The enterprise started up in autumn 2008, when ACE (Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship) Innovation Services started to work with a research team from the Media Technology Department on user interfaces. The research was headed by Academy Research Fellow Tapio Lokki. Aalto University School of Economics alumnus Joonas Hjelt, School of Science alumnus and researcher Raine Kajastila and alumni Vesa Kemppainen and Tuomas Ranta also made a significant input to the commercialisation process.
Aalto University awards the Initiative of the Year prize to a student, academic or other actor from the University. The prize is awarded for an initiative that has contributed to promoting the values of Aalto University and the University’s strategic goals, as well as strengthening the will to work together as a team. Anyone in the University’s organisation can make proposals for possible recipients of the award. The prize is awarded by the University’s President and it is now being awarded for the second time.
Last year the prize went to student Mikko Ikola, who organised the Aalto on Tracks campaign. The award was at that time called the Student Initiative of the Year Award.
Hannu Seristö, Aalto University
Vice President, Knowledge Networks and Outreach
hannu.seristo [at] aalto [dot] fi
tel. 050 383 2478