Revolutionary entrepreneur says Aalto University will lead the way in developing business in the Nordic and Baltic rim
Steve Blank is serial entrepreneur and founding part of eight startup companies in Silicon Valley. Today he is best known as a professor of Stanford reforming entrepreneurship education and innovation ecosystems around the globe. He is in Finland invited by Aalto University.
During his week-long visit to Finland, Steve Blank is visiting the key players in the region, as well as a mixture of startup entrepreneurs, students, investors and major corporation leaders. On Tuesday Blank spoke in a key event organized by Aalto University.
– Finland has potential to become a hub of new entrepreneurial culture which is based on startup companies. In this, Aalto will lead the way, says Blank.
– In the building of the 21st century economy in Finland, Finland is building a new business model and has good chances in becoming a business hub for the Nordic and Baltic rim. The model, which is being developed in Aalto University, is strongly based on startup entrepreneurs.
Blank believes that we will look back at this decade as the beginning of an economic revolution as important as the scientific revolution in the 16th century and the industrial revolution in the 18th century. According to him this is a revolution that will permanently reshape business as we know it and more importantly, change the quality of life across the entire planet for all who come after us. - It is necessary to start new companies, even in Finland, because the fact is that the old ones will die. That is where the startup firms of today are needed, he said in his speech.
Six types of new companies
Blank explained to the audience the ideas behind the startup business model. In the current entrepreneurial climate there are at least six types of new companies.
For example there are people who are burning for what they do, for whom their firms is their lifestyle and passion. They have known products for known customers, and earn a living for themselves. For example, if you want just to feed your family, you can have a small business and do that. Another type is a scalable startup, which will eventually become a large company. A scalable startup has unknown customers and often unknown products, but has the will and ability to grow. It needs risk capital, is designed to grow big, and is what is known as a startup in Silicon Valley.
Large companies can have startups within them. These can be scalable startups, new and innovative within the mother company. Other forms can be disruptive ones, when markets change, as well as technology and customers. Social entrepreneur startups can grow to large non-profit organizations, or become profitable enterprises
Aalto University´s President Tuula Teeri and Miki Kuusi from Aaltoes. Aaltoes is hosting Blank´s visit.
Developing new ways of teaching entrepreneurship
Blank emphasized that these types need totally different skills of their people, skills that cannot be taught the same way.
– Small startups are not copies of big firms, they are just seeking their way of existence.
Professor Blank is very interested in the way of working that has been growing within Aalto University: the Venture Garage, Aaltoes, Startup Sauna and the innovative enthusiasm behind all this makes him think Aalto University has unique talent building inside it.
– The startup people will take what they need, and their firms will be the answer to global recession, he concluded.
Text: Johanna Juselius
Photos: Sami Perttilä
Steve Blank will continue to be in events organized by Aalto University until Friday 9.9.