About 40 growth companies are accepted for places in the accelerator every year. Since it was founded over 500 companies have been placed on-track for growth. Almost half of them have come to the accelerator during the past five years.
During the monitoring period from 2010–2013, complete accounts were filed by 193 companies. The accounts showed the rate of growth of the companies’ business, the continuity of growth, the size of the companies and their profitability.The turnover of all 193 companies increased by nearly five per cent during the 2012–2013 financial year, whereas the turnover of Finland’s companies overall declined.
‘Aalto Start-Up Center is a concrete investment in Finland's economy. It is estimated that the accelerator companies have created almost two thousand new jobs. Our clients are growth-minded entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea and a strong will to succeed,’ says Marika Paakkala, Aalto Start-Up Center’s Project Director.
The accelerator supports and monitors companies’ development constantly. Research findings from Aalto University are also at the companies’ disposal.
‘The Aalto Start-Up Center was an excellent platform for growth. It provided wide ranging entrepreneurial development services, informed business coaching, a peer group of entrepreneurs with the same mindset, extensive networks of experts and modern premises’, lists Markku Patronen, CEO and founder of a new web-based bookshop and digital book publishing platform, Reader Stage.
Aalto Start-Up Center has provided the initial impetus to over 40 gazelle companies
Aalto Start-Up Center has been home to 43 rapidly growing gazelle companies. The number doubled between the review periods 2006–2009 and 2010–2013.
A company is referred to as a gazelle when it meets the four conditions specified by the Danish Borsen magazine. During the 2010–2013 review period, growth had to be over 100 per cent from the first set of financial accounts to the last. In addition, turnover had to be positive in all of those years, it had to be over EUR 135 000 in each of the four financial years and the operating profit had to be positive.
One of the gazelle companies from the business accelerator is Efima which produces solutions for operations management, financial management and reporting. At the moment the company employs about 100 people and right now is recruiting about 40 new employees.
‘From the beginning we had a strong desire to create a growth company and jobs. Aalto Start-Up Center gave us a good impetus for our operations and growth. Aalto Start-Up Center was a place where we could concentrate on what we were doing in peace’, comments Managing Director, Tero Salminen.
Other examples of companies whose growth got off to a good start at Aalto Start-up Center are the games company, Frozenbyte, the consulting company Verco, who focusses on supply chain management services, the software company and Conmio and the architects Pen & Hammer.
Previous gazelle companies that were launched from the shelter of the accelerator include the games company Rovio, the law firm Fondia, the ICT company Sininen Meteoriitti and Blue Media the entertainment production company.
A publication recounting the stories of twelve alumni companies will appear this spring.
Aalto Start-Up Center is a business accelerator within Aalto University which provides start-up companies with the impetus for growth. The accelerator brings together know-how from the fields of business, technology and art. The Start-Up Center has been part of the School of Business since 1997. Companies usually remain in the accelerator for about 1 to 1.5 years. At the moment there is a significant number of companies in the health and well-being sectors.
Marika Paakkala, Project Director
tel. +358 (0)40 829 2286
Pertti Kiuru, specialist
tel. +358 (0)50 526 6933