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Aalto Start-Up Center has moved to Otaniemi

Growth entrepreneurs, Aalto University and the entire surrounding society will benefit from the cooperation.
The new facilities offer great opportunities for both individual and group work as well as for large-audience events. Photo: Mikko Raskinen

A total of almost 200 students, growth entrepreneurs and partners accepted the invitation to a house-warming party at the new facilities of Aalto Start-Up Center (ASUC) in the Open Innovation House in Otaniemi on Tuesday, 31 January. Start-Up Center moved to modern facilities at Maarintie 6 at the beginning of this year.

In autumn 2017, it will move again, as the renovation of the former premises of the School of Electrical Engineering at Otakaari 5 will be completed. These facilities will be occupied by Aalto’s centre for growth enterprises, which will be known by the name A Grid. The new facilities offer companies and business accelerators reasonably priced offices and facilities for cooperation and events, and so-called maker’s spaces. In addition, restaurant and cafeteria services, and financial and legal services are available in the facilities.

‘A GRID is aimed at developing methods for opening the university’s research infrastructure and technology, and related expertise for businesses. Aalto Start-Up Centre, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, plays a key role in this,’ says Marika Paakkala, Project Director of Start-Up Center. ‘We are looking for small enterprises for a pilot that brings together the companies’ needs and the University’s resources. While start-ups can take advantage of the University’s technology and infrastructure, such as prototype workshops and expertise in industrial internet, we can strengthen the utilisation of technology originating from Aalto University in society,’ she continues.

Start-Up Center has already participated in more than 800 growth stories

About 20 growth entrepreneurs used the opportunity to introduce their operation briefly. After the growth enterprises had given their pitches, Claes Mikko Nilsen, Network Manager of Finnish Business Angels Network FiBAN told the participants that the association aims at promoting investments by private persons in non-listed potential growth enterprises. Aalto Start-Up Center’s long-term partners Kalliolaw, Papula-Nevinpat and Nordea Growth also introduced themselves in the event.

Professor Jaan Praks, the leader of the Aalto-1 satellite project revealed that Finland has entered the space age.

‘The launch of Finland’s first satellite, Aalto-1, is likely to take place within the next few weeks. Since the start of the Aalto-1 project in 2010 and the Aalto-2 project a few years later, hundreds of new professionals in the space sector have been trained. The impact is already visible in the growth of start-up companies in the sector,’ he said.

Marika Paakkala advised the new potential growth entrepreneurs in the house-warming party by telling them about the application form that they can fill in and send on Start-Up Center’s website to start their path towards entrepreneurship.

‘Start-up Center welcomes growth-oriented entrepreneurs who have an innovative business idea and a strong will to succeed. ASUC offers an excellent breeding ground for success by providing versatile entrepreneurship development services, high-quality advisory services for businesses, extensive expert networks and modern facilities,’ Paakkala summarised.

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