Aalto Startup Center receives honorable mention in renowned award ceremony for adapting to the global pandemic

Startup Center was cited as an honorable mention for its success among study participants from over 45 countries including some of the world’s leading business incubators and accelerators.

Aalto University Startup Center has received an honorable mention for its success of adapting key operations to be applicable amidst the global pandemic.

Aalto Startup Center’s recognition is based on excellence among business incubators and accelerators participating in the Triumph of Innovation impact study which examines the impact of the pandemic, and social and governance initiatives, on innovators in the global business community.

Startup Center was cited as an honorable mention for its success among study participants from over 45 countries including some of the world’s leading business incubators and accelerators.

At an event held in Dubai to launch the new innovation impact report by UBI Global, in partnership with District 2020, Aalto Startup Center received an honorable mention in recognition of the ways in which it has flexibly streamlined its ways of working shortly after the pandemic began to “the new normal” and adapted services on offer for client startups. 

Aalto Startup Center is an active co-operator

These key revisions include conducting an internal survey to client startups in order to investigate their operational and support needs due to Covid, creating a Digital Community environment for startups and staff to continue their operations, continuing 1-on-1 coaching online as well as hosting workshops through e-learning, conducting startups’ status check-ups online with the contribution of the whole staff team and also offering a period of 4 months free office access to startups that wish to meet up safely.

Also noted was Aalto Startup Center’s active approach to joining networks of other universities, such as UNITE! Partners (University Network for Innovation, Technology, and Engineering) and startups’ ecosystems for their mutual benefit, by creating new networking opportunities such as EIT Urban Mobility Northern Accelerator, Korean Startup Center and Urban Tech Helsinki programs. 

'At the beginning of 2020 when the pandemic hit hard, we were already benefiting from Aalto Univerity’s new strategy on sustainable solutions and digitalization, therefore were able to switch our operation into the digital channels speedily. The prompt transition to online working is a very good example of our agile work capabilities. Our success has very much to do with our entrepreneurial approach, where we are constantly aware and react on changes affecting our entrepreneurial activities and business areas', says Marika Paakkala, Head of Aalto Startup Center.  

Bringing together contributions and success stories from organizations across more than 45 countries, the study was fittingly launched at the World Expo currently underway in Dubai.  

Ali Amin, Founder and CEO of UBI Global commented:

'Recognizing globally outstanding performance among business incubators and accelerators isn’t new to UBI Global, but the pandemic presented its own set of challenges and opportunities for our member organizations. Aalto University Startup Center impressed the research team with its innovative approach to success during a global pandemic. It is our pleasure to recognize Aalto’s honorable mention of achievements during a very challenging year.'

Startup Center among the world's top university-led accelerators

It was also announced that World Incubation Summit, set to be held at District 2020 in 2022 following its transition and launch as a vibrant community that will evolve from Expo 2020 Dubai. The World Incubation Summit will bring together over 500 attendees across global business programs and corporate investors to take part in a rich lineup of workshops, pitches, a Gala Night, and an award ceremony recognising the World Rankings Report’s findings on the world’s number one and top-ranked business incubators and accelerators.

The sixth iteration of the World Benchmark Study, conducted by UBI Global, yields the rankings, which are considered the highest honor among the global innovation community.  

In the previous iteration of the World Rankings Report, Aalto University Startup Center was recognized among the world’s top five university-led business accelerator programs. 

About District 2020 

District 2020 will evolve from Expo 2020 Dubai as a human-centric future city centered on the needs of its urban community. It will provide a curated innovation-driven business ecosystem that brings together global minds and embraces technology and digital innovation to support industry growth. 

Following the six months of the World Expo, District 2020 will re-purpose 80% of the Expo’s built environment into an integrated mixed-use community that will continue to attract businesses and people to work, live, visit and enjoy. 

District 2020 had been designed to support the future of working and living and facilitate connection and collaboration. It will be home to an inclusive and diverse community seeking a more balanced way of life – a place that prioritizes well-being, inspires new ideas, facilitates growth, and enables human potential. 

About UBI Global 

UBI Global is a Swedish-based intelligence company and community specializing in mapping, highlighting, and connecting the world of business incubation. Through a network of more than 1,200 member business incubators and accelerators located in over 90 countries worldwide, UBI Global provides corporate-startup scouting and matchmaking, benchmarking, and research services to corporations and business incubation programs.  

Further information: 

Marika Paakkala 

Head of Aalto Startup Center 

+358 40 829 2286 

[email protected] 

Päivi Meros 

Marketing and Communications Specialist, Aalto Startup Center 

+358 50 32 98 554 

[email protected] 

Aalto Startup Center 

Aalto Startup Center is a business accelerator for start-up companies that are less than three years old, with a particular focus on the technological field. The accelerator utilises the interdisciplinary competence offered by Aalto University in design, business and technology as well as the expertise and networks of the university. The participants include companies both from within Aalto and outside of it, and the accelerator also creates business activities from research-based projects.

Currently, there are about 40 companies at Aalto Startup Center, 10 of which operate under Esa Bic Finland, which focuses on space technology and is a member of Aalto Startup Center. Aalto Startup Center’s premises are located in Otaniemi, Espoo.

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