Accelerating the Game Changers!

Another trailblazer year for Aalto Start-Up Center

It has been another very successful year for Aalto Start-Up Center (ASUC) with over 70 startups – 70% benefitting from accelerator services and 30% as pre-phase and newly established OpenSpace 24/7 agile working companies. Aalto Start-Up Center has facilitated their startups to secure over €15 million in funding & investments in 2015.

Aalto Start-Up Center’s highly coveted and award winning accelerator program has proven to be magical formula for producing fast growers, and withstanding the test of time for almost two decades! This year alone, (alumni) won the Red Herring Global 100 Award 2015! Evenman (alumni) won the Smart City App Hack Finland to represent Finland in the Global SCAH final. ASUC evaluates its deliverables by conducting impact surveys every year and has now almost 10 years register available. Their 2015 research and analysis will be completed in Q1, 2016.

Aalto Start-Up Center continues to strengthen, nurture and accelerate the growth of their networks by organizing monthly open idea coffee events; meetups with pop up lawyer, financial and funding experts and Papula-Nevinpat IPR advisors. Also various practical coaching sessions were held during this year:   Pitch training, Growth Booster program, Sales Program, as well as regular mentoring and coaching corners. Milestone events, attended by over 400 persons, included:

  • Aalto Pitch event – the startup company Scrooge Oy was awarded €5,000 prize by Nordea
  • Investor and mentor match making events for pre-phase and early growth companies supported by FiBAN, Kalliolaw & Nordea. 13 pitching companies with Faraday Fast Rentals & Services Oy winning the €5,000 prize
  • Slush – dedicated ASUC demo booth and 100 participating companies, current and alumni
  • Matchmaking and networking event with Cuckoo Workout Oy was a perfect place to meet startups, students, partners, investors and business mentors

Aalto Start-Up Center together with Aalto University ecosystem is educating and accelerating game changers and bringing talent and companies with job opportunities together. This year, the umbrella ecosystem covered e.g. ARENA 2015 career fair in Aalto University School of Business, TalentIT fair in Otaniemi; Job fair organized by Microsoft and Biz4EYE (Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, mobility period abroad). New business opportunities for people and companies interested in network development with Estonia are available in Talsinki Metropolitan Incubation -project (CB Interreg) which offers a possibility to establish a joint venture or starting co-operation with Estonian companies.

Aalto Start-Up Center is actively participating in the Polku project financed by European Regional Development Fund. This project brings together the resources from different fields of know-how in order to create a versatile cooperation model, to intensify and speed up the creation and development of business ideas into growth enterprises. Internationally, cooperative agreements were signed with SIAS International University China and Kazan IT Park, Russia in 2015.

Alumni companies of Aalto Start-Up Center have already created almost 3,000 jobs of which more than half are born in high growth gazelle companies. Since it was founded appox. 700 companies have been placed on-track for growth and the work continues with approximately 40 growth companies accepted in the accelerator every year. During 2010-2013, complete accounts were filed by 193 companies. 30% of all their companies are fast growth gazelles. ASUC success stories and gazelles research 2010-2013 are now available at, a current ASUC accelerator company. These fast growth companies have created nearly 1,500 jobs and their combined turnover is more than €234 million.

Aalto Start-Up Center is based in Ruoholahti, which is the fastest growing technology cluster in Helsinki region. The companies that have already established their position in the area create an excellent network for new entrepreneurs. Aalto Start-Up Center continues to plays an active role in developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the metropolitan area as a co-operator in Helsinki Growth Alliance (together with NewCo Helsinki Accelerator, Spinno Enterprise Center in Espoo and Turbiini Accelerator in Vantaa, Finland).  Aalto Start-Up Center is making a very tangible impact on the broader ecosystem with its effective acceleration of a large number of start-ups annually, and its knock on effect on job creation, communities, national development and inward investment into Finland. As well as proactively developing partnerships with Nordic, Baltic and International partners.

It is really inspiring to see the achievements at the Aalto Start-Up Center and potential multiplier effect not only for startups in Finland but the wider business community local and International.  I agree with Marika Paakkala, Head of Aalto Start-Up Center in her recent call for action. “Now is the right time for us to harness the significant momentum we’ve developed overtime at Aalto Start-Up Center to fast-track Finland as the Innovation and Start-Up Capital of Europe.” 

Sandra Dillon
International HR Director - OD Consultant, Coach & ASUC Mentor

Aalto Start-Up Center is a successful and fast developing business accelerator operating from within Aalto University. It helps start-ups accelerate their growth with an excellent combination of business, engineering and design know-how. The accelerator has been an integral part of the business school since 1997.

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