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Growth business centre to complement the Otaniemi ecosystem

The new centre will bring startups, incubators and necessary corporate services under a single roof.
Illustration of the growth business centre opening in the former School of Electrical Engineering building in autumn 2017. 
Photo: Aalto CRE.

A substantial flagship will be added to the Otaniemi business hub in autumn 2017 when the conversion of the former School of Electrical Engineering building at Otakaari 5 to a new kind of centre for growth entrepreneurship is completed.

“Otaniemi is a very sought-after location – many would like to establish an operation here after finishing, for example, the Startup Sauna accelerator programme. Earlier, we were unable to offer space. The University's research groups and student projects also generate business activity, which we can now serve in a new way,” says Director Eetu Ristaniemi who is in charge of real estate investments at the University's property management company Aalto CRE.

The versatile facility will offer reasonably-priced offices for businesses and accelerators as well as cooperation and event space, a so-called maker’s space along with support services ranging from a restaurant and cafeteria to assistance from financial and legal experts.

Start-Up Center looking for small businesses to participate in pilot

The new Otakaari centre will, however, be more than just a collection of connected walls. The broader aim is to develop ways with which the University's research infrastructure and technology and related expertise could be made available to businesses. Aalto's own business accelerator Aalto Start-Up Center celebrates its 20th year of operation next year and it is playing an important role in the project as one of the key actors to move into the hub.

“We are currently searching for small businesses for a pilot, which will connect corporate needs and the University's resources. Startups can take advantage of the University's technology and infrastructure, for example its prototype workshops and expertise in the industrial Internet, while at the same time we get to promote the utilisation of Aalto-generated technology in society,” says Start-Up Center Project Director Marika Paakkala.

Since last spring, the Start-Up Center has operated under the auspices of the University's research and innovation services unit, having earlier been a part of the School of Business. The move to Otaniemi will mean that cooperation with the University's other units and functions will become even closer.

Aalto Start-Up Center
Founded in 1997. Provides high-quality business counselling, business development services, expert support and a modern office facility. Involved in the growth histories of more than 800 companies, including success stories like  Rovio, Futurice, Fondia, Ccea, Efima, Synoste, Footbalance, Frogmind.
•   Want to know more about the Start-Up Center? Please contact: Marika Paakkala, tel +358 40 829 2286, [email protected]

The article is originally published in the Aalto University Magazine issue 17, October 2016.

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