Many Aalto Start-Up Center graduate companies display good growth
‘Many of the entrepreneurs who got their start in the Aalto Start-Up Center feel that our business accelerator has provided them with the skills for creating strong networks and engaging in fruitful co-operation. Their entrepreneurial spirit has become their brand,’ says Aalto Start-Up Center Project Director Marika Paakkala.
The progress of the companies that participate in the Start-Up Center is monitored even after the accelerator phase. Based on these assessments, it is evident that the operating profits of these fast-growing businesses can vary greatly between the years that they are monitored.
One example of a successful high-growth company is HyperIn, which got its start in the Start-Up Center in 2008. HyperIn is a leading enterprise resource planning service provider for the commercial real estate sector, and its services are used by many shopping malls in Europe and Asia. The HyperIn service is used e.g. for the management of digital guide and advertisement displays, mobile loyalty programme apps, and property enterprise resource planning.
‘Our business became profitable back in 2013, but in accordance with our strategy, our customer income flow is growing in every country at the cost of our profitability, which means that we're aiming for growth instead of profit,’ notes HyperIn's CEO Markus Porvari.
HyperIn has patented its technology and has also received the Top 100 Europe forum's Red Herring award for its innovations.
Adult gazelles are big and grow profitably
In the Start-Up Center, fast-growing companies, or gazelle companies, are divided into four groups. Adult gazelles are big and grow profitably. Wasteful gazelles are big, but are not growing profitably. Fawns are still small, but growing profitably. Premature fawns are small and growing, but not yet profitable.
HyperIn is an example of an adult gazelle. A company can be called a gazelle when it fulfils the four criteria that have been specified by the Danish Borsen magazine: during the 2012-2015 assessment period, turnover growth must be over 100 per cent from the first financial statement to the last. In addition, the company's turnover must be positive and over EUR 135,000 in each of the four financial years, and their operating profit must be positive.
The Aalto Start-Up Center business accelerator began its operations in the Helsinki School of Economics in 1997. Arabus, the School of Art and Design's business incubator, was incorporated into the Start-Up Center in 2009. When Aalto University was formed in the beginning of 2010, the name 'Aalto Start-Up Center' was established as the official name of the business accelerator.