One of the Most Vibrant Ecosystems in Europe

Aalto has a deep and wide community of entrepreneurship scholars, students, researchers, practitioners, advisors, funders, coaches and mentors who can help you with any of your entrepreneurship goals. Our processes cover the whole university and connect with the wider Finnish and international society. Up to 100 companies are founded every year in our ecosystem and 50% of Finnish startups that originate from universities come from the Aalto community.

The main location and core of the Aalto Ecosystem on the Otaniemi campus is A Grid (Otakaari 5)

A Grid is a startup hub and one of Europe’s largest centers for growth companies.  A Grid works as a gateway to the university’s national and international network of resources, super-talented students and cutting-edge research. A Grid also serves as a vibrant space for entrepreneurial expertise, services and events. A Grid houses all kinds of startups and accelerators, such as Aalto Startup Centre , the European Space Agency and UNTIL, as well as partners and established companies and organisations, like Fortum and Espoo city.

A Grid Community Manager Contact: Leigh.ewin@aalto.fi

A Student Guide through Our System

The Aalto University entrepreneurship community offers a wide range of excellent entrepreneurship initiatives, including a formal masters level degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Slush,  Aalto Entrepreneurship Society’s KIUAS program,  Aalto Ventures Program and many others.

The interactive guide below includes the key features of all the relevant initiatives that you need to know in the Aalto entrepreneurship ecosystem. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us!

Entrepreneurship Education at Aalto

As a world-class education provider, Aalto University offers a multitude of opportunities for bachelor & master degree students, academic researchers and executives in the field of entrepreneurship.

  • If you are interested in studying entrepreneurship, please follow the link above.
  • If you are interested in practicing entrepreneurship  you could study with the main entrepreneurship practice-based teaching center at the university, Aalto Ventures Program ,
  • Another important center within the university for practice-based learning is Aalto’s renowned Design Factory which is an interdisciplinary product design and learning hub uniting students, teachers, researchers, and industry aiming to build a passion-based learning culture for Aalto University.
  • If you are interested in turning your ideas into a startup , you could visit and take part with the main student led initiative on campus,  Aalto ES
  • Within Aalto ES the Kiuas program aims to support early-stage startups in their journey from idea to first revenue. Kiuas is located in the Startup Sauna on the Aalto campus.

A Phd and Post Doc Researcher Guide through Our System

For all Aalto RESEARCHERS, be they at a Masters level, studying for their Phd or working as a post doctoral researcher …there are several centers within the university that will help you with commercialising an invention and to bring your innovations and startup projects forward

We have tried to think about the questions that you might have as someone interested in entrepreneurship, what’s the process of becoming an entrepreneur as an Aalto researcher and who can help you and where they are.

Please look for a question that you need answering and click on the location buttons to get more information about that part of our process and who can help you with more information

The university ecosystem has a strong collection of specialists ready to Support Commercialization and Starting-up.

  • Your first port of call should be Innovation Services, which is a part of Aalto University Research and Innovation Services, and they are responsible for the management of inventions, intellectual property and technology transfer at Aalto University, facilitating the translation of research into societal impact through commercialization
  • Innovation Services employs a highly skilled team including Innovation Agents, based in each school and Innovation Advisors, based in A Grid, with knowledge in intellectual property rights and commercialization as well as extensive domain expertise.
  • One of the key players in the whole Aalto ecosystem is the Aalto Startup Center which runs a business generator program for startups. The center offers services for startups at the beginning of their journey. The business generator lasts 1–2 years and provides advice, coaching, tools and modern, communal workspaces, as well as networks for fundraising. The centre is also based in A Grid.

The university ecosystem has a strong collection of specialists ready to Support Commercialization and Starting-up.

  • Your first port of call should be Innovation Services, which is a part of Aalto University Research and Innovation Services, and they are responsible for the management of inventions, intellectual property and technology transfer at Aalto University, facilitating the translation of research into societal impact through commercialization
  • Innovation Services employs a highly skilled team including Innovation Agents, based in each school and Innovation Advisors, based in A Grid, with knowledge in intellectual property rights and commercialization as well as extensive domain expertise.
  • One of the key players in the whole Aalto ecosystem is the Aalto Startup Center which runs a business generator program for startups. The center offers services for startups at the beginning of their journey. The business generator lasts 1–2 years and provides advice, coaching, tools and modern, communal workspaces, as well as networks for fundraising. The centre is also based in A Grid.

Opportunities and Other Support

Looking for inspiration ? Where are those opportunities ?

Whether you are a bachelor, masters, doctoral student, post doc, startup, SME or from high school ( or younger !), the university has a variety of sector based initiatives that will inspire you to look more closely at the future opportunities on offer with us and that are being created in different sectors of the national and international economies:

  • The University’s EIT Services Team will help with funding options and other practical initiatives offered by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Currently six EIT services teams help to integrate education, entrepreneurship and innovation. They are physically based in Open Innovation House, Maarintie 6.

University  Platforms are designed to initiate and coordinate multi- and interdisciplinary research and teaching in thematic areas. They organize many thematic meetings during the year which offer possibilities for ideation, co-operation and networking:

Digi Platform

Energy Platform

Experience Platform

Health Platform

Living+

Materials Platform

 

  • Aalto University Industrial Internet Campus is another platform for students, researchers, and companies to innovate and co-create smart, connected products and services and  is physically based on the Otaniemi campus in Puumiehenkuja 5 E.

Funding 

Slush is a student-driven, non-profit movement originally founded to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship

Wave Ventures focuses on pre-seed investments in Nordic startups. They wish to invest in the most audacious founders emerging from the Finnish and Nordic startup ecosystems. Startups seeking an investment should have global ambitions and the next tech-enabled, breakthrough idea

Business Finland is a new organisation, formed through the merger of Tekes and Finpro and creates new growth by supporting companies to go global, as well as funding innovations.

Aalto Startup Center also has specialist funding advisors.

The EIT-KICs teams and the ESA BIC Finland program can  both help prospective entrepreneurs and technology commercializers with access to funding

  • Enterprise Espoo, located in A Grid can help with funding and practical company formation and registration advice.
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