Innovations create entrepreneurship in the Aalto University
Aalto Small Business Center organized an impressive conference between Aalto University and Saint Petersburg State University. In the event at Aalto Design Factory, there were about 80 researchers and professors from St Petersburg. Their main aim was to see and hear experiences about innovations and their organized programming in the university.
Dean Petri Varsta from Aalto University School of Engineering introduced the school. – We have about 3000 students and our school is about 15 % of Aalto University. One of our biggest challenges is ambitious enough in the technical science. We try to publish 150 peer reviewed articles in the best academic journals yearly. This is the very important target to us and it focused on our everyday work. We have to be good enough in the international competition, Dean Varsta summarized his schools future. – We are now in Design Factory, which is very famous and popular environment in the present life of Aalto University. We have established the place more than 20 years ago. So it has some history – maybe the present use is little different than earlier, Petri Varsta described the conference place.
Peter Tapio continued the story of the Design Factory. – There is a cool place for students and we have many activities here which focus is in addition to learning very business oriented. There are the people with good ideas and they have serious plans to establish new, very innovative companies.
A successful business needs failures
Director Will Cardwell from Aalto Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) continued about the meaning of the entrepreneurship in Aalto University. – We try to create the growth in the community of Aalto University. We have versatile tools supporting and pushing the new and innovative teams in their way to the serial businesses. Our vision is to be the best innovative growth business training program in Europe. And we are in this path just now. We have about 300 business proposals yearly and 10 – 15 % of them get our funding. It means 15 – 20 new start-up companies from the Aalto University and it is a remarkable achievement, Mr Cardwell emphasized the role of ACE.
– The other big issue in our work is to courage the innovators open their ideas. It is not typical of the Finns but if they open their ideas for colleagues and other students, they get real feedback and are able to improve their plans. And the failures are acceptable, too, Will Cardwell told. - Our concept works and there is a good example for the Russian universities.
A big incubator supports the Aalto University
Marika Paakkala introduced the Aalto Start-Up Center business incubator. – We are the essential part of the innovation system in Aalto University. We have about 80 young and brave companies in and all of them are seeking the growth, internationalization and a strong foothold in their markets. We focus on our training in their sales processes, sales content and in the first appointments with their real, potential customers. This is not the easy task, but necessary, Marika Paakkala introduced the role of the incubator in Aalto University innovation structure.