YHP’s Joseph Ajilore spoke to Aku-Ville Lehtimäki, Treasurer of the new entrepreneurship society, Aalto Entrepreneurship Society (AES) about their plans.
For you just hearing about it, Aalto Entrepreneurship Society (AES), founded in January 2009, is a student-run society, an initiative for promoting growth entrepreneurship among students by making them see growth entrepreneurship as a viable career alternative.
He said “the society have noticed the attitude towards entrepreneurship in Finland is poor and therefore prevents many a student to found a business by themselves”.
AES will provide the students with peer support, contacts (e.g. to build a team), and possibilities to find funding.
He also stated that “Another motivation for AES comes from the fact that innovations are poorly commercialized in Finland”.
This fact is widely known, but no one has taken an action so far. “AES will make those innovations - gathering dust on the shelves of different institutions - be commercialized by students”.
Their name comes from upcoming Aalto University, a Finnish merger of three existing universities: Helsinki School of Economics (HSE), Helsinki University of Technology (TKK), and University of Art and Design Helsinki (TaiK). Aalto University will be up and running 1st of January 2010. http://www.aaltoyliopisto.info/en
All the eight board members of AES are from either HSE or TaiK or TKK. The board is currently chaired by Kristo Ovaska. Working with the board there are also a group of AES team members who have a variable background – they are students, but not all are from these three schools mentioned above.
AES has organized about 20 events so far. Some of the events are more formal for example startup entrepreneurs are invited to speak about their businesses, background etc. while others are mainly for chatting and networking.
The success of spring 2009 was StartupTalkoot. It was a two-day event where students and startup entrepreneurs gathered to enhance the startups. Next Talkoot will take place in Moscow and it has also been planned on to have Talkoot in Stanford and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.
These events have helped to form at least two student-run startup concepts: Arctic Alarms http://www.arcticalarms.fi/en and Cityard http://mlab.taik.fi/cityard . The aim of AES is to have students to found 50 startups annually.