Summer 2010 goes to history as the “Summer of Startups”
August turns to September and it is time to look back at an amazing summer of great experiences at the Aalto Venture Garage. It has been a summer full of great fun, fresh ideas and people. Working closely together with nine other start up teams offered an inspirational working environment indeed.
The Summer of Startups is an entrepreneurial program for startups aiming to become global growth companies. The program is first of it’s kind in Finland. Internationally it reminds of the model developed by Y Combinator – supporting early stage teams to go from idea to company.
To bring this concept to Finland was a brainchild of Project Manager Ville Simola at Aalto Entrepreneurship Society. It was a truly interesting process to watch how he managed to pull together the concept in the Finnish context. The Head Coach Ramine Darabiha was of great value to push the teams out of their comfort zone and grow as entrepreneurs and specially as public speakers. Apart from having the great coaches at hand for input and instant feedback the Venture Garage was visited by a large number of the most interesting people in the Finnish entrepreneurial ecosystem.
I would like to pinpoint some of the highlights. Personally, I was really glad to learn more about crowdsourcing and use of game dynamics in business. To hear the Jaiku guys Teemu Kurppa and Petteri Koponen talking was great as well. Later I listened to Petteri Koponen’s talk about entrepreneur’s emotions, I recognized a lot of patterns from his speech. Aape Pohjavvirta’s special approach on pitching, adding a great amount of humour to it, was one of my favorites – an entrepreneur should never forget to have fun and enjoy the ride.
The visit Estonia and to get a glimpse of the entrepreneurial spirit over there was much appreciated as well. The visit to Skype offices was extremely interesting. Skype seems to be an interesting story on how corporate culture really matters when building start ups. Moreover, Kaija Pöysti talking about angel funding and actually recognizing social entrepreneurship as a certain interest among investors was delightful.
It is hard to actually point out one single event, even though the demo gala at the Venture Garage served as a grande finale to an excellent entrepreneurial program, I consider the whole atmosphere and let’s do it spirit at the garage as the most valuable memory. To get to know all the other young entrepreneurs and interact with different kind of ideas made a great summer. Last but not least, I am really happy of the development within our own team. The Pamoja spirit is strong and I am looking forward to continue working with our new team of engineers from Aalto University. During autumn Maria, Irena and Nasrullah will be based in Otanieni, while me and Felix is working from the Stockholm office.
Read more about this on my blog