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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Aalto Bootcamp, Y Combinator-esque Program For Students And Researchers

There’s much talk about the new Aalto University in Finland, which is what came out when Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and Helsinki University of Art and Design were molded into one school to rule them all. A lot of potential I’m sure, but wait, there’s more!

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There’s a new kid in town. Many of our readers felt the waves from Aalto Entrepreneur Society last year. The student group headed by Kristo Ovaska hasn’t been resting on their laurels. Now they are coming with a new Y Combinator-esque university accelerator program, Aalto Bootcamp. It’s a five week program for students and researchers to get a feel for the joys of entrepreneurship and build a company. And yes, become a bona fide entrepreneur.

Here’s the spiel. You apply for the program. 10 to 15 teams will be admitted to a five week program. At the end the program up to three teams can get selected. The initial admission just as the final selection will be done by who else but Finnish Vigos. Once a team has been selected it will get coaching from Vigos, up to €55K funding from Tuli program (‘up to’ meaning there’s no guarantees what the amount will be), and a physical space to work in for six months. Naturally, the bootcamp program creates potential deal flow for Vigos and a great opportunity to get on a speed train to success for the young teams. A Win-Win.

How to get on this train. Much like the real Y Combinator, the program has some questions for your team which is the first hurdle to clear if you want in. The emphasis will unsurprisingly be on the idea and the team. The Bootcamp itself don’t have a particular focus, but the startup can be everything from ICT, web and gaming to life science and food processing.

The details are still being worked out, but the plan is to have the bootcamp held up to 4 times a year. The kick-off for the program is April 7th and the application are open. So if you’re a student or a researcher, get your application on!

The most remarkable thing in all of this is not the bootcamp, but how it came to be and especially by whom. It makes me hopeful for the future of this country when I see a group of students working hard to fix a state failure (yes, that’s what I consider this to be) with only having a boat load of passion and big dreams to float the boat. The best way to get approval is not to need it. Kudos to Kristo, Linda, Jori and rest of the Aalto Entrepreneurship Society team!

Photo by Linda Liukas

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