It’s time for Helsinki to say goodnight to AppCampus, the collaborative program between Nokia, Microsoft, and Aalto University that has closed as planned after three years.
We’re sad to see it end this way – the smart money was riding on the AppCampus building burning to the ground from flames leaping from the massive grill on their tiny balcony. The fact that the building still stands is testament to AppCademy second-in-command Mike Bradshaw’s steady hand in flipping makkara and meat at all the occasions surrounding their accelerated teams.
The grill wasn’t the only fire that was burning in the building, however. The 305 AppCampus startups published 315 apps during the program, which found 7 times more downloads than the average app in the Windows phone store. On top of Windows Phone hits, many teams used the funding and mentoring to prototype their concepts before launching on wider platforms, and has made real-world impact. According to a study among the AppCampus teams, the program has helped in creating at least 850 new jobs, of which 59 are in Finland.
Thanks to their focus on Windows Phones, and its smaller market share, AppCampus’ AppCademy camp may have been looked on as second in the Helsinki startup community to Aalto Entrepreneurship Society / Startup Foundation’s Startup Sauna, a more general accelerator. But AppCampus has done a lot to put Helsinki on the map by bringing dozens of teams from all corners of the world into Helsinki for their AppCademy program, who have brought in an outside perspective and taken our networks further.
We’ll miss a lot about you AppCampus – the long walk from the bus stop, the weird huts and putting green in your trendy office, the relaxing view of the bay, and the friendly mix between AppCademy program lead Paolo Borella, Mike Bradshaw, and the rest of the AppCampus team that was always welcoming.
Until the next Nokia/Microsoft collaboration!