How to Survive the Growing Pains of a Startup?
, Reetta Räty
Finland is booming with entrepreneurial spirit. Startups establish business from scratch creating scalable innovations.
Aalto ENT develops educational programs to help entrepreneurs lead their teams and companies better and to create successful commercial products and services for global customers. Our offerings are designed both for the start of the entrepreneurial journey and for the later stages when ideas and businesses are finetuned for global growth.
Most entrepreneurs share qualities such as drive, creativity, enthusiasm, and vision. Startups create new products and services and look for relevant markets and distribution channels, willing to take the risks that are needed to run a business.
At Aalto University, we are dedicated to developing and nurturing the entrepreneurial mindset. In addition to a high-quality education system, Finland is famous for its ICT innovations and the games industry, most notably Nokia, MySQL, Supercell (creator of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale), Rovio and its family of Angry Birds products, and many others.
Today, startup communities and hubs are booming in Finnish cities, such as Startup Sauna and Maria 01 in Helsinki, Oulu Game Lab in Oulu, and Turku Boost in Turku. In our programs, participants are usually immersed in real-life cases, their own startups, or business projects, which provides a strong foundation for leadership and management, strategic thinking, and self-development.
We focus on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset as well as skills and experiences, building strong entrepreneurial ecosystems and innovation cultures, co-creating among different stakeholders in the value chain, developing individual and collective skills, and designing immersive accelerator programs for startups.
A startup entrepreneur might have the agility and motivation to build a business empire, but lacks real-life experience, which could in turn affect the company's credibility and performance. The ideal recipe for success combines the appropriate core competences and skills with an adequate entrepreneurial mindset and experience.
Startups need strong communities and ecosystems to survive. As the saying goes, “the smaller you are, the more networks you need.” In Finland, there are strong startup hubs and accelerators across the country. The best-known among them are Maria 01, the new-comer, and Startup Sauna, both located just a few hundred meters from Aalto University. In fact, the latter is a product of Aalto Entrepreneurship Society (Aaltoes) members, who also created the world-renowned startup event Slush, Junction Hackathon, FallUp and other initiatives supporting entrepreneurship in Finland. Aaltoes is fully run by student volunteers.
Maria 01 brings startups, investors, companies, and non-profit organizations together under one roof. It is one of the biggest hubs in Europe.
Governments, municipalities, startups, and large companies alike need innovation clusters to support learning, share and develop products and services, and build business networks.
In addition to having strong communities and cultures, companies nowadays look for collaboration and co-creation among different stakeholders. There is a genuine belief that startups and corporations can learn from each other.
At Aalto ENT, participants will learn about the latest research on and methods of capturing and delivering value via partnerships, value-based selling, and business model innovation.
Successful entrepreneurs possess interpersonal and teamwork skills. They excel at both self-management and managing others and are great at pitching, communicating, networking, motivating, persuading others, and negotiating. They must be able to make the right decisions even in the most unusual situations.
Selling is hard, and marketing is becoming trickier and more expensive than ever. Startups cannot logically compete with established firms.