Finland’s Aalto University has launched an open access online programme aimed at teaching entrepreneurship for aspiring startup company founders.
The Starting Up course was co-created by Aalto University students and startup operators, with support from Kiuas, a student-operated startup accelerator programme; Maki.vc, an early stage venture capital fund; technology firm Reaktor; and Aalto University’s Ventures Programme, which provides business and entrepreneurship education. The course’s content, which is based on input from 15 successful entrepreneurs, investors and technological innovators, is designed to provide budding founders with the business knowledge they will need to create their own startup, free of charge.
Vice President of Education at Aalto University Petri Suomala said: “For the past decade, the startup community has focused on inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. Now the message is clear – there’s enough inspiration. Together with the startup community, we want to offer concrete tools that are accessible to anyone, anywhere. We fear that a lot of the basic information on modern entrepreneurship is difficult to find: scattered online or shared within startup and tech circles. By creating this course, we want to make sure that no great idea goes unpursued due to lack of access to basic knowledge. In the 2020s, launching a startup successfully should not be dependent on who you know.”
Aalto University’s Professor of Practice Lauri Järvilehto, who will oversee the Starting Up programme, said: “Our ambitious goal is to introduce Starting Up in every country. To achieve this, we’re building a global network of universities, companies, [venture capital] funds and other entrepreneurially minded organisations. We’re happy to already have partners such as UC Berkeley, Supercell and Nokia on board.”
Josefiina Kotilainen at Maki.vc said: “Competitiveness has been considered a key element in thriving startup ecosystems, yet collaboration has been a crucial success factor in the Nordics. Our hyper-co-operative culture was once again at play when different organisations pulled together for this initiative. I hope that this course serves as a concrete reminder of this for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”