With nearly 200 guests attending in person to hear more about the University of Helsinki's new Helsinki Incubator Programmes, the University of Helsinki's Innovation & Entrepreneurship Services Team successfully launched its activities with the April 28th event.
The event began with welcoming remarks and an in-depth introduction to the university's new innovation pipeline delivered by Senior Project Manager Ari Huczkowski, and with Dean Sasu Tarkoma of the Kumpula campus introducing the multi-faceted innovation potential of the university. This was followed by presentations from the programme's key partners expanding on their roles within the Helsinki Incubator Programmes with Innovation Ecosystems Lead Heidi Humala representing the City of Helsinki and Rosa Salmivuori joining in her role as Helsinki Think Company CEO.
The assembled guests were then regaled with inspirational talks on entrepreneurship from Helsinki Incubator Programme Senior Mentors Kim Väisänen and Juan-Manuel Cortés, as well as the tale of one of the university's successful innovation-based spinout companies, Nanoform, from its founder Dr. Edward Hæggström.
The highlight of the evening was of course the final words given by Mayor Juhana Vartiainen, who thanked the university for the work it had done so far in setting up the Helsinki Incubator Programmes, and explained how he was eager to see the many exciting innovations the city-funded initiative would generate during its two and a half year lifecycle.
The event was also an opportunity for guests to meet with the team and discuss collaboration with the university, as well as do some much needed face to face networking with other guests.
"It was great to finally be able to see people again and really be able to exchange ideas face to face after years of online meetings," says Project Manager and Kumpula Incubator Lead Andrés Peña Archila.
"We were delighted to be met with such enthusiasm and support from the broader community. The great attendance numbers from corporate representatives, VC's, both foreign and domestic public and educational sector actors, and others really tells us that we're creating something meaningful at the university, and that partnering with the university is something that many are eager to do," added Senior Manager for Global Partnerships Alfonso Gutierrez.
The event marked the start of the University of Helsinki's Helsinki Incubator Programmes which is powered by the City of Helsinki under the Campus Incubators project until at least 2024. The activities begin in earnest on May 6th when the initiative's first Pre-Incubator for Deep Tech, AI, and Sustainability and will continue through the summer with an incubator on the same theme and additional pre-incubators in autumn.