ClariSci’s mission is to make research more understanable and impactful, without compromising the facts to prevent the spread of misinformation. The team of friends – Chiara Facciotto, Giuliano Didio, Lea Urpa, and Rita Turpin – had all worked with science communications at The Science Basement, a non-profit organization that was founded by Lea Urpa and Chiara Facciotto along with a few other friends to enrich the communication skills of fellow early-career researchers. After several years of interacting with each other in this capacity, the ClariSci team, all researchers themselves, had started playing with the idea of setting up a company to provide other researchers and tech experts much-needed communication training and services.
Coincidentally, when the team decided to finally turn this idea into a proper venture, applications to SÄRÖ/FRACTURE had just opened and the programme was offering the perfect chance to gain business expertise. As an added bonus, the compulsory bi-weekly workshops helped the team create a rhythm of working together that is still continuing even after the program ended.
“We’d finally meet regularly and give each other tasks,” explains Facciotto when talking about the team’s progress during the programme. “It would have taken much longer to organise our work like that otherwise. For that, I’m super grateful.”
Since graduating from the programme, Facciotto and the rest of the team have used the practical lessons they learned during SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, including pitching and market research, to take their project onwards with concrete steps like creating ClariSci’s website.
'Now the games begin!'
Facciotto also fondly recalls SÄRÖ/FRACTURE as a “cozy” environment with plenty of useful feedback and peer support, where it felt safe for the team to try things – and fail – in order to learn. “We’d try things, see how it goes, learn from them, and move forward,” Facciotto describes, saying that the programme really allowed for the team to grow together while refining their idea.
Additionally, the team says that one of the key take-aways from the programme was that they’d embraced the idea that their solution needs to be constantly tested and developed, and that doing so is a continuous learning process.
Now, with some months having passed since the end of the programme, ClariSci is finally putting the finishing touches on their business, and the group successfully incorporated in mid-March 2023. Their next steps are to continue developing their services with clients, which they will – for now – do part-time alongside their other work and research tasks.
Looking back, the team says that without all the useful contacts and lessons that SÄRÖ/FRACTURE provided them, they probably wouldn’t have gotten so quickly to the stage where they now are: ready to take flight as fully-fledged entrepreneurs.
As Facciotto excitedly says, “Now the games begin!”
The call for the 2023 batch is now open until 22 March, with the programme running from 31 March to 30 May. You can find more information and instructions on how to apply here.
SÄRÖ/FRACTURE will be held both in-person and in English once or twice a week from 31 March to 30 May at various locations at the University of Helsinki's City Centre campus and elsewhere. The programme is powered by the City of Helsinki.