A few weeks ago, a group of individuals gathered for the dizzying, multi-day start to a shared six-month entrepreneurial journey. But these weren’t your usual founders: the 18 teams gathered for a series of kick-off events were the latest batch of TREMORIANS, an inspiring group of folks working to create solutions that first and foremost seek to create positive impact in the communities around them, and society at large.
And for this 2nd edition of the University of Helsinki's Social Impact incubator programme, the solutions were as varied, if not more, than the solutions worked on in the 1st TREMOR. Themes of accessibility & inclusion, communication & creative expression, and education were as present among the solutions as they were in the previous programme, but the newest group of TREMORIANS were tackling new themes as well. Animal well-being, improving access to information, and even death & what happens after it were some of the new societally impactful TREMOR themes.
“It's so great to see such variety in your ideas and your backgrounds,” Saila Tykkyläinen, a professional in the impact field and returning TREMOR mentor told the teams during the kick-off week. “Seeing you and your ideas challenges me in new exciting ways in applying my expertise in impact as well.”
Programme manager Tuomas Pollari agreed: “It’s a good mix we’ve got. There’s a lot of subjects being explored, and I really think there’s a good potential to create impact here.”
For the TREMORIANS themselves, the start of the journey, while at times a bit disorienting with its mix of workshops, talks, and speed-dating events meant to help them to get to know the programme, their potential mentors, and each other, was nevertheless an interesting and helpful start to what promised to be a meaningful 6-month journey.
Anton Stalchenko and Natalia Stalchenko, SÄRÖ/FRACTURE pre-incubator alumni who, along with their co-founder Alona Hapey, had continued onwards to TREMOR with their project, WWA – a day-care initially geared towards Ukrainian refugee parents and their children – getting to continue their project in the Helsinki Incubators ecosystem was an exciting next step in their journey: “It’s really great to be here,” the Stalchenkos agreed.
Teams were not only looking forward to benefiting from the in-depth workshops and community peer-support that the programme would provide, but also from the mentoring they would be getting, and the insights & connections that would bring their projects. Indeed, many hoped that the mentoring they’d be receiving would really help their teams reach new heights.
As for the mentors themselves, they were excited to be able to provide the encouragement the teams would need to feel confident enough to throw themselves completely behind their ideas. As Iiro Jussila, another one of the returning TREMOR mentors, explained during the kick-off: “Many of you are excited about your idea, but you may not be fully confident in it and be ready to take the leap: leaving your job and investing your everything in it.” But with mentoring, he hoped that many of the TREMORIANS would be able to reach that point: “That’s the best, and I really want to help you guys achieve that,” Jussila earnestly told the TREMORIANS.
Having successfully navigated the programme's initial intense kick-off, the TREMOR teams are now well on their way to turning their promising solutions into fully fledged socially impactful ventures, be they startups, co-operatives, or NGOs. As TREMOR co-ordinator Lis Vila Rosas explained: "The second batch of the TREMOR programme? They're absolutely crushing it! I can already see how they're teaming up, mixing, and matching their skills and ideas to redefine the future generations with their impact."
She continued by explaining how she was excited to be involved in both the first and second TREMORs, and how she felt like the programmes are "like an adventure", where TREMORIANS will get to "conquer new and fresh challenges."
"I can't wait to see what's next!"
We’ll be sure to circle back to these exciting teams and their solutions throughout the 6-month programme to tell you what's next, so be sure to stay tuned for updates, but for now, we invite you to get to know the teams and their mentors, and get in touch with those founders you’re the most curious about.
TREMOR is the University of Helsinki's 6-month incubator programme for socially impactful ideas designed to help teams seeking to do good through entrepreneurship get the necessary support to turn their solutions into successful ventures & NGOs. The 2nd batch is currently under way, with the programme's final scheduled for 27 March 2024.