“Your Mission to Create Positive Change Can Be Incredibly Powerful” TREMOR's Third Round Kicks Off with 15 New Teams

TREMOR, the University of Helsinki’s incubator for impactful solutions in the fields of society, education, wellbeing, communities, and law has returned for its third round this spring.

As the weather warms up outside, the Helsinki Incubators come alive with the energy of the new batch of aspiring changemakers. Only a week ago, our new programme participants embarked on their TREMOR journey with three intense days filled with mentor matchmaking sessions and team-building activities.

And just like that, the TREMORians dove into the action, breaking the ice with our signature bingo bongo questions. Programme Manager Pete Karumo greeted the participants with warm words and shared his excitement, saying, “TREMOR is all about connections and growth.” Shortly thereafter, Carl Alm, Director and Actors coach, facilitated a practical workshop on improvisation, intros, and presentation skills toolkit. Reflecting on the collaborative atmosphere, Alm remarked, "Embarking on a journey like this, united in your mission to create positive change, can be incredibly powerful.” During the kick-off, participants delved into the importance of being mentally and physically prepared for presentations, ensuring they can effectively communicate the technical details and human narratives of their projects.

Ivana Situm, a past participant and founder of FOG (Facts On the Ground), shared her journey with the previous batch and ensured the new TREMOR teams felt supported from day one. Reflecting on her own experiences, Situm emphasized that there's no secret formula or magic trick to winning a pitching competition like she did within the TREMOR finale. Instead, she acknowledged that "The true measure of success emerges from the dedication and hard work you commit to the programme."

Inspiringly, Situm encouraged this new batch of entrepreneurs to embrace the possibility of failure as a necessary step towards growth. "You get back the energy that you put in this program," she affirmed, urging them to give themselves the chance to stumble and learn along the way. "By allowing yourself to fail, you increase your chances of success.”

Meet the New Teams

Our new teams represent a diverse array of aspirations, each driven by a commitment to tackle societal challenges head-on. From strengthening family bonds to championing environmental conservation, the TREMOR teams are committed to make a real difference.

Take, for instance, Freja Kivikettu and Nick Nelson from Good Grief. Both students in the MA programme of Linguistic Diversity and Digital Humanities at the University of Helsinki, they're reimagining the traditional bookstore-cafe-event space combo. By integrating a digital resource center, they're fostering supportive communities around discussions of death and grief, aligning with the goal of promoting wellness and education. 

We asked Kivikettu about her expectations for the programme, and she remarked, “TREMOR is off to a great start! Partnering with mentors will be really helpful, providing direct feedback and a space to workshop ideas.” She added, “I’m looking forward to tackling different entrepreneurial tasks to build stronger skills for starting a business. Specifically, “I’m ready to put in the work to build a website that can be sustainable on its own.” 

Similarly, there's Nordman On Purpose, led by Veera Nordman, a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. Veera's team is all about improving organizational culture to boost employee morale and productivity, supporting the aim of creating decent work environments. Throughout this social driven journey, these teams will not only receive tailored mentorship but also dive into topics like impact measurement. Packed with tools to assess their social and environmental impact, they'll be better equipped to articulate the outcomes of their initiatives, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the social impact sphere. 

“I'm Genuinely Excited about the Teams I'll Be Working with.”

Our mentor, Saila Tykkyläinen, co-founder of Impact Business Ltd., brings a wealth of expertise in impact-driven development and management. She holds a firm belief in the potential of our new teams to become the genuine impact makers that our world urgently needs. As she has shared her insights with us while advising our teams in her mentor interview, Tykkyläinen remarked, "Today's business and startup world is full of talk about changing the world — talk which often ultimately rings hollow. What remains to be seen, then, is who is actually passionate about changing the world, when most seem to only embrace the rhetoric of changing the world without actually creating any real impact.” 

The new teams have the opportunity to disrupt the status quo and pave the way for a new era of socially conscious entrepreneurship, as Tykkyläinen continued, "The transformative potential of social enterprises is that they challenge existing businesses - they show that you can do business this way, that everyone can."

Many of our TREMOR mentors participated in the speed dating session with their future mentees. As the teams pitched their ideas, the stage was set for matchmaking magic to unfold. Among our recent additions to the mentor team is Jenny Law, a University of Helsinki MA student and a past participant in TREMOR herself. Founder of Hello There, a digital peer support platform for parents' mental wellbeing from pregnancy to early parenthood, Jenny wishes to break stigmas and help find support. Sharing her excitement about her new role as mentor, she expressed, "I'm thrilled because I'm genuinely excited about the teams I'll be working with. Both show a strong drive to propel their startups forward."

Throughout the six-month program, we'll be closely following the progress of these teams and their solutions, keeping you informed about their journey and future developments. In the meantime, why not explore our collection of previous mentor interviews and alumni stories? Learn more about the history of the TREMORians and the inspiring individuals who have been part of our community and stay tuned for further updates as we work together towards meaningful change here

The University of Helsinki's entrepreneurship programmes, the Helsinki Incubators, provides support and opportunities for bold thinkers in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area interested to take their ideas and turning them into impactful ventures.

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 underway, with the programme's final scheduled for November 2024.