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Students receive support in exploring and building their startups

Published on 9.11.2021
Tampere Universities
HUBSTAMK student
Tampere Universities students built on their ideas during HUBS latest pre-incubator course and begin their journey in entrepreneurship.

In a rapidly changing world, entrepreneurship education can help the students at the Tampere Universities community lead exceptional lives by focusing on developing real-world skills. They can develop their imagination and learn how to apply creative thinking skills to real-world problems.

Through entrepreneurship-focused courses, HUBS teaches students crucial life skills that help them navigate the future. Skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, as well as learning to accept failure as part of a growth process.

From Idea to Startup is a pre-incubator course that supports student teams in taking their first steps towards entrepreneurship and experience the process of developing a new product or service. The course combines innovative methods of team coaching alongside the traditional business development. The students explore the entrepreneurial framework, methodologies, and tools in a safe and supportive environment.

“Experiencing the process at least once takes the fear factor away. Even if they do not go forward with the startup idea, they can apply their learnings in future projects,” explains Kaisa Kokko, HUBS coach and facilitator of the course.

Pitching ideas

On 3rd October, the Demo Day for From Idea to Startup took place in Platform6, the home of Tampere start-ups. The four student teams graduating from the course had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts and an audience.

“The pitching event has us both excited and nervous. It is the first time presenting our idea to a crowd and we are excited for the feedback we received,” says Saara Vihavainen, Social Psychology student from Tampere University.

The ideas provided intuitive solutions to everyday problems. They varied from a Netflix-like platform that supports teachers’ work and an organizational service for musicians’ live performances, to a nature retreat supporting mental health and relieving anxiety and an intangible gift of thoughts for your loved ones.

“This course has completely opened my mind about what it’s like to build a business. I am already getting inquiries from musicians,” exclaims Kim Wirzeinus, TAMK Music and Arts student.

The panel of judges consisted of experts and local organizations’ representatives. They gave feedback on both the presentations and ideas. Moreover, they advised the students for the future development of their ideas. The students, also, received suggestions and guidance for future pitching opportunities.

“We saw a great variety of ideas presented with passionate people behind them,” comments Vesa-Matti Ruottinen, Senior Specialist at City of Tampere and judge at the pitching event.

During the event, the students had the unique opportunity of further discussing with the audience regarding the competitiveness of their ideas and initial target audiences. Additionally, they received advice for managing available resources and scaling their ideas.

HUBS students
Kaisa Kokko (HUBS coach) with the students: Pete Vuorimäki, Engars Zinovjevs, Kim Wirzenius, Saara Vihavainen, Vaula Berg and Nanetter Ranta.

Supporting the startup mindset

A vibrant startup ecosystem is established in Tampere. There are several stakeholders and platforms where Tampere Universities students can continue building on their startup ideas and explore different options for their professional future.

“Tampere Universities community has the fresh inspirations that we need all the time to grow and attract more talents in our community,” comments Vesa-Matti Ruottinen.

Entrepreneurship may be the target for some students in the community. But even if they do not choose this career path, the entrepreneurial mindset and creative problem-solving methodologies are useful, regardless of their degree.

“Nowadays, entrepreneurial thinking is needed for every discipline and it will be sought out even more in the future. All organizations, public and private, benefit from the courage of the entrepreneurial mindset,” comments Kirsi Viskari, TAMK Vice President and judge at the pitching event.


Learn more about From Idea to Startup here

Text and photographs: Dimitra Panopoulou-Huovila