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Studying and Living in Finland LUT Alumni Experience by Aisulu Harjula

LUT Entrepreneurship Society

Being an entrepreneur requires a lot. I believe that entrepreneurship is a skill and not only a talent. It requires a lot of effort to learn the business and to own it. Finnish universities have their own entrepreneurship societies where students can discuss and exchange their business ideas, receive help, participate in competitions and find future jobs.

Entrepreneurship and innovations are the center of the Finnish economy development. This topic is very familiar to me as I have experienced the Finnish entrepreneurship world. There are many entrepreneurship societies across Finland and they are all connected to each other. One of them is Aalto university’s business incubator Startup Sauna. This society is part of one of the biggest conferences in Nordic countries, Slush. I have attended the conference twice and I have written two blog articles here about it.

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LUTES annual meeting

At LUT there is an entrepreneurship society LUTES that organizes summer team launches, provides student tickets to startup conferences such as SLUSH, organizes meetings with investors and businessmen, aims to develop networks between companies and students. There are also business spaces Kora and Technopolis, which sometimes host startup events.

Students focus to develop something new in the IT sphere as most Finnish startups are related to IT. There are many options to get funding in Finland, and the government of Finland has its own programs to fund startups.

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Lecture by Jyrki Saarinen from LUTES Startup Entrepreneurship Seminar TakeOff 2014

As for my connections with the startup world, I have been a volunteer at the Slush conference. I have visited Kora and LUTES events in the university and at one of such events I’ve gotten a job from a start-up E-Contenta.  It was an opportunity for me to come listen to new startups’ presentations and make a pitch about myself.

I have done project work at E-Contenta and developed connections with the Silicon Valley accelerators and Finnish partners. It was interesting for me to learn the startup world. My work brought significant results to the startup development: an offer from a Silicon Valley accelerator Founders Space, meetings with accelerators’ people and getting them as business mentors. Furthermore I helped to develop good connections with Finnish media companies that were interested in a partnership. It was a good experience for me to test my team-working and time-management skills and learn new state-of-the-art technologies and their rapidly changing trends.

I’m very satisfied for these startup experiences and learned skills which led to me staying in Finland and attending doctoral program here at LUT. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur but it’s important to have entrepreneurial skills that you can apply in your job or research. This is what LUT wants to teach its students.

About The Author

Researcher at LUT, Master of Economics, LUT & GSOM Saint Petersburg State University. Focus on Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability. Background in natural sciences.

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