Startup Garden

Otaniemi Campus, Espoo, Finland


Global Touch to Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Platforms

International experts from great universities and venture organizations organize the Startup Garden 2018 program in collaboration with incubators, accelerators and companies. The program emphasis is on workshops, hands-on experiences, group assignments, coaching and inventing together. We encourage you to use latest technologies Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality, AI and Big Data technologies in the hands-on assignments. The program is organized at Aalto campus, City of Espoo, Finland. Participants will meet companies and organizations like Nokia, Samsung, Fortum, OP Group, Startup Sauna, Aalto Design Factory, We+, Maria 0-1 and individuals from top universities like Stanford University, Tsinghua University and MIT.



“Startup Garden is an exceptional program for entrepreneurial  minded students. You will meet and greet people who are inspired by entrepreneurship and new ways of doing things.“

     – Mark Nelson, Co-Founder, Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford

“The Startup Garden provides a unique opportunity to get to know global excellence in modern technology ventures. It is a great chance to get together with like-minded brilliant people from all around the world.“

     – Dr. Timo Nyberg, Director, Startup Garden 2018


Apply HERE

Schedule 2018 summer

Saturday June 30th
In Korea!
Getting ready meeting in Seoul (by Bora and Hyeram)
Say “Hi” to your co-participants
Promoting your idea (individuals and teams)
Team formation starts
Sunday Aug 5thArrival in Finland
Accommodation arrangements
Monday Aug 6thWeekly morning breakfast meeting
Welcome and learning to know each other
Introduction to entrepreneurship
Video documentation (30s pitch of each participant)
Team formation and management
Aalto Campus tour, Points of Interest
Tuesday Aug 7thInterview tools and techniques (preparing the interview assignment)
Opportunity recognition and prototyping
Group work on team building (own teams and mixed teams)
Wednesday Aug 8thField trip: game developers
Group work and team coaching
BBQ evening & Aalto entrepreneurship community
Thursday Aug 9thInterview workshop, meeting the customer, documentation
Fact finding & company/customer visits (for interviews)
Group work and coaching (own teams and mixed teams)
Friday Aug 10thConcept Analysis, hands-on assignment
Friday brunch (feedback)
Documentation (use of interview tools)
Friday afternoon free program (own teams or mixed teams)
Saturday Aug 11thCo-creative Cultural program by the participants
Sunday Aug 12thCo-creative Cultural program by the participants
Monday Aug 13thWeekly morning breakfast meeting (video diary review)
Documentation and presentations
Stone workshop & Industrial Design
Tuesday Aug 14thHietsu Flee Market (Helsinki)
Group assignments at the market
Customer/user engagement
Wednesday Aug 15thRole game, case startup, Business/revenue models
Startup company visits and fact-finding visits (interviews continue)
Thursday Aug 16thNetworking master class
Effectual lunch
Preparing your pitch for SLUSH competition
Friday Aug 17thNew product/service production
PR and Branding, Go to Market
Finance, Funding strategies, Crowd funding
Friday brunch
Saturday Aug 18thCultural program
Sunday Aug 19thCultural program
Monday Aug 20thMonday morning meeting (video diary review)
Workshop: customer user experience UX
Group work assignments on UX
Tuesday Aug 21thBehavior design
Workshop on Behavior Design
30s pitch (2nd version)
Preparing your pitch, Clinics with experts
Wednesday Aug 22thFinalizing Groupwork presentations
Preparing your pitch
International Co-created BBQ
Thursday Aug 23thPitching for the SLUSH competition
Presentation evaluations by crowd evaluation and expert panel
30 s compilations
Farewell party for the teams (all campers are invited)
Friday Aug 24thClosing day
Best presentations
Diploma Ceremony, Wrap-up
Feedback & Farewell



Our lecturers, coaches and coordinators

Prof. Dr. Timo Nyberg

Program Leader

Timo established his first company 30 years ago as a young student. Since then he has been an active entrepreneur, civil servant, educator and researcher with special interest in international Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Venture Management. Timo’s notable positions include Senior Fellow in Venture Management at Aalto University and Visiting Professor in Cloud Computing Business at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Dr. Peter Kelly

Distinguished Lecturer

Peter is a Professor of Practice in High-Growth Entrepreneurship at Aalto University. His lectures are wildly popular among students, so it is no wonder that he also holds visiting professorships in business at Trinity College Dublin and in design at Universidade Pontificia Catolica de Chile, Santiago. Over the past 15 years Peter has worked with entrepreneurs in Finland, Sweden, the UK, Portugal, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Switzerland, Chile, and Canada.

Mark Nelson

Distinguished Lecturer

Former relief-worker, investment banker, and social entrepreneur, Mark Nelson founded and co-directs Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford University. Mark focuses on designing, catalyzing, incentivizing, and generating resources to scale up collective positive human behavior change. His mission is to create an entirely new, profitable industry, where positive peace is delivered as a service.

Dr. Jari Handelberg

Workshop Leader

Jari is the leading researcher at the Aalto University Small Business Center. He specializes in managing growth, creating new business and renewing organizational models, and has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship. He is also known for his skills as a speaker. Jari is an international fellow who has worked in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Austria.

MSc Matti Hämäläinen

Lecturer and Coach

Matti is the Head of Operations at Hongkong Polytechnic. He has held numerous product/service creation courses and really knows his business when it comes to international operations – he was a part of establishing the Aalto Design Factory Shanghai at the Tongji University Campus. Matti is also a Co-Founder of Riihi Consulting.

MSc Meri Vainio


Meri is the Coach for Yonsei University’s Design Factory Korea, building the organisation, space, and culture. The target is to bridge the gap between Korean universities and industry, and to create something never-seen-before with students, the faculty and the industry. She also has experience from the Aalto-Tongji Design Factory and the Sino-Finnish Centre in Shanghai, of which she did her Master’s Thesis.

Michael Yang


Michael is a graduate from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Cognitive Science. While mainly interested in medicine, he also loves to dabble in other fields such as computer science and business. During his off time, you can find him either wandering around the city trying out food or trying to catch pokemon.

MSc Philippe Pépin


Philippe is a French Canadian IP specialist, who has graduated from Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. Currently he’s building an energy tech startup, Teraloop, which has successfully gathered significant funding. Philippe has also authored an IP strategy for startups book.

Msc. Akatsuki Ryu

Program coordinator

Full-stack developer and UX designer with experience of working in multi-disciplinary teams including tech, business and design backgrounds. more than 10 years digital service and development experience . rapid prototyping and hacking.

BSc Joanna Mehtälä

Program Advisor

Joanna is an Aalto University Information Networks student, who loves creating all things digital and visual. After working as the Program Coordinator in 2015, she is now an Advisor in the program and administers the website. Previously, Joanna has worked at SLUSH as a part of the communications and social media team – read her blog posts here.

Suzin Kim

Program Coordinator

Suzin is a student at Sungshin Women’s University in Korea majoring in Information Technology. She was one of the participants at Startup Garden 2015, and decided to build her own startup after the program. She is now working in a startup team called ILLIO, which was built during Startup Garden 2015. Suzin enjoys new challenges.

Miss Hyewon


Miss Hyewon is Startup Garden 2016 alumni. She an energy pack with great ideas for work and free time. She will help us to coordinate the Korean events and with any other practical issues we may have.

Elisabeth Vu

Junior Coordinator

Elisabeth is a student in the International Business Program at Lauttasaari High School. With her international roots, language skills and hands-on persona, she has been a part of international projects and events, including volunteering at SLUSH. Elisabeth speaks social media as her second language and has used it in marketing and events such as Nuori Yrittäjyys Uskalla Yrittää finals.

Micaela Orellana

Junior Coordinator

Micaela is a first-year student at Lauttasaari High School studying International Business. She has worked as a volunteer at SLUSH and other international events. Her passions are studying different cultures and sports.

MSc Kari Mikkelä

Urban Mill Executive Producer

Kari Mikkelä has 25 years of experience in learning, training and innovation service productions. He has worked for several organisations specializing in user-driven innovation and ICT services co-creation. He has overseen well over 200 successful initiatives. At the moment Kari acts as the Executive Producer of the Urban Mill Co-creation Platform at Aalto University campus.

MSc Lars Miikki

Urban Mill Co-Producer

Lars Miikki, Senior Consultant at Järvelin Design, operates as Urban Miller and co-producer of the Urban Mill Innovation Accelerator Platform in Espoo Innovation Garden. He has also been operating in several regional research and development projects and initiatives developing and promoting the Espoo Innovation Garden concept in the City of Espoo as one of the leading innovation hubs.

Elle Aropaltio


Elle is a student in the International Business Program at Lauttasaari High School. She is very passionate about photographing. You can often see her taking pictures of the things that interest her. Elle writes her own personal blog. The blog is mainly filled with photographs she takes but here and there you can read about her thoughts in life.

Jenny Hytönen


Jenny is a student in the international Business program at Lauttasaari high school. She is energetic and always on the move kind of a person. She has been participated in different kinds of international projects and events.


WrapUp of Startup Garden 2017
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Week 4 Recap
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Week 2 recap
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Week 1 recap
First week of Startup Garden 2017 is now behind us. As the days have passed, everyone has come to know
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Focus on the food, Week 1
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First Day of Startup Garden 2017
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View Archives >>



The student team spaces can be found at Urban Mill, located between Startup Sauna and Aalto Design Factory at the Aalto University campus in Otaniemi, Espoo (Street Address: Betonimiehenkuja 3, Espoo, Finland). Most of the lectures will also be held at Urban Mill. One place of the accommodation of the students is at Forenom Hostel (Street Address: Kivimiehentie 2, Espoo), which is only a 5-minute walk away from Urban Mill.

Program Leader Timo Nyberg