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


Schedule 2017 summer (2018 coming soon)

Sunday July 16thArrival at Helsinki Airport
Transportation to Espoo
Monday July 17thWeekly morning breakfast meeting
Welcome and learning to know each other
Introduction to the program and practicalities
Video documentation (30s pitch of each participant)
Opportunity recognition, prototyping & case companies
Tuesday July 18th
Opportunity prototyping continues
Group work, coaching and team building
Wednesday July 19th
Networking master class
Effectual lunch
BBQ & KEF welcome
Thursday July 20th
Ideation workshop, Documentation
Fact finding & company visits,
Otaniemi Campus Points of Interest
Group work and coaching
Friday July 21st
Concept Analysis, hands-on assignment
Friday brunch (feedback)
Documentation (Virtual reality support if needed)
Friday afternoon free program
Saturday July 22nd
Co-creative Cultural program by the participants
Sunday July 23rd
Co-creative Cultural program by the participants
Monday July 24th
Weekly morning breakfast meeting (video diary review)
Documentation and presentations
Stone workshop & Industrial Design
Tuesday July 25th
Hietsu Flee Market (Helsinki)
Group assignments at the market
Customer/user engagement
Wednesday July 26th
Role games, case startup, Business/revenue models
Company visits and fact finding visits
Thursday July 27th
Field trip: game developers
Work shop on Co-Engagement
Group work and team coaching
Friday July 28th
New product/service production
Friday brunch
Saturday July 29th
Cultural program
Sunday July 30th
Cultural program
Monday July 31st
Summer camp opening and welcome
City Scope concept (MIT),
City Scope big picture, Data and other issues
Aalto presentation
Simple dinner
Tuesday Aug 1st
Campus tour in small groups
Group work ( Group 1 room, Group 2 Tech, Group 3 Data)
Brain storming - research questions outcome
Simple dinner
Wednesday Aug 2nd
Group work
Group 1: Hardware: setup the projectors, tables, make the Lego models
Group 2: Setup the computer system, cameras etc. and testing
Group 3: Map Data analysis, people making maps etc.
Big BBQ and Awards ceremony
Thursday Aug 3rd
Topics depending on the earlier days results
Topic opening TBC
Farewell party for the MIT team (all campers are invited)
Friday Aug 4th
Agile Development, New Way of Doing workshop
Saturday Aug 5th
Co-creative Cultural program by the participants
Sunday Aug 6th
Co-creative Cultural program by the participants
Monday Aug 7th
Monday morning meeting (video diary review)
Workshop: Quick decisions making - human vs machine
Group work assignments
David Miller (Stanford University)
Tuesday Aug 8th
Behavior design
Mark Nelson (Stanford Peace Innovation lab)
Workshop on Behavior Design
Wednesday Aug 9th
Nokia Open Ecosystem Network visit (Anne Pakari)
Finalizing Groupwork presentations (Dave Miller, Mark Nelson)
International Co-created BBQ
Thursday Aug 10th
Company visit (in Helsinki/Espoo)
Free program: Group work and presentations
Friday Aug 11th
Closing day
Best presentations
Diploma Ceremony, Wrap-up
Feedback & Farewell
Saturday Aug 12th
Co-creative Cultural program by the participants
Sunday Aug 13th
Co-creative Cultural program by the participants



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
The last day of Startup Garden 2017 has passed. The four weeks have flown by when making projects and getting
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Week 4 Recap
Last week of the Startup Garden 2017 started in good spirit. The week of Behaviour Design contained amazing speakers from Stanford's
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Week 2 recap
The second week that had full of interesting lectures and different kinds of workshops is now approaching the end. On
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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
Startup Garden has had a quite kick-off! First few days have been full of activities, such as eating. On Tuesday
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First Day of Startup Garden 2017
As the Week 29 arrives, Startup Garden opens their doors and welcomes in a group of KEF- students from South
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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. 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