Accelerator Programme Springboard Fostered New Business Ideas

​The Central Baltic Springboard project started in late 2015. The consortium included a university and a developer organisation as a pair from the cities of Turku, Tallinn and Riga. The Finnish partners were the University of Turku and Turku Science Park Ltd.

In Turku, the project continued the collaboration between the University of Turku and Turku Science Park in developing the local start-ups as well as those in the Baltic Sea region. Altogether 82 teams with 214 team members in three cities participated in the project. The project supported the creation of a total of 18 registered cross-border co-operative companies.  Four of the companies have key resources outside their country of origin.

– The project shows that universities can participate actively in business development, not just as innovation producers. According to its Strategy, the University of Turku participated in the project in order to support the development of new businesses and strengthen the co-operation between universities and business development organisations both locally and in the Baltic Sea region, say Veijo Pönni and Vesa Hautala, coordinators of the project at the University of Turku.

In Turku, a total of 29 teams or start-ups participated in three 10-week acceleration programmes. According to Ville Nikola, CEO of the Finnish start-up Grail Group Ltd, the programme helped his company to expand its network of contacts. He says that the most valuable thing for him was the international mentors giving him the courage to change his idea and urging him to make a true effort to realise his dream.

For early-stage companies, the programme offered help in finding the right B2B contacts.

– It was particularly great to see how the teams collaborated to help each other. One team had more expertise in programming, another in communications and marketing. There were even start-ups that recruited a new member from a team that did not take off this time, points out Project Manager of Sprinboard, Senior Advisor Johanna Puhtila from Turku Science Park Ltd.

FACTS AND FIGURES:

  • Project started in November 2015 and ended in October 2017
  • Three joint accelerator programmes in Riga, Tallinn and Turku with a total of 
    - 82 start-up teams/companies (goal 45–90) 
    - 214 team members (goal 150) 
    - 18 registered co-operative companies (goal 15)
    - of which 4 joint companies (goal 2–4) 
  • Funded by the Central Baltic Programme 2014–2020 of the European Union
  • Partners
     - Turku: University of Turku and Turku Science Park Ltd
     - Tallin: Tallinn University of Technology and Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol
     - Riga: Riga Technical University and Latvia Technology Park

TS/MR
Photo: Andres Raudjalk

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Published date 11/15/2017 12:35 AM ,  Modified date 11/15/2017 1:22 PM

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