Startup! Course the University's First Entrepreneurial Act of the Year
The teachers of the Startup! course, Project Researcher Tommi Pukkinen and Senior Researcher Pekka Stenholm from the Entrepreneurship Unit, have been teaching the course for several years. Stenholm, who pitched the act, thanked all the various partners behind the scenes who have made the course possible.

In the academic year 2015‒2016, the Entrepreneurial Act of the Year is the Startup! course which is for students from all the faculties at the University of Turku as well as for students from Turku University of Applied Sciences and Humak University of Applied Sciences. During the course, students form different kinds of start-up teams, create new business ideas and test them in practice. The course is carried out by the Entrepreneurship Unit of Turku School of Economics together with Turku University o​f Applied Sciences, Humak and Boost Turku.

The Entrepreneurial Act of the Year was selected by a panel including Rector Kalervo Väänänen (University of Turku), CEO, Commercial Counsellor Olli-Pekka Saario (TOP Foundation), Director of Development Riitta Mustonen (University of Turku) and Professor of Entrepreneurship Jarna Heinonen (University of Turku).

The main partner in awarding the Entrepreneurial Act of the Year for the academic year 2015‒2016 is TOP Foundation. The foundation has supported research at the higher education institution of Turku in various ways throughout its 30-year career. For its anniversary year, the foundation wished to find a different approach to supporting research. The board of the foundation decided to grant €30,000 to the University of Turku for awarding the  Entrepreneurial Act of the Year.

‒ With this grant, we wish to support entrepreneurial training as well as innovative and entrepreneurial work methods at the University of Turku. It is extremely important that universities are also involved as a part of the society in inspiring researchers and students to engage in entrepreneurial work and entrepreneurship, says CEO of Turku OP Financial Group Olli-Pekka Saario who presented the award.

Altogether 33 applications for the Entrepreneurial Act of the Year were received, and all the seven faculties were represented.

‒ The fact that we received applications from all the faculties tells us that we at the University of Turku have a wide range of  activities related to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial training. We are grateful for TOP Foundation, our main partner in awarding the act. With their help, we are able to further promote entrepreneurship at the University of Turku according to our strategy. Our goal, among others, is that every student gets the opportunity to include studies related to entrepreneurship in their degree, says Rector Kalervo Väänänen. 

The Entrepreneurial Act of the Year award is part of the University's strategy on entrepreneurial training and entrepreneurship, whose purpose is to increase awareness on entrepreneurship in the academic community, to diversify and increase entrepreneurial training as well as strengthen entrepreneurial attitude and activities that support entrepreneurship.

The winner can use the grant for actions that further promote entrepreneurial attitude, thinking and activities at the University of Turku. The University will continue to award an Entrepreneurial Act of the Year every academic year. The main partner for the next academic year, Turku OP Financial Group, was announced at the award ceremony.


Startup! Course Creates Multidisciplinary Student Start-ups

The students of the Startup! course, the winner of the Entrepreneurial Act of the Year, create multidisciplinary teams which create new business ideas and test them in practice. The course promotes entrepreneurial attitude and thinking and teaches working life skills, such as communication skills and project management. Students learn to apply and make use of their skills in practice and to conceive their own skills, strengths and interests.
The course is part of a national NY Start Up programme that culminates in a national final that brings together student start-ups from all over Finland. Every year, the winner has been from Turku.  Each year, 2‒3 teams from the start-ups created during the course continue as a business. The successful way of carrying out the course as truly multidisciplinary with different partners is in fact nationally known as the "Turku model".
The panel stressed that many different partners and actors come together in this winner project which is multidisciplinary and reaches the whole University, in addition, it could be used on the faculty level. According to the justifications provided by the panel, the Startup! course clearly has societal influence, and there is concrete and significant evidence that it develops entrepreneurial attitude and creates new businesses.
Before the winner was announced, the five finalists chosen by the panel pitched their projects at the award ceremony. In addition to the Startup! course, the top five candidates included Aistila services (Functional Foods Forum), Multilingual Translation Workshop (School of Languages and Translation Studies), Bastu – sixth wave entrepreneurship (Finland Futures Research Centre) and Excavations at Ristimäki, Ravattula (Archaeology). 

Top 5 candidates for Entrepreneurial Act of the Year presented themselves to the public and the panel at the University Entrepreneurship Day on 2 May 2016. 
Photos: Hanna Oksanen


Published date 5/3/2016 5:00 PM ,  Modified date 9/2/2016 1:05 PM

20014 Turun yliopisto, Finland
Tel. +358 29 450 5000

People search

Follow us: 
Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Youtube   LinkedIn
© University of Turku