10 Questions for Kim Aalto, New Business Advisor at Aalto Startup Center

We had an opportunity to catch with with one of our new Business Advisors here at Aalto Startup Center, Kim Aalto, to ask him 10 questions. He talks about why he's interested in startups, what he hopes to learn, gives us some top tips, and more!

Kim is an experienced brand and business development professional with digital mindset. He has 20+ years experience in international brand and customer experience development, concept creation and sales & marketing with focus on data driven business development and value creation in all brand touch points both physical and digital.

Before joining Aalto Startup Center, he worked as a Chief Client Officer in Nordic Bioproducts Group Ltd helping industries to combat the effects of global warming with innovative bioproducts and bioproduction technologies. Nordic Bioproducts Group is a spin-off from Aalto University developing and commercializing smart biotechnologies to redesign cellulose into high-value bioproducts.


Kim Aalto, Business Advisor, Aalto Startup Center

10 Questions for Kim Aalto

Welcome Kim!

Q1. Could you give us a brief introduction?  

My name is Kim Aalto and I just started here as a Business Advisor & Startup Coach.

Q2. What’s been your favourite part of onboarding so far?  

Meeting new people and getting to know startups. I have been able to hear many pitches for the Urban Tech Helsinki program. Really busy and good start here!

Q3. When and why did you become interested in the startup scene?  

I have had my own company and have been working with startups a lot during my career. I breathe the idea of making a difference. Startups are all about solving a problem and disrupting the status quo with their new innovative methods, products or services. Startups are true disruptors and change makers.

Q4. How might you be planning to apply your expertise at Aalto Startup Center? 

Helping our startups to create value and improve customer or brand experience in all of their touchpoints. People can be introverts or extroverts, but all companies have to be invigorating with clear purpose and mission. Helping our startups to build sustainable and healthy businesses, my focus is on desirability and viability. I also like to help our startups to connect to the right people, companies and organisations to create mutual value.

Q5. What are you most interested to learn more about while working here? 

Aalto Startup Center has great international partnerships like EIT and ESA  and programs like EIT Urban Mobility and Urban Tech Helsinki. We also work closely with Aalto Innovation Services and their Research to Business cases. Being part of Aalto University offers great opportunities to combine technology and business with science and art. All these can create value to our startups as well. There is really lot to learn here at Aalto Startup Center.

Q6. What are your top tips or words of advice for our startups?  

  1. Make sure you have a clear purpose: which problem are you solving.
  2. Aim for progress rather than perfection. Collect as much feed back as possible to see how you are performing. Do not be afraid of negative feedback. Solving those issues helps you and the company to grow.
  3. Be brave. Don’t follow the crowd. Focus on differentiating and making a positive impact. Actively build relationships with your customers and gain trust.
  4. Do not hesitate to ask advice. You do not need to know everything. We are here for you.

Q7. What’s your working style like? 

Very hands on yet I like to take a dive into the subject before acting on. I am efficient and easy to work with. I believe in team work and transparency. One raises by lifting others.

Q8. What is your most valued item in your work? 

I have to say laptop or phone due to these Covid times when you can not meet as many people face to face as you wished. Also can not really work without my water bottle nearby.

Q9. What do you do for fun?

Meet people and get new experiences in order to fuel my mind.

Q10. What’s the best way to get in touch with you? 

Come by my room on the second floor, drop me an email (kim.aalto(at) or simply catch me if you see me passing by. I am here to help you.

Thank you Kim! It’s been a pleasure to welcome you to the team and I’m sure our startups are excited to work with you.