It’s our great pleasure to introduce you to Kasia Ahonen, a new member of our Aalto Startup Center team. Kaisa joined us approximately one month ago, and we finally had a chance to ask her a few questions about her new role, experience, and expectations.
Welcome Kaisa, could you please give us a short introduction?
My name is Kaisa Ahonen and I started as a project manager in Urban Tech Helsinki Incubator.
Great, and you’ve worked at Aalto Startup Center before? Can you tell us about your experience and your role then?
I have followed Startup Center since 2007 when I first joined Helsinki School of Economics as a program manager for the Small Business Center. Besides coaching future and starting entrepreneurs, I have been involved in several projects in business development and entrepreneurship education. And also communications, events and customer relationships when we moved to Otaniemi and A Grid in 2017-2018
So, what brought you to Aalto Startup Center originally, and after one month of being back, do you feel that it has changed at all?
Great people and startup spirit – and these haven’t changed at all. The changes on the university level have affected the surroundings but the core stays the same.
Can you tell us about your new position?
My task is to lead the Urban Tech Helsinki incubator project. Urban Tech Helsinki’s goal is to draw new experts and businesses to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, and to support and expedite the formation and early growth of fresh, especially research-oriented companies solving the challenges faced by modern cities.
And what about your professional background, Kaisa? Where has your career taken you so far?
For the last three years, I worked for the City of Vantaa Business Development services as a manager for the 6cities Ecosystems of Growth project. Before that, it was Aalto and its predecessor Helsinki School of Economics for 11 years. My professional career started as for many people in Finland in the early 2000s, as I worked for Nokia in several positions. My education isn’t really typical for this kind of career since I graduated as MA of Russian language and literature and I am actually also an official Russian-Finnish translator.
Wow, very interesting! What about your previous work at Aalto Startup Center, has it helped you in your career development, and have you any new expectations?
I have wide networks from earlier years and have already received a lot of messages from colleagues and customers, looking forward to cooperate once again. Constant curiosity for learning and being open to different kind of opportunities has been a major factor in my career. Aalto Startup Center is a great platform for making things happen.
What else inspires or motivates you in your work?
What’s your preferred work style?
Do you have any advice for our startups?
Take every opportunity you can – you probably will regret the chances you don’t take. For example, apply to urban tech Helsinki now. 😀
Is there anything else we should know about you?
Contact me on LinkedIn or Twitter @kaisaahonen
Thank you, Kaisa! It’s been wonderful to hear your story and we hope that Aalto Startup Center continues to be a great platform for making things happen for you!