The goal of the business accelerator has always been to combine all the forces that support entrepreneurship in the Helsinki metropolitan area, so as to attract innovative growth-companies.
Aalto Startup Center has long roots, as it is the merger of two business incubators founded in 1997.
The predecessor of Aalto Startup Center, the New Business Center (est. 1997) functioned under the Small Business Center of the Helsinki School of Economics, while Arabus – which focused on companies from creative fields – operated in the training and development center of the former Helsinki School of Arts and Design in Arabianranta until 2008.
In 2008 the New Business Center moved to Ruoholahti, Helsinki and changed its name to Start-Up Center. Arabus moved to the same premises in early 2009. With the birth of Aalto University the following year, the whole entity changed its name to Aalto Start-Up Center.
The activities of the accelerator were facilitated by the Small Business Center of Aalto School of Business until 2016, when Aalto Startup Center became part of Aalto University Research and Innovation Services and moved to Otaniemi, Espoo.
Steering Group and Advisory Board
During the early years, Aalto Start-Up Center’s activities, services and projects have been developed with European Social Fund (ESF) funding. The steering group was actively involved in providing guidance and consists of a broad range of expertise. Aalto Start-Up Center has also been supported through the years by a powerful Advisory Board.