When ARTS and Design Meet the Startup World

Aalto Startup Center and students’ association TOKYO collaborate to bring the startup world closer to ARTS students.

Aalto Startup Center is always on the lookout for enriching its network by signing new collaborations and offering its startups new and stimulating opportunities. That’s why recently Aalto Startup Center and students’ association TOKYO decided to join forces in the quest of bringing the startup world closer to ARTS students. By doing so, Aalto Startup Center would like to support student activities and encourage them to get in touch with startups and growth companies, to their competences to the startups and to discover great project- or work-related opportunities. On the other side, the startups would benefit from the ARTS students’ knowhow and would have the opportunities to expand their horizons by participating in activities such as workshops or events together with the ARTS students.

Let’s hear about the collaboration directly from Vera, TOKYO’s Corporate Relations and Alumni Responsible and Wen, Vice-Chairperson of TOKYO.

Welcome and thank you for agreeing on commenting this partnership. Maybe can we start by introducing TOKYO?

Thank you on our behalf! TOKYO is the student association which brings together the students of Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS). TOKYO supports students by creating events and spaces to build a vibrant ARTS community, advocating for student needs, and building a bridge between students and alumni, university and industry. In addition, TOKYO supports the students by taking an active role in public discourse in and out of Aalto University.

TOKYO Board members

What are the motivations behind the partnership with Aalto Startup Center?

Aalto Startup Center as a concept is so unique and exceptional, that we got really excited as soon as the possibility of collaboration came up! We think this collaboration has so much potential, as both sides have enormous amounts of talent and expertise. Together we have the potential to create outstanding innovations and concepts that are meaningful for both TOKYO’s members, and Aalto Startup Center’s goals.

What are the benefits of this partnership?

One of the best things about this partnership is learning from each other’s experience. Different backgrounds and skill sets help to see things from different viewpoints – this is an example of a multi-disciplinary approach at its best! In addition, we can gain an understanding of each other’s perspectives. This is extremely valuable when working together going forward. Through this partnership, we can complement each other, reach more people as well as specialize in new areas.

What do you wish for ARTS students from this partnership?

We wish to more clearly showcase opportunities in the startup world, especially within the Aalto Startup Community, to ARTS students. It would be great to give members a glimpse into one of the strongest startup hubs in the world, as well as chances to gain hands-on experience working with startups. Furthermore, this is a great opportunity for our talented members to showcase their skills and work in an encouraging and collaborative environment. Hopefully this encourages our members to follow diverse and exciting paths in their academic and professional journeys! Many ARTS students are already interested in startups and startup culture, but some of them may not know where or how to start. This partnership could help to bridge that gap. The startup scene here in Finland is really exciting now, so it’s a great time and place for students to learn from innovative practices in this thriving industry.

Aalto Startup Center shares the same enthusiasm as Vera and Wen for this collaboration. We all hope for exciting things to happen in the future. Meanwhile, the first steps for creating a strong community network between ARTS students and startups have already taken place, such as a Students-Startups Breakfast held last month. In addition, Aalto Startup Center recently warmly welcomed two design interns in the team. The plan for fostering collaboration between ARTS students and startups will include events and initiatives aimed at bringing them together in order to share experiences and interests.

Interested to know more about TOKYO?

Visit them at TOKYO Space, Otakaari 1 Y137 – Y143, or email them at

Interested to get in touch with Aalto Startup Center?

Visit us at A-Grid, Otakari 5, or email us at