PRESS RELEASE: 20 new science-based startup teams from Aalto Startup Center – cancer screening, clean cities and green transition

The Aalto Startup Center, one of the TOP3 business accelerators in the world, presented 20 new Finnish science-based startup teams at the Arctic 15 investor event. The Business Generator accelerator programme is currently looking for new innovative teams.

Arctic15 2024 - Aalto Startup Center

Aalto Startup Center’s Business Generator programme helps early-stage research-and technology-based companies on their way to becoming rapidly scalable businesses.

“We partner with companies and research projects to develop and refine their technology and business model, find new talent and build a successful team. The focus is on coaching to sell the business idea to investors,” says Niko Downie, head of the Business advisory team at Aalto Startup Center.

Depending on the programme, companies are involved for 1–3 years. In addition to personal business advice for startups, there is a wide range of coaching, meetings and investor events such as Slush, Arctic15 and the annual Demo Day event organised by Aalto Startup Center. Aalto Innovation Services provide support in creating an IP strategy.

“Our mentor network has deep knowledge and commercial expertise from a range of industries. We connect mentors and growth companies so that the collaboration is mutually productive and helps bring effective technologies to market,” Downie continues.

The ESA BIC Finland accelerator, a joint initiative with the European Space Agency, supports the development of space technologies and provides €90,000 in funding for companies.

The Urban Tech Helsinki incubator for clean and sustainable urban solutions helps early-stage startups solve urban challenges.

“The City of Helsinki Testbed and our other partners offer companies a variety of piloting and testing environments. In our free programme, a company gets membership in both the Aalto Startup Center and the Maria 01 Startup Center in Helsinki. We also help companies to gain visibility, marketing and PR support and we organise various matchmaking and networking events with our partners,” says Kaisa Ahonen, Project Manager at Urban Tech Helsinki.

Every year, Aalto Startup Center supports 60–70 growth companies on their journey towards new business.

“We are an agile platform for experimenting with different programmes and we want to better serve companies, investors, mentors and other partners. We’re open to new ideas and thoughts on how to develop the startup field, so it’s worth contacting us at a low threshold,” says Marika Paakkala, Head of Aalto Startup Center.

Tools for cancer screening and forecasting urban air cleanliness

Smart Bubbles, a developer of a new generation of ultrasound cancer screening devices, is moving rapidly towards commercialisation. A contrast agent developed by researchers at Aalto University and the University of Oulu contains microbubbles that allow doctors to detect cancer much earlier and without the need for expensive MRI equipment. This allows early cancer diagnosis and treatment to be started before the acute phase of the disease.

“It’s great to bring an innovation to the market that can have a big impact on people’s lives. In the Aalto Startup Center’s pre-incubator programme, we’ve received very good training in commercialising technology and have been featured at investor events. The goal is to start a company during 2025,” says Antti Rahikkala, Business Development Specialist for the Smart Bubbles project.

MegaSense provides municipal authorities, businesses and consumers with real-time information on outdoor air quality at street level. Deep tech’s computational algorithms use a wide range of weather, traffic and sensor data to make forecasts.

“Our air quality model is based on long-term research at the University of Helsinki. The product is now ready and we’re ready to scale up to international fields. We’re currently negotiating with Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. If we become a success story, the Aalto Startup Center will certainly be one too,”, enthuses company CEO Oliver Waring.

Aalto Startup Center’s Business Generator programme is looking for new teams to join, and the application is open for innovative growth companies until 14 August 2024.

Further information:

Founded in 1997, Aalto Startup Center plays an important role in building and developing the Finnish startup ecosystem. It has been the start of several success stories, including game developer Rovio and software developer Futurice. In spring 2023, Aalto Startup Center was selected as one of the TOP3 university-based business incubators in the world.

At the Arctic 15 startup and investor event held at the Cable Factory in June, Aalto Startup Center showcased 20 Research to Business (R2B) projects. Check the complete list here.