De Lisbon Council noemt dit één van de bestpractices in ‘Entrepreneurship and Higher Education’ op hetgebied van de ontwikkeing van menselijk kapitaal in Europa. In zijn
Aalto Entrepreneurship Society
Encouraging youth entrepreneurship became a regional goal afterthe recession of the early 1990s because it was believed thatentrepreneurship helps create jobs and economic growth. However,even for well-qualified students, entrepreneurship remains lessattractive than traditional positions in large corporations.44 Togain ideas on how to change this some universities includedtraveling to other countries in order to learn from theirentrepreneurial culture.
On one of these trips in 2008, a group of students from theHelsinki School of Economics traveled to the United States toexamine how entrepreneurship was supported by American educationalinstitutions. Upon return, their vice-rector suggested doing aconcrete project in lieu of the traditional summary paper.
Based on this suggestion, the group established the AaltoEntrepreneurship Society in 2009. They began by arranging eventswith experienced entrepreneurs and fellow students who wished todevelop their business ideas. The society gradually expanded andincreased the number of events offered including meetings with moreentrepreneurs as well as “pitching” competitions to convince othersof their business ideas.
Major initial obstacles identified by members of the Aaltosociety included limited access to public funding and support fromthe university. After presenting these results, they eventuallyreceived support from the Design Faculty and later the rector ofAalto University granted the society the use of a 700 square meterAalto Venture Garage.
The society has seen an increase in student interest inentrepreneurship which it mainly tracks via its Facebook group.Current estimates place membership at 5,000 students and around 400students usually attend events. Attendance at meetings has alsofostered the development of students’ startup projects.