Updated: Sep 17, 2018
Last week I interviewed Markus Wartiovaara, who is director of Hanken Business Lab. Markus is a former internet entrepreneur, who together with his partners set up one of Finland’s first internet companies in the 90’s. Today he is a family entrepreneur and board professional with a long-term dedication to Hanken. He also does academic researches within the topic of entrepreneurship. Markus helps building the operations of the Business Lab and its events, programming and coaching.
START Helsinki operates from Hanken’s Business Lab. The Business Lab is in the University premises. Let’s take a closer look at the what the Business Lab is. Created in 2016, this university incubator has grown into a host for over 40 members (both small profit businesses and non-profit associations). The Lab provides its members with unique co-working space in the centre of the university campus which is in downtown Helsinki. Hanken Business Lab is in a way special because by being inside Hanken, it has a steady flow of students, professors and alumni. The Business Lab also operates in Vasa Hanken, the operations in Helsinki Hanken is called “torget” and in Vasa it’s called “stugan”.
Not only does The business lab provide its members with a co-working space, but also gives help and support, and access to the Business Lab’s network and contacts. The Lab also organizes shared events and community trips to key entrepreneurial centre globally. Such as START Summit or SLUSH Singapore.
The university incubator is primarily for Hanken students and alumni of all ages. However, the Lab does make exceptions. Non-Hanken students may become a member to the Lab if they bring in interesting technology or are ready to recruit Hanken students. The Lab only accepts as members established businesses or operations. Of course, the Business Labs helps idea staged ventures by referring them to different idea development programs or accelerators.
The Business Lab hopes to accelerate their growth in terms of members, and quality of members. They also want to develop new forms of operations, such as growth clinics and continued access to world class network and assets.
Hanken Business Lab and START Helsinki has a shared view and approach to contributing to the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem in this region and globally. The Lab is more than happy to help START Helsinki to grow and prosper and will give its full support to us. Both START Helsinki and Hanken Business Lab sees this as a long-term relationship that will benefit both equally.
If you want to take a closer look at Hanken Business Lab’s operation I highly recommend that you watch this documentary series from the Business Lab’s homepage with key entrepreneurial people. The series is still ongoing, and more updates will come soon.
Have a pleasant week everyone!