Let us present the Helsinki Think Company association – the entrepreneurship society of the University of Helsinki
It’s official! Helsinki Think Company association is now registered and accepting new members. What does this mean and why was the association established in the first place? We interviewed the Chairman of the Board Matti Petteri Pöntiö.
Before the association Helsinki Think Company operated as a venue and an open community of entrepreneurially-minded people, companies and various organizations. There have been number of events and activities held by the host team and partners linked to the Helsinki Think Company.
Now there is even more human power to enrich the actions of the Helsinki Think Company. We have an enthusiastic board that has been developing association’s plan of action for the coming year. Also organizing and participating in different events. But let’s hear about the association first hand from the Chairman of the Board Matti Petteri Pöntiö.
Matti please tell us in a nutshell what the association is all about?
“Helsinki Think Company is all about the grassroot-level action, where the people themselves can do all the cool projects. Basically instead of top down approach where we tell people what to do they can come here and work on things they want. Association acts a gateway to help people turn their ideas into an action. We also have co-projects with other partner organizations. And I think this is the beauty of it all that we are not just few people organizing things but there are dozens of organizations with over 100 people that are working with us. In other words there is a huge network of people that is the core of our organization.”
What are the association’s goals for the nearest future?
“It was nice that we didn’t have to start from scratch. There was already a structure existing. So basically we came and met with all the people and mapped out what is already happening and what we could be part of. That has already been a project in itself. But it’s important to get into concrete actions as well. At the moment we have two concrete things coming up: Mini Challenge pitching event and the Academic Action Bootcamp concept. Bootcamp will be even bigger and more focused. And it’s going to be the biggest event of the association. It is basically an early-stage idea accelerator program focused on the researchers and how they can turn their knowledge into specific action. Also on day to day basis there is a lot happening almost daily in both of Helsinki Think Company venues.“
Who is the association aimed at?
“It’s aimed at people who want to solve problems. I’m not going to name a specific group or groups. I don’t want to give labels. I want us to be open to anyone entrepreneurially-minded or has some academic knowledge that they want to put into action.”
Why should people join?
“People should join because if they have great ideas, they are energetic and they want to put their knowledge into something useful. And if they want to meet similarly minded people this is exactly the place for them.“
What are the key things the association is focusing on?
“The community – it’s all about the people and concrete events and also fun. I see Helsinki Think Company as a two-way gate. If you come here as a company you have access to the university and university students which doesn’t always happen so naturally. And for students it is a way to see the world outside the university. In the future I would like the association to be not only a place where startups are created because that is not for everyone. But also for people to have an easier access to startups, for example to go and get a job with a startup.”
How is Helsinki Think Company different from the other entrepreneurship societies?
“What makes us different is that University of Helsinki is such a multidisciplinary institution. Our strength is in the diversity of our knowledge and the solutions we can come up with to different problems.”
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