Finnish Entrepreneurship Programs in Higher Education

Heikki Immonen
Karelia University of Applied Sciences
28.8.2019 (updated 29.8.2019, see end of the post for details)

The purpose of this blog post is to list all currently (August, 2019) active entrepreneurship programs in Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences. Main requirement to be listed as entrepreneurship program of a university is that in the program:

  • Students or researchers plan to, establish and/or operate a real company.
  • They receive entrepreneurship education, training and/or coaching.
  • The program is run and/or (co-)funded by a university.

In addition,

  • Some programs also offer resources such as networks, facilities, tools and funding.

This definition leaves out pure technology transfer programs such as POC’s, which have little emphasis on education and training. This definition also matches the definition of Venture Creation Programs (VCP) by Láckeus and Middleton (Lackéus, M., & Williams Middleton, K. (2011). Venture Creation Programs: entrepreneurial education through real-life content. In Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (pp. 1-16).)

Programs were discovered by doing a web search with the university name and with keywords such as entrepreneurship, startup, accelerator etc. (If there is a program missing, please send email to heikki.immonen at karelia.fi).

Most Widely Spread Program

By far the most widely spread program is the Vuosi Yrittäjänä, formerly known as NY Start Up, program, which lists 18 universities as it’s members. Next place is held by four (4) programs, which all have three member universities: Cambridge Venture Camp, Draft Program(r), GrowUp Students, and Turbiini Accelerator. Of these four programs, two (2) programs: Draft Program and GrowUp Students, cross regional borders. Of all the Finnish universities and universities, only couple of universities seemed to have no dedicated entrepreneurship program.

Universities with Most Programs

Two universities stand out from the list. They have 4 programs. They are:

  • Aalto University and Haaga-Helia UAS

Seven universities have 3 programs each:

  • Jyväskylä UAS, Karelia UAS, Laurea UAS, Metropolia UAS, Tampere UAS, University of Helsinki, University of Turku

Ten universities have 2 programs, while 11 universities have 1 entrepreneurship program.

Different Types of Programs

One way to categorize these programs is to divide them in to two groups. In group A the emphasis is launching a successful business and the training part supports that mission. Group A could be divided to two sub-groups: A1, which focuses on the commercialization of the initial business ideas, and A2, which focuses on helping the team to establish a successful business. In group B emphasis is on learning and running a business is a way to support that learning. Thus, in group B, companies established during the program are often closed at the end of the program. Examples of group B are the national Vuosi Yrittäjänä program and Team Academy of Jyväskylä UAS.

Program Name Participating Universities Number of Universities Link
4UNI University of Helsinki 1 http://4uni.fi/
Aalto Venture Program Aalto University 1 https://avp.aalto.fi/about/
ALL IN Yrityskiihdyttämö Satakunta UAS, University of Turku 2 http://www.all-in.fi/
Avanto Entrepreneurship Program Oulu UAS, University of Oulu 2 https://avantooulu.fi/english/
Business Generator Aalto University 1 https://startupcenter.aalto.fi/business-generator/
Business Mill Saimia UAS 1 https://www.saimia.fi/fi-FI/palvelut/business-mill
BusinessClub Turku UAS 1 http://www.turkuamk.fi/fi/tyoelamapalvelut/palvelut/businessclub/
Cambridge Venture Camp Metropolia UAS, Laurea UAS, Haaga-Helia UAS 3 https://cambridgeventurecamp.fi/
Design Factory Häme UAS 1 https://www.hamk.fi/design-factory/?lang=en
Draft Program® Karelia UAS, Savonia UAS, University of Eastern Finland 3 https//www.draftprogram.com
Enterprise Accelerator Satakunta UAS 1 https://www.samk.fi/en/research-and-cooperation/entrepreneurship-at-samk/
GrowUp Students Seinäjoki UAS, Vaasa UAS, Tampere UAS 3 https://www.seamk.fi/en/about-us/growupstudents/
Kiuas Aalto University 1 https://www.kiuas.com/
LAMK Business Mill Accelerator Lahti UAS 1 https://www.lamk.fi/en/service/lamk-businessmill
Luova Rovaniemi Yrityshautomo University of Lapland 1 http://www.luovarovaniemi.com/hautomo
Mutiny University of Helsinki 1 http://mutiny.fi/
Proakatemia Tampere UAS 1 https://proakatemia.fi/en/
Startup Factory Novia UAS 1 https://www.novia.fi/om-oss/campus/raseborg/startup-factory-2
Startup Fund South-Eastern Finland UAS 1 https://www.patteries.com/blog/500-1000-grants-for-developing-ideas
Startup Journey University of Turku 1 https://boostturku.com/startup-journey/
Startup School Haaga-Helia UAS 1 https://startupschool.fi/
Supercoach® Entrepreneurial Training Jyväskylä UAS 1 https://www.jamk.fi/en/Services/Supercoach/
Team Academy Jyväskylä UAS 1 http://www.tiimiakatemia.fi/en/
Terkko Health X University of Helsinki, Aalto University 2 http://terkko.fi/x/
Terwa Academy Oulu UAS, University of Oulu 2 https://www.businesskitchen.fi/en/services/learning/terwa-akatemia
Turbiini Accelerator Metropolia UAS, Laurea UAS, Haaga-Helia UAS 3 http://turbiini.net/?lang=en
West Coast Startup Vaasa UAS, University of Vaasa 2 http://www.muova.fi/en/yhteistyo/wcs/
Vuosi Yrittäjänä Unversity of Oulu , University of Arts Helsinki,  University of Turku, Åbo Akademi, Centria UAS, Diakonia UAS, Haaga-Helia UAS, HUMAK UAS, Kajaani UAS, Karelia UAS, Lahti UAS, Laurea UAS, Novia UAS, Metropolia UAS, South-Eastern Finland UAS, Saimaa UAS, Savonia UAS, Turku UAS 18 https://vuosiyrittajana.fi/opettaja/korkeakoulu/
Y-Akatemia® Business Academy Karelia UAS 1 https://www.y-akatemia.fi/en/
Y-kampus Tampere UAS, Tampere University 2 https://www.y-kampus.fi/en/
Yrityskiihdyttämö Kajaani UAS 1 https://www.kamk.fi/fi/Opiskelijalle/Yrityskiihdyttamo
Yritystehdas – The Startup Factory Jyväskylä UAS, University of Jyväskylä 2 https://yritystehdas.fi/en/home/

Table 1. Finnish Entrepreneurship Programs in Higher Education

EDIT 29.8.2019: Number of programs per university  added. Some edits to the text.

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