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In Startup Experience, you’ll learn how to think and build like an entrepreneur to face the uncertainty of the world. If you’re looking for textbook education, try Google — here you’ll get your hands dirty. 

Design your entrepreneurial style

With the help of teachers, mentors, peers, and guest lecturers, each Startup Experience student team will create and test a business concept and a minimum viable product that meets a real customer need while working towards a more sustainable future.

In Startup Experience you will learn to:

  1. Identify and reach the customer
  2. Identify a need
  3. Use problem solving and ideation techniques
  4.  Build and test prototypes
  5. Recognise and cultivate traction.
  6. Create financially viable business concept
  7. Pitch and sell ideas
  8. Build psychological flexibility
  9. Recognise larger systems and patterns
  10. Build trust

Building scalable empathy and care

Your journey starts by focusing on what matters — the customers and their needs. After finding the customer, you will explore ways to learn about their lives, habits, and values. You will learn how to collect information and analyze it. While deepening the relationship with the customers, you will zoom out to the big picture and learn to better understand the consequences of your choices.

At your service at what cost?

This course aims to find harmonious ways to combine technology, innovative ideas, and sustainable thinking with customers’ needs and demands. You will learn to serve and help the people to the best of your ability but also focus on financial calculations and projections to make your business concept feasible. Practicing negotiation skills will ensure the healthy growth of your business. You will also study the principle of maximum efficiency and always search for the most economical solution in the long run.

Should I optimize, pivot or focus?

You will create and study a creative design process and discuss the opportunities and dilemmas related to it. We will help you by providing you with tools for effective decision-making and ways to utilize your intuition. Data analysis helps you understand the challenge, whereas ideation and problem-solving make creating a viable solution easier. You will learn effective ways to communicate your ideas and actively collect feedback from customers, peers, and mentors.

Personal growth and style

Every student will also take a look into themselves and learn how to find meaning in their work. By focusing on your psychological flexibility, you will be able to face criticism, failures, and uncertainty of the future. You will study the concept of radical well-being and learn how to become a more cooperative, productive, and creative individual. In Startup Experience, you will learn how to build trust and what it means to grow as an entrepreneur.


All this happens in multinational and multidisciplinary teams — everyone must find their role and grow as team members. Curating team culture, cultivating creativity, motivation, and mutual trust within the team will be a big part of the course. You will learn to take responsibility and set limits. We hope that after the course, you know how to give and receive feedback and can see and realize the potential in others, as well as in yourself.


Startup Experience is open to all Aalto students, including doctoral students. Register on SISU.

Participation in the course is limited. The priority order for student selection is:

  1. Students for whom the course is mandatory (EIT Business Development Lab, AMIS program)
  2. Students that have chosen the AVP Startup Minor
  3. Other students so that the student base is as multidisciplinary as possible

Available extra credits

You can combine Startup Experience with TU-C2080 – Entrepreneurship Essentials (1 ECTS) online course.

The course is intended for students with no previous experience in entrepreneurship. It introduces key entrepreneurial concepts and tools that help students perform better in the Startup Experience course.

So, if you need or want 10 ECTS you can take Startup Experience and Entrepreneurship Essentials together.