Startup Experience

Note: The course will be organized as an online course during fall 2020 and spring 2021.

Learn how to think and build like an entrepreneur to face the uncertainty of the world as it is now. If you’re looking for textbook education, try Google — here you’ll get your hands dirty. 

During this course, you will learn the essentials of entrepreneurship: user-centered product and service design, business ethics and sustainability, opportunity recognition, business modeling, teamwork, pitching, startup finance and marketing. That is, pretty much everything you need to navigate the fast-paced commercial environment that’s now even more unpredictable than usual.

For everyone, not just future founders

While the focus of the course is on setting up a new business as a startup, the skills and mindset you will learn are equally valuable in the context of existing companies or NGO’s. The course will suit a person who is adaptive, collaborative, creatively driven and is interested in going beyond conventional thinking practices to create effective teams and commercial value. 

Teamwork like never before

During the course, students work in small startup-like teams that go together from the initial problem definition all the way to the final investor pitch. During the pandemic, the students must face the additional challenge of working effectively in teams without necessarily having the possibility to be physically in the same space. While independent work will have a bigger role this yearno student is left alone — at AVP teamwork is key, and we’ll make it work regardless of the current situation. We don’t really like endless Zoom-meetings either. 

Solve problems that matter

At AVP, sustainability and profitability are two sides of the same coin; one can’t exist without the other. In the course, each team and their startup idea will focus on solving a problem related to one of the Sustainable Development Goals by the UN. The SDGs provide endless opportunities for business ideas, and the solutions can bring aid to where it’s needed the most. If that’s not win-win, we don’t know what is.

Know your limits — and break them with care

What is more, the course takes a firm stand in preventing burnoutsThere will be a heavy emphasis on learning time and project management skills and students are encouraged to focus on personal wellbeing. By the end of the course, students will not only have created a new venture but also gone through the project in a sustainable way. Through different exercises, students will be able to turn wellbeing-boost lessons into life-long skills.  

Do you want to learn how to create new business and thrive in uncertain times? Do you want to be more entrepreneurial, or even set up a startup? Register for Startup Experience and learn useful skills to help you get new businesses off the ground! 


The course is open to all Aalto students, including doctoral students. Register on WebOodi.

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.

Besides all the methods and tools that we were taught, I would say that the entrepreneurial mindset itself was the biggest learning outcome from the course.

Ville Nyman, Startup Experience student 2019
Hear Ville's story

Meet the staff

Lidia Borisova

Head of Education

Heidi Mikkonen


Jari Ylitalo

University Lecturer

Satu Rekonen


Lauri Järvilehto

Co-director & Professor of Practice

Kalle Airo


Otto Hilska

Serial entrepreneur

Teddy Tran

Course assistant
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