Startup Experience

Experience what it’s like to found and run a startup, without actually having to set up a company. 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, everything you need to navigate the fast-paced and unpredictable commercial environment, or even become a founder. 

While the focus of the course is on setting up a new business as a startup, the skills you will learn are equally valuable in the context of existing companies. 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. 

During the course, students work in small start-up teams that together go from initial problem definition all the way to the final investor pitchTeamwork is one of the main learning skills of the course and simultaneously one of the biggest challenges for students. Throughout the course, students will have team dynamic clinics and reflections to support teamwork. At AVP, students don’t just work in groups but build actual teams. 

The course takes a firm stand in preventing burnouts which is why students will also learn about time management and 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 about how to create new business? Do you want to join or set up a startup? Register for Startup Experience and learn useful skills to help you get new businesses off the ground!


Registration will open on the 1st of July, at 9 am.

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

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

  • Students for whom the course is mandatory (EIT Business Development Lab)
  • Students that have chosen the AVP Startup Minor
  • Other students so that the student base is as multidisciplinary as possible

Available extra credits

You can combine Startup Experience with TU-E4130 – Refresher on Business Research (1 ECTS).

The course is intended for students with no previous experience in user-driven design or user research. It introduces key design concepts and tools that help students perform better in the Startup Experience course. This course can only be taken together with Startup Experience.

So, if you need or want 10 ECTS you can take Startup Experience and Refresher on Business Research 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

Heidi Mikkonen


Lidia Borisova

Register for this course