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Startup Philosophy

Event info

Think like a philosopher, build like an entrepreneur

Off the bat, startups and philosophy seem like oil and water. Startups are all about hustling to get things done quick and dirty. Philosophy is about quiet contemplation, slowing down and deep consideration. However, anyone really hoping to succeed as an entrepreneur needs also to learn to change frames of thinking, evaluate evidence critically and argue their position powerfully — all central philosophical skills.

In the Startup Philosophy course, you will learn about key philosophical ideas, such as the nature of reality, how we generate and evaluate knowledge, how the scientific method works and how to make a strong argument. These concepts and ideas are studied on one hand in the light of classical philosophical works by, for example, Plato, William James and Ludwig Wittgenstein. At the same time, the Aalto Ventures Program teachers will plant the concepts firmly into actual practical questions concerning starting and running a startup venture.

Ultimately, all great founders had always the capability of seeing beyond the obvious. In this sense, they have almost without exception been capable of deep and sometimes even surprising philosophical thinking, even if they may not have been able to dress their thoughts in the garb of classical philosophy. By learning these philosophical concepts and ideas you can probe deeper into the very foundations of your ideas and ways of working.

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

Meet the staff

Lauri Järvilehto

Co-director & Professor of Practice


Lidia Borisova

Head of Education