Aalto Ventures Program is organising together with University of North Carolina (UNC) an exciting one-day long adventure program, called Carolina – Aalto Helsinki Startup Challenge. The event will take place on 19th of May, Thursday in Helsinki & Espoo area. You will form the team blended in with American students from UNC to meet startups and entrepreneurs using the platform seppo.io. After the adventure, dinner in Suomenlinna will be waiting for you!

The teams will be formed at the introduction event with sauna and BBQ at Startup Sauna on the evening (6pm) of May 18. The Challenge will officially begin at 9.00 (9am) on the morning of May 19. All participants will gather at Presidentti Hotel Lobby. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

The Challenge will officially end at 16.00 (4pm) on the same day. The dinner at Suomenlinna, where the winners will be announced, will start at 19.00 (7pm).


  • 21 University of North Carolina business students, primarily 20-21 year old Juniors and Seniors majoring in Business.
  • Up to 20 Aalto students who are interested in Entrepreneurship, through Aalto Ventures Program (AVP) & Aalto Entrepreneurship Society (Aaltoes).

The story

Your team has been hired as consultants to a major US-based corporate who has heard that Helsinki is the ideal place to set up an R&D operation due to the booming startup scene. You have teamed up with some local consultants to answer the following big picture questions via interacting with the local community.

  • Who are the leading local startups, and would they be receptive to a big international partner like us?
  • What are key elements of the local culture and history that we should understand when determining who to send to Helsinki, and how to act once we have a team in place?

This is a rush job. You need to deliver a 5 minute pitch on the local climate tonight to the senior management team. Learn all you can! We have some short suggested interventions that will help you in your quest. Complete as many as you can, documenting with photos and/or videos where possible.

Good luck!

Learning objectives

This project will enable you to:

  • develop a keener sense of business opportunities and practices in the countries we visit
  • deepen your understanding of leadership (including your own skills and competencies)
  • demonstrate and foster an evolving sense of global sensitivity and cross-cultural appropriateness
  • develop a clearer sense of your own strengths and vulnerabilities and how these are influenced by your global immersion experience
For more inquiries, please contact
Myung-Gi “MJ” Suh
Global Partnerships
+358 50 4685845


To participate in The Challenge registration, registration is required through the following form.
Registration deadline is Friday, 13th May, midnight.