The goal of the Urban Tech Helsinki incubator is to transform fresh innovations into successful, international business. The operation focuses especially on clean energy, mobility, sustainable construction, circular economy, urban farming, and the well-being of city dwellers.
“We help turn business ideas into growth-oriented startups that focus on solving the challenges of cities, related not only to the environment, but also to economic and social well-being. New solutions are needed so that cities can achieve their sustainability goals and the quality of life and services of city dwellers would improve, e.g. with the help of digitalization and the utilization of data’’, says Kaisa Ahonen, the Urban Tech Helsinki Project Manager at Aalto Startup Center.
With the help of Urban Tech Helsinki, the city attracts experts and companies to the capital region. The city supports and accelerates the birth and initial growth of new, especially research-oriented, companies.
Clean and sustainable urban solutions
Helsinki wants to develop business environments, promote the employment of Helsinki residents, and enable sustainable and knowledge-based economic growth. The Urban Tech Helsinki incubator contributes to all these objectives.
“Urban Tech Helsinki strengthens cooperation between cities and companies. Through cooperation, new business sectors are created, and sustainable business grows. Companies are mentored in terms of urban development, and the most important principle is to create sustainable solutions for cities, which results in clean and smart business. Through Urban Tech Helsinki’s startup activities, we have found great startups that have coincided with the city’s needs and networks”, says Mikko Martikka, senior advisor in the City of Helsinki’s innovation services.
Make a bim offers a solution for digitizing existing buildings
Architect Leo Salomaa, mathematician Jami Valovirta and computer scientist Ville-Matti Tanninen have started the startup company “Make a BIM”. The company’s background is the observation that approximately 98 percent of current buildings do not have machine-readable data from the existing floor plans. Data is needed in order to digitally model buildings. The startup uses artificial intelligence to generate three-dimensional data models of existing buildings. The data models produced by the solution reduce manual work related to computational analytics, simulation, and optimization of buildings. With the help of the system produced by the company, models of buildings can be produced cost-effectively.
“We applied to Urban Tech Helsinki because we wanted to be part of this community. We have received a lot of support and advice for our activities. Different events have given us good experience in performing, which we have been able to use, for example, in various hackathons. We need partners to implement our idea and continue development work. Urban Tech Helsinki has made it possible for us to network with different actors and through the program we have been able to start cooperation with HEKA (Helsinki City Housing Company)”, say Salomaa and Valovirta.
POSITIVE FEEDBACK ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
The companies participating in the program share that it has been a great experience to be part of Urban Tech Helsinki. Participants feel that they have received a lot of support in various areas to develop their own company. The events organized by Urban Tech Helsinki have received positive feedback and the participants feel that through them they can network and present their own ideas to potential partners.
‘’The best part of all this is that we get to be part of this unique community where everyone supports each other’’, participants add.
Urban Tech Helsinki is part of the Helsinki’s startup ecosystem, where sustainable urban solutions are sought with business and investor partners. Urban Tech Helsinki supports the development of new business ideas and companies.
Aalto University, the University of Helsinki and the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences all act as joint partners to the Urban Tech Helsinki incubator. Collaborators organize various events and research to support business operations, enabling researchers, students, and staff to co-develop impactful business ideas.
Urban Tech Helsinki facilitates and helpsgrowth-oriented companies that focus on solving the challenges faced by modern cities. Urban Tech Helsinki offers a possibility up to 36 months of incubation, depending on participant’s needs and progress in the program.
Stay tuned for the next call opening in October 2023.