From student to startup entrepreneur – why not?

Recently I had the chance to speak to a group of students from Aalto University about startups and IPR. I also participated in a panel discussion answering the students’ questions about startups. During this event the differences in the attitudes towards startup entrepreneurship now and back in 2007, when I was finalizing my studies, became evident. So, what has changed in 10 years?

In 2007 I was working on my Master’s Thesis in Chemical Technology. I remember considering the possibility to start my own company, but only very briefly. Why? Because it felt like a very uncertain future and a huge risk – who would invest in the company, and how would I even get started? In fact, the idea seemed so impossible that I quickly cast it aside and did not even bother to look into the possibilities any closer.

Now, in 2017, the situation is clearly different. Just at Aalto University, there are various alternative paths how to get started if you are interested in starting your own company. There are both student-led and university-run organizations. Find more information about the different alternatives at Aalto here. There are also privately held communities like Innovation House Finland, which Boco IP closely cooperates with.

Students today also clearly have more interest in startup entrepreneurship – which the event last week showed in many ways. The event was organized by the students themselves, which already proves a higher interest, because no similar events were arranged 10 years ago. The aim was to discuss startup entrepreneurship from different points of view by gathering people with various startup related backgrounds; Peter Vesterbacka (Entrepreneur, Founder of Slush etc.), Nicolas Dolenc (Slush President 2017), Patrik Backman (OpenOcean, Venture Capital), Johnny Finnholm (ICEYE, startup) and Rudy Skogman (Blok, startup).

The students’ questions to us during the panel also showed that there is a clear interest in startups and that many of the students felt that starting their own company was a real option. The main questions we discussed were actually not if it at all is a good idea to become a startup entrepreneur – but rather how to begin and when is a good time to start. For example, should you become a startup entrepreneur directly after graduation or is it better to get some work experience first?

It was very inspiring to participate in these discussions also for me. Afterwards I could not help but wonder; if I would have graduated now, would I have become a startup entrepreneur instead of a patent attorney?

I wish good luck to all students who were inspired enough to pursue their startup dreams! Also – do not forget your IPRs.

Read more about our IPR services for startups here.

Written by Linda Norrgård


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