Turning ideas into concrete action!
There is a strong stereotypical assumption born in the post-soviet countries, where I’m coming from, that Europe is a fount of opportunities for personal and professional growth. When I actually arrived to Finland, the rumors have been confirmed, and I explored a world unlike anything I’ve ever known. Tampere turned to be a truly unique city, especially for those who are determined to discover new things, learn, act, evolve… And there is one place in Tampere where a real magic happens, and where people’s enthusiasm spreads like epidemics. This is New Factory / Uusi Tehdas.
The former cotton fabric, established in 1820 by James Finlayson, a Scottish machine engineer, now is producing futuristic ideas and supporting talented students and young entrepreneurs to leave something worthy behind. It has many names – innovation incubator, co-creation platform, business center etc. But what it really does is to encourage Tamperelainen to turn their most fascinating ideas and long-held dreams into concrete action. Apart from all diversified activation that the New Factory is involved in, there are two main hubs – Startup Program and Demola. Nearly 62% of Demola student teams are foreigners and Startup program consists on about 30% of internationals. That’s the reason why New Factory has been brought to the public on the threshold of Twinkle event. New Factory is a place where cultural diversity, various languages and multidisciplinary backgrounds have proven to be a benefit rather than barrier.
Startup Program is a free-of-charge 3-month boot camp that helps young entrepreneurs and companies to validate business ideas and find scalable and sustainable business model. New Factory applies lean startup and value creation methods and utilizes its growing community of innovators. Here Startup companies, in hustle and determination, get a great chance to test business ideas and find customers, make the concept work, capture the most interesting events happening in the startup scene of the region, meet highly-experienced mentors, exchange feedback, network, raise funds and enjoy the atmosphere created by a community of passionate and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. During the program existence, more than 130 startups have been born at the New Factory creating over a 1000 of new jobs and raising over 25M€ of funds.
Demola community works following the same principle – thinking big and thinking outside the box. A platform, that brings talented students, companies and universities together, created a new culture where students become active contributors and not just passive receivers of information. By the results of only 3 seasons of year 2014, 280 students have taken a part in 66 projects provided by 45 project partners. 71% of projects have been licensed by project partners who are now actively using the solutions researched, designed and developed by passionate, intelligent and creative groups of students.