Olga Balakina

Being a board member in 2014 and a truly committed member of Aalto Entrepreneurship Society, Aaltoes, Olga Balakina has come to realise that initiative and support from many different organisations, public and private, have enabled truly amazing results even in the cold North. The amount of ideas born inside the Startup Sauna walls on the Aalto University campus is truly unbelievable. Be it the Samsung & Aaltoes hackathon, where the goal was to hack brand new Samsung gear within 48 hours, or be it SLUSH, one of the leading tech and startup events in the world, we are all about action and making the seemingly impossible possible. As we gain knowhow through these positive challenges, we also involve newbies, teach them in real-time what we have learned and pass the responsibility of continuation. It is a beautiful thing!

We should not forget our most valuable element, totally unique for the majority of national business cultures: transparency. It seems like everyone who stays more than an hour inside the Finnish startup scene is ready to pitch an idea, and look for team members, customers and investors. The community is pretty tight-knit, so if you see someone who can help you sitting right next to you, you just have to be brave and smart to get them to listen!

She has hosted a lot of visitors from all over the world, and the fact is that even when they come from well-developed startup ecosystems like the USA, UK or Israel, there is one crucial feature Finland can be proud of – the amazing community spirit!

A culture where initiative from the young generation meets the pay-it-forward attitude from the experienced group of successful Finnish brands like Supercell, Nokia, Rovio and Kone, must have a great future for sure.