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Join the Pre-Incubator Program for the Creative Industries!

Do you have an interesting idea?
Want to turn your creative skills into a superpower?

Next call for applications opens in January 2023.

About you

Digital creatives come in a dizzying array of different aspirations, ideas, styles and dreams. Some of you just want to explore, some create something tangible and new, and some aspire to radically change the world.

Digital creatives have an idea they would like to explore further in this program. No previous business experience is necessary.

Digital creatives have a background in the creative industries and are inspired by:

  • new methods and formats for audiovisual storytelling
  • technology-enhanced art, design, and entertainment
  • augmentation of human creativity through computational methods
  • creation of novel interactive experiences

About us

Aalto Digital Creatives program aims to help students, researchers, designers and artists to turn their ideas and work into sustainable entrepreneurial initiatives and businesses.

The program is supported by the City of Helsinki and it’s part of Helsinki-based higher education institutions’ campus incubators network. Aalto Digital Creatives program is coordinated by Aalto Startup Center and Aalto Studios.

Aalto Startup Center

Aalto Startup Center is a hybrid accelerator offering its own incubator and accelerator services, as well as several partnership programs. Its focus is on sustainable research-based and innovative deep-tech startups.

Aalto Studios

Aalto Studios is the media center of the future. It brings together people who have an interest in using and exploring digital media for their studies, research and work such as designers, filmmakers, youtubers, game developers, performing artists, educators, angel investors and public sector organizations.

The professionals at Aalto Studios are eager to help you with film, TV, games and animation, VR/AR/XR, product and user experience testing, sensor data analysis, digital communications and maker culture inspired fast prototyping.

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Aalto Studios logo

Aalto Digital Creatives program

Making use of Aalto University’s From Ideas to Impact® model, the core of this pre-incubator program is to coach early-stage teams to seek out and maximize their own unique potential to grow and scale up.

With the help of Aalto Startup Center’s business advisory services, the teams produce new business ideas, connect with potential industry partners, iterate their business plans, define potential customers and plan how to attract them.

The program runs for 13 weeks and there are two batches per year, one from March to June and a second from September to December. There will be 10 to 15 teams or a maximum of 30 people accepted into each batch.

The program consists of six modules which introduce the basics of Asset Development, Solution Development and Business Development.

Each module consists of workshop days, face-to-face coaching and online sessions with the selected keynote speakers. Coaching sessions and workshops are organised at Aalto University’s campus in Otaniemi, Espoo.

Mentoring is offered to the participants throughout the program together with access to training and networking events, help with matchmaking and connecting with industry experts.

What you get from the program in a nutshell?

  • Access to Aalto Startup Center’s premises, trainings and events (worth 200€/month)
  • One-to-one coaching with Aalto Startup Center’s business advisors
  • Peer-to-peer support from industry experts
  • Access to joint activities and events with key players from Aalto University’s innovation ecosystem and wider network such as Junction, Slush, Kiuas, Dash and Aalto Ventures Program.
  • Full membership of Aalto Fablab’s services (one per team, worth 200€/person/month)
  • Matchmaking with companies from the creative industries
  • Access to Aalto Studios’ creative events


The next call for applications opens in January 2023. The third batch of the program starts in mid-March 2023.

Applications are accepted from teams or individuals with a background in the creative industries whether it is education or experience. Your focus should be in combining creativity with new digital technologies.


Time: 16.00 – 18.00 Place: Studio Kipsari, Otakaari 7, Espoo

Welcome to the IPR in the Creative Industries afterwork event. In this event, IPR experts introduce how to protect your creative concepts, brand and trademarking – all from a creative industry perspective.    

The speakers of the event are Kati Repo, lawyer specializing in corporate law, IPR and business strategies and Juha Järvinen, creative industry expert and RDI innovation specialist at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.  

This afterwork event is part of the Aalto Digital Creatives program which is a pre-incubator tailored for the creative industries. The event is open for everyone interested in the Aalto Digital Creatives program, students, researchers and creative industry practitioners.  


Time: 14.00 – 16.00 Place:  Harald Herlin Learning Centre, Hybrid Stage (K floor) & Online

Welcome to the Creative Technologies seminar. The seminar series brings together researchers and experts from the fields of computational science, creative technologies, arts and design. In each event two researchers present their recent work whereafter the audience have the chance to ask questions and network with the Creative Technologies community. 

In the next seminar, Geraint Wiggins, Professor of Computational Creativity from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Queen Mary University of London will present on creative ideation, abstraction and AI.  The second speaker is Anna Kantosalo, Postdoctoral researcher from the University of Helsinki.

Creative Technologies seminars are hybrid events with onsite and online audiences. The online audience can participate in the Q&A via the chat on the stream page

Read more

Creative Technologies seminar 6.10.2022

Time: 14:00-16:00 | Place: Hybrid Stage, Makerspace, Harald Herlin Learning Center, Otaniementie 9, Espoo

Aalto University launched a new seminar series in the field of Creative Technologies in autumn 2022. The purpose is to build a community to raise the quality of research in the area of creative technology among the international network of researchers in Aalto University.

We welcome you to the second Creative Technologies seminar on 6.10.2022. At this event we will have presentations from Hironori Yoshida (Future University Hakodate) and Mary Lou Maher (UNC Charlotte). Hironori Yoshida’s presentation will focus on design and fabrication with non-standard materials, in relation to the recent and future interaction technologies. Mary Lou Maher talks about interacting with creative artificial intelligence and the opportunities given by the intentionally designed interaction. 

MAGICS Gala 27.10.2022

Time: 14:00-16:00 | Place: Hybrid Stage, Makerspace, Harald Herlin Learning Center, Otaniementie 9, Espoo

More information will be published by the end of September.

Creative Technologies seminar 3.11.2022

Time: 14:00-16:00 | Place: Hybrid Stage, Makerspace, Harald Herlin Learning Center, Otaniementie 9, Espoo

More information will be published in the beginning of October.

Contact information

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Marika Paakkala

Head of Aalto Startup Center
+358 40 829 2286

Bengt Forsström

Bengt Forsström

Business Advisor
Aalto Startup Center
+358 40 703 4984

Dimitra Kakaraki

Dimitra Kakaraki

Entrepreneurial Coordinator
Aalto Startup Center
+358 50 593 3696

Marcus Korhonen

Marcus Korhonen

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Ari Kivimäki

Events and Partnerships
Aalto Studios
+358 50 411 4141

Heidi Rintala

Communications & Impact Specialist
Aalto Studios


Katja Reinikka

Katja Reinikka

Network & Events Producer
Aalto Studios
+358 50 434 8872