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24 September, 2014 - 07:13 By Tony Quested

Finnish university picks Cambridge brainpower


Cambridge University expertise is being harnessed by a top seat of learning in Finland to leverage the power of entrepreneurship for economic growth.

Cursor Oy, Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences and Cambridge Judge Business School have launched a partnership to increase the entrepreneurial competitiveness of the Kymenlaakso region.

The move is designed to raise awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship as a driver for economic growth through enhancing entrepreneurial learning

As part off the alliance, a new regional scholarship fund has been established to enable a member of the entrepreneurial community from Kymenlaakso to participate in the Cambridge Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship at Judge.

Teemu Saarelainen, Head of Games at Cursor Oy, is the first ambassador for the partnership on the programme which is now underway. “I’m keen to see how we can learn from the sophisticated Cambridge entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Hannu Karavirta CEO of Cursor Oy.

“This collaboration continues our support of business development in the Kotka-Hamina region through nurturing entrepreneurs and empowering the creation of new ventures.”

The Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship, awarded by the University of Cambridge, transforms the entrepreneurial ambitions of individuals into real action and new enterprises. 

It harnesses all the resources, knowledge and networks built up by Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) over 10 years of producing successful entrepreneurship programmes and helping aspiring entrepreneurs develop their skills, ideas and innovations. 

Since 2003, it is estimated that over 16,000 students have participated in Centre programmes and over 200 business ventures have been started by CfEL alumni.

Dr Shai Vyakarnam, CfEL director, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with these organisations for the benefit of entrepreneurship at local level. Our aim is to equip talented entrepreneurial minds with a practical set of skills which will increase the potential for success and inspire meaningful, sustainable enterprises.”

The background for the new partnership stems from systematic efforts in Kymenlaakso to network with global partners, such as Cambridge. Earlier this spring student teams from Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences (Kyamk) and the Laurea University of Applied Sciences participated in Cambridge Venture Camp. 

Petteri Ikonen, Rector of Kyamk, said: “Global partnerships such as this one represent an important opportunity for aspiring, young Finnish entrepreneurs to gain the relevant skills to develop their ideas for the commercial arena.”

The relationship between Cambridge and Kymenlaakso has been supported by two EU-financed projects (Nuoret kasvuyrittäjät and Uusi Ovi). The partners are committed to making this a long term partnership and to building on this initiative for more collaboration in the future. 

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