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Hanken Business Lab

"Our mission is to help start-ups, scale-ups, non-profit organisations and individuals to achieve significant growth"

Hanken Business Lab can be found in the so called Torget (Helsinki) or Stugan (Vaasa). These are co-working spaces, where Hanken students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as other collaboration partners can meet up, any time of day.


At Hanken Business Lab, we value collaboration, kindness, and internationalisation. Our vision for internationalisation is grounded in collaboration and paying it forward. Our “Golden Rule” at the Lab is simply put to always leave the Lab better than you found it.


Driven by a relentless pursuit of knowledge and innovation curiosity fuels our desire to learn, grow, and continuously improve. Down at the lab we encourage our startups to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and explore new ideas fearlessly.


In the dynamic and ever-changing world we live in we see the importance of staying motivated and inspired. Hanken Business lab strives to actively seek and cultivate sources of inspiration. Continuously pushing the boundaries of what is possible and strive to bring transformative ideas to life.


Our strength as an organisation is derived from our network of entrepreneurial specialists. This collective expertise allows us to drive meaningful change, empowering us to tackle challenges and seize opportunities to create a positive impact in the startup ecosystem we belong to both on a local and global scale.


Hanken Business Lab was founded in the spring of 2016, with the first spaces being a meeting room with a simple note on the door that said “Hanken Business Lab”. The Lab would develop quickly and needed more spaces for the operations which began in October of 2016. Markus Wartiovaara, Director of the Lab, was offered the old IT-cellar in Hanken’s basement in Helsinki. He was met with with a cellar filled with junk and dust, with a gloomy vibe to it. Faced with what others could possibly see as a challenge, Markus saw an opportunity and grabbed it.


In 2022, Hanken Business Lab faced its first major evolution with the addition of pre-incubator activities through ‘The Playground’, which is a 16-week long pre-incubator program. During this time we gathered all entrepreneurial activities at Hanken School of Economics in one place, while bringing the community together. To make all of this happen, our team grew exponentially in just a couple of months with the unwavering support from both Hanken and the City of Helsinki, through the Campus Incubator Programme.


Hanken Business Lab has 50+ members and partners, including both companies and associations. The Playground pre-incubator program has taken off, having helped catalysed 14 companies in less than a year, that have raised an impressive 300,000 euros in funding. During 2023, Hanken joined the prestigious ENGAGE.EU alliance, where Hanken Business Lab co-leads the strategic development of the labs in the consortium.

The Hanken Business Lab operations build on 5 layers:

Digital: A continuously evolving digital presence in web, video and social media.

Financial: Access to a first class Nordic angel network and venture capital.

Physical: Outstanding co-working facilities in the centre of Helsinki and Vaasa.

Social: A unique social mix of start-ups, scale-ups and non-profit organisations.

Spiritual: A uniquely inspiring community and culture.

Nina Fagerholm på Stockholms slott
In our new article series Alumni Interview, we meet Hanken alumni from all over the world to hear what they have been up to after graduation. This time we met up with Nina Fagerholm, whose workplace for the past five years has been the Royal Palace in the heart of Stockholm!
Olika gröna örter på ett fat
Biodiversity loss is among the biggest challenges facing us. In order to address this challenge, businesses need to implement governance principles that promote the protection of our nature. Theresa Harrer, a postdoctoral researcher at Hanken School of Economics, is on a mission to find out how these governance principles for biodiversity should look like.
Hanken flaggor
The next conferment of doctoral degrees at Hanken School of Economics will take place on 1 November 2024. At the event, honorary doctors are conferred in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements or cultural and societal achievements.
Disputation doktorsavhandling
Climate change adds to the complexity to the environment in which humanitarian supply chains operate. In the meanwhile, humanitarian supply chains would contribute to the exacerbation of climate change if a greener approach of management is not adopted. Collaboration between scientists, humanitarian practitioners and beneficiaries can help humanitarian supply chains to become more prepared to climatological hazards and more sustainable.