| 27.11.2019

“It was great! I got a key, inspiration and was welcomed into a community!”

Ullica Hansson står på en brygga och ser på sin hund som hon har i famnen.
Many alumni remember the IT Services in Hanken’s cellar as a somewhat frowzy dark place filled with it-scrap. Hanken Business Lab and Markus Wartiovaara changed all that three years ago. The Hanken Magazine met an alumnus who got on well in the incubator.

Today Hanken’s cellar has changed into Hanken Business Lab’s meeting point Torget, which is in the Helsinki city centre, representative, modern and completely free. The Business Lab is an incubator, where ideas, companies and networks are created one after another.

For Ullica Hansson, CEO and Hanken alumnus, it was the good location of the lab, near the centre of the city, that she benefitted most from before the launch of her company Bali the Dog. The web company sells high quality clothes and accessories for dogs and people who love dogs.

“I worked at home before the launch and had a team of four people. It was great, especially to be able to use the meeting room for meeting coders and partners. We got a key and could work 24 h if we wanted. It is extremely important that the opening hours aren’t restricted to 9 to 5.”

Markus Wartiovaara, director of Hanken Business Lab, wants to help and inspire students and alumni of all ages. Hanken Business Lab offers a workplace for start-ups and associations, but has also developed into a meeting point for scale-ups, says Wartiovaara.

”Our alumni have an extremely positive attitude towards Hanken, and at the Business Lab we want to have a low threshold for them to find their way back here. For an alumnus, who is maybe stuck in the career but wants to start a new company it is faster, more efficient, fun and completely free to do it with us!”

This is a shortened version of an article in Swedish from the Hanken Magazine no 3/2019. You can read the full article in Swedish here. You can read the whole issue of the Hanken Magazine here. Read more about Hanken Business Lab on hanken.fi/businesslab.

Photo: Pia Pettersson