HELSEED offers help during the early stages of entrepreneurship, step by step. The spring workshops assist with idea development, and the fall workshops will focus on communicating the idea and planning for starting a company.
Here's how to start a business step by step with HELSEED:
1) Clarify your idea
Identify the problem to be solved and the best solution for it. Identifying the problem is important, as it helps develop a clear vision of which customer needs the company should meet. In HELSEED workshops, you can get expert guidance and develop your ideas together with other aspiring entrepreneurs. We use the Double Diamond model as a basis for idea clarification, where we expand our understanding of the problem, re-summarize it with a new understanding, then start mapping out various possible solutions, and finally, define the direction for the solution we will develop.
2) Develop a business model
A business model is a plan for how your company will make money and create value for your customers. In HELSEED workshops, you will learn to develop a business model using the Lean Canvas tool and take the first steps in planning the foundations of your own business. The goal is to find a business model that meets market needs and is sustainable in the long term.
3) Research the market
Market research helps you understand who your potential customers are, what kind of competitors you have, and what needs the market has. In HELSEED workshops, you can learn how to collect market information and use it in developing your business in a practical way from the perspective of a starting entrepreneur.
4) Test your idea
Testing your idea helps to ensure that your solution works and meets the needs of your customers. HELSEED workshops give you the tools to systematically develop your idea through testing. You might already plan your first tests at the workshop!
5) Learn about legal matters and company governance
Nothing can replace independent work in finding things out, but HELSEED offers the opportunity to learn the basics of legal matters and company governance from experts. In addition, you will have the opportunity to ask the most pressing questions and get direct answers from the experts.
6) Learn what investors want to know about your business
Many companies and entrepreneurs at some point have to rely on external financing. If you are interested in obtaining funding for your business, it is important to understand what investors want to know about your business. In HELSEED workshops, you can learn how to prepare for meetings with investors and how to convince them of the potential of your business.
7) Create a business plan
A business plan is a plan for how your company will operate and grow in the future. In HELSEED workshops you can learn how to create a clear and compelling business plan. Actually, all previous workshops have already laid the groundwork for writing a great business plan.
8) Learn to present your ideas in an inspiring, understandable, and effective way - pitch it!
Finally, it is important to be able to present your ideas in an inspiring, understandable, and effective way. Pitching skills are vital because they help you convince investors and potential customers of the idea and potential of your company. HELSEED offers the opportunity to learn how to build a good elevator pitch and, in the end, participants can gain experience pitching by applying for funding from the University of Helsinki funds, where the most promising teams are invited to pitch and tell more about their ideas.
9) Apply for HELSEED funding
The program culminates in the opportunity to apply for pre-seed funding from the University of Helsinki funds. The prerequisite is an excellent business plan and a scalable business idea, as well as a credible founding team that includes at least one University of Helsinki undergraduate or graduate student.
What is HELSEED?
HELSEED is a student entrepreneurship program that aims to encourage students towards entrepreneurship and provide knowledge and support for startup teams in different stages. The program is organized by the University of Helsinki. Read more about the wider HELSEED program here.
The workshops led by Think Company are open to everyone and do not require participation in the HELSEED funding application process. Read more about the workshops here. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to keep updated about the workshop schedule!
How does HELSEED help aspiring entrepreneurs?
The HELSEED workshops are open events where you can develop your ideas and learn entrepreneurial skills. The workshops cover topics such as clarifying business ideas, developing a business model, conducting market research, testing ideas, and creating a business plan.
Take a look at these success stories (in Finnish):
How can you participate in the HELSEED program?
If you are interested in entrepreneurship and want help and support in developing your idea, you can participate in the open workshops of the HELSEED program. The workshops are open to everyone and do not require participation in the HELSEED funding application process. You can find the schedule and reserve your spot for the workshops on the Helsinki Think Company website.