Throughout Europe, and the world, the message has been heard loud and clear: the most important vehicle of student employability is the cohort of young, start-ups aspiring to growth. The Finnish economy, as an example, reveals this dynamic well. Between 2001 and 2013, micro-sized companies (employing less than ten people) created a total of 52,000 new net jobs. During the same period, the net number of jobs in large 250+ employee companies, went down by 16,000 jobs.
The statistics presented above should not, however, be misinterpreted. Every economy needs flagship companies of a critical size to operate and succeed globally. These companies, however, seem to have reached a stage in their development, where success is sought by streamlining, focusing and outsourcing. At best, mature companies and resource-constrained new ventures can bring value to each other; established companies can be key customers and value chain partners to agile startups. The booming start-up phenomenon does not only reflect societal and economic evolution, but seems to fit well with the values and objectives of the Y-and G-generations entering the world of work.
An obvious question is: Is the collaboration of universities and their students with start-up companies a natural part of general university-industry interaction, or is there something specific to be taken into account when planning and implementing cooperation?
Read more about the Jyväskylä start-up ecosystem in the UIIM Magazine