What is the creative incubator?

Stuba Nikula

Our approach to the word cultural centre is very distributive one. We do not have artistic director inside the building. Our job is to provide spaces for independent operators and very often I hear that we are a good example of an incubator for creativity or even a creative incubator. And I must say that I really do not know very well what that means. I studied some incubator projects and most of them seemed to be carbon copies of an ICT or BIOTECH incubators providing some services for the tenants but we do not do that here. We provide the space and freedom to work but still it seems that in a way that is enough for them. The tenants of the building do not seem to be very interested in normal incubator services.

The Finish incubator scene so to say is a very much government-based and university-run. The universities are the part of government in Finland and most of the incubators are inside universities. And that creates two kinds of problems. One because we as a municipality project we are outside of that loop. The city of Helsinki has some kind of these projects but they are in a very smaller scale and without permanent spaces. The other problem is that once being university-run the current incubators seem to neglect the start-ups and ideas that come outside the university world. So if you are not a university-based entrepreneur having a good idea you usually are not allowed inside of the programmes. And I see a big problem there because even though universities provide good ideas and good projects, many good things happen outside the academic loop. And we are currently studying different ways to provide what is called software, soft programmes for the tenants. But so far we have not find any good funding for that or a good benchmark model to apply here in The Cable Factory.

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Stuba Nikula

Stuba Nikula

Managing director of Kaapeli and Suvilahti in Helsinki, Finland

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