Well, it was a very quick decision. I just saw the first event happening I told my co-founder Henry that we should try. I'm an active person and like to take part in different events as much as I can. It was definitely a worthwhile experience for me and Henry.
- What was most useful for you in the journey in STARTER?
I think that finding my self-confidence and learning to say what I think. I loved that everyone was appreciated and accepted. That was exactly what I needed and now...now I'm flying. Thank you!
What was the most memorable moment in the STARTER programme for you?
Definitely, the moment when most of my team chose to come to Kaleidoskoop and do the pre-finals together. I loved to do something like that together and it boosted me so much.
But definitely, all the participants rooted for each other and had no jealousy whatsoever.
I always try to experience as much as possible. The STARTER program was excellent for stepping out of my comfort zone and learning new things about doing a business practically and theoretically.
- What was most useful for you in the journey in STARTER?
The most useful in the whole process was the great teamwork that I had. It is really important to have a colorful team that has experience in various fields. This way problems are easy to get rid of, and sparkling personalities help to get through highs and lows. This program is intensive, and great teamwork is the key to success.
- What was the most memorable moment in the STARTER programme for you?
The most memorable moment for me was the mentor carousel. It was an inspiring, energetic yet stressful day, and at the end of it, I was ready to work harder than ever before to achieve all of our team's goals. Many experts gave a piece of really good advice on how to proceed with our business and avoid mistakes that would cost a lot of money.
Sign A Song
This team consists of three students each from a different university: Rebecca Pütsep from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Kalev Eduard Kalda from the Tallinn University of Technology and Janeli Adermann from the Estonian Academy of Arts.
Sign a Song enhances the integration of deaf children by creating fun and entertaining song videos for kids, where children sing and sign at the same time.
Here is a short interview with Rebecca and Kalev Eduard to learn why did they join the STARTERtallinn program and to get a glimpse of their gains and feelings after winning this prize.
- Why did you decide to participate in the STARTER program?
* Rebecca: In order to obtain my MA degree in jazz music from EMTA, I was missing 1 EAP. Since I didn’t find my options very interesting, the professor proposed I take part in STARTERtallinn to earn some points to pass her subject.
* Kalev Eduard: As I am studying engineering in TalTech, I don't have many business subjects in my curriculum, thus I saw STARTER as a great opportunity to get insights from this field.
- What was most useful for you in this journey in STARTER?
* Rebecca: I have had many useful ideas. I remember sending them to my friends from lectures. One thought in particular that has stuck in my head, is that the team is the most important. I believe it is the same in life generally. It is good to keep awesome people around you, in order to make things happen.
At first, I didn’t think that these signing song videos could be turned into something bigger, but this program has shown me that with the right people everything is possible and I have now more than one direction in my mind.
* Kalev Eduard: STARTER gave me plenty of useful know-how, but perhaps the most valuable was the people that I met and the mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs.
This project reminded me that the key to success is having a good team and an idea that you truly believe in.
- How does it feel to win one of the Inspirational Prizes?
* Rebecca: The prize was unexpected for me. To be honest, even getting into the finals was a big surprise, since we didn’t propose exactly a potential unicorn model here, but rather a social project.
Of course, winning feels wonderful, but there were many great ideas that would have also deserved this award.
* Kalev Eduard: It always feels great to win and this prize will help us to develop our idea further. I am glad that the jury saw potential in our project, even though there were also many other excellent teams.
One of those was won by team JÕHU!
Team of Viivika Semm and Paula Marit Leiumaa is working on development of an alternative product for (wheat) flour. This flour of the future is created from leftovers (apple pomace), is allergen-free and valuating leftovers in food industry. Flour is of multipurpose use (baking, using in ice creams, smoothies, yoghurts etc. for flavor and fiber).
Viivika and Paula Marit shared their emotions on the STARTER program and their gains:
"Team Jõhu is very lucky to have STARTER program as a part of our studies in Tallinn University Haapsalu College. During various lectures on business models to marketing and pitching team-members gained valuable knowledge and motivation boost to turn our idea into something more than just a good thought. In addition to the onsite program, we also had a chance to meet mentors/different experts and other teams participating in the program, received practical advice and made contacts with numerous inspiring and ambitious people. STARTER is a start with no end and the only way is forward. Every other win is bigger than the first one! And that is only the beginning..."
They develop a social app and NFT-based collectible card game which helps to build and sustain relationships between cultural institutions and their visitors.
- Why did you decide to participate in the STARTERtallinn program?
There were multiple reasons that supported our decision. At first, it’s the knowledge that program seemed to provide. Before coming to Tallinn we already were building a gamification experiment in the context of Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022. We had gathered a team of 6 culture enthusiasts, called it Dokas, and had so much fun brainstorming ideas and building them into a reality. We launched alpha version of Dokas in January and we felt that it’s possible to make a sustainable business out of it. However, nobody in our team ever had any background in business or entrepreneurship, so we were struggling with having focus, formulating a clear value proposition and creating a business plan for this. When I received an invitation to participate in STARTERtallinn program, I had no second thoughts. It seemed to provide everything what we need! Or at least to put us on the right track. Moreover, STARTER also provided ECTS credits, so that was valuable for me as an Erasmus+ exchange student. Finally, me and Rūta came to Tallinn in order to grow ourselves both as professionals and as human beings. One of the internal agreements we had made at the very beginning was to participate in as many opportunities as it was possible. Everything brought together made it a no brainer to participate.
- What was most useful for you in this journey in STARTER?
Totally the central benefit that we gained over this journey is the full certainty that Dokas can grow into profitable business. Before coming here, we had a lot of enthusiasm, many ideas, and pure joy in the product that we are making. Even though we believed that it had business potential, but that’s not enough. Dreams are one thing, plans are something else. STARTER provided us with an inspiring social context of entrepreneurs and knowledge-packed lectures that helped us to structure our thought and focus our vision. Now we are 100% sure that we can and we will make this work!
- How does it feel to win this competition?
Even though we did our best, winning still came as a big surprise. We were thinking about third or second place, but definitely not the first one. There were so many great teams in the competition! I realized what happened only after I left the event. Then I immediately shared the news with the team, as everybody was in Lithuania at that time, working on our project. That was the point when I felt a lot of emotions: big gratitude for having this opportunity, confidence that we can really make this work, enthusiasm in building everything to the best of our ability, happiness in getting recognized, pity for the other teams that I truly believed in, and the desire for more knowledge and practice. As we are building Dokas, we are constantly making mistakes that we become aware of always too late. We learn from them and that feels extremely empowering. There is a big journey ahead of us and we are all thrilled to experience it all!
Anneli Ohvril, the leader of team Sorter commented on the victory, “Our bigger goal is a cleaner planet and environmental protection, and our application helps to achieve it. We are happy that our idea got the attention and the award of the city of Tartu. It shows that Tartu cares for clean environment and we have a partner to cooperate with.”
Member of the judges’ panel Alo Lilles, Head of Business Development at the Tartu City Government told that. „Sorter team has an awesome idea. Their solution helps to save our environment and it matches Tartu's values of being a more environmentally friendly and greener city. Such teams are welcome to share their thoughts with us. We will soon meet with team Sorter to think about how to successfully implement the idea and pilot it here in Tartu.
The whole STARTERtartu programme was a great opportunity to develop the idea, get new experiences and learn. All the workshops and webinars were productive and forward-looking. Meetings with mentors helped to set us a better vision and an action plan to where we aimed.
Team SoulCare won EIT Health prize - tickets to the EIT Health 2021 Summit held in Sweden.
Communicare won fnancial award and tickets to the prestigious business festival Arctic15 at 13th Kaleidoskoop. They were alos selected to be the best Estonian STARTER team in 2019.
At business idea competition Ajujaht they won the best social entrepreneurship award (5000 euros), special award from the city of Tartu (5000 euros) and from Saue Parish (4000 euros).
STARTERtartu gave CommuniCare the chance to validate our idea, get valuable early-stage mentors and help us to a big stage. Thanks to the opportunity to pitch on the Pitching Stage at sTARTUp Day, we were forced to work hard and perfect our pitch. With that, we not only won prizes from Kaleidoskoop, but actually won the title of the
country's best STARTER programm. That gave us the boost that we needed to enter the real business world as a recognized company.
They won inspiration prize at the STARTERtallinn Spring 2019 Demo Day and several special prizes.
Team Ohhsanugis: Sandra Silver, Kaur Terep, Kristjan Sven Kukk, Samuel Koppel, Morten Milder ja Mark Eric Kammiste from Tallinn University
Follow us in:
FB - https://www.facebook.com/ohhsanugis/
web - https://www.sandrasilver.ee
CompAct is automating and simplifying the way Green Offices are run.
CompAct provides an interactive & motivational toolkit for companies helping their employees form sustainable behaviour habits. At the same time building a responsible brand, increasing employee engagement and cutting down costs. Employees stay motivated through gamification, small individual and fun team challenges and a well-visualized charts history.
Recognitions and timeline:
* Ajujaht TOP30 (+access to the development program)
* TalTech Mektory Startup Competition GRAND PRIX and the BEST STARTERtech (3-months technology oriented pre-incubation programm) TEAM + special prizes from Avokaado and EstBan
* Climathon I place + 4 special prizes
* Loomehäkk I place + 4 special prizes
* Pilot with Tehnopol
* Prototron TOP40
* 6-months Startup Incubator program in Tehnopol
* Pitch at 5th Annual Impact Investing & Frugal Innovation Conference InnoFrugal 2019
* NGAL I place
* ClimateLaunchpad national finals II place
* Å Pitch II place
* Pilots with Tele2, Tieto and other partners
* Testing & developing the prototype
* 8 paying clients
Testing the chatbot at the biggest conference in Estonia (more than 5000 visitors)
Expanding to other markets
Presently participating in the EIT Digital program and incubating in the Tehnopol Startup Incubator.
To provide better support for the psycho social needs of patients, the team is building a peer-to-peer communication platform: Recovery Companion.
It is a secured and verified social network aimed at cancer patients who are going through treatment and survivors. Users are matched up through a precise machine learning algorithm that understands their preferences and emotional state, connecting them with like-minded individuals.
In the future, there will be added functionality to help patients keep track of their treatment, a diary and a chat-bot companion who encourages positive and healthy behavior.
Recovery Companion has all important roles in the team covered:
Byron Sowerby, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, is studying a master of engineering in Healthcare technology at TalTech.
Olga Vovk, Co-Founder, Chief Legal and Technical Officer, has a cum laude degree in Law and IT (Health Care Technology, TalTech).
Eric Jackson, Co-founder, Chief Communication Officer, is in the 2nd year of his masters degree for E-Governance Technologies and Services at TalTech University.
Anu Udras, Co-Founder, Chief Marketer, is a digital strategist with a degree in Marketing and Advertising from University of Tartu.
Byron shared his experience on taking part of the program: "STARTERtallinn helped us understand the holistic ins and outs of founding a company through invaluable mentoring and strategy sessions. Ultimately, we were fortunate enough to make the top 10 and pitch our idea to win the grand prize of 1000 euro in the finals, in addition to entry into Prototron Top 40 and a partnership with TalTech Mektory. We are now incorporated and have received funding from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). We are very grateful for the guidance and opportunities STARTERtallinn provided us as a launching point for our success."
Timey Smart Indicators
“The task was to come up with a so-called pseudo business idea and make an actual business plan for it. In the beginning, neither us nor the teacher had much faith in the idea,“ say Martin Möllits and Laurent Läheb who are behind Timey.
Since then the team has accomplished a lot:
* TalTech Mektory preincubation program STARTERtech Spring 2018 Grand Prix (Participation at the University Startup World Cup 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark plus special prizes from Avokaado and Ajujaht);
* Tehnopol Prototron Spring 2018 winner (5500 eur);
* Network Globally Act Locally 2018 winner (3000 dollarit);
* Taltech Mektory Startup Competition 2018 Second Place (+ special prize from Fundwise);
* The BEST STARTER TEAM 2018
* Ajujaht 2019 winner (30000 euros) and a special prize from Funderbeam
Timey provides a smart best before indicator sticker for food producers to put on their packaging. The sticker helps food producers to monitor the proper handling of cold-chain transportation and gives the consumer consumers a convenient, reliable and informed purchase.
Triin Resik and Tiina Elvelt, the students of Haapsalu College's handicraft technology and design, have been awarded an idea to make stress dolls from recycled materials. They intend to continue their business. They encourage young people to actively participate in different programmes to gain more knowledge, because: „You never know what you can get from an idea if you start working on it ... especially with mentors. Don't be afraid, give it a try! Even failure is better than not trying!”
In spring 2019 they won Kaleidoskoop wain award - tickets to the University Startup World Cup in Copenhagen. They also won second place in pitching competition of the international business development programme NGAL® (Network Globally, Act Locally) in USA.
Team TRIT develops a solution for the translation service. They wish to make ordering translation service easier. The client receives immediately an estimate of how much time and money it takes to complete the work. The TRIT algorithm also finds the most appropriate professional freelance translator for each project, taking into account different criteria, such as the previous experience of the translator and feedback received for the work. TRIT unites the best features of translation and IT to make life easier for both clients and translators.
ILUSPEKTER took part in IdeaLab STARTER Advanced programme. At the Kaleidoskoop pitching competition they won the tickets to sTARTUp Day.
Currently they have an online store where they sell vegan and cruelty-free make-up and skincare products and they have created a blog on the same topic.
Find out more about them: https://iluspekter.com
Read their blog:
Team leader Tatsiana Zaretskaya (Student of TTÜ): "When I saw the information about the STARTER program in the Internet I decided to use this opportunity as I have just started my last year being a student.
At first I wanted to join some team, but ended up pitching my idea to others and creating my own team. I never took part in startup events before and just wanted to see how is it and meet same-minded people. I really liked that the schedule was set up in the beginning of the program for all the dates, it made it really easy for me to attend the events. Also as all the deadlines where stated in the beginning of the program we could arrange ourselves efficiently and prepare everything needed in advance. I always had a lot of questions, mentors and STARTER team always were very supportive and I got all the answers I needed. It was very interesting to see all other teams during other events and see how they are developing together with you. I think the most important that during all the events/seminars/workshops you are getting a lot of feedback and it's the most crucial part for the development of the startup.
I would recommend the program to all the students and anyone who want to try themselves in startup field. The program basically gives step by step instruction of what you need to think about and what you need to do if you want to have your own startup. Also it is a great possibility to meet interesting people or find friends/business partners like in my case."
ArtiSun was the winner of the pre-incubation program STARTERtech Autumn 2017 and third place on the TTÜ Mektory Startup Competition 2017 (December, 2017)
In February 2018 ArtiSun won the Polar Bear Pitching 2018 in Oulu, Finland where all participants were supposed to introduce their ideas while standing in the icecold seawater.
And the story continues ...
MoleQL (Subatomic OÜ)
In 2017 spring they got Tartu City Government special prize in Kaleidoskoop business idea competition.
Decomer Technology OÜ
After activly participating in UT IdeaLab's STARTER Advanced programme, Decomer Technology won 2017 autumn Kaleidoskoop and then got to STARTER Finals at sTARTUp Day which they also won.
Wrap Cafe Wrap´n´Roll
Liisi Tarvo, Co-Founder of Wrap Cafe Wrap´n´Roll
The STARTERtech Advanced program has given them the fundamentals and structure to get from idea to the first sales. The program also expanded Ethico Foods' network by organising mentors and coaches, in addition to bringing in experienced speakers to inspire and educate.
After the program, Ethico Foods participated in the University Startup World Cup 2017 in Copenhagen in September 2017 and won the First Prize in the GreenTech category and the prize money of $5000.
The company is run by a husband and wife team wanting to make a difference in people's lives through healthy eating and also reduce climate change by reducing dependency for meat consumption.
Hirehunt/Move on Miles