Mentors took Starter Tartu teams to a new level

Mentor feedback carousel is an important part of the Starter Tartu programme. During the meetings held from 20 to 30 October, mentors gave student teams feedback and recommendations to develop their ideas.

This semester, 19 student teams received feedback on their idea. The ideas were varied, including ideas on saving food, animal care and investing. Thhe mentors were 19 specialists in different fields and each team could talk to three mentors. Nearly 55 meetings were held to share thoughts and contacts.

The Starter programme mentors are people who have been active in Estonian start-ups for a long time, including also Starter Tartu alumni who have completed the programme.

Mentor Evelin Rätsep, the CEO of Ettevõtlusküla, said that being a mentor is an intellectual challenge, because young people think big and are not afraid of unrealistic plans. Her favourite theme is, by listening to the great ideas, to find a feasible way for the team to take the next accomplishable step. “What I enjoy the most are the teams whose idea doesn’t seem particularly important to me at first, but who present their plan so convincingly that I am forced to change my mind. This is what happened with one team and now I am wholeheartedly behind them,” said Rätsep.

The student team Join, who is creating a social platform to increase motivation and achieve goals, highlighted three tips:

  • create a more detailed idea roadmap;
  • it is possible to create a prototype without programming;
  • starting a start-up is fun and motivation comes from the process.

The mentors who participated in the event were Andres Vaher, Ants-Oskar Mäesalu, Elizabeth Truve, Ermo Tikk, Evelin Rätsep, Evgenia Trofimova, Lilian Ariva, Harri Tallinn, Külli Hansen, Liis Järvamägi, Marelle Ellen, Norman Vester, Sander Gansen, Sandra Saarniit, Sven Parkel, Taavi Tamm, Triin Kask, Vaido Mikheim and Veiko Valkiainen. Startup Lab is grateful to all of them.

Startup Lab is a subunit of the University of Tartu School of Economics and Business Administration. It provides hands-on entrepreneurship education and pre-incubation services. Teams who have joined the Starter Tartu business development programme participate in workshops supervised by mentors, who are start-up founders and entrepreneurs from different business sectors.

Starter programme is financed by the European Social Fund.


Further information: Martti Saarme, Communications and Marketing Specialist, Startup Lab, University of Tartu, +372 5909 4726,