7 speakers to listen at sTARTUp Day 2020 to kickstart your journey

sTARTUp Day 2020, the biggest business festival in the Baltics is taking place on 29-31 January in Tartu. The festival is bringing together over 4000 startup-minded people – no matter if you're a future startup founder or you're just constantly leveraging your entrepreneurial mindset to make things better around you, this is the place to be!

This is a guest post by Riin Lisett Rei, PR Manager at Startup Day 2020

The festival starts on the 29 of January with side-events day: hackathons, tours, and parties that take place all over Tartu. During the main festival days on 30-31 January, you can enjoy over 120 world-class speakers, participate in hands-on seminars, wander around the demo area full of innovation and hear the countless startup pitches – and most importantly, find and network with like-minded people, meet potential employees, partners and investors.

Why Tartu, you may ask? Back in 2015, there were many amazing events happening all over Tartu. However, all of them were too small to appeal to international investors or journalists. Our aim was to organize one bigger event that would bring all of the smaller events under one roof to collectively create a bigger impact. This is how sTARTUp Day was born.

Now, Tartu's startup ecosystem works together, combining their ideas and knowledge to provide the best business environment for startups and support them on their journeys. The goal is to be the top location choice for startups. This creates more jobs and brings in talented people from all over the world which will benefit Tartu in its development and diversity.

Since there will be over 120 speakers at sTARTUp Day 2020, our festival’s program manager Sven Illing put together a list of sTARTUp Day speakers that are mandatory to listen to all the founders to make hacking the conference a little easier.

     Thursday, January 30

  1. Rainer Sternfeld, former CEO and co-founder of Planet OS will share his lessons from Silicon Valley

    After 8 years in Silicon Valley, he relocated to Estonia to help build a bridge between Japan
    and the Nordic-Baltic region by investing in mission-driven companies, focusing on AI/ML-driven platforms and marketplaces.

  2. Andres Schabelman, the VP of International Expansion from Fiverr talks about lessons he learned from Airbnb and Fiverr and how to scale companies (and yourself) with heart.

    Andres Schabelman believes that creating from the heart is the path to a meaningful life and to the creation of movements in business. As one of the first 30 Airbnb employees, Andres expanded the young company globally, and today he serves as VP of Expansion at Fiverr, the world’s largest freelance marketplace.

  3. Panel "Fundraising strategies – do’s and don’ts through startup life cycle”

    The startup life cycle is thought to have 5 stages and somewhat surprisingly, the one who wears the pants in the relationship also changes with the cycles. As a startup begins its journey and starts to involve more investors, the founders have no other option besides giving up some of the control and putting their wishes aside in order to listen to the needs and thoughts of the investors. But when can founders expect to take back some of the control? Join the discussion, to find out!
  4. Connor Swenson, who is a mindfulness teacher & ex-Googler, will give a talk on the topic "Forget Productivity!"

    Connor teaches mindfulness and meditation practices that help others be more productive and find greater wellbeing in their lives. He previously managed partnerships for Google for Startups and ran marketing for Campus London, so he surely has some pretty high-level experience!

    “I believe burnout is a very personal experience and it’s hard to generalize as to how it will show up in an individual’s life,” he explained in an interview for the sTARTUp Day blog. “For me, I noticed that I had really started to neglect my personal life in favor of my professional life. Over time, deprioritizing my friends meant that I wasn’t replenishing that wellspring of energy that I get from social interactions,”


    Friday, January 31


  5. Milda Mitkute, the co-founder of Vinted shares her success story of building a unicorn.

    Milda Mitkute is the co-founder at Vinted – the world’s largest fashion marketplace with its headquarter in Vilnius. More than 30 million women around the world use this platform to sell, buy and swap clothes. The company has raised over 100-million euros and is considered to be among the most valuable start-ups in the Baltics. By the way, it’s one of five unicorns in the Baltics – in addition to four Estonian unicorns, Vinted become the first Lithuanian unicorn in December 2019!

    “I started to think about how to work smart. It took me a few years to get there. I forbade myself to work during the weekends, I started to think about my leisure time more carefully: with whom I spend my time and how. I ended up being more relaxed, more successful and most importantly - happier,” said Milda Mitkute in her interview for sTARTUp Day blog.

  6. Hermione Way, brand consultant and previous Head of Communications at Tinder talks about her learnings from 10 years of marketing in startups.

    Hermione Way has been marketing startups in the technology industry for over 10 years. As Head of European Communications at dating app Tinder she oversaw marketing for 91 million swipes a day. She will share her learnings with you about how to build a brand across social and create interesting stories that get picked up the press.

    “The story is everything – humans are emotional creatures,” said Hermione in her interview. “For centuries stories have been the crux of communication – from the Bible to the Internet. Without a story, you are just another product, another app. Learning how and why to tell stories that coincide with news at the time is essential.”

  7. Ardo Kaurit, CEO & co-founder of Ampler Bikes shares his founder story

    Ardo Kaurit is a co-founder and a CEO of Ampler Bikes, focusing on strategies, finance and people management. Having grown up in a racing family, Ardo spent a lot of time in his childhood in a garage just building up stuff and thus falling in love with technology, engineering and in finding solutions on how to improve everything. This year, Ardo received the Young Entrepreneur 2019 award.

    “There are ups and downs, there is no good without bad and vice versa. There have been plenty of hard times, but having a great team and a whole bunch of determination (together with some times even stupid self-confidence) have kept us going,” said Ardo Kaurit when he became the Estonian Young Entrepreneur of the Year!

This is a guestpost by Riin Lisett Rei, PR Manager at sTARTUp Day. sTARTUp Day is held 29.-31. January in Tartu, Estonia.


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