Tartu sTARTUp Day 2016 aimed high and scored even higher
Urmas Klaas, the Mayor of Tartu was pleased to welcome the business and startup community in Tartu and noted that
despite the small size, Tartu is a lively fast-paced center for visionaries who
wish to make business and science collide. Together with Volli Kalm, the Rector
of University of Tartu they announced the construction of the new ICT building
that would help bring science and business even closer. The potential of Tartu
is clear and Startup Day is an obvious example of this.
Besides local startups, Estonian heavy cavalry with well-established international scope was also present. For example, Pipedrive and TransferWise whose booths were busy throughout the day. TransferWise’s Engineering Team Lead Jordan Valdma was happy to see so many smart, ambitious and highly motivated people attending the festival and showing interest in their startup, “We are here to keep Transferwise on the picture so people can ask what we do, get advice and find out what it’s like to work in TransferWise. Even though a festival format is too short to strike deals, many have said they would come by later for a cup of coffee or tea. We are always interested in recruiting great problem-solvers.“
The schedule of the Startup Day was filled with panel discussions, seminars, workshops and competitions. Prototron announced the winners of their next round and awarded 6 teams with a total of 44 000 euros. One of the definite highlights of the day was the Pitching Competition to find the best early stage startup in Estonia. Prior to Startup Day, the jury of investors and mentors had narrowed the selection to four startups – Tebo, SportID, Nordic Automation Systems and Deekit – before hearing the pitches and giving the title to Deekit!
According to Rein Lemberpuu, a member of the jury and one of the leaders
of the Tartu startup scene, the final decision was made by international
investors and largely based on the investability of the startup. He added that
Deekit has shown great feedback from users thus raising its value in the eyes
of investors. Kaili Kleemeier, the Founder of Deekit noted that even though the
title of the Best Early Stage Startup in 2016 came unexpected, Deekit has gone
through a rapid growth recently and is planning to expand even more with new
features that are about to be launched soon.
Lauri Sokk, one of the main organizers of the festival shared with excitement
that nobody expected the Startup Day to grow this big in the first year but it’s
definitely a positive surprise. He was pleased that everything has gone more or
less according to the plan, even managing to set the main stage up in one night, “We couldn’t have done it without the help of all the organizers and volunteers
from various organizations in Tartu who came together and turned this vision
into reality.“ As the plan is to keep on growing, the team will start planning Startup
Day 2017 before the end of the year, “Our goal is to be the biggest in the
We wish to thank everybody who stepped by our Startup Estonia booth during the festival and hope to see you all again in Tartu on 8th of December 2017!Find out more about the Startup Day 2016 on the festival's homepage.
***Header photo taken by Maido Parv