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From workshop to festival: insightful week in Tartu

In January, the program’s companies gathered in Tartu for a day-long workshop, potential client meetings, and the sTARTUp Day festival.


Workshop participants at Sparkup Tartu Science Park


What did you find the most valuable to your company and what were your 1-3 key takeaways from the trip to Tartu?


Taneli Ristmeri - CEO and founder at Buildie


This journey has been eye-opening for us and will be taken into account in our strategy for this year. The customer meetings arranged by Peeter (from Tartu Science Park) offered us a novel opportunity to explore the Estonian construction culture and mindset. Out of the three meetings, two immediately wanted to proceed with our solution towards a pilot project. Each meeting was a valuable conversation, enabling us to assess the suitability of our product for the Estonian construction market.

 

The consultants' expertise in industry understanding and cybersecurity was also highly competent. The discussions held with them, allowed us to validate whether our solution has the potential to succeed in the target country. The customer meetings, in turn, confirmed our understanding of the market's needs.

 

The workshop was outstanding, especially in terms of its speakers. In fact, the speakers were so impressive that we decided to continue discussions with them even after our trip to Estonia. The practice sessions for pitching also proved to be necessary, and particularly Yrjö Ojasaar’s feedback was insightful. Pitching indeed needs a touch of Americanness, something we often forget here in Finland.

 

In summary, the workshop day was very fruitful, and we plan to continue our dialogue with the mentors, who proved to be exceptionally good. We networked with other companies and revisited the intricacies of pitching. Furthermore, we were able to confirm that it would be beneficial for us to start operations in Estonia with a lean organization.


Mattias Luha - CEO at KrattWorks


I liked the simplicity of how Yrjö Ojasaar explained the math behind VC investments and the way Piret Saag transformed the “HR jungle” to well structured setup we can implement.

Key takeaways: If you are a VC fond and you are not looking for a Unicorn with every investment, then your fund will fail to deliver: this means founders have to aim for the higher of stars or they won't get funded.


Karl-Kaspar Kottisse - Regional Manager / Nordic and Henri Lass - Product Owner at Solarstone


Yriö Ojasaar and Ivo Remmelg’s keynotes were the most insightful and interesting. In addition, we got an insight into VC life and work, pitching for VCs. Key takeaways: VC money is not for you most likely and exponential growth is required to become viable for them.


Jussi Niemioja - Innovation Director at UDT Technologies


Most valuable were VC insights, meeting with city officials, sTARTUp Day for active investor discussions (we were lucky). 

Key takeaways - Investor contacts, again slightly better company story, positive signals from city officials


Workshop with Ivo Remmelg; KrattWorks at sTARTUp Day; Scaleup Launchpad's team at sTARTUp Day

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