STARTER Advanced is almost over!

IdeaLab’s STARTER Advanced programme has been going on for 3 months. During this time 10 teams and around 100 beginning enterpreneurs have gathered knowledge and skills at STARTER workshops, practiced pitching and recieved tons of useful feedback to develop their business idea!

10 teams - juice in a cube, smart parking app, legal advice chatbot and much more

This semester we have 10 teams in our programme and 3 of them have already been selected to Ajujaht TOP 100! (Juice³, Decomer Technology, s-Parking). Juice³ and s-Parking are both student companys. First one wants to put juice in a cube and second one is creating  parking app, that informs user about empty parking spaces in the parkinglot.

 During the Mentor Feedback Session Ajujaht ogranizer Harri Tallinn selected already one team that got a place in Ajujaht TOP 100 - Decomer Technology! They are developing biodegradable bioprotein polymer films. In simple words they are creating a package where for example they are putting honey in and you can add the package to your tea. The package will melt into your tea and best part is that it is not hamful to your health in any way! 

There are more teams in the programme. For example ILUSPEKTER (eCommerce retail of vegan and cruelty free make-up and skincare products), Bookly (Easy and customer friendly mobile and web application to find suitable service, look up open hours, availability and book times) and Guide Your Way (Application that updates information in Europe about sights, historical places and public transport without internet connection)

STARTER Advanced program runs in parallel with EstLat Accelerate, where the participants are from Estonia and Latvia. One of our local teams is TIIU. They are creating a digital medical assistent, who helps patients understand their chart.

Another participant in EstLat Accelerate program is StartLegal - chatbot, that helps a starting enterpreneurs get free legal advice. Wihtin the EstLat-Accelerate program, there was a mentorship feedback academy in Tartu, where both estonian and latvian teams got a whole day to meet with different mentors and participate in product design workshop.

STARTER program in Virumaa offers the joy of discovery for six teams from Narva college and six teams from Pärnu college have also got started, one of whom, ANNY, made it to Prototron’s TOP 20 in finance round.

We can call Idealab’s course From Idea to Execution also a success, it started with Idea Hackathon in September. Over 30 students are working hard in their teams to develop their idea. In the Mentor Feedback Session they presented their work so far among the STARTER Advanced teams. In the eyes of experienced judges there was no difference, if it was STARTER Advanced program or a just-gathered team - everyone got tips and tricks on how to move forward. They have also got more confident, for example GoalNection, started from the Idea Hackathon, wants to make an app that helps youngsters support each other in receiving goals, has been selected to Ajujaht’s TOP 100.

sTARTUp day

Soon the workshops will be over and the hard work will have it’s grand finale in sTARTUp Day, December 8th. To get on UT Idealab’s stage in sTARTUp Day to pitch your business idea, you must participate in Kaleidoskoop - the biggest business ideas competition in South-Estonia. In the pre-selection (November 30th) 10 teams will be chosen, who will make their way to the Finals - sTARTUp Day. Besides the chance to pitch you idea on a national business festival, awards will be presented, like participation in Europe’s Innovation Academy’s program in Portugal, an opportunity to pitch in Polar Bear Pitching competition in Oulu and the city of Tartu gives away a cash prize to their favorite.

The preparations for Starter Ukraine project in spring have been going according to plans as well. Detailed timetable was  put in place in a meeting with project partners in Kiev and very soon the partners will meet in Tartu’s sTARTUp Day. IdeaLab’s manager Maret Ahonen mentioned a happy reunion with Idealab’s alumnus in Kiev. „A Ukrainian origin UT team HireYoung stood out with extraordinary self-confidence during their studies and it was great to see that today they are a successful enterprise Move on Miles, that mediates Ukrainian talents in IT world to world famous companies like Google and IBM,“.

Big plans for Spring

Idealab is already preparing for spring semester 2018. Right before Estonia’s 100th birthday, on February 22th, there is once again an inspiration event called „Idea Storm: 100 ideas, that will change the world“. Expected are close to 300 people ja dozens of experienced mentor, who will all discuss on how to find solutions to problematic situations in all kinds of fields. Created groups and thought-out ideas will have the chance to grow in STARTER Basic program in spring.

In collaboration with Garage48, department of computer science and IT-academy, in winter break Student Startup Camp will be organised 5th-9th of February. Earlier it has brought together over 100 students to get an idea to a prototype in just five days.

Spring semester will end with a national business development programm called NGAL®, that is carried by UT’s Idealab, TTÜ’s entrepreneur- and innovation centre Mektory and three USA’s Universities. NGAL® is international „hands on“ business development program for teams already working. The teams participating will be chosen in March and in June, they fly to United States of America.

Everyone with a business idea or just an interest towards entrepreneurship, Idealab welcomes you to STARTER Basic program in spring semester. The program starts with Idea Storm on the 22th of February, where you can find people with similar interests and form a team.

This article reflects the views of the author. The managing authority of the programme is not liable for how this information may be used.

The STARTER programme in Ukraine is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from development and humanitarian aid funds.

The STARTER Advanced programme is supported by the European Social Fund.

The EstLat-Accelerate project is supported by the Estonian-Latvian cross-border programme 2014-2020. The programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.