NGAL 3.0 Tartu camp: learning, working hard and getting new experiences!

As the first and the second day were full of interesting talks and valuable lessons, we decided to put some more focus on teamwork and getting things done during the next days. However, those days were full of new experiences: meetings with experienced investors, lecture on history, tour at SPARK and University of Tartu, trying out Estonian sauna and visiting Narva, the easternmost point of EU!

Then on Wednesday morning the teams met again with wonderful Genia Trofimova from Mooncascade to talk on product development and user experience. According to her, UX covers all the aspects of the customer's interaction with the company, it’s services and products. When used correctly, good user experience makes consumers feel better about themselves. „It’s important to let people to know that they can become a better version of themselves by using your product, “ Genia explained.

To wrap up the workshop , teams had a planking session. Yes, planking – it’s what they do in Mooncascade twice a day to keep the energy level up! After her talk, Genia stayed with us for the whole day to support and mentor our teams – thank you so much for that!

The second half of the week started with discussion on investments, fundrising and hiring with experienced investor Gerri Kodres (Fortumo) and start-up founder Tõnis Kusmin (Tebo). Accroding to them, one of the hardest things is running a company without money. However, getting investments is not as easy as opening a playbook and following instructions – for instance, going to startup parties might be quite effective! 

However, it's important to talk to lots of investors and have some patience – „Don’t expect results in a few weeks but rather in half a year,“ as Tõnis said.

The last day in Tartu started off in SPARK business centre where our contestants presented their pitches on the stage and got some great feedback from experienced investor Aleksander Tõnisson (Buildit Accelerator). He’s an experienced investor who hears about thousand pitches every year – so he surely knows a thing or two about startups! After that, the participants learned about the world and Estonian history from Kalle V. Tenno and had a tour in SPARK centre to get an overview of Estonian business sectors, products and enterprises. 

After the lunch, we visited University of Tartu main building, enjoyed the sunny Tartu and got some work done during the team time. The day ended in the beautiful Estonian nature - fishing, grilling, sunbathing and trying out Estonian sauna!

On Saturday morning we took a trip to a little Estonian city called Narva - it's the easternmost point of EU! Besides wandering around in Narva we visited Estonian mining museum and experienced the hard work of oil-shale miners, admired the design of UT Narva College, were impressed by once powerful but today neglected Kreenholm Manufacturing Company and of course made selfies with Russia at the background!

And as the trip to Narva was the final event of the NGAL 3.0 Tartu camp, NGAL Tartu was handed over to NGAL Tallinn – next week, our teams are going to be develop their ideas in Mektory, Tallinn!

Kristo Kilk