STARTER alumni reflections: Merili from PillBox

STARTER alumni Merili looks back to the lessons learned and gives advice for newcomers.

Merili, a fourth-course medicine student from startup PillBox participated in the STARTERtartu 2020 autumn season. Her startup makes a smart pill dispenser that makes sure your loved ones take pills at the right time. We had a small chat with her.

Could you please describe your experience in the programme?

When I joined the programme at the Idea Hackathon, I didn’t have an idea. I was curious and a bit scared on how it would work out. I went to the event alone but I shortly found a team. I liked the idea and the team welcomed me. I participated in all workshops and was surprised how they kept such a warm and inspiring atmosphere throughout the programme.

What were your key learning points?

I gained courage and understanding that even in a hopeless situation you can find a working solution. My interest in startup companies only deepened and I definitely want to continue. My favorite workshops were pitching and not only because pitching is one of my roles in this startup but delivering presentations is a universal skill that can be used everywhere. In regard to STARTER workshops - you can always be sure that in each workshop there is a field specialist and an interesting personality who shares valuable knowledge and inspiring stories.

Do you think that startups are only for business and IT people?

Absolutely not! Each team needs people with different skills. For example, with my medical background, I fit perfectly into my team and I got a suitable role in this team. The STARTER programme provides an opportunity to share experience and gain knowledge in other fields than just your specialty. I am sure it will be useful in the future.

Who do you recommend the STARTER programme to?

I definitely recommend everyone to join, it is a very developing experience and helps to get out of your comfort zone. And it is fun too! Besides knowledge on how to build a startup, the STARTER program provides acquaintances from other disciplines as well as access to super opportunities and mentors’ network. It is a great experience that creates new opportunities and successful experiences.