Starter pre-incubation programme teams gained new motivation from mentors for idea development

The Startup Lab-organized business idea development programme, StarterTartu, is aimed at students and all learners eager to understand the ideation process and practically test the viability of their ideas. With the support of experienced mentors, teams spend a semester refining promising ideas and shaping them into viable business models. The programme also runs simultaneously in Tallinn. One of the key events in the StarterTartu programme is the Mentor Feedback Carousel, where teams meet mentors from various fields to receive crucial feedback on their ideas. This year, the event took place on October 5th at Spark HUB, the center of the startup and technology community, bringing together 11 mentors and 22 teams, with a total of 100 students benefiting from the mentors' valuable insights.

The mentors participating in the Mentor Feedback Carousel are specialists with extensive experience in their respective fields. Most of them have previously participated in Mentor Feedback Carousels, but this year's event was also attended by mentors for whom this was their first experience. All mentors were invited based on the specific needs of the teams.

Photo: teams and mentors at SPARK HUB. Author: Hannah Kaarma

Hanna-Liis Remmelg, the head of Tartu Science Park's S2B Launchpad incubator, was pleasantly surprised by the high number of young entrepreneurs interested in entrepreneurship this year. "Regardless of whether the young people participate voluntarily or out of obligation, they have all made their contribution. Such growth indicates significant progress," she added. Vaido Mikheim, the project manager for deep technology at Startup Estonia, expressed his joy at seeing that some teams had already conducted customer surveys. This implies that they have sought feedback from potential clients regarding the seriousness of the problem they are addressing and the suitability of their solution. He also noticed that the teams varied in terms of idea development and the skills of their members. The teams responded positively to the mentors' feedback and appeared motivated to further develop their ideas.

Photo: team’s Koit members. Author: Hannah Kaarma

Members of the Permink team who participated in the event noted that the Mentor Feedback Carousel was very beneficial because when they arrived, their idea was still very vague, and it wasn't even clear if it was feasible. Team member Mattias Milk added, "We received guidance on how to proceed and what aspects to pay more attention to during the idea development." Kevin Akkermann, the leader of the Koit ( team, was participating for the second time with his original team and idea in the Starter programme. Kevin noted that their team received valuable feedback, especially regarding their business model. "In general, the mentors grounded us, but at the same time, they also provided us with more motivation," added Koit team member Carl Valgus.

The mentors who were invited were: Ants-Oskar Mäesalu, Kristina Lillo, Tõnis Hendrik Hlebinkov, Liina Laul, Vaido Mikheim, Martti Soosaar, Triin Kask, Seren Rumjancevs, Joonas Puura, Hanna Liis Remmelg, and Marili Vihmann. We express our sincere gratitude for their time and excellent mentoring!

The Starter programme is supported by the European Social Fund.

For more information:

Hannah Kaarma

Communications and Marketing Specialist, TÜ Startup Lab

Phone: 5400 5242