sTARTUp Day - the biggest business festival in the Baltics grew even more
Baltics’ biggest business festival sTARTUp Day took place for the 4th time on 29-31 January in UT Sports Hall in Tartu with 4400 visitors, 158 speakers, and 4 stages. Although the Head Organizer Marili Vihmann said the aim was to keep the same number of attendees as last year - around 4000 guests, the festival still grew by 400 visitors. The festival had visitors from 60 different countries.
Since the festival had 4 stages and almost 50 seminars the number of speakers was also big. The festival had 158 speakers who shared their knowledge on a variety of topics – from space technology to startup founder’s psychology.
116 pitchers stepped on the Pitching Stage through 10 different competitions.
The University of Tartu sTARTUp Lab organized two competitions on the Pitching Stage, Kaleidoskoop Finals and STARTER Pitching. 10 teams pitched their ideas to the panel of judges at the sTARTUp Day Pitching Stage. Team Münt won the main award - tickets to TechChill business festival in Latvia. CommuniCare won Tartu City Government monetary award and was selected to pitch at the STARTER Pitching competition that took place during the same day at the sTARTUp Day Pitching Stage. Team Ropotty won the special award by the UT sTARTUp Lab and Law Firm LMP
A total of 6 best teams from Tallinn and Tartu qualified for the STARTER finals. In the STARTER finals, Tartu was represented by teams io_developers and CommuniCare. Team CommuniCare won the event and was awarded the title of the Best Starter Team in 2019 and tickets to the prestigious Arctic15 business festival.
One of the competitions was the festival own organized sTARTUp Pitching that had 277 applicants, from which 33 got a chance to pitch on the stage. The winner Jeff App got both the EstBAN-lead syndicate’s 170,000€ investment and Swedbank Estonia’s 10,000 € equity-free cash.
One of the aims of the business festival was to connect investors and startups. 700 startup representatives got to matchmake with around 200 investors and 300 executives using the Brella networking app. During the festival days, 2,491 meetings were booked through the application.
Day had 21 side-events and the official afterparty took place at the University of Tartu Delta Centre. To fit all the 1700 visitors the party took place in the inside parking lot that was transformed into a club with a stage, bars and a sTARTUp Lounge where
6 of Tartu’s coolest startups introduced their companies to all the visitors.
The festival is organized by the University of Tartu, Tartu city, .Contriber, Tartu Science Park, Tartu Centre of Creative Industries, Tartu Biotechnology Park, Tartu Business Advisory Services, Ole Rohkem, and Swedbank. Altogether it took a team of 200 people to organize sTARTUp Day.
sTARTUp Day was sponsored by the European Regional Development Fund, Enterprise Estonia (EAS), Visit Estonia and Startup Estonia.
The 5th sTARTUp Day will take place 27.-29. January 2021 in Tartu. The tickets are sold on the website startupday.ee.
The new STARTER season has started at UT sTARTUp Lab!
On February 18, the first online Idea Hackathon took place in sTARTUp Lab. The 5 hour Hackathon was on Zoom and participants could listen to an interesting seminar, present their ideas, and find teammates.
STARTER alumni reflections: Merili from PillBox
STARTER alumni Merili looks back to the lessons learned and gives advice for newcomers.