sTARTUp Day 2020, the biggest
business festival in the Baltics is taking place on 29-31 January in Tartu. The
festival is bringing together over 4000 startup-minded people – no matter if you’re a future startup founder or you’re just
constantly leveraging your entrepreneurial mindset to make things better around
you, this is the place to be!
The festival starts on the 29 of
January with side-events day: hackathons, tours, and parties
that take place all over Tartu. During the main festival days on 30-31 January,
you can enjoy over 120 world-class speakers, participate in hands-on seminars,
wander around the demo area full of innovation and hear the countless startup
pitches – and most importantly, find and
network with like-minded people, meet potential employees, partners and
Why Tartu, you may ask? Back in 2015, there
were many amazing events happening all over Tartu. However, all of them were
too small to appeal to international investors or journalists. Our aim was to
organize one bigger event that would bring all of the smaller events under one
roof to collectively create a bigger impact. This is how sTARTUp Day was born.
Now, Tartu’s startup ecosystem works together, combining
their ideas and knowledge to provide the best business environment for startups
and support them on their journeys. The goal is to be the top location choice
for startups. This creates more jobs and brings in talented people from all
over the world which will benefit Tartu in its development and diversity.
Since there will be over 120 speakers at sTARTUp
Day 2020, our festival’s program manager Sven Illing put together a list of
sTARTUp Day speakers that are mandatory
to listen to all the founders to make hacking the conference a little easier.
Thursday, January 30
- Rainer Sternfeld, former CEO and co-founder
of Planet OS will share his lessons from Silicon ValleyAfter 8 years in Silicon Valley, he
relocated to Estonia to help build a bridge between Japan
and the Nordic-Baltic
region by investing in mission-driven companies, focusing on AI/ML-driven
platforms and marketplaces.
- Andres Schabelman, the VP of International
Expansion from Fiverr talks about lessons he learned from Airbnb and
Fiverr and how to scale companies (and yourself) with heart.
Andres Schabelman believes that
creating from the heart is the path to a meaningful life and to the creation of
movements in business. As one of the first 30 Airbnb employees, Andres expanded
the young company globally, and today he serves as VP of Expansion at Fiverr,
the world’s largest freelance marketplace.
- Panel “Fundraising
strategies – do’s and don’ts through startup life cycle”
The startup life cycle is thought to
have 5 stages and somewhat surprisingly, the one who wears the pants in the
relationship also changes with the cycles. As a startup begins its journey and
starts to involve more investors, the founders have no other option besides
giving up some of the control and putting their wishes aside in order to listen
to the needs and thoughts of the investors. But when can founders expect to
take back some of the control? Join the discussion, to find out!
- Connor Swenson, who is a mindfulness teacher
& ex-Googler, will give a talk on the topic “Forget
Connor teaches mindfulness and
meditation practices that help others be more productive and find greater
wellbeing in their lives. He previously managed partnerships for Google for
Startups and ran marketing for Campus London, so he surely has some pretty
believe burnout is a very personal experience and it’s hard to generalize as to
how it will show up in an individual’s life,” he explained in an interview for
the sTARTUp Day blog.
“For me, I noticed that I had really started to neglect my personal life in
favor of my professional life. Over time, deprioritizing my friends meant that
I wasn’t replenishing that wellspring of energy that I get from social
Friday, January 31
- Milda Mitkute, the co-founder of Vinted
shares her success story of building a unicorn.
Milda Mitkute is the co-founder at
Vinted – the world’s largest fashion marketplace with its headquarter in
Vilnius. More than 30 million women around the world use this platform to sell,
buy and swap clothes. The company has raised over 100-million euros and is
considered to be among the most valuable start-ups in the Baltics. By the way,
it’s one of five unicorns in the Baltics – in addition to four Estonian unicorns,
Vinted become the first Lithuanian unicorn in December 2019!
“I started to think
about how to work smart. It took me a few years to get there. I forbade myself
to work during the weekends, I started to think about my leisure time more
carefully: with whom I spend my time and how. I ended up being more relaxed,
more successful and most importantly – happier,” said Milda Mitkute in her
interview for sTARTUp Day blog.
- Hermione Way, brand consultant and previous Head of Communications at
talks about her learnings from 10 years of marketing in startups.
Hermione Way has been marketing
startups in the technology industry for over 10 years. As Head of European
Communications at dating app Tinder she oversaw marketing for 91 million swipes
a day. She will share her learnings with you about how to build a brand across
social and create interesting stories that get picked up the press.
story is everything – humans are emotional creatures,” said Hermione in her interview. “For centuries
stories have been the crux of communication – from the Bible to the Internet.
Without a story, you are just another product, another app. Learning how and
why to tell stories that coincide with news at the time is essential.”
- Ardo Kaurit, CEO & co-founder of
Ampler Bikes shares his founder story
Kaurit is a co-founder and a CEO of Ampler Bikes, focusing on strategies,
finance and people management. Having grown up in a racing family, Ardo spent a
lot of time in his childhood in a garage just building up stuff and thus
falling in love with technology, engineering and in finding solutions on how to
improve everything. This year, Ardo received the Young Entrepreneur 2019 award.
are ups and downs, there is no good without bad and vice versa. There have been
plenty of hard times, but having a great team and a whole bunch of
determination (together with some times even stupid self-confidence) have kept
us going,” said Ardo Kaurit when he became the
Estonian Young Entrepreneur of the Year!