Best ideas at Kaleidoskoop focus on improving the environment

Anneli Ohvril introducing the idea of the Sorter team. Photo: Startup Lab

Green mindset is the common feature of the teams S-Kub and Sorter, winners of the 14th Kaleidoskoop business ideas competition. Both have a bigger goal of saving the planet and promoting environmentally friendly behaviour.

Sorter, an international team of the University of Tartu, won not only the possibility to participate in the all-Estonian Starter finals but also received the monetary award from Tartu City Government. Team Sorter is developing an application that uses the barcode to help people sort waste correctly. The idea stemmed from waste sorters’ common concern that they are often not sure what waste goes to which bin. The team has already got much feedback from potential users who say that this app should have been on the market long time ago. Among others, also waste management companies have shown interest in this app since it brings them a cleaner waste stream. The team has succeeded in involving companies in the development process who are willing to provide financial support to accelerate the launch of this product.

Anneli Ohvril, the leader of team Sorter commented on the victory, “Our bigger goal is a cleaner planet and environmental protection, and our application helps to achieve it. We are happy that our idea got the attention and the award of the city of Tartu. It shows that Tartu cares for clean environment and we have a partner to cooperate with.”

A member of the judges’ panel Alo Lilles, Head of Business Development at the Tartu City Government said, “Team Sorter has an awesome idea. It is a solution that helps to save our environment and is in line with the principles of Tartu to become a more sustainable and green city. Tartu is also a smart business city and interested in supporting similar ideas. We have invited the team to discuss how to successfully implement the idea and start piloting it here in Tartu.”

The main prize at Kaleidoskoop and tickets to Latitude59 were given to the team of Estonian Business School students S-Kub, who produce solid shampoo cubes. According to S-Kub members, their product helps to save billions of litres of water and reduce the production of plastic bottles. Today their first products are ready and they are actively preparing for sales. Team leader Cathy Vivien Vahi said, “We applied for Kaleidoskoop to test the idea and get feedback, and the win was therefore a great surprise for us. Online pitching was also a new experience. Our team is sharing the common concern that is also our slogan – save the planet from plastic”.

The award for the best healthcare idea was given to the team SoulCare, who is developing a platform to connect help-seekers with mental health experts. The team members won tickets to the EIT Health 2021 Summit held in Sweden. A member of SoulCare, Karl Oliver Tomson said, “We are honoured to receive this award. The whole Starter programme was a great opportunity to develop the idea, get new experiences and learn.”

Startup Lab gave the special prize – The Startup Owner’s Manual – to the team Where’s the Food, who is creating a contact-free ordering system for restaurants. The secondary-school students’ team SNÆKK was awarded with visitor tickets to the Startup Day business festival. SNÆKK produces healthy and nutritious snacks in tubes.

The manager of Startup Lab Maret Ahonen commented on the Kaleidoskoop finals, “All finalists were well prepared. We are happy for the winners, because an award from the Kaleidoskoop competition gives confidence to the teams and inspires them to work even harder to bring ideas to life. We are grateful to the judges who were sincerely interested in the teams’ work and gave them recommendations and advice.”. 

The event is funded by the European Social Fund and EIT Health.

Further information: Andres Vaher, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Startup Lab, University of Tartu, +372 5558 7359, andres.vaher [ät] ut.ee

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