The pre-selection for one of the biggest business ideas competitions, Kaleidoskoop, took place on 10 December, bringing together 30 student teams from all over Estonia. The best 15 teams were selected to present their ideas in the Kaleidoskoop and Delta X finals.
The event was hosted via Zoom and could also be viewed live on the Facebook page of the University of Tartu Startup Lab. Each team had three minutes to pitch their product or service idea to the jury, and two minutes to get feedback. The pitching rounds were intense and there were a lot of good ideas. The jury selected the five best teams who get to pitch in the Kaleidoskoop finals at the Startup Day 2021 business festival. In addition, ten teams got a direct pass to the Delta X student competition: five teams in the category of new startup ideas and five in the category of social innovation.
Maret Ahonen, Head of Startup Lab, said she was happy to see that ideas of various categories were represented. “I can assure that the commitment of Starter teams and their willingness to make things happen has paid off. The Kaleidoskoop finalists have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present their ideas to an international audience at the Startup Day,” she said. Startup Day 2021 will be held in August as a summer festival. This means that the finalist teams have now extra time to prepare.
Selecting the best teams was not an easy task for the jury because there were so many worthy ideas. A jury member, Introwise co-founder Evgenia Trofimova said she was pleased to see the Starter Tartu teams make progress, developing their first product during season, and she was especially happy to see so many women participate in the Kaleidoskoop competition. “I hope all the teams continue working on their ideas as huge support is provided to startup entrepreneurs in Estonia,” said Trofimova. Besides Trofimova, also other members of the jury are well-known mentors in the startup community: Kristian Sägi, co-founder of Nevercode, and Sven Parkel, CEO of Tartu Biotechnology Park.
The five Kaleidoskoop finalists are teams BerryBot, Checky, Dexi.ee, ELORA and Eventive. Berrybot is developing an autonomous strawberry harvesting robot to help farmers cut down on labour costs and reduce harvest loss. Checky is developing a cloud-based platform to make accounting easier and more environment-friendly by eliminating the need for paper checks. Dexi.ee is developing an app to battle drunk driving. The mobile app helps car owners find a sober driver. Elora is making a Pokemon Go-style app that provides information on walking trails and encourages people to spend more time outside. Eventive is developing an interactive 3D booking system of concert and sports venues.
Delta X finalists
Delta X finalists in new startup idea category are HAIP!, Healthshape, Konnekt, Mycoo and Pillbox. Finalists in the social innovation category are Arqedo, Infinder, Õpipoiss, Särasilmad and Wirdos Academy. More information about the Delta X ideas can be found on the Startup Lab website.
Head of Eventive Karl Vaba said that he had not expected to get such positive feedback after their pitch. “The whole Starter programme with its structured development steps and excellent mentors and contacts gave us a big push. Starter was very important for us in validating the idea. Now we are confident that our solution really deserves developing,” said Vaba. Eventive was also selected among the top 30 teams in the Ajujaht business ideas competition.
The competition was funded by the European Social Fund, entrepreneurial education programme “Edu ja tegu” and EIT Health.
Further information: Andres Vaher, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Startup Lab, University of Tartu, +372 5558 7359, andres.vaher [ät] ut.ee