Mentors help keep students’ business ideas on track

In each semester, students start developing their ideas in the Startup Lab to gain entrepreneurial experience. A key role in this process is played by mentors who, based on their experience, give feedback to teams, share valuable advice and help them make useful contacts.

From 22 to 29 October, 17 teams had online meetings with 20 mentors from different fields in the course of the Mentor Feedback Carousel of the business idea development programme Starter Tartu. The teams gave a lot of good feedback about the event. With the help of the mentors, they set the focus of their ideas, established target groups, made the value proposition, and found the first customers, etc. For example, the team Särasilmad, who provide training for the short-sighted to improve their vision, registered their company and made their first sale.

A great product or service that provides a solution for pain points is good, but a great mentor who helps to keep the start-up on the right track is equally important. The mentor and Starter Tartu alumna Rimante Valancauskaite said that she was happy to see so many teams willing to contribute to society. “The most interesting for me as a mentor was to give them ideas on how to make a profit. As all the teams had a clear vision and the will to act, I have no doubt that we will soon hear so many success stories in the media,” she said.

Direct pass to Ajujaht top teams

For the Ajujaht organiser Harri Tallinn, this was not the first time to be a mentor for Starter Tartu teams. Every year, one team receives a direct pass to the top 100 teams of Ajujaht. This time, Harri picked our team Eventive, who develop interactive 3D models of concert and sports halls, making it easier for organisers to plan an event without going to the venue.

Ideas from different areas

A total of 17 teams joined Starter Tartu this autumn. Ideas are developed in a wide variety of fields like healthcare, food, technology, education, clothing, etc. All ideas are united by the goal of making our daily lives better. Short descriptions of the teams can be found here.

Starter Tartu organisers are very grateful to all mentors who participated in the Mentor Feedback Carousel: Aivar Pere, Alo Peets, Andreas Unt, Ants-Oskar Mäesalu, Chris Thompson, Evgenia Trofimova, Harri Tallinn, Ingrid Laht, Justin Hein, Kalev Kaarna, Kei Karlson, Kuldar Leis, Laura Eiche, Marelle Ellen, Ott Pärna, Raphael Koster, Rimante Valancauskaite, Sven Parkel, Taavi Tamm ja Vaido Mikheim. Read more about each mentor here.

The University of Tartu Startup Lab is a subunit of the School of Economics and Business Administration. It provides hands-on entrepreneurship education and pre-incubation services. Teams who have joined the Starter Tartu business development programme participate in workshops supervised by mentors, who are start-up founders and entrepreneurs from different business sectors.

The event was financed by the European Social Fund and EIT Health.

Further information: Andres Vaher, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Startup Lab, University of Tartu, +372 5558 7359,