UT IdeaLab’s spring semester starts with Idea Hackathon

On 28 February, UT IdeaLab organised an Idea Hackathon at Spark Hub to mark the start of a new semester of the Starter business ideas incubation programme. All students and recent graduates of all schools were welcome to pitch their business or project ideas and join other teams.

The teams will be working on their business ideas in the course of a semester-long programme that offers hands-on workshops and ends with Kaleidoskoop, the biggest business ideas competition in South Estonia, on 17 May at the Delta Business Conference. The Kaleidoskoop winner will get a chance to pitch at the University Startup World Cup in Copenhagen.

Last semester’s Kaleidoskoop winning team was TRIT, whose goal is to make the ordering of translation services easier and more convenient. The Starter programme gave the team confidence that their service is necessary and their idea feasible. “For the TRIT team, the Starter programme meant many “firsts” – the first time to share our idea with strangers, the first mentor meeting, the first contest, etc. Starter gave us a push to expand our comfort zone and boosted us to enter the entrepreneurship world,” said the TRIT team leader Eha Mäesalu, adding that although they needed to go on independently now, the IdeaLab and Starter people would always be there to help and advise.

Besides Starter, the IdeaLab will start a new E-Boat Accelerator programme, which aims to find e-solutions for healthcare. Entrepreneurial-minded teams can validate and pitch their ideas at the Cruise Hackathon in five Baltic Sea cities: Gdansk, Klaipeda, Riga, Stockholm and Tallinn. Application deadline is 13 March.

This spring is the fifth year for the international summer programme Network Globally, Act Locally (NGAL®), which also invites student teams to apply. Two teams from each participating university will be offered an opportunity to develop their ideas in an international setting, meet with mentors in Estonia and in the USA and at the end of the programme, take part in a pitching competition to win $3000. NGAL® is organised in cooperation with Tallinn University of Technology, College of Charleston, The Citadel and Nebraska Wesleyan University.

The Starter programme is funded by the European Social Fund, the E-Boat Accelerator programme is funded by EIT Health, and NGAL® is funded by Harry and Reba Huge Foundation.

Further information: Riin Lisett Rei, UT IdeaLab Marketing and Communications Manager, +372 5908 6451, riin.lisett.rei@ut.ee