“We see in every Prototron round that world-changing idea or innovative solutions do not depend on occupation, educational level or place of residence. The diversity of the startup founders and their staff was also brought out in the latest recap of 2019 in the Estonian startup sector made by Startup Estonia. There are strong male and female leaders coming from different sectors with their experience and knowledge to create innovative solutions. We support both those who have already started their business and those who are just beginning – mainly there is a new idea needed to be prototyped” noted Jana Budkovskaja, CEO of Prototron.
There are estimated 1000 startups in Estonia today that have raised 258.3 million Euros in 2019 and paid 77 million Euros in taxes with 5 944 people employed locally. “Startups have a significant impact on the Estonian labor market and it is growing. From 2012 Prototron has supported 72 early-stage teams, that are counting more than 300 employees in 2019,” Budkovskaja said.
In addition to the general round, in cooperation with Swedbank Prototron is raising money to launch Prototron Junior subprogram, aimed at helping Estonian schoolchildren to get the first startup experience. “Finding new solutions requires bold experimentation and the idea that failure is an important part of the learning process. The sooner an entrepreneurial mindset is introduced to young people, the faster there will be a generation of people who are willing and dare to start their own business.” Budkovskaja explained, why Prototron is creating a special fund for schoolchildren. “There are awesome entrepreneurial programs for schoolchildren, and we would like to empower them by supporting the prototyping of the ideas children coming up with.” To support Prototron Junior program one can vote for it here until 29 of February.
Applications for Prototron can be submitted until 15th of March at prototron.ee
Prototron was created in 2012 and founded by Swedbank, TalTech and Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol. In addition to the founders, the City of Tallinn, Utilitas and Samsung Electronics contribute to the Fund in 2020. For more information see here.