Prototron, Estonia’s first fund for smart prototype financing, will go on with its current spring round as planned, transferring all its events to online channels. Solutions meant for the mitigation of the potential aftermath of the COVID-19 coronavirus in healthcare, industry, education and other sectors will be highly welcome in this round.
“It is as an effective tool for finding and supporting brilliant, innovative and smart ideas that the format of Prototron has proved itself over several years. Taking it into account that the teams working on the new solutions are extremely busy and the issue of extra cost is a sensitive one, we did employ online platforms for some of the events in earlier rounds. Due to the current COVID-19 crisis situation, we will be transferring the entire Prototron 2020 spring round to an online environment, which will also make the participation convenient for e-residents,” Jana Budkovskaja, the CEO of Prototron, explained.
She added that the online hackathon held last week with support from Startup Estonia reassured Prototron that the fund had taken the right course. “Smart solutions as well as supporting them are more important than ever before. For our part, we would like to contribute to the state’s and the start-up community’s initiative in order to specifically provide additional support to the solutions for the mitigation of the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why all the appropriate ideas will automatically become eligible for the quarterfinal of the Prototron programme,” Budkovskaja said.
“We want to do our part to ensure that the participants of the applications round as well as the Prototron team stay healthy. Holding the applications round online is a challenge, but it also opens up new fascinating opportunities,” Budkovskaja noted.
All the participants whose solutions are meant for alleviating or overcoming the crisis resulting from today’s situation of future concerns will be automatically included in Prototron’s semifinals. To bring the winning idea to life, Prototron will allocate up to € 35,000. In addition, there will be encouraging investors, inspiring mentors, legal aid, support services provided by the fund’s partners and an opportunity to take part in an incubation programme. Applications can be filed until March, 25 to participate.
Established in 2012 with the cooperation of Swedbank, Tallinn University of Technology and the Tehnopol Science Park, Prototron Foundation has allocated funding for 72 innovative ideas to date for the amount of € 893,000. Teams whose ideas were supported by Prototron, have already raised over € 20 million in follow-up investments.