According to Kadri Tammai, director of the Tehnopol Startup Incubator, Estonia and the rest of the world are currently facing a situation that most would not have been able to predict just a month ago. "In these stressful times, many companies are facing complex challenges, yet at the same time the changed reality has also created new opportunities that can be solved with the help of technology," Tammai explained. "A new era demands new ideas! This is a fertile ground for Estonian startups to grow their ideas into strong businesses, to realize their potential, to attract investment, and to put our technology sector on the map at such a pivotal time."
The new growth program is especially interested in receiving applications from startups that work in the green, health, smart city, or business-to-business technology space. According to Tammai, the program hopes to attract companies that have a first prototype, strong team, and escalating business idea.
The program's updated composition is based on feedback from startups and many years of experience in creating startup investor readiness. "The startup company selected for the growth program will receive a key mentor and expert advice, participate in a hands-on and comprehensive training series, and gather many useful contacts within the startup community and investor networks. The value of the program for startups is about €10,000. These are the pillars that help build strong and sustainable companies," Tammai added.
Tehnopol Startup Incubator's key mentors are experts in their fields who have built, managed, and learned from their own successes and mistakes. Key mentors have both the knowledge and skills to overcome business challenges and move forward faster.
One of the key mentors of the growth program, Ivar Siimar, said that over the years, a well-functioning team of mentors has been created who communicate with each other and with startups on a weekly basis. This active exchange of information and support creates a fertile ground for the rapid growth of companies. Siimar explained that startups are at a very different level when they start the program. "We have had both one-man-and-dog type companies and companies that already have paying customers. Each participant in the program is special and needs the personal approach that a key mentor can offer."
Tehnopol's Tammai added that since many startups do not have financial resources in the startup phase, they can use the company shares instead. This creates an opportunity to get top-level advice without paying for it right away. "We are guided by the principle that we succeed together or fail together. Statistics show that 60% of the startups that have participated in our growth programs are sustainable after the end of the program. When compared to the fact that less than 10% of startups survive in this world, this is a telling number."
Additional information about the program and the application form can be found here. Startups that have made it into the program will be announced by 17 April. Other companies that received support from the program in the past include Bikeep, Toggl, Defendec.
Tehnopol Startup Incubator offers a safe environment for companies. Companies that take part in the growth program receive informative and practical workshops, as well as expert guidance from the best mentors in Estonia and Europe, with the goal of finding early investors and reaching the export market. The value of the program for startups is about €10,000.
Tehnopol Startup Incubator is part of the comprehensive support service of Tehnopol, the largest research and business campus in the Baltics. The purpose of Tehnopol Science and Business Campus is to contribute to the emergence and growth of world-class technology companies in Estonia and to support their expansion into foreign markets by providing solutions from commercial real estate to demand-driven business development services.