Hosted by the Tartu City Government, the local municipality responsible for promoting innovation, competitive entrepreneurship and knowledge based production and services, the project partners were introduced to a programme which included an overview of start up support and innovation programmes, workshops and site visits.
During this two-day meeting, project partners got to know the key elements and players involved in the Tartu – Start-Up Innovation ecosystem. Two key events annually include ‘sTARTUp Day’ which showcases start-up ideas and involves nearly 3,000 attendees and ‘Tartu Entrepreneurship Week’ which has been running since 2005 and includes: conferences, seminars, trainings and visits to companies for target groups ranging from children to seasoned entrepreneurs. Between 3,500 and 5,000 people will attend the events during Entrepreneurship week.
The workshop was led by Alo Lilles and Siim Espenberg, Tartu City Government, Department of Business Development. Presentations were given by Aleksander Tonnisson, CEO and Co-Founder of ‘Build it Accelerator of Things,’ which focuses on supporting and investing in entrepreneurs with hardware solutions and products. Rein Lemberpuu, CEO / Founder ‘Contriber’ which supports Nordic founders by providing them office space in Tartu, making investments, organising start-up events, providing services and software tools. Maret Ahonen, Director, ‘Idea Lab,’ University of Tartu which runs business development programmes for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the university. The final presentation was from Andrus Kurvits from Tartu Science Park, who informed the group about the focus that Tartu has on Space Technologies and their use across various different industry sectors.
The consortium also had the opportunity to visit the start-up accelerators and co-working spaces Tartu had to offer. There was an opportunity for a guided tour and presentation of Tartu Centre for Creative Industries, SPARK Demo and SPARK who all work as elements of the integrated innovation ecosystem in Tartu.