sTARTUp Day 2016The idea for sTARTUp Day was born in 2015 and straight away, the sTARTUp Tartu community started working together. On 9 December 2016, the very first sTARTUp Day took place at the freshly renovated Estonian National Museum.
Read more about the community and roots of sTARTUp Day here.
“With almost 3000 participants, the very first sTARTUp Day 2016 exceeded all expectations and securely pinned Tartu on the map as a hotspot for startups.”
– Startup Estonia
How it began:
Ϟ 2800 participants
Ϟ 1400m2 of space
Ϟ 45 keynote presentations
Ϟ 115 busy team members
Ϟ 3km of chords wired around the venue
Ϟ 5000 cups of coffee consumed
Top 4 Estonian Early-Stage Startups of 2016One of the highlights of sTARTUp day was an intense pitching competition based on which .Contriber and EstBAN awarded the Top 4 early-stage startups – Deekit, Tebo, SportID and Nordic Automation Systems with the main award going to Deekit.
The winner of the “Estonia’s Best Early Stage Startup of 2016” title was Deekit, who saw international success over the next couple of years and was named a finalist at the Startup Europe Awards.
sTARTUp Day 2017Although the previous year's event exceeded all expectations, the team was determined to take sTARTUp Day to a whole new level – in fact, sTARTUp Day 2017 won an award for The Most Innovative Conference in Estonia.
sTARTUp Day 2017 took place in the AHHAA Science center, with a 1000m2 heated tent outside to increase the size of the venue. The festival boasted 3000 participants and 100 speakers over 4 stages, making sTARTUp Day the biggest business festival in the Baltics.
Fun facts:Ϟ The legendary Estonian rap superstar Tommy Cash headlined the afterparty, surrounded by a 270° video projection
Ϟ 2000 venue maps were distributed to attendees
Ϟ 400 Jägermeister shots were given out to attendees lining up outside the venue in the freezing cold
Ϟ 1500l of diesel was used to heat the massive outdoor tent
Ϟ A University of Tartu professor helped repair the floor of the massive outdoor tent the night before the opening – it's a community effort after all.
Top 4 Estonian Early Stage StartupsOver 100 startups applied to the sTARTUp Day 2017 pitching competition from whom EstBAN selected the TOP 4 early-stage startups of the year.
The Top 4 Estonian Early Stage Startup of Angel Investment Program 2017 were: GuestJoy, Frank.ai, Fitlap and Transformative with GuestJoy receiving the main award – a €160k investment from EstBAN.
sTARTUp Day 2019You may have noticed that there was no event in 2018 – that's because we pushed the date by a couple of months from December to January so we could all start the new year with buckets of motivation. From 2019 on the stage program spans two days instead of one, complemented by a day filled with side-events all over Tartu.
How it went:Ϟ sTARTUp Day opened the renewed University of Tartu Sports Hall
Ϟ 4000 participants
Ϟ 120 speakers
Ϟ 350 startups
Ϟ The average outside temperature was a cool -30°
Ϟ The bravest startups pitched while drifting at 120 km/h on an ice road
“Come to Tartu and survive the cold, and then you will be your own hero.”
– Yumiko from Japan
sTARTUp PitchingThe 2019 edition of sTARTUp Pitching received over 250 applications out of which the top 4 were selected to compete for the main prize – a €250k investment from the NAP program and other prizes.
Outvio was selected as the best early stage startup of the year with Tasker, PowerUp Technologies and GoTennis as runnerups.
sTARTUp Day 2020The January 2020 edition of the festival continued to grow and break all previous records, continuing as a flagship business and innovation event. 4400 participants, 150 speakers, 350 startups, 180 investors, 2500 matchmaking meetings, 45 seminars, 21 side-events, 191 press mentions – all in the midst of a true festival vibe, surrounded by musicians, fitness breaks and good vibes. We strongly believe in mixing business with pleasure to get the best possible outcome.
I was surprised about the size of this event and the vibes around it. It’s an area that is going to see so many good startups coming out of this area over the next 5 to 10 years for sure.
– Hjalmar Windbladh, Managing Partner at EQT Ventures
What else happened:Ϟ €300k worth of awards were given out to sTARTUp Pitching winners
Ϟ 6000m2 of recycled carpet was used to cover the sports hall
Ϟ 200m2 of fabric used to create walls around a running track
Ϟ 4km of lanyards were distributed (and recycled)
Ϟ Over 6 hours of quality pitches filled the pitching stage
sTARTUp PitchingThe prize fund for sTARTUp Pitching 2020 was a whooping €300k, including an EstBAN-led syndicate of up to €250k, equity-free cash and tickets to the top tech events around the world. The competition was tougher than ever and 32 startups were invited to pitch at sTARTUp Day. Out of those, the TOP 7 competed for the main prizes.
Jeff App was selected as the best early-stage startup and secured a €180k investment, €10k equity-free cash and free legal counseling. Other winners include DriveX, Autom8, PayQin, Solfeg.io, Aligner and Adovinci.
Find out more about the 2020 edition of sTARTUp Pitching here.
sTARTUp Day 2021sTARTUp Day 2021 was definitely a one-of-a-kind event. It turned out to be a crazy journey that ended with a summerfest in August with more than 3100 participants from 67 different countries! 163 speakers, 330 startups, 690 startup representatives, 160 investors, 1215 matchmaking meetings, almost 50 seminars, over 30 side events, 50 companies showcasing their products – all that despite COVID-19. After 18 months of organization and prepping, the startup community gathered in the Estonian National Museum to celebrate our 5th anniversary, crazy business ideas, and fantastic friends. It was great going back to our roots at Estonian National Museum, where it all started in 2016.
The prize pool for sTARTUp Pitching Powered by EstBAN was 600,000 euros. This year, we received a record number of applicants – 330 startups from 51 countries! During the three days, we had 91 pitches at the Pitching stage, 17 of them online.
The competition was both fantastic and nerve-racking. Out of 330 startups, the top 7 were selected to compete for the main prize. VSight won the EstBAN-led syndicate of €250k and €75k investment from .Cocoon Ventures syndicate. Adact was
awarded €75k investment from .Cocoon Ventures syndicate as well.