Hero of the Week: Ermo Tikk, Head Organizer of sTARTUp Day

It’s the kickoff of our brand new column – Hero of the Week. Our first hero is Ermo Tikk – head organizer of sTARTUp Day. His role is to make sure everything comes together on the days of the event and that everyone knows their role and tasks. If the visitors of the festival are happy and enjoy the event, then his goals in this role are met.

How did you get there where you currently are?

I ended up doing marketing & communications during the first year of sTARTUp Day. After the previous head organizer left, I was offered to take charge. I saw it as a great opportunity to learn and evolve. I think it has been a hard journey, but a successful one. Building a business festival that has never been organized, with a team of managers from different companies, and finding ways that everyone is happy – it is as hard as it sounds. But well worth it! 

What did you do before joining the team of sTARTUp Day?

Before joining the sTARTUp Day team I was helping different companies with marketing - I was a marketing specialist of School of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Tartu, head of marketing of startup SportID and also at the sports association Firmasport. In addition, I was doing some projects at the Idealab. I got the interest in organizing the events from the sports competitions. I have helped with the organization and have organized myself several sports competitions with very different level and ranging from regional and sport-specific competitions to sports festivals. And actually, currently, I’m doing some smaller sports events besides sTARTUp Day.

What do you like the most about the sTARTUp Day?

The team! For sure, the most motivating and fun people to work with. It’s hard work since most of them are involved with different organizations and have other tasks as well, but when everything comes together and the festival ends with a loud cheer, it’s all worth it and in the end it’s those people who make it happen.  

What is the most challenging thing of being the leader?

The most difficult thing is leading the team of top-level managers and experts from different organizations. I highly respect all of them, but at the same time, I have to remain confident and guide the event in the direction that fits the big plan.

What are the questions to ask yourself to find out what you want to do in life?

It’s not that important to push yourself in any specific direction. Life does that for you. I have some key questions I ask myself if there’s something new or important to decide:

  • Will this make me better – learning from it, feeling better, etc?
  • Will this affect someone else – someone close to you, family, friends, strangers?
  • What happens if I decide not to pursue it?

I am inspired by…

Within sTARTUp Day I’m inspired by the community and people. It’s amazing what can be done if there’s a synergy between a group of people that are motivated to work for a common cause.

A more detailed inspiration comes from a variety of situations. I get ideas to put into an event from visiting other events, watching movies, going out or having a chat with people. If something pops up, I hope to remember it or write it down. Inspiration can come at any time.

What are your three truths?

  • Everything you do, give your best.
  • If things go intense, try to breathe and find the golden mean.
  • Enjoy the things you do. If you stop enjoying them, it’s time to make changes.


What makes you excited about the future?

It’s always exciting to see if what you predict to happen, really happens or not. There are some things we have control over, and some we don’t. And that’s the beauty of it. Nothing ever is exactly the way we predict and this gives us room to improve and develop.

Hero of the Week is a column focused on inspirational entrepreneurs around us – their journeys, success stories & lessons learned from failures, goals & inspiration and everything in between. Get inspired & be the hero of your own life!

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