Startup day in Tartu invites everyone to start a business

Over 1,000 entrepreneurs, investors, students and scientists will come together and more than 40 speakers will discuss successful business models at the first international business festival in Tartu, the second largest town in Estonia.

While most of the startup community in Estonia is operating in Tallinn, the scene in Tartu is bubbling with fresh energy and gradually starting to catch up.

Some of the large, established tech companies, as well as fast-growing startups, are based there – Playtech, Fortumo, Mooncascade, Sportlyzer and SprayPrinter are just few of the names.

Initated by the University of Tartu, the new international business festival, taking place on 9 December and called the sTARTUp Day, aims to further highlight the town’s potential and explore opportunities.

“We all know somebody who is involved with a startup. But do we really know what a startup is? We’re organising this event to explore, in detail, this very topic and to inspire people to start a business,” Andres Kuusik, the festival organiser and the Head of the University of Tartu Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said.

“We have invited more than 40 speakers from around the world to share their experiences, their keys to success, and discuss ways to build a sustainable business model,” Kuusik said, adding that the main topic of the festival was, “How to earn if there is nothing to burn?”

Speakers include the cofounder of Estonian-founded taxi-app, Taxify, Martin Villig; one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world, Jamie Dunn; designer of virtual reality, Keiichi Matsuda; and others.

In addition to presentations, everyone is invited to take part in practical workshops, look around the virtual reality room, learn about new products, services and job offers from the university and start-ups, and enjoy the event finale pitching competition.

The festival is being held at the recently opened Estonian National Museum.

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Cover: Tartu by air (photo by Sven Zacek/courtesy of EAS.)

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