Startup conference in Tartu brings together 4,000 entrepreneurs

On 15-17 March, the sTARTUp Day business conference brings together 4,000 startup-minded people to celebrate entrepreneurship in Tartu, Estonia’s second-largest town.

The first conference day is reserved for side events, including special programmes for investors and executives. On 16-17 March, the event is centered around the main venue at the University of Tartu Sports Hall where over 150 entrepreneurs and experts will be sharing insights and experiences on two stages and in seminars, according to the organisers.

This year, the programme tracks cover among others HealthTech, FemTech, SexTech, Digital Fashion, AI and EdTech as well as leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The speakers include Martin Villig, Kristjan Maruste, Taizo Son, Adam Beaumont and others.

The region’s top startups compete for a prize pool of €500,000 in the sTARTUp Pitching battle, while more than 70 organisations showcase themselves in the conference expo area. The evening programme features the sTARTUp Night networking event powered by the Tartu 2024 foundation, ahead of Tartu bearing the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2024.

Tartu’s sTARTUp Day in 2020.

A growing startup hub

With less than 100,000 inhabitants, Tartu is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tech companies, according to the organisers.

“A fast-growing number of startups are establishing their development centres here, while the University of Tartu serves as an important environment for nurturing deeptech spinoffs. Local success stories include unicorn companies Playtech and Glia, and fast-growing startups such as Fractory, UP Catalyst, LightCode Photonics and others,” the organisers said.

At last year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards, sTARTUp Day was recognised by the European Commission as one of the top three initiatives supporting the internationalisation of business in Europe.

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