First online Student Startup Camp

Univeristy of Tartu (UT) Institute of Computer Science, Garage48 and UT Startup Lab organised the 8th Student Startup Camp that brought together university students from all over Estonia. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the camp took place completely online.

The three-day camp began on 31 May with students pitching their ideas and forming teams to start developing prototypes. On the second day, the founder of Resmantra OÜ, John C. Sullivan gave a talk on customer discovery. Next, the teams talked to potential customers and worked on prototypes. The day ended with an inspiration talk by Rudolf Stenar Saluoks, the CEO of the Student Startup Camp alumni team Fudler. Saluoks shared the success story of Fudler, spoke of his experience from the camp, and gave good tips on how to go forward with the idea.

On the third day, the co-founder of Garage48 and Koosloodus Foundation Jüri Kaljundi and the director of business development at Lattelecom Krists Avots gave talks about business models and tools. During the day, the student teams developed their ideas further and got advice from mentors. The teams also practiced pitching for the final part of the camp. They listened to advice by Priit Salumaa, the co-founder of Mooncascade and Garage48, who emphasised the importance of studying, hard work and being yourself. The camp ended with the teams pitching their ideas and presenting their prototypes. During the Student Startup Camp, the teams got mentoring from the host at Garage48 and startup-investment relations specialist at Latitude59, Kai Isand, co-founder of Student Startup Camp and product manager at Pipedrive, Maret Kruve and the graphic designer at Hmmm Creative Studio, Andreas Roosson.

The students came up with a lot of great ideas. For example, AdGrab makes ordering advertising in print media easier for both companies and media publications. Team MobiPet makes a virtual pet app, which allows you to take a virtual pet for walks using a Pokemon Go-like solution. TicketHub makes selling second-hand concert tickets easy and safe. Team HelpHub brings together people who need help with studies and tutors.

Mathias Are, a University of Tartu computer science student and member of team HelpHub, said that the Student Startup Camp was a crazy but valuable experience. “During the event, I learned a lot about startups and product design. I got to put myself to the test, make mistakes during it and also learn from them with the help of patient and smart mentors. I recommend it to everyone who is not certain whether startups and entrepreneurship is for them – this is a place where you can learn something interesting about yourself,” said Are.

Startup Lab manager Maret Ahonen praised the students for their enthusiasm. “The fact that in such a short time, students could cooperate and produce something despite the fact that it was an online event, shows that everything is possible if you have the will,” said Ahonen.

Student Startup Camp 2021 was a big success and all the students were able to try hands-on how to build a business from scratch. Big thanks to all the mentors and coaches! The next Student Startup Camp takes place in spring 2022.

The event was co-organised with University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science, Garage48 and UT Startup Lab.

Further information: Martti Saarme, Communication and Marketing Specialist, Startup Lab, University of Tartu, 5909 4726,