sTARTUp projects


Hands-on extra-curricular business development programme STARTER provides knowledge and skills for student start-up projects and helps teams to shape their ideas into tested business models. 

Semester-long STARTER programme consists of workshops that guide teams from ideation to business model. Teams receive individual mentoring from start-up founders or entrepreneurs and regular performance evaluations from instructors.  The programme starts with the Idea Hackathon open to all students across disciplines. Individuals and teams with ideas across various sectors are welcome. Under the guidance of the moderator, teams are formed and instructions on initial validation given. The programme ends with business and project ideas competition Kaleidoskoop that has a number of cash prizes and access to start-up ecosystem services. sTARTUp Lab runs also STARTER programmes in Pärnu and in Narva
During the workshops, participants get guidance from mentors and supervisors who encourage teams to stretch their comfort zone and validate their product with potential users or customers. Between the workshops, teams get coaching to support professional and personal development- 

Individuals participating in workshops (60%) + Mentor Feedback Carousel and pre-selection of business ideas competition Kaleidoskoop receive the University of Tartu electronic certificate.


More about each workshop:


Idea Hackathon

September 16th at 16:00 @UT Delta Centre (Narva mnt 18, Tartu)

At the STARTERtartu Idea Hackathon we offer you inspiring speeches on different areas of life and future. We will teach you how to generate ideas, how to recognize good ideas and what to do with an idea? Come to Idea Hackathon to find new ideas and turn them into reality!

If you have an idea already, we will help you to test its viability, find a world-class team, take the first steps and turn your idea into reality. If you don't, we'll help you to find "the right" idea and a team to conquer the world with it.

All students from all fields of study are welcome!


Business Model Canvas

September 23rd at 16:00 @UT Delta Centre (Narva mnt 18, Tartu)

In Business Modle Canvas workshop, you'll learn how to frame and answer key questions about a business model and execute.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Ability to substantially ideate, describe, evaluate and discuss a business model using the Business Model Canvas
  2. Hands-on understanding of how to user personas and problem scenarios to articulate the Offer’s key drivers
  3. Hands-on understanding of how to use the AIDA(OR) framework and storyboards to evaluate the effectiveness of Customer Relationships and Channels
  4. Understanding of business type and how to evaluate Key Activities, Resources, and Partnerships in this context

Pitching ABC

October 7th 16:00 @UT Delta Centre (Narva mnt 18, Tartu)

What is this workshop about?

In this workshop, you will learn the power of storytelling and assemble a strong pitch!

Top pitching trainers from Estonia will teach you what kind of mistakes to avoid, how to stand on the stage, how to deal with stage fright and how to leave a memorable impression to listeners. After this workshop you will be ready to put together a pitch for any kind of situation and confidently perform on the big stages. 


Mentor Feedback Carousel

October 21st @UT Delta Centre (Narva mnt 18, Tartu)

What is Mentor Feedback Carousel? Shortly said it is an event where you will get professional feedback on your idea from local entrepreneurs and field experts. It is also one of the most valued event during the programme.

Mentoring is considered a critical foundational component for building a successful startup. Great product or service that provides solutions for pain points is good, but a great mentor who helps to keep a startup on the right track is equally important.

3 things that startups gain from mentoring sessions.

  • Mentors simply know things that you don't (yet). A mentor from the same industry helps you to understand the nuances of the business.
  • Entrepreneurship is not always easy and someone who has walked that path knows the challenges and guides you appropriately.
  • Mentor has the potential to open multiple doors for you.


Product and Service Design Webinar

November 4th at 16:00@UT Delta Centre (Narva mnt 18, Tartu)

You will hear about real life examples how approaching product development really makes a huge difference, how the whole story of a company turns into a totally different direction when implementing design thinking.

You will also examine the tools used in the design process and feature prioritization that will help you to focus on delivering value, not just building stuff.

"To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatise, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse." — Paul Rand, Author, Graphic Designer, Teacher





November 18th at 16:00 @UT Delta Centre (Narva mnt 18, Tartu)

How to market your service or product?

In this workshop you will learn how to find your first customers and start hacking your growth from there. You will get tools to define your perfect customer, craft marketing messages and find out the best marketing channels to reach them. We will also discuss free and low-budget marketing channels you can use to get the first traction and start scaling your business.

With limited resources in terms of both budget and people, we'll try and figure out what marketing strategy fits your product the best and how to focus on getting traction as quickly as possible.

Marketing without a strategy is like a blind dragon – it can breathe fire and cause destruction (usually to your budget) but without purpose.


Financial and Legal Aspects of a Startup

November 25th at 16:00 @UT Delta Centre (Narva mnt 18, Tartu)

Sometimes entrepreneurs think they can leave the finance and the numbers to the bookkeepers and accountants. That's a really bad idea. Operations is like the body of your business, strategy is the brain behind it, and finance is the lifeblood that sustains it. Startups are usually great in operations and strategy, but what can set them apart from failing ventures is their knowledge on finance and accounting.

All teams get to put together a financial plan and hear what to keep in mind about the legal side of the business.



Pitching Training

December 9th at 16:00.@UT Delta Centre (Narva mnt 18, Tartu)

Pitching is a good way to draw attention to your idea, attract investors and put yourself to the test. In addition, it helps to develop your public speaking skills, and a great pitch can bring success! As STARTER programme teams are soon going to pitch their ideas at Kaleidoskoop, it’s time to perfect the pitches!

Why is this important? If you haven't practiced pitching out loud before, you don't know exactly how it feels.

You will practice pitching with a natural voice and intonation, design a pitch, practice it and get feedback!



Kaleidoskoop Pre-selection

December 16th @UT Delta Centre (Narva mnt 18, Tartu)

We are inviting all early-stage student teams and startups to participate at students’ business ideas competition Kaleidoskoop! In the pre-selection round, best teams will be selected to compete in the finals. In the finals teams will compete for a lot of cool awards like money awards, tickets, special awards and more.

Kaleidoskoop is not just the final event of the STARTER programme but an opportunity for teams to be seen and to introduce their product or service.





Kaleidoskoop Finals

Kaleidoskoop has been a great starting point for many student teams who are now functioning companies. For example, the winner of the 2017 autumn season, Decomer Technology produces water-soluble packaging materials. The winner of the 2018 autumn season, TRIT makes ordering translation services easier. The best Starter team in 2019, CommuniCare is a social platform that unites volunteers all over Estonia to provide companions and communication partners for the elderly living in nursing homes. The winner of 2019 Autumn season, the student team Münt produces eco-friendly toothpaste tablets.

The best teams from Kaleidoskoop pre-selection will compete in the finals for money awards, tickets to different desired events, special awards and more.

Previous winners are sharing why should you apply. Read here!

Remember to hop on board to start up your startup.🚀


REGISTER: and select STARTER@tartu

CONTACT: Maret Ahonen; Martti Saarme



STARTER programme is funded by the European Social Fund.