In cooperation between Tehnopol Startup Incubator, EstBAN, TalTech and Startup Estonia, a series of events with a focus on deep technology called Deeptech Sandbox was launched. The aim is to contribute to the development of the deep technology ecosystem in Estonia, to bring experts in the field from European centers of excellence and to create a strategic plan for the development of the field of deep technology in Estonia based on the examples of best practices.
The first event had representatives from one of Europe’s recognized centers of excellence in deep technology – the Technical University of Denmark, sharing their expertise. Jens Friholm Nielsen, the Senior Innovation Officer at DTU Skylabm shared the university’s operating models and best practices from the perspective of a research institution. Ahmed Ammar, the co-founder of Lotus Microsystems, a spin-off company that grew out of the University of Denmark, talked about his journey and challenges in both building a business and attracting funding, and gave examples of grant funding, angel investors and venture capital funds. Sune Alstrup, an experienced investor and entrepreneur, shared an investor’s perspective on investing in deep technology teams – the main factors with which and how to divide stakes so that deep technology companies are attractive to venture capital and angel investors.
An overview of Estonian practices in the field of deep technology was shared by the head of UniTartu Ventures, Mart Maasik, and the intellectual property expert, Mart Enn Koppel, representing TalTech.
Representatives of startups and spin-offs, investors, university representatives, knowledge transfer and IP experts, support organizations (science parks, funds, accelerators) and state representatives were present.
There were discussions on how to prioritize the main necessary changes in order to increase the number of deep technology companies created in Estonian universities and improve their quality. In addition, they talked about what kind of support should there be for deep technology start-ups in two years – support services, including programs and funding opportunities, that deep technology teams could and could receive in Estonia in a year were listed and prioritized.
Based on the examples of international practices and the input gathered from the participants’ discussions, a strategic action plan for the development of the Estonian deep technology ecosystem will be created.
The next Deeptech Sandbox event will be attended by industry leaders from the University of Cambridge. The event will take place on March 29 from 9:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Tehnopol Science and Business Campus, Teaduspargi 6/1, Tallinn. The event is free, but places are limited. See more information and register here.