Would you have invested in Microsoft, Nokia, or Skype at the beginning of their heyday?22.04.2021
We invite you to the exclusive Prototron financiers’ club, where big Estonian brands such as Swedbank, Harju Elekter, Elering, Utilitas, law firm Hedman Partners – and high-class entrepreneurs are lounging on a soft armchair with a purple cover by the crackling fireplace, lighting up a cigar and sipping on expensive whiskey. TalTech and the University of Tartu are sitting on the sofa with their research and innovation luggage. They are talking about the future and world-changing ideas. Come and join us!
Prototron’s idea is simple – to financially support start-up companies with smart ideas in the production of the first working product sample. This is exactly how, for example, Saunum, CoModule, or Lingvist have gained their first momentum.
There are different ways to cooperate:
- contribute to the prize fund so that Prototron can bring even more exciting ideas to life;
- support the ideas involved in the program as a mentor, your knowledge and experience is a value in itself;
- contribute as an investor to solutions in an area of interest.
In any case, you will become acquainted with exciting new technologies and ideas before they reach the market and create opportunities for cooperation with new smart companies.
Some examples of Prototron Exclusive Club members
The Estonian energy group Utilitas had to cooperate with the prototype fund thanks to Aivo Lokk, who had been involved as a mentor since the beginning of the program. “With Utilitas, we focus on the fields of energy and cleantech, which is definitely a more complex field for new ideas than, for example, information technology,” explained Lokk. “This is a real challenge for a mentor because next to every idea that has potential, there are a lot of hopeless ideas. But it is definitely interesting and developing to see how an initial idea that may be promising can make it into a big international company.”
Lokk himself brings the example of the company Sympower, which participated in Prototron in 2015. Today, Sympower operates in the Finnish and Dutch markets, offering equipment consumption management as a service to balance the electricity system. Estonia’s largest producer of renewable energy helped the company in the idea phase as a mentor with the experience and know-how available in Utilitas and with separate support.
Last season, Harju Elekter was attracted to cooperate with the program by Prototron Junior aimed at young people. “As a company with an international reach, it is important for us to support innovation, and we also highly value new ideas by contributing to society through cooperation with young people,” explained Marko Paavel, Business Director of Harju Elekter Energy, who participated as a mentor. “They often have the will to act, but sometimes they lack the knowledge and courage; here, we can come to their help as mentors. Even if Prototron’s idea does not eventually grow into a successful company, interesting contacts and cooperation opportunities will emerge, and it will be a valuable experience for the future of young people.”
More than 5,300 smart ideas have been submitted in the previous rounds of applications for the Prototron program since 2012. A total of 86 projects have been funded with 1,048,000 euros. The teams that participated in Prototron have raised more than 43 million euros as follow-up investments and created more than 100 jobs in Estonia. In 2020, the ideas of the teams participating in the program were funded with 162,000 euros.
Join us to give impetus to smart ideas and companies of the future.