Prototron hands out award money to young inventors for making their ideas a reality15.02.2022
“Entrepreneurship and innovation are a part of the life of very many young people. This generation increasingly thinks about how to make the world better with small everyday solutions. This year, we have set our focus primarily on ideas aimed at environmental protection – a clean living environment, waste, circular economy, smart product design – the area in which young people can look for and test solutions with their technological ideas is wide,” Prototron’s CEO Jana Budkovskaya explained.
Last year’s competition was won by three young men from Tartu Jaan Poska Upper Secondary School, who came up with the idea of a doorhandle that disinfects itself in order to help prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria in public and private rooms. By today, they have won the Prototron Junior programme and an innovation award from the 2021 Junior Achievement student company competition and they have founded UV Link OÜ, filed a patent application, concluded a cooperation agreement with the prestigious lock producer AS Valnes and are planning to apply for development support from Enterprise Estonia.
Prototron Junior is expecting young people 13 to 19 years of age to take part in the entrepreneurship programme where they can test and realise their ideas with the help of mentors. In order to participate, young people have to submit an application here and present their idea of how an everyday bottleneck or problem could be solved with technology. Twenty ideas will go on to the programme where participants will spend a month further developing their idea with the support of mentors to a stage where it could be actually executed. The best five teams will make it to the final round and will be given 300 euros worth of credit for making their prototype.
Prototron is a fund founded by Swedbank, TalTech, the Tehnopol Science and Business Park and the University of Tartu to help create prototypes of technological ideas so that world-changing ideas and products reach the market faster. By today, Prototron has financed 89 smart ideas with a total of more than 1.1 million euros and the teams have engaged nearly 50 million euros as secondary investments.
Besides the founders, teams are offered both mentoring and financial support by the City of Tallinn, BuildIt Latvia, Samsung, Hedman Lift, Fundwise, Veebimajutus.ee, Amazon Web Services and BASIS ID. The Prototron Junior initiative has already been joined by Startup Estonia, Harju Elekter, Transferwise, Comodule, HITSA and Insplay.