Prototron welcomes new CEO to drive innovation and growth

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Brait Pilvik has taken the reins as head of Prototron, Estonia’s first fund for prototypes of smart ideas, from 1 January. Pilvik has previously worked as a marketing and sales project manager at the Science and Business Park Tehnopol, Latitude59 startup conference, and as project lead at the Greenest Summit conference.

“The startup sector plays an important role in the Estonian economy as an employer and taxpayer and as a driver of innovation. It is vital for this ecosystem to be maintained and developed. One way that Swedbank has been able to help develop startups for 12 years now is through the Prototron fund for developing prototypes. Brait’s wide experience in various parts of the landscape means that he has a very good picture of the Estonian startup ecosystem and a strong network within it. His work so far has left a strong and influential footprint, and that is exactly what Prototron needs today. We are very pleased that Brait decided to accept our offer”, said Triin Preem, Startup Segment Manager at Swedbank.

Brait Pilvik has been involved in the startup sector for some ten years, and over that time he has demonstrated how valuable a member of that community he is. His passion and his focus on results have helped dozens of projects to succeed. Having started out as an auditor, he has a lot of experience in creating and growing companies. Pilvik will bring his wide experience and an injection of energy with him to his new role as head of Prototron, and so take the fund to the next level.

“Prototron has by now given more than 1.2 million euros in support to smart business ideas. I believe that this success is down to the strong cooperation between enthusiastic leaders and outstanding partners. The technology sector in Estonia advances not in steps but in leaps, constantly finding new frontiers and new opportunities, and so the Prototron fund must advance in the same way. The goal is to make sure that all innovations and breakthroughs get independent support that allows them to develop without large companies overshadowing them, so preserving their freedom of movement in the next investment round. My goal is to lead the fund in a way, that it would take its place on the global stage”, explained Brait Pilvik.

The Prototron fund grew substantially under its previous head, Jana Budkovskaja, and has now been in operation for 12 years. The founders of the Prototron fund are grateful to Budkovskaja for all her work and wish her well in her new ventures.

Prototron was set up and is overseen by Swedbank, Tallinn University of Technology and the Tehnopol Science and Business Park, and it provides funding for prototypes of technological ideas to bring world-changing ideas and products to market faster. Prototron has provided 1.27 million euros in funding for 98 smart ideas over its 12 years, and the teams supported have then received a further total of more than 85 million euros in subsequent investment rounds. Several partners including the city of Tallinn, Utilitas, the Centre for Environmental Investments and many others have contributed to the Prototron teams.