14th Ajujaht winner is tooth wash innovator Münt
The super final of Estonia’s largest business idea competition Ajujaht was won by the start-up company Münt, which gives people an alternative to a commercialized toothpaste, offering tooth wash pills instead.
Due to the victory, Münt earned a prize money of 30 000 euros, which grew to 35 000 after the city of Tartu gave them a special prize worth 5000 euros as Münt was the best team coming from Tartu.
Münt was founded in 2019 by four students from Hugo Treffner high school who wanted to make their morning routine chemical-free and environmentally friendly. Münt pills are stored in a glass jar and, when they run out, are sent in a biodegradable paper bag with a carbon-neutral supply. The chemical toothpaste is replaced with a 100% natural pill to save not only nature but also health. Münt also plans to develop other hygiene and cosmetic products to sell on the Scandinavian market.
Inge Laas, Innovation Manager of Enterprise Estonia and Münt’s mentor, was fascinated by their energy and willpower to act decisively in every stage of the competition. “They were always ready to act immediately, but not in a hurry since opinions from elsewhere were always involved. Throughout the season, they gained knowledge, tools and an army of awesome mentors – so be prepared, Colgate and Blendamed,” said Laas, wishing all participants good fortune.
SEB Baltic Strategy Manager Andra Altoa said that the progress of the teams achieved this season was strong throughout the year and the superfinal was tense. “26 000 companies are established in Estonia per year. I believe that Ajujaht’s alumni will maintain a strong lead in both Estonian and international competitions. We have seen for several months how Ajujaht teams work so intensively during the development program to understand their customers and find a good idea behind a well-functioning business. However, Ajujaht is only an accelerator of the initial phase, further success depends on commitment to the vision and result of your future business, ”said Altoa. She added that since Münt is also a student company, it could be a new inspiring beacon for other student companies.
RUEX, which develops a network of electric car chargers, won 2nd place and 15 000 euros in Ajujaht, and Lexi.Market, which creates a cloud service that helps retail chains to simplify the sales process, won third place with 5000 euros.
Lexi.Market raised several hundred thousand euros during Ajujaht through a closed co-financing round in Funderbeam. Lexi was supervised by Andrus Hiiepuu, the head of Elisa’s private customer unit, who said that Lexi’s concerns are not visible to everyone but affect practically everyone.
Tanel Erm, head of Microsoft’s development center in Estonia, said that although RUEX did not win Ajujaht and did not carry out a successful co-funding round like Lexi, they still have all the keys to get very far in Europe. “Electric cars and the charging infrastructure needed for them are still an evolving field, but the future is clear for them. Competition is intensifying, so the key question will be how attractively RUEX can solve the supply and integration of chargers for business customers through its platform into popular apps – and not only in Estonia, but also in the Nordic countries and the USA. If it succeeds, maybe we can even see the next unicorn blossoming in Estonia,” said Erm.
Mentornaut, which brings private teachers and families together virtually, received an investment of 100 000 euros from EstBAN.
The organizer of the largest business idea competition in Estonia is Enterprise Estonia. The partner is SEB and major sponsors are Elisa, Microsoft Development Center and Maxima. In addition, Ajujahtiis supported by the TRINITI law firm, Tallinn City, Tartu City, Pärnu City, Harku Parish, Saue Parish and Tartu Creative Economy Center. The implementation of Ajujaht is financed by Enterprise Estonia from the resources of the European Regional Development Fund.