Ajujaht is looking for the next Estonian success story – teams can apply for Ajujaht until March 26
The 16th season of Ajujaht, Estonia’s best-known start-up accelerator programme is about to begin. Teams can apply for the Ajujaht programme until March 26. Participants will receive more than 300,000 euros in grants and investments. TV-show Ajujaht will be broadcast on ETV in the coming autumn.
According to Eve Peeterson, the Head of Startup Estonia, there are many different options in the market in the so-called startup mindset and pre-startup phase, but not that many support services and accelerator programmes aimed at more mature start-ups, where different start-ups could apply on an equal basis.
„The Ajujaht programme gives start-ups a boost with a fast scaling method that keeps the pace of business development and helps teams find funding. With this, we secure and support stronger start-ups that create value in our society,“ said Peeterson and added that due to moving on from the idea competiotion, the level of the teams also became more equal. This, in turn, means more exchange of experiences for the teams, more ambitious teammates, but also stronger competition to win Ajujaht awards.
„Similar to previous years, we are looking for teams to create success stories from different sectors, but above all we are looking for those who create new value. In the Ajujaht accelerator, we can best help those who have already grown out of the idea phase and want help in business development, scalability and achieving investor readiness. Certainly, deeptech companies are also welcome if the product-market fit is at least validated,“ explained the head of Startup Estonia.
From among all the applicants, 20 teams are selected for the Ajujaht programme, all of whom will undergo a full-scale acceleraor programme, which aims to help start-ups reach investor readiness and scalability. On of the greatest values of Ajujaht is personal mentoring. A suitable mentor is found for each team based on their business specifics and field, who guides and advises the team throughiut the entire accelerator programme. Teams that will be selected to the TV-show will have the opportunity to validate their business idea outside of Estonia.
The nine best teams will continue their journey in TV show „Ajujaht“, which presents start-ups and their further development on the ETV TV channel in the coming autumn.
According to Andra Altoa, Head of Strategy at SEB Baltic, the opportunity offered by the Ajujaht programme – to help start-ups reach investor-readiness – should be used to the maximum, because the market has become more cautious ad it is believed that this is the worst time to raise money in the last decade.
„There are winners in every crisis, and the stakes are higher than usual. The situation also sets high expectations for the involved experts and the business network, which this time crosses national borders,“ Altoa pointed out.
This year, the prize fund is more than 300,00 euros, and the supporters of the programme will hand out thematic special prizes. Applications can be submitted until 26 March on the website of Ajujaht.
The Ajujaht accelerator programme and TV competition is a collaboration between the public and private sectors. It was initiated by the joint agency of Enterprise Estonia and KredEx. Over the years, nearly 5,000 business ideas have been submitted to Ajujaht, and several of them have grown into local and international success stories. The best-known examples include Bolt, Bikeep, Click & Grow, GoWorkaBit, FoodDocs, Groveneer, Timbeter, and many others.