Ajujaht TV show tests the big plans of start-ups in front of the viewers

18. October 2023

Ajujaht TV show tests the big plans of start-ups in front of the viewers

Will Estonia’s next unicorn produce meat from mushrooms, bring Estonian singles together, or instead improve the mental health of their compatriots? On Thursday, October 19, the Ajujaht TV show starts at ETV.

A smart idea, a well-thought-out business plan, and the ability to present your plans – you need all of them to succeed in Estonia’s largest start-up accelerator program “Ajujaht”. From October 19, you can watch start-ups conquer the world on ETV.

In the 16th season, the “Ajujaht“ accelerator program received 120 applications from Estonia and abroad, from a total of 12 countries. The pre-jury selected 40 of the best ideas, who will start to pursue their dream in front of the TV viewers and professional judges. From the preliminary rounds, 20 start-ups will be screened immediately with the first broadcasts, among them are both software developers and makers who aspire to the market with innovative products—the fields for which novel solutions are offered range from mental health to packaging.

According to Kristo Elias, the “Ajujaht” TV show host, the teams entering the Ajujaht have become more and more professional every year. “They don’t come to the show with a raw idea anymore, but already with a brilliant business start-up and a knowledgeable team that has a great desire to become a fast-growing startup,” he says. Kristo Elias notes that, in addition to the competition, “Ajujaht” is also a good business school for TV viewers, because the task of the show is to explain complex business terms and business tricks to those who do not work in business every day, but who also need financial knowledge in everyday life.

The value of the “Ajujaht” prize fund is over 300,000 euros, the winner will be rewarded with at least 30,000 euros. Valuable prizes await the second and third places, as well as special prizes offered by supporters. All participants are given a boost with the accelerator, for example, a mission to a foreign country awaits the team that entered the nine TV rounds. For the third season in a row, Ajujaht has put together a syndicate in cooperation with the Estonian Business Angels Association, which makes an investment of 150,000 euros in one to three of the most investable start-ups. However, it is up to the startup company that received the proposal to accept the investment.

“Ajujaht” starts on ETV’s screen on Thursday, October 19, with preliminary rounds in Tallinn and Tartu. Two parts will be shown consecutively, in the first the camera eye will follow the preliminary round in Tallinn and in the second the “Ajujaht” contestants from the preliminary round in Tartu will be revealed. From October 26, ETV will continue with one show at a time, and already in the third episode, the competition will be particularly intense, as almost half of the twenty “Ajujaht” teams will be sent home and the best 9 start-ups will be revealed.

In the TV jury, the participants of the “Ajujaht” will be evaluated by Tanel Erm, CEO of the Microsoft Estonian Development Center, Mailiis Ploomann, Head of Elisa’s Private Customer Unit and Member of the Board, Ainar Leppänen, Head of SEB Estonia’s Retail Banking Sector and Member of the Board, Eve Peeterson, Head of Startup Estonia, a joint institution of EAS and Kredex, software testing start-up Kristel Kruustük, Founder and CEO of Testlio, and startup entrepreneur Kadri Tuisk, who has bee awarded the title of young female entrepreneur of the year.

Over the years, more than 5,500 business ideas have applied to Ajujaht, and several local and international success stories have taken off from the accelerator. Well-known alumni include, for example, Bolt, Bikeep, Click & Grow, GoWorkaBit, FoodDocs, Timbeter, etc. The Ajujaht accelerator program is born in cooperation between the public and private sectors, its implementer is the joint institution of EAS and KredEx.

“Ajujaht” starts on ETV on Thursday, October 19 at 10:05 p.m.

The TV show host is Kristo Elias, the director is Märten Vaher, the editor is Marit Ummelas and the producer is Mai Kangro. “Ajujaht” is implemented by CIVITTA, Optimist and ERR.

You can get acquainted with the TOP20 team of “Ajujaht” here: https://ajujaht.ee/top-20-tiimid/

Previous seasons of “Ajujaht” can be seen on Jupiter: https://jupiter.err.ee/1038277/ajujaht

Initiated by

The Ajujaht accelerator programme and TV competition is a collaboration between the public and private sectors and is created by Enterprise Estonia.

Initiated by: EAS