Ajujaht’s 40 best start-ups have been selected
This weekend, the Ajujaht jury chose the 40 best performing teams of the 121 start-ups that had applied for the accelerator programme. These 40 teams will proceed to the next round. The majority of the applicants operate in the field of information and communication technology, energetics, environment, manufacturing and design.
According to Eve Peeterson, Head of Startup Estonia, this year the jury was not looking for novel ideas as much as well-functioning teams and start-ups with an existing product or service and first paying clients, which is why an idea alone was not enough to qualify. As the programme matures, the number of received applications and their consistently high level is positively surprising.
“The new Ajujaht season is set to be extremely exciting and it is highly likely that we will soon be able to see the success of Estonia’s next unicorn. This season’s teams are well equipped for this and they also have a strong basis on which to develop further and reach investor readiness,” said Peeterson.
She was happy to confirm that several teams from previous seasons decided to participate in Ajujaht again, indicating that the programme is also valuable and attractive to seasoned participants.
A total of 121 applications from both Estonia and abroad were submitted to this year’s Ajujaht programme. The most popular fields were information and communication technology, energetics, environment, manufacturing and design. The largest number of applications were received from Tallinn, Harju County and Tartu County. The 40 best performing teams also include start-ups from Viljandi County, Ida-Viru County, Rapla County, Pärnu County and Põlva County. The teams selected by the Ajujaht jury will continue their journey at two-day bootcamps held in Tallinn and Tartu, at which the 20 best start-ups will be shortlisted.
The programme was initiated by the joint agency of Enterprise Estonia and KredEx, and will continue until the end of the year. It has been built on long-standing experience and created to support the fast growth of start-ups. Participants will receive more than 300,000 euros in grants and investments this year.
The 8-part TV show about the exciting programme and the development of the teams will be broadcast on ETV from October to December.
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. Among the best-known alumni are Bolt, Bikeep, Click & Grow, GoWorkaBit, FoodDocs, Groveneer and Timbeter, among many others.