Blockchain and #estonianmafia – a Matchmaking Trip to Tallinn

Almost 20 participants from Aalto University’s new growth business center A Grid hopped on board when Talsinki project organized a trip to Tallinn in February. Blockchain, startups, incubators and matchmaking were on the agenda.

Talsinki is an EU Central Baltic Interreg project, which aims to increase cooperation between accelerators, startups and investors between Estonia and Finland, especially between Helsinki metropolitan area and Tallinn. The matchmaking trip was an excellent way to familiarize with the Estonian startup scene.

The journey was kicked off with a blockchain workshop, led by Aalto Start-Up Center’s portfolio company, Chainfrog, Director of Sales and Marketing, Meiss Marten. The walkthrough of the technology was quick and efficient, as normally, the startup’s workshops take 4 to 6 hours and now there was only two hours to go. Chainfrog received the first blockchain-based patent in Finland gained just a day before the event so the presentation was on point!

Chainfrog blockhain workshop

You can find a more detailed post about the workshop here. The full presentation of the workshop materials are in Slideshare. Chainfrog has also published a free e-book about GDPR and its relation to blockchains – a must-read for us everyone.

Once the ferry arrived in Tallinn, the first stop was Tehnopol, the business incubator in Tallinn University of Technology, which is also a project partner in Talsinki. Right next door to it was Mektory, which was particularly interesting to Aalto people, since our own professor Kalevi Ekman from Design factory has been involved in developing the concept.  Mektory also hosts the Estonian space center, which is also an important part of Aalto Start-Up Center’s activities through the European Space Agency Business Incubation Center (ESA BIC).

Mektory Tallinn

Tallinn Inkubaator is a center for creative industries in city center, and it was interesting to hear how fashion designers, film and animation producers, photographers, jewellers, glass and leather artists and other kind of creative entrepreneurs are supported in Estonia. It was also possible to see and feel the ongoing work in showrooms and shops in the building and even do some shopping.

The last stop of the journey was in Telliskivi area where Lift 99 community hosts a co-working space. In addition, startup hackathon series Garage 48 is located in the same premises. Also Startup Estonia, the nationwide governmental initiative and amazing #estonianmafia startup success stories were presented.

Garage99 startups

Talsinki project partners are Tallinn Tehnopol incubator, Tallinn Business Incubator, Aalto Start-Up Center, Xamk, Spinno/Laurea, EstBAN (Estonian Business Angel Network) and FiBAN (Finnish Business Angel Network).

The project also offers travel grants for Finnish startups interested in Estonian Market. A  service voucher that covers your travel expenses and accommodation in Estonia up to 500 euros can be applied for activating cooperation with an Estonian company.

Travel permit will be given by contacting jari.handelberg(a) or marja.juvakoski(a) Accommodation booking and travel tickets will be provided for the agreed days. The voucher is valid until August 31rd, 2018, apply now to ensure the funding!