BioHackathon 2021

This August the BioHackathon will once again bring together students, startups and innovators in the field of life sciences focusing on business development, execution of ideas and improving idea pitches.

Event Timing: 25 August 2021; 10:00-18:00 EEST
Location: Spark DEMO; Narva mnt. 3, Tartu
Language of the event: English
Contact: Tartu Biotechnology Park,
Registration link:
Participation is free of charge, but registration is required!

All participants will take part in a pitching competition and sessions with mentors as well as learn from topical seminars, held by experienced professionals.
All innovators in the field of life sciences are welcome – students and startups, individuals and teams, both with or without an idea!

If you want to innovate any of the following areas, join us!

  • Biotechnology (all the colors of the rainbow)
  • Medicine & Healthcare
  • Food technology & -sustainability
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Life Sciences (more general ideas)

BioHackathon agenda

10:00-10:30        Registration + morning coffee
10:30-11:10        Keynote & seminar (Health)
                           Katrina Laks/Migrevention“Building Migrevention – fast track from BioHackathon to supporting real people “
                           Merike Leego/EIT Health Scandinavia„EIT Health supports programs to help your ideas to market“
11:10-11:40        Idea pitches
11:40-12:00        Team formation
12:00-12:30        Short mentor introduction round + sign up
12:30-13:45        Lunch (with teamwork)
13:45-14:20        Keynote & seminar (Food)
                           Ranno Nahku/TFTAK “Introduction to TFTAK’s Microbial bioprocess group”
                           Adam Strzelecki/EIT FoodEIT Food – Support for entrepreneurs“
14:20-16:30        Working on business cases with mentors
16:00-16:30        Coffee break
16:30-18:00        Pitching competition

At the end of the day the following prizes will also be given out:

  • The most promising Health* idea – prize 500 euros
  • The most promising Food** idea – prize 500 euros
  • Best pitch of BioHackathon – 5 hours of consultations from Tartu Biotechnology Park & tickets to sTARTUp Day

*  The winning idea has to focus on one of the EIT Health Focus Areas 

  • Reforming Care Pathways
  • Healthcare Transformation
  • Harnessing Real-world Data
  • Bringing Care Home
  • Health in the Workplace
  • Fostering Healthier Lives

**  The winning idea has to focus on one of the EIT Food Focus Areas

  • Targeted nutrition
  • Digital traceability
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Sustainable Aquaculture
  • Alternative Proteins
  • Circular Food Systems

Speakers & Mentors

Katrina Laks is the Co-Founder of Migrevention, a health founder, with 15-year long migraine experience, has a mission to improve the life quality of fellow patients. In 2020 she founded Migrevention, a digital headache clinic, together with top medical experts from Estonia. Now she grows her knowledge and pain to others’ benefit by making evidence-based migraine treatment accessible for everyone and everywhere.



Merike Leego, MBA, MSc, is Innovation Manager in EIT Health Scandinavia, the European Commission funded network that promotes innovation in health sector and brings together stakeholders to implement close-to-market-ideas into everyday healthcare via supporting its financial instruments and other support programs. Merike Leego has extensive experience in coordinating research projects funded by the European Commission, NIH and the Estonian Research Council at her previous position in University of Tartu/Estonian national biobank. She has been reading bio-entrepreneurship lectures to Tartu University master students since 2007. She has held position of Marketing Manager and Intellectual Property Manager in several biotech companies in Estonia like Asper Biotech, Celecure, Vähi TAK.

Ranno Nahku is the Microbial bioprocess group leader in the Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies (TFTAK). TFTAK is an Estonian privately-owned contract research organization that is designed to solve the most complex challenges in the field of microbial cultivation and food product development.
The main task of the microbial bioprocess group is to figure out how to make the bacteria grow whatever the species and industrial restrictions. We are supporting probiotics manufacturing for world-leading companies: IFF, Lallemand and Beiersdorf. In addition, we are working towards consortia manufacturing and study closely the microbial species interactions.


Adam Strzelecki is project manager at EIT Food, coordinator of agrifood cohort of EIT Jumpstarter, cross-sectoral pre-acceleration program of European Institute of Innovation & Technology, sociologist with nearly 20 years long experience in academia and public and private service organisations, trainer, mentor and researcher of entrepreneurship.



Jan Lätt is the  member of the board in Tartu Business Advisory Services. They support startup’s, SME’s, NGO’s, Youth with consultation about grants, business models, business idea validation, lean and investments.
Jan is the member of the EstBAN, via EstBAN, Funderbeam and direct investments he has invested in several startups like Jeff App, Ampler, Cleveron, VideoCV, Zelos, Settle, FARA Cycling, RateChain Solutions. He has a small investment portfolio with project investments like Norru Solar Parks, Carbon Streaming Corporation, Osisko Development Corp.
In 2013 he established in Lugano, Swiss (global car rental broker). They managed 20-30 000 bookings per year from the UK, Europe, USA, South-Korea, Japan. Jan has 10+ years experience in the banking sector, where he was South Estonia regional director in Eesti Krediidipank. Also, he was involved in different projects in Swedbank Leasing, SEB and Henkel.

Aivar Pere has long experience of coaching and supporting science-based start-ups at the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre of the University of Tartu. He is an experienced advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Business Planning, Innovation Management, Analytical Skills, International Business, and Market Research. Strong entrepreneurship professional graduated as Mechanics Engineer.



Rudolf Saluoks, Founder and CEO of Fudler. Fudler is a platform, where you can buy surplus food from the restaurants with a cheaper price. Fudler got started from a student hackathon last year and for now, they have saved over 10 000 meals from going to waste. Right now, they are also in negotiations with grocery stores to help them reduce food waste.



Kadri Haljas is the founder and CEO of Triumf Health. Triumf Health has developed an evidence-based digital therapeutics platform for children to deliver personalized psychological support through a game environment.
They have started from chronic illnesses and the mental burden related to disease management but have significantly expanded the platform in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the mobile platform is also supporting children without health issues who are experiencing environmental stress (currently due to the coronavirus crisis). Dr. Haljas has a background in health psychology, she holds a PhD degree from the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine. Her clinical work experience is in child psychology and as a long-term leader of Triumf Health, she is an experienced mental health innovator.))

Relika Williams’ job is to be the “translator” and “bridge” between enterprises and R&D&I centres and funding opportunities – cooperation development. She will help you discover new opportunities.
Material scientist, traveler and former travel agent & agency co-founder. Passionate about circular economy, blue economy, biotech and environment.
Relika has managed a soft reflector production company, been advisor to the mayor of Tallinn and campaign manager in many election campaigns.


Alo Lilles is an entrepreneurship enthusiast, who has over 10 years of experience in the private sector in the fields of Creative Industry, ICT, Media and Business Consulting and over 5 years of experience in public sector supporting innovation and business development.
Alo has been responsible for managing international projects, structural changes in business development at a local municipality. He is one of the founders of business festival sTARTUp Day. He is focused on consulting technology-intensive startups, universities, and business intermediaries to set up business plans, market analyses and helps on writing project proposals to EU and Estonian funding schemes.


All sTARTUp Day side-events will be checking visitors’ infection safety. Be prepared to show proof that you have been fully vaccinated, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19 within 6 months.
Find more information:

BioHackathon is organized by Tartu Biotechnology Park and is supported by EIT Health and EIT Food.
BioHackathon is a side event of sTARTUp Day 2021 – the biggest business festival in the Baltics, taking place on 25–27 August 2021 in Tartu & online.
Learn more and get your tickets: