Tartu i-Days 2022 on 4-5 November

DATE: 4-5 November 2022
VENUE: Spark Biztown (Narva maantee 3, Tartu)
Registration: https://j28wqvqsljj.typeform.com/Tartu-i-Days

Tartu i-Days 2022 is an international hackathon devoted to finding innovative solutions in the fields of health, food and biotechnology.

From 4-5 November 2022 Tartu i-Days will take place for the fifth time! During this challenge-based hackathon multidisciplinary teams of 2-6 spend the day guided by facilitators and specialists to develop and validate different health, food and biotechnology challenges. Students from all academic areas receive an introduction to practical innovation tools such as design thinking, pitch training and citizen engagement. At the end of the day teams pitch their ideas and progress, and get feedback from a panel of experts.The winning team of each i-Day with the best health related idea will attend the Winners’ Event, a final competition that unites students from around Europe. i-Days Winners’ event will be organized 24-25th November in Vienna as part of ´Career Pathway: from students to innovator´ event.

You may come with an idea and pre-formed team, but you may also just bring your passion to learn, and join some of the teams on site!

What would you gain from attending the event?
⚡️ New skills to create solutions to real life challenges
⚡️ Network of like-minded people
⚡️ BioInnovation Day certificate that will be a great addition to your CV
⚡️ Prizes from EIT Health, EIT Food and other partners
⚡️ Best team in the health category will get a chance to represent Estonia at European finals. i-Days Winners’ event will be organized 24-25th November in Vienna as part of ´Career Pathway: from students to innovator´ event.

Who should register?

i-Days are accessible to all undergraduate and postgraduate students with an interest in healthcare- and healthy food innovation. You do not need any prerequisite skills or prior experience in innovation, entrepreneurship or healthcare. There are no academic requirements and students from all disciplines and departments are welcome to join!


Friday, 4th November 2022 (Moderator Vaido Mikheim)

16.00-16.30 Registration and coffee
16.30-16.40 Welcome and introduction to i-Days schedule
16.40-16.55 “How to grow a business from a food sharing cabinet?” – Tarmo Seliste (FudLoop)
16.55-17.10 “Why alternative proteins is one of the most impactful areas to start a business in?” – Rainer Kravets (Taimne Teisipäev; Food Innovation Summit programme manager)
17.10-18.00 First idea pitches, ideation and team formation
18.00-20.00 Design Thinking workshop “Design Thinking – it’s nothing but plain logic” – Taavi Tamm (Startup Lab Pärnu)

Saturday, 5th November 2022 (Moderator Vaido Mikheim)

9.00-9.30 Gathering and morning coffee
9.30-9.40 Wrap-up of Day 1 and intro to Day 2 schedule, presentation of awards and judging criteria
9.40-10.00 “European Commission support for early start-ups and innovators” – Merike Leego (EIT Health)
10.00-10.20 “How to choose the hardest form of a startup and not lose hope: stories from the Health Tech Wonderland” – Ann Leen Mahhov (Therasync)
10.20-11.50 Teamwork with mentors
11.50-12.30 Pitching workshop “But What If It Works Out?” – Vaido Mikheim (Startup Estonia)
12.30-13.00 Lunch
13.00-14.30 Teamwork with mentors
14.30-15.00 Coffee break
15.00-17.00 Presentation of the ideas and progress during the innovation day + jury + prizes


Dr. Ann Leen Mahhov (SPEAKER/MENTOR/JURY MEMBER) is a CEO & Co-Founder of TheraSync, a platform that uses technology to optimize the work of mental health care providers, and to empower patients to take an active role in their healing journey. Her medical training and experience as a caregiver, assistant nurse and general practitioner gives Ann Leen a good perspective on clinicians’ current unmet needs. While mastering Digital Health at Tallinn University of Technology, she aims to build a strong bridge between technology and medicine to create a better future for both medics and patients.

Alo Lilles (MENTOR) is a grant writer and a business consultant on public funding. He has 15 years of experience in business development, IT and EU project management, public funding application writing and management, consulting, and mentoring technology-intensive startups.



Elena Shkut (MENTOR) finished the Estonian University of Life Sciences 15 years ago and has since worked at BioCC OÜ as a microbiologist. She is in love with the field of microbiology, considering herself a bacterial gardener, cook and photographer, being a specialist in both traditional microbiology and in novel microbiological research methods.


Kadi Rammul (MENTOR) works in BioCC OÜ as a scientist in the field of microbiology, also as lab leader, quality leader and project leader. Has acquired a masters degree in ecosystems technology from University of Tartu.




Karl Rene Kõlvart (MENTOR) It’s not often that a scientist becomes a salesperson. But that is just what Karl has done as a regional sales manager at Solis BioDyne, a leading PCR reagent supplier in Europe and Best Innovator of 2022 in Estonia. Having worked as a scientist in both academia and several biotech companies in the private sector, he has a great understanding of how great biotech companies operate and how to translate the science happening in the RnD kitchen to the wide world.



Katrin Kaarna (JURY MEMBER) is a medical doctor, neurologist. She has long term working experience in world’s biggest clinical research organization as a Senior director, Strategy Lead for Central Europe, member and Lead of many global and regional initiatives. Since 2017 she is working at Tartu University Hospital, where she established Centre of Clinical Research.



Liina Joller-Vahter (MENTOR) is the founder of the biotech company Power Algae. Their photobioreactors are designed for growing microalgae in Nordic climate and further, the biomass is a valuable source for food, feed, cosmetics, and other industries. Besides being an entrepreneur, Liina is also lecturing the courses of bio-entrepreneurship and innovation management at the University of Tartu.


Meelis Kadaja (MENTOR) has worked as the Chief Business Development Officer of Icosagen Cell Factory for seven years. He returned to Estonia in 2014 from New York City. Now, he is excited about BioBlock and other groundbreaking inventions born in Icosagen labs and Estonia. He enjoys running and has taken part in marathons in New York and Tallinn.


Merike Leego (SPEAKER/MENTOR/JURY MEMBER) is Innovation Lead at EIT Health, 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. Merike Leego has extensive experience in coordinating scientific research projects. She has held position of Marketing Manager and Intellectual Property Manager in several biotech companies in Estonia, and she also reads lecture on bio-entrepreneurship at University of Tartu.


Rainer Kravets (SPEAKER/MENTOR) is an alternative proteins enthusiast. Throughout his studies in international business at Aalto University he focused on novel food producers and recently completed a research paper about structured plant protein manufacturing shortage in Europe. Currently he is involved as a program manager in organizing the Food Innovation Summit 2022. He has experience in starting an online arts business and in 2019 he was chosen among 20 young entrepreneurs in Europe under 20 years old by Wise.



Sven Parkel (JURY MEMBER) is the General Secretary of the ScanBalt network, which builds and supports the health tech ecosystem in the Baltic Sea Region. He also is the General Manager of the Tartu Biotechnology Park (TBP). His work in TBP supports local businesses and startups in health tech, biotechnology and other areas offering office and lab space, opportunities through project funding through EU and business development in an incubation program.


Taavi Tamm (DESIGN THINKING TRAINER) has been working as a Design Strategist in New York City and in Estonia. Currently he’s holding this position in Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board and in MyGames – an Estonian startup on it’s way to change how we use sports facilities.


Tarmo Seliste (SPEAKER) is the founder and CEO of FudLoop OÜ. FudLoop develops food sharing as a service in Tallinn and has saved more than 17 tons of food for its 3,000 customers within 8 months.




Vaido Mikheim (MODERATOR/PITCHING TRAINER) – As a lifelong sci-fi fan Vaido trusts that the combination of humans, science, and tech is the path to sustainable prosperity. For the last decade Vaido lives and breathes the startup scene in Estonia. He’s eager to talk about transition from science to business, and how to enable it. Today he pioneers Estonian deep tech startup ecosystem onwards as Deep Tech Project Lead at Startup Estonia.


Viljam Viljasoo (MENTOR/JURY MEMBER) studied nature resources in University of Life Science and graduated in communication management from the University of Tartu. He has worked in the field of marketing & communications, has done salesman work, organized different profit and non-profit projects. Now he is learning and helping others mainly through business advisory services at Tartu Ärinõuandla (Tartu Business Advisory Services). Viljam is member of Junior Chamber International Estonia (JCI Estonia), since 2011.



Health & wellbeing

Challenges under this theme range from core medicine topics to healthy living & active aging, from early diagnosis and prevention to innovative gadgets that support healthcare delivery in the home, improve workplace health, and other similar solutions that enable us to live longer, healthier lives.

Making food healthy

We are looking for innovative ideas that will transform the food system. Challenges under this theme focus on creating consumer-valued food for healthier nutrition, building a consumer-centric connected food system and enhancing sustainability through promoting a circular bioeconomy.


In order to reduce the impact of our activities on the environment, we are looking for the innovative solutions for production of sustainable food, sustainable bio-chemicals and natural products. Ranging from designing cell factories for replacing fossil-based chemicals and creating novel bio-based materials to the design of biosensors for environmental or medical use, synthetic biology plays a crucial role in this development.

Tartu BioInnovation Day Facebook Event: