BioHackathon – sTARTUp Day 2023

BioHackathon will be welcoming everybody (business-minded students and innovative entrepreneurs) passionate about innovating the fields of medicine, agrifood and life sciences. Hackathon will focus on business development, execution of ideas and improving the idea pitches.

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

BioHackathon agenda      

9:30-10:00      Registration + morning coffee
10:00-10:05    Welcome and introduction – Maris Väli-Täht/ Tartu Biotechnology Park
10:05-10:25    EIT Health and European Commission support for innovators – Merike Leego/ EIT Health Scandinavia; University of Tartu
10:25-10:35    EIT Food Introduction – Adam Strzelecki/ EIT Food
10:35-11:15    Idea pitches + Team formation
11:15-11:30    Short mentor introduction round + sign up
11:30-12:30    Working on business cases
12:30-13:15    Lunch (with teamwork)
13:15-14:00    Pitching training – Mayri Tiido
14:00-16:00    Working on business cases with mentors
15:30-16:00    Coffee break
16:00-18:00    Pitching competition + jury + prizes

At the end of the day the following prizes will 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


Margaret Pütsepp (MODERATOR) is a Bachelor’s student of Science and Technology at Tartu University and member of Bioteaduste Üliõpilaste Selts. She is very fond of the entrepreneurial mindset and has been in business in the field of digital design for about four years. She is now preparing to take on more laboratory projects in the spring semester and is developing business ideas in the discipline of bioengineering.


Adam Strzelecki (SPEAKER / JURY MEMBER) 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.


Alina Paas (MENTOR) is a Lawyer and the Intellectual Property Analyst at University of Tartu Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She has a Master’s degree in Intellectual Property as well in the IT law. Alina is an expert on Intellectual property commercialization and protection and can explain to teams how to take IP into account in business model at early stage.


Andre Veskioja (MENTOR) has more than 15 years of experience in the food and agriculture sector. For over a decade, he worked as a product developer focusing on healthy food products (dairy, meat, water, cereals, etc.). Last three years, Andre has been the director of the Centre of Estonian Rural Research and Knowledge, which channels knowledge of agriculture’s future directions, works closely with consumers, and actively takes part in agricultural policies.


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 researcher in the field of microbiology. Has acquired a masters degree in ecosystems technology from University of Tartu.



Dr. Kadri Haljas (MENTOR / JURY MEMBER), a psychologist with over 15 years of experience in mental health, is the CEO and founder of Triumf Health. She and her team of international experts have created Triumfland Saga wellbeing game for children aged 7-12 to build resilience. The game has been recognized as the best technology for health and wellbeing in the world by WSA.


Kristin Moppel (MENTOR)  is a marketing manager at Migrevention, while freelancing to help smaller companies to clarify their marketing messaging, target audiences and visual identity. Her background is in public sector, but she fell in love with (events) marketing already during university and have been involved in it since then. Regardless of the field, getting your message and idea through is the key for customer and investor traction.


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.


Liina Sala (MENTOR) is the campaign manager of the Taimne Teisipäev (Veggie Tuesday). Taimne Teisipäev is a public health campaign that aims to reduce meat consumption by half by 2040 in Estonia. Liina ensures that the Taimne Teisipäev campaign can have as much positive impact as possible through the exciting flavors of meals, healthiness, animal welfare and a more positive environmental impact. Liina works with corporate outreach projects and she is also one of the main organizers of the Food Innovation Summit conference.

Mayri Tiido (PITCHING TRAINER / JURY MEMBER) is an adult educator with more than 10 years of international experience. Over those years she has delivered trainings on different topics to more than 3500 people from 50 different countries. She works with different startup accelerators and programmes as a pitch trainer. In addition to supporting people with their presentation and public speaking skills she works on making the world a bit more circular through her startup Materjalivoog OÜ.


Meelis Kadaja (MENTOR) is a co-founder and chief business officer at Nanordica Medical OÜ. He is cell biologist by training and he studied skin stem cells and wound healing at Rockefeller University in New York. After returning to Estonia in 2014, he completed the MBA studies and joined at first Icosagen as a Chief Business Officer, which is now Estonian biggest biotech company,  and then recently Nanordica Medical as a Co-Founder. He is excited about bringing groundbreaking inventions born in labs to people. He enjoys running and has taken part in marathons in New York and Tallinn.

Merike Leego (SPEAKER / JURY MEMBER) is Innovation Lead at EIT Health, the European Commission funding body that promotes innovation in health sector and brings together stakeholders to implement close-to-market-ideas into everyday healthcare. Merike Leego has extensive experience in coordinating research and innovation projects but also consulting innovators on their way to the market. 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.

Viljam Viljasoo (MENTOR / JURY MEMBER) is a local business advisor at Tartu Business Advisory Services, whose daily job is related to helping new and already active entrepreneurs with their goals and problems. Main keywords are: establishing a company, taxes and accountant work, business idea feedback, business plan guidance and feedback, governmental funding and services, mentoring an company action plans to overcome problems and obstacles for better success. His services are free for everybody. Consultations language: est or eng. Just write him:


* EIT Health Focus Areas:

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

** EIT Food Focus areas:

  • Protein Diversification
  • Circular Food Systems
  • Digital Traceability
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Sustainable Aquaculture
  • Targeted Nutrition

BioHackathon is organized by Tartu Biotechnology Park and Bioteaduste Üliõpilaste Selts and is supported by EIT Health and EIT Food.

BioHackathon is a side event of sTARTUp Day 2023 – the most startup-minded business festival, taking place on 15-17 March 2023 in Tartu.
Learn more and get your tickets: