12 great teams pitching at Tartu BioHackathon 2020

A part of sTARTUp Day 2020, the largest business festival in the Baltic countries, the EIT Health supported BioHackathon brough together over 60 participants, including students and starting and established entrepreneurs in the field of life sciences. The BioHackathon was held at the conference hall of the University of Tartu Library on 29th of January, showcasing many inspiring examples of innovation and health development.


The event focused on business development and execution of the ideas through an intensive on-site mentoring program as well as learning about numerous possibilities provided by the EIT Health Programme for students and businesses in different development stages. BioHackathon was hosted by Tartu Biotechnology Park and supported by EIT Health RIS program.

At the beginning of the event Merike Leego, Innovation Manager at EIT Health Scandinavia presented an overview of EIT Health and its new opportunities and programs for students, researchers, entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs to support health industry entrepreneurs. Another inspiring presentation was given by Priit Aigro – founder, partner and CEO at SMARTdo Plc | HealBed about healBED growth challenges. HealBED is a startup, elaborating and producing vibroacoustic therapy devices and software. This company has also benefited from two EIT Health programs – EIT Health Smart Ageing Camp to use knowledge and experience of scientists and mentors from EIT partner universities to redevelop product and validate customers and the EIT Health BRIDGEHEAD Programme to facilitate soft-landings for start-ups.

After the presentations it was time to form teams focusing on the ideas in biotechnology (all the colors of the rainbow), medicine, veterinary medicine and life sciences in general.

Teams, full of great ideas and ready to improve their business ideas and products had lots of innovative ideas, for example combining the information elements found in breast milk to make a superfood; personalized health solution that analyzes blood and gives beneficial recommendations; zero waste movement or daily life integrated nutrition tracking.
All the teams were supported through the whole event by experienced mentors in the life sciences-, health-, biotech and entrepreneurship sector: Aivar Pere, Kristina Vizovnitš, Katrin Kaarna, Priit Aigro, Kerti Alev, Erki Ani, Priit Kruus, Triin Laisk, Andre Veskioja, Kadri Haljas, Chris Thompson, Elmo Puidet, Siim Saare and Alo Lilles.

BioHackathon culminated with a pitching competition, where all 12 teams pitched their ideas to the jury. Although it was a tough competition, two teams stood out with their highly innovative ideas, full of potential.  Special congratulations to teams Zeme, who won the the Best Pitch prize and got the opportunity to pitch in the Nordic PitchMatch at sTARTUp Day with an idea for animal health surveillance system with antibiotic shots and to MigRevention, who won the Tartu Biotechnology Park Special Prize and was awarded with 5 hours of consultations from Tartu Biotechnology Park  and was also the winner of BioHackathon 2020 with the prize of 500 euros with the idea to create a digital intervention app that connects the self-help solutions for the headache patient and treatment information for the specialist.

The event that took place during the sTARTUp Day 2020 brought together students, researchers, start-ups, mentors and speakers from all over the world. Participants were satisfied with the event, more specifically with the content of the talks, the knowledge they got from there, big variety of pitches from the medical field and networking with active participants and great mentors.

The main supporters of the event were: EIT Health and  TransGeno, a project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon programme.