The EstLat BioBoost project was called to life in order to boost cross-border collaboration in life sciences and biotechnology in Estonia and Latvia.
Despite some difficulties, the project can be considered to be a success.
The primary activities within the project were strong coaching and mentorship and useful trainings. In addition, six thorough Business Labs were organised for the selected Estonian and Latvian enterprises, which formed a group that learned from and supported each other. The beginning of the project focused on the ABC-s of starting and running a business. As the project developed, the topics of the trainings and mentorship went deeper and great care was taken so that the programme would be designed based on the real needs of participating companies with a focus on being able to get first-round private investment. The topics covered included for example: Creation of and work with a Business Roadmap, and then moving towards important questions such as: Why is it important for startups to keep innovating and moving forward, therefore, focusing on gaining new knowledge and improving entrepreneurship skills. Co-operation between startups and large enterprises has also been a topic company owners have shown great interest towards as well as The different aspects of investor-company relationships. The programme was concluded with a pitching contest and networking trip to Helsinki.
The project partners together with personal mentors of enterprises supported the development of enterprises participating in the project within the Business Labs.
Photo 1. November 2019, networking trip to Helsinki
Photo 2. August 2018, 2-day training in Pärnu
Photo 3. August 2018, 1st Business Lab in Pärnu
As one of the six Business Labs and a Pitching event was organised in parallel and in cooperation with the largest business festival in the Baltics – sTARTUp Day 2019, it helped to gain the project and its activities a wider audience and a greater number of beneficiaries.
Photo 4. January 2019, EstLat pitching event in Tartu at sTARTUp Day 2019
At the end of the project, the most successful enterprises received the opportunity to participate in a networking trip to Finland. The companies visited different health and life science hubs: Terkko HealthHub, Maria 01 and SLUSH offices and also met other life sciences companies operating in Finland. The visit also included discussions regarding the similarities and differences between Finnish, Latvian and Estonian healthtech and biotech ecosystems as well as a meeting and matchmaking event with investors.
Altogether, the project events included more than 300 participants (185 unique participants).
The project was supported by EstLat Interreg Programme and its duration was 1.03.2017-31.12.2019.