This month’s e-Talks features Katre Purga from the innovation hub Mektory to tell us how they encourage innovation and collaboration in their startup programs.
Mektory is a pre-incubation facility of Tallinn University of Technology designed to support tech entrepreneurs develop their ideas and help them turn it into successful enterprises.
What is Mektory?
You have come to a technology university that is a hundred years old and Mektory is its’ innovation and entrepreneurship center. I am here to run startup programs, for students, and for everybody that is interested in student cooperation.
Who can use the facilities of Mektory?
It is open to every student that wants to have a meeting here with the company, that wants to use our prototyping lab, or to use any kind of facilities that we have to offer. And right now we are in the conference floor and we have other computer classes and also e-showroom in the upper floors. And for students it’s for free.
We have many facilities for the companies – for example having meetings or conferences here.
What does Mektory do and offer?
We are dealing with students and with companies. For the students, we have the startup program and also startup competition. We call it pre-incubator. It gives student possibility to go through the process of a usual startup program for three months. And if they succeed, then in the campus we also have Tehnopol that has an incubation for the companies. So if they have already registered a company then Tehnopol is waiting for them. And for the companies, we offer cooperation between students and scientists.
How do you encourage collaboration between students and companies?
It’s possible for the companies to work together with students. Most of the startup activities in here start with hackathons. There are one day to whole weekend hackathons.
In the programme called Starter, companies can present their challenges and students can offer their solutions with their own startups.
Prototron is joint-programme between Tehnopol, Tallinn City, and TalTech University. It’s a fund for startups and spin-offs, and also university employees for their companies to prototype their ideas. Recently we had a new batch of ideas and today we are having 40 of them as selected ones in the seminar.
What are the future plans of Mektory?
Mektory wants to be close to students, especially technology students. And having the prototyping center downstairs, gives us many opportunities. At the same time, we are missing a coworking space where we can present the projects developed by students: student formula, the self-driving car and other projects that students have done. Our next idea is to have this kind pre-prototyping center together with a coworking space.