UniTartu Ventures unlock the potential of research-based entrepreneurship in Estonia

We team up with early-stage deep tech investors and the University of Tartu linked researchers, startups and spinn-off’s

“In ten years, Estonia has achieved an excellent position in developing start-ups in IT. Now we are aiming to upscale the creation of innovative international companies based on research done also in other fields. The timing is right and the expert knowledge of the researchers of the University of Tartu is the best intellectual capital for investing” 

Heidi Kakko,
Chairman of Board, UniTartu Ventures

UniTartu Ventures is a holding and investment company of the University of Tartu​

Key investment criterias

  • Global market potential
  • Intellectual knowledge-based uniqueness
  • Solid team, with the ambition to grow and scale
  • Connected in past or/and future to University of Tartu

    Role as investor

    • Building investment readiness, to join from the pre-seed round
    • Keeping long view,  act as an evergreen fund
    • Connecting next touchpoints with academia and matching portfolio synergies

    For idea owners, entrepreneurs

    • Structured framework to apply the science competencies in a commercial environment and onboard knowledgeable investors

    • Business and team growth mentoring

    • IP strategy creation

    • Investment readiness building, co-investors onboarding

    • Growth support with the evergreen mindset

    The organisation model

    As a result of research created based on the University of Tartu infrastructure, the IP rights belong to the university. To unlock the research commercial potential, we invest in ‘IP-for-equity’ transactions. We work in partnership with the university Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, by adding the option to support companies as investors who have a long-term view of building companies. Our prerequisite is to have co-investors who invest at least equal capital value to IP value. The readiness building to make financial and follow-on investments are in progress.

    The Board

    Supervisory, exceptions handling

    Heidi Kakko, Investor, Board member of University
    Vahur Kraft, Entrepreneur
    Erik Puura, Vice-rector for Development
    Kristjan Vassil, Vice-rector for Research
    Kalle Hein, CFO of the University of Tartu

    Investment committee

    Support for investment activities

    Inka Mero, Voima Ventures
    Lars Jonsson, ex-Uppsala Uni Holding
    Cengiz Tarhan, ex-UCL Business
    Kaidi Ruusalepp, Fundrebeam
    Kärt Siilats, Change Ventures, Mojo Capital

    Mart Maasik
    Investment Director of UniTartu Ventures

    Mart is an executive with a proven management track record and 20 years of international business experience in the financial sector, in SEB Group in the Baltics and Sweden, focused on business development, change and innovation leadership.
    Mart has co-founded ecosystem movements like the largest entrepreneurship program Ajujaht and Innovation Leaders Club in Estonia, and studied innovation management at Stanford GSB. He has personal experiences as an entrepreneur and an angel investor

    Now focusing on creating a sustainable platform where research-based entrepreneurship and early-stage investors meets, rolling out UniTartu Ventures

    UniTartu Ventures is a holding and investment company, owned 100% by University of Tartu

    University of Tartu

    Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

    For more information contact +3725277352 I ventures@ut.ee