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

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

“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 holding and investment company of University of Tartu​

Key investment criterias

  • Large global market potential
  • Intellectual knowledge based uniqueness
  • Solid team, within ambition to grow and scale
  • Connected in past or/and future to University of Tartu

    Role as investor

    • We rely on experienced lead investors
    • Building investment readiness, join from pre-seed round
    • Keeping long view,  act as evergreen fund
    • Connecting portfolio companies synergy and next touchpoints with academia

    For idea owners, entrepreneurs

    • Structured framework to apply the science competences in commercial environment, onboard knowledgeable investors, build scaling business

    • Business and team development mentoring

    • IP management, protection strategy execution and rights transaction

    • Investment readiness, co-investors onboarding mentoring

    • Long term partnership and growth support with evergreen fund

    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 operate in partnership with university Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center and support the idea and invest time and resources to create the biggest possible impact by taking ownership. Our prerequisite is to have private investors who invest at least equal capital value to IP value. The readiness to make direct financial investments matures during the next years to make follow-on investments.

    The Board

    Supervisory, exceptions handling

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


    Execution of investment activities

    Two person team in roles of investment Director and analyst. Additionally, rotating roles will follow 2022

    Investment commitee

    Support for investment activities

    Five fields experts, to be onboarded in during September 2021

    Mart Maasik
    Investment Director of UniTartu Ventures

    Mart is an executive with a proven management track record and over 19 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, studied innovation management in 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 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