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 synergy and next touchpoints with academia

For idea owners, entrepreneurs

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

  • Business and team development mentoring

  • IP management, protection strategy execution

  • Investment readiness, co-investors onboarding mentoring

  • Long term growth support with evergreen fund 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, 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 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