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The Masterclass event brought together experienced coaches and starting female entrepreneurs participating in the EWA Estonia 2023 programme

EWA (Empowering Women in Agrifood) programme, implemented for the first time in Estonia, is coming to an end. The programme organized by EIT Food and implemented in Estonia by Tartu Biotechnology Park, gives 10 female entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their business ideas further with the guidance of a professional female and male mentors, take part in workshops and other events related to the programme within six months.

06 Nov 2023
EIT Food North & East

On October 28th, the Masterclass event of the EWA programme took place in Tartu. The event hosted the 10 mentees participating in the EWA programme, as well as several mentors and the external experts.

The aim of the event was to focus on the development of specific skills, like investor readiness, business models and pitching. The first part of the event was dedicated to inspiring the mentees to pursue their business ideas further and on this purpose, an inspirational speaker Triin Kask was invited to share her experience as an entrepreneur and a successful investor. Being an amazing speaker, she shared her personal story as an entrepreneur who has launched several successful startups. It was a very honest insight into both the failures and the joys that have come along with the founding and management of these startups. Triin is also one of the founders of the Estonian Founders Society and a current board member. Based on her experience she spoke about many challenges related to starting with a company such as how to come up with the right business model, how to build a team of super-talents, how to raise money, how to combine hard work with fun, how to find the focus and stick to it, how to conquer fear. As a CEO, she built Nevercode, a cloud-based continuous integration and delivery platform. Now her team is building something completely new – a personal algorithm concept that takes into account users’ preferences that lets them control their information feed.

The following three hours were dedicated to a workshop that was held by Kalev Kaarna, investor in Superangel VC fund and startup coach, on the topic of investor readiness and business models. His aim was to make the participants think about the foundations of success, in terms of how big a startup’s turnover should be in order to be considered successful or how many happy customers you should have in order to define yourself as a successful entrepreneur. The journey of entrepreneurship has many difficulties that cannot always be foreseen. It is good to start right now, before the difficulties arrive. An indication of a successful startup is the ability to take time off for a couple of months as the CEO, otherwise you have simply created a job for yourself that requires constant presence. In order tom build a successful company, it is crucial to know your market and the competitors, and just keep in mind that sometimes a super good idea has a completely different outlet, and on the other hand, every idea can lead to new, unimaginable areas.

During the last part of the day, all mentees presented their business ideas during a 5-minute pitch. They received feedback from the renowned pitching coach, Vaido Mikheim and the mentors participating at the event. After that, a pitching training followed in the course of which the mentees received specific instructions on how to build up a good pitch and present convincingly your business idea. Based on his long experience at StartupEstonia, Vaido has evaluated numerous pitches and shared the way potential investors are thinking while evaluating pitches. The first 20 seconds of the pitch are crucial from the point of investors – you either will attract attention or not. It is also

important to create a roadmap of what has been already done while preparing a good pitch, because entrepreneurship alone does not start with the establishment of a company. As a final thought, Vaido suggested adding a call to action in the pitch that the audience could take to make an immediate improvement.

In cooperation with their personal mentors, the EWA participants will be working now on finalizing their pitches for the Pitching event, which will take place on November 18th, at VSPA Conference Hall in Tartu. The event is open to the public and will include the representatives of investors and public sector, entrepreneurs and all those interested in innovative solutions in the agrifood sector.

The European final event of the EWA programme "Women in Agrifood Summit" will take place on December 1, in Vilnius. The event will be open for a big audience and online participation will be possible. More information about the programme and registration is available on the website: https://womeninagrifoodsummit2....

More information about the EWA programme are available on the official EIT Food webpage and at the Tartu Biotechnology Park website.

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