On the 14th of August prototype fund called “Prototron” was launched by Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, Swedbank and Tallinn University of Technology. The aim of the fund is to finance the development of first products – prototypes. Swedbank will financing fund of Prototron is 120 000 euros for the first three years.
At the launching ceremony, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, acknowledged the cooperation between private and public sector which led to the fund Prototron.
Estonian companies have real need for funding in order to create innovative products. This fact came out from study conducted by Swedbank where they found out three main reasons why innovative ideas don`t reach realization. Firstly, ideas get stumble, because they do not have any prototype to prove the idea. To reach the real product, prototype is necessary for getting further investments. Second outcome, was that Estonian entrepreneurship society is too sector based and they lack of co-work between different fields. Thirdly, companies are incapable to export their products.
“We realized that these concerns need to be solved. We decided, that helping young inventors, is what Swedbank can do firsthand”, explained Robert Kitt, Managing Director of Swedbank `s Corporate Banking.
Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol Board Member Pirko Konsa, considers Prototron as a filling gap to the success stories like Skype. “In Tehnopol we see the ideas that do not reach nowhere because they miss the proof of concept. Most ideas look very good on paper, thanks to Prototron fund we now have a chance to see if the product will change the world”, told Konsa.
“We need funding to support young technology university talents”, said the Rector of TUT, Andres Keevallik. “This is a powerful innovation accelerator for university to become a starting point for startups.”
Financing can be applied by startup companies or private persons and the ideas have to be in electronics, mechatronics, information and communication technology field. Application can be submitted via website http://tehnopol.ee/et/startup/prototron. The first call for applications is opened till 15th of September.