Mini Seedcamp Tallinn felt like a homecoming for Seedcamp. Even though this was the first Seedcamp event in Estonia, the Seedcamp family already features six Estonian companies and is probably about to expand this number. Most Mini Seedcamp events present companies from all over Europe and the world, and this one was no exception, but the proportion of local teams was unprecedented this time, with 8 teams out of 20 coming from Tallinn and Tartu (with further 5 from other CEE countries). Adding to the general impression that Estonia is about to emerge as a serious startup hub was the presence of the nation’s president. Not only did he welcome us in the “startup country” in flawless English, he stayed to listen to all of the pitches (and was impressed by their high quality according to Twitter).
I noticed a strong 3D/augmented reality theme at this Seedcamp, such as CGTrader – a marketplace for 3D designs, Sayduck – a tool for viewing 3D models of furniture in the comfort of your home, Sketchfab – an online 3D viewer, or Notif5 – a location-based audio notification platform. Not quite augmented reality, but firmly rooted in the physical world were Viewsy - a real world metrics solution for businesses, and WeatherMe – a crop management system for farmers that uses weather data to suggest the best farming methods. Other themes such as gaming (Healthy Heroes and Mighty Fingers), marketplaces (carfitsme and Merkanty), tools for developers (browserbite and Zonear), and content curation (Kula and Pinevio) were well represented. The rest of the pitches included Arkademy - a platform for online seminars, easyRider.me – a tool for managing bands’ technical requirements while touring, Opuss – a social publishing platform, tellyo – a 2nd screen TV app, and UtilityCamp – a smart-meter with usage analytics. And no 2012 startup event can be left without a clever taxi app – TaxiPal works with taxi companies to provide a simple multi-lingual mobile app for ordering taxis. Several Seedcamp visitors found it very useful during the post-event barhopping.
The day ended with a visit to the legendary Tallinn dive bar Vaalli and their deadly house shots called millimallikas. Apparently, this painful combination of tequila, sambuca, and tabasco, similar to the Polish wściekły pies shot, is an important piece of Skype company culture, and we were convinced to try it because supposedly Steve Ballmer did it, too.