Students’ smart solutions connect entrepreneurs with construction workers and help find best travel destination
The first prize of the competition Kaleidoskoop for students’ novel business ideas was awarded to a team of UT students for their online service QuikTract which connects construction entrepreneurs with construction workers. Similar to the already known service GoWorkaBit, QuikTract focusses on the construction sector that was not covered so far. The UT team developing the smart solution Tripmatch was selected to be among the 100 best ideas of the largest Estonian entrepreneurship competition Ajujaht. Tripmatch is able to find the best and most rational travel destination for a group of people located in different countries.
The business idea competition Kaleidoskoop held for the fourth time attracted 21 teams, six of whom received prizes.
The main prize went to the team QuikTract consisting of five UT students of law, IT and business administration. QuikTract.com is an online service which connects construction entrepreneurs with construction workers. If a construction company is short of workers, for instance if somebody has fallen ill, QuikTract helps to find a substitute worker.
“There is a similar service GoWorkaBit in Estonia, but this is not suitable for renting construction workers, as this field is too specific and complicated to be integrated with other types of occasional work,” explained the developer of QuikTract Joosep Kibal, who believes that their web service fills an important gap on the market.
“We plan to keep to the field of construction and at the beginning offer additional and short-term workforce, but later maybe also longer-term and project-based work. After we get the service working in Estonia, we want to expand to the Baltic and Nordic countries and even reach the UK,” said Kibal, introducing the ambitious plans of the team.
The team got the opportunity to participate in the international start-up conference SLUSH 2015, which will take place in November in Helsinki.
The jury selected one idea that gets to be among the 100 best ideas of the entrepreneurship competition Ajujaht straight from Kaleidoskoop: the smart application Tripmatch. The business idea of four UT students of economics, IT and informatics started off from the wish to help people living in different countries find the best possible travel destination for a trip together, so that the time and money spent on travelling would be approximately the same.
As the team did also very well at the Skype Hackathon, the team member Rodion Kryuchkov was sure that they will be also successful in Kaleidoskoop. “We will develop our idea further over the summer and will have our website fully functional by November when Ajujaht takes place,” said Kryuchkov. “We will definitely use the opportunity to participate in Ajujaht to the fullest.”
The title of the best business idea supporting the development of Tartu county and the accompanying 400-euro stipend was given to the team Kullasepad that organises jewellery workshops. The team can be invited to events to organise a workshop as a result of which each participant will make their own piece of jewellery from quality materials. Tartu City Government gave its 400-euro award to the team Wooch that produces wooden watches. Each watch is unique and handmade: making one Wooch watch takes at least a dozen hours.
The award of the best project and the 200-euro stipend was given to MTÜ Praktikum Eesti. The non-profit organisation aims to encourage higher secondary school students to go on a one-week practical training in the summer at an enterprise connected with the field of study they are interested in. This gives secondary school students an opportunity to see whether their chosen field really suits them before they enter university.
The special prize of the jury – 200 euros – was given to the project Tuum. Tuum is a team of six enterprising young people who produce short popular science videos in Estonian and present them in their Youtube channel Tuum.
In addition, the UT Office of Academic Affairs highlighted two projects to discuss the possible future cooperation between the university and the project teams. These were Zerkala Tuleteater, which organises fire dancing workouts, and the team of Märka Inimest: three photographers who wish to hold a photo exhibition to draw more attention to people with special needs.
The jury of the competition comprised the UT Vice Rector for Development Erik Puura, Head of the UT Office of Academic Affairs Siret Rutiku, the Managing Director of EstBAN (Estonian Business Angels Network) Heidi Kakko, the leader of Ajujaht Harri Tallinn, Vice Mayor of Tartu Kajar Lember, the Head of the Development and Planning Department of Tartu County Government Margus Hendrikson and the CEO and Founder of the hardware accelerator Buildit Aleksander Tõnnisson.
Additional information: Maret Ahonen, Head of the UT Idea Lab, tel: +372 737 4817, +372 522 5910, email: maret.ahonen [ät] ut.ee.