Sparkling Startups

P1 Competitive economy

1.1. New Central Baltic knowledge intensive companies

Southern Finland - Estonia

01.03.2016 - 28.02.2018

€229 591

€181 512

Project Summary:

The vision of this small project is to establish a common methodology and a cross-border cooperation culture that will result in more joint and co-operating companies in the near future. This will be done using a range of methods, including mentoring, staff exchange, study visits and matchmaking. These activities will be extended also to companies who have already entered the platforms in both Turku and Tartu to use them as pilots for the methods that will be created in this project. 

This project will implement joint practices and structures for cross-border co-operation between Finnish and Estonian start-ups and potential entrepreneurs. Turku Science Park has just recently kick-started its renovated, innovative start-up activities via its SparkUp society and Tartu is at the moment setting up its own similar program. This is the perfect moment to formulate joint practices, methods and structures for matching potential SMEs from both regions. 
As a result of this project we aim to create 6 new joint and/or cooperating companies and to support their development through the early phases of the startup life-cycle by providing jointly developed business support activities by Tartu and Turku Science Parks.

We dedicate our efforts within SPARKS project foremost to establish 1 to 3 new joint companies.
We expect about 80 SMEs in total to benefit from the SPARKS project.
Additionally around 10 other business support organizations and universities will both contribute and benefit to/from SPARKS initiative with know-how. 

Lead Partner

Sihtasutus Tartu Teaduspark

Country: EE

Partner budget: 93.187 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 79.209 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Turku Science Park OY

Country: FI

Partner budget: 136.404 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 102.303 EUR ERDF

Achieved results

Project result in category -
Joint knowledge intensive enterprise

SPARKS - cross-border cooperation between start-ups and potential entrepreneurs

As a main result two new joint companies were created and two other companies are cooperating. The project counted approximately 100 startups which benefited from project activities such as business missions, training courses, networking events, mentoring etc. Cooperation between SHIFT and sTARTUp Day business festivals was initiated by the project. Project was led by two partners: Tartu Science Park in Estonia and Turku Science Park in Finland.

Project focused on exchange of practices between project partners and in organizing activities and events for primary target group - startups.
Notable achievements include:
  • Turku Science Park learned from Tartu Science Park experiences in launching and running Demo Centre and European Space Agency Business Incubator before launching similar initiatives of their own.
  • Tartu Science Park learned from Turku how to facilitate cooperation between universities and business development organizations. 
  • Diverse range of different activities organized for startups both in Finland and Estonia varying from very personal approach (one on one mentoring through project partners mentor networks) to attending in big business festivals.
Project page in database
At a glance
  • 2 new joint companies
  • 2 cooperating companies
  • 100 start-ups benefiting from project activities