What if you could tap more than 1,000 scientists to test your invention or innovation? Estonian prototyping fund Prototron has teamed up with Guaana science crowdsourcing platform to get feedback and develop ideas early in the process, already before innovators apply for grants.

“The co-operation has been up and running for the few weeks and first ideas have already seen significant boost from sharp minds around the world,” says Marko Russiver, co-founder of Guaana.

“In Prototron case Guaana works exactly how we have built it to work, people share thoughts and bring in the right people to take it forward.”

Guaana’s platform is a place where scientists, pioneers, visionaries and change-makers can build open communities around their research and vision. The goal of their platform is to enable technology transfer through crowdsourcing.

Prototron is the first fund in Europe granting pre-seed money to startups so they could build their first working prototype to test on customers. It was set up by Swedbank, Tallinn Technical University and Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol in 2012.

In less than 5 years Prototron has gathered more than 1,100 applications, issued 11 rounds of funding, totalling more 345,000 euros to 29 teams.

With the small total investment (comparable to one seed round) its alumnis have generated more than 2 million euros in turnover and ave raised more than 10 million euros of additional capital.

Prototron is putting the teams through several screening panels and picks only a fraction of the teams to support them. On top of the cash the teams are offered also PR support, corporate marketing channels and 6 months of incubation in Tehnopol Startup Incubator in Tallinn to prepare the startups for market entry and investment readiness.

Applications for the next Prototron round can be filed until March 15, and one can validate the idea on Guaana platform any time. Or give input to other people ideas.

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