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Monday, May 29, 2023

The winners of sTARTUp Pitching 2023 have been officially announced!

The winners of sTARTUp Pitching 2023 have been announced! A total of 271 teams participated in the competition, and after a fierce competition, the top three startups have been chosen. EstBAN awarded €200k to Paul-Tech, Baltic Sandbox Ventures invested €125k in Gearbox Biosciences which also received an equity-free cash prize of €10,000 from Swedbank, and .Cocoon Ventures awarded €100k to MX Labs. These innovative startups are bound to make a significant impact in their respective industries, ranging from sustainable farming to revolutionizing protein production and transforming healthcare.


EstBAN, the Estonian Business Angels Network, awarded the top prize of €200,000 to Paul-Tech, a startup that has developed a soil station to monitor plant growth conditions in real time. This innovative technology is based on years of research by Estonian scientists, making it truly unique in the world. The syndicated investment will enable Paul-Tech to expand its reach to the UK and Swedish markets and make sustainable farming a reality.

sTARTUp Pitching 2023, Paul-Tech, EstBAN

Paul-Tech, a Tallinn-based startup founded in 2019 by Paul Plakk and Tiit Plakk, has developed a groundbreaking solution for farmers to monitor soil conditions in real-time. Previously, such technology was limited to research institutions, but Paul-Tech has made it accessible to farmers. The company’s sensors allow farmers to monitor in-soil processes in real-time, resulting in the use of farming practices that are gentler on the soil and the environment, and optimizing the distribution of limited resources. Paul-Tech’s innovative solution provides farmers with the optimal balance of agronomic, environmental, and economic aspects for sustainable management. The startup’s CEO, Mikk Plakk, is proud to continue the family legacy of providing cutting-edge technology to the farming industry.

Gearbox Biosciences

Baltic Sandbox Ventures awarded a €125,000 investment to Gearbox Biosciences, a biotech startup that is revolutionizing protein production by eliminating antibiotics. The company has a solid scientific team that is solving a real-world problem in the industry, and their technology could transform how proteins are produced in the future. Gearbox Biosciences also received an equity-free cash prize of €10,000 from Swedbank for producing recombinant proteins in E. coli without antibiotics.

sTARTUp Pitching 2023, Gearbox Biosciences, Baltic Sandbox VenturessTARTUp Pitching 2023, Gearbox Biosciences, Baltic Sandbox Ventures

Gearbox Biosciences is a Tartu-based biotechnology startup founded by Arvi Jõers, Marje Kasari, and Villu Kasari, which offers a new technology for protein production. The company has developed a robust switch that enables the precise control of bacterial growth. This technology, called Switcher Technology, is patent-pending and is based on the induced removal of the origin of replication from the bacterial chromosome. This process allows switched cells to remain metabolically active, while they do not divide, which allows the decoupling of protein production from cellular growth.

MX Labs

MX Labs has been awarded a €100k syndicate investment by .Cocoon Ventures for its camera-based technology that can accurately measure a person’s heart rate using a smartphone or computer camera. This technology has the potential to help diagnose physical and mental health issues in the future. Aleksander Tõnnisson, Founding Partner of .Cocoon Ventures, expressed his enthusiasm for the investment, citing that the company’s team is aligned with their values and genuinely interested in personal development through the growth of the company.

sTARTUp Pitching 2023, MX Labs, .Cocoon Ventures

MX Labs is a technology company founded in 2021 in Tallinn by Przemek Jaworski and Remi Kościelny. The team has developed Shen.AI, an AI-powered technology that analyzes facial skin texture to extract vital physiological signs in real time. Remote photoplethysmography (rPPG) is used to extract information about changes in light absorption on the facial skin that reflects the individual’s physiological condition. This technology can be accessed on modern smartphones, tablets, and computers with a camera, making diagnoses accessible without extra devices or costs. MX Labs hopes that this innovative approach will help overcome the challenges of inadequate healthcare infrastructure and workforces, and ultimately save lives.

Congratulations to all winners on their well-deserved success at sTARTUp Day 2023!

Jan Ameri
Jan Ameri
Entrepreneur-by-heart – and by actions since 1998. Being an expert in spotting new opportunities and creating new concepts, Jan has been a partner or co-founder in seven different companies in various industries. In the early 2000’s he was pioneering some of the very first WAP, SMS, and interactive TV based wireless games and fantasy sports games in the Nordic countries. Jan loves to watch Shark Tank and The Profit in his free time. And he is an FC Barcelona fan.

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