Let’s meet Mait Sooaru – EstBAN lead investor at sTARTUp Pitching

Mait Sooaru is an entrepreneur, angel investor, and Board Member of the Estonian Business Angels Network. As EstBAN will be awarding a syndicate investment of up to €200k to one team at sTARTUp Pitching 2023 with Mait as the lead investor, it was a perfect moment to ask him some questions about his expectations for the competition.

You are the lead investor of the EstBAN syndicate at sTARTUp Pitching 2023. What should startups know about you?

I am an entrepreneur, investor and mentor. I have about 50 companies in my portfolio and have grown one of them from zero to IPO. So, I have experience in all stages of company development. I will be happy to share this experience and help our startups.

Which startups would you like to see participate in sTARTUp Pitching 2023?

I think startups from all possible areas of the economy should apply for sTARTUp Pitching. The sectors that I see have extra potential include: energy, healthtech, greentech and also good old B2B SaaS. Also, the usage of AI and machine learning has really taken off and proven to be more practical than ever before. But overall, any startup from any field of business could potentially nowadays have a meaningful impact.

The overall economic climate has changed this year. Does this somehow affect how startups should present to investors; for instance, which aspects they should highlight in their applications/pitches?

The economic and investment climate has really changed. But there is no shortage of funds that are looking for investment targets. It only means that investors are more careful and more considerate when deciding on investments. All good projects will always be financed.

Make sure investors believe in the impact your company will make and you will get the investment.

If you could give just one piece of advice for founders taking part in this year’s sTARTUp Pitching – what would it be?

Don’t do what everybody else is doing. Do something unique and something you personally strongly believe in. Look for a part of the economy or a society that needs a change. Think through how your idea will make our world a better place and how it will benefit people. If you have that locked in, you will always find somebody who will pay for your product or your service.

sTARTUp Pitching 2023 has a prize pool of over €350k. Don't forget to fill in your application before 5 February.

At sTARTUp Pitching 2022, EstBAN awarded syndicates to LightCode Photonics and Nanordica Medical.

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