Notes from the 4th Tech Sisters’ networking event

26 January 2013


Diana Poudel talked about her start-up / and had many great tips for people who want to turn their ideas into reality.

  1. You have to talk about your idea. There’s no point in carrying your marvellous idea with you for years, not daring to tell anyone about it.
  2. Test your idea. One way is to create a landing page. Diana tried this using Facebook and Google Adwords. A few possibly useful links for creating a landing page without any need for coding etc include and
  3. MVP - Minimum Viable Product. Think about what would be the most basic solution that would create some kind of value for the user. For example, didn’t change much during the first year after its launch. Two or three core features might be enough in the beginning.
  4. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
  5. Where to find a co-founder/team-member/software developer etc?

Garage48 event - Turning your idea into an actual prototype in 48 hours sounds great, but the downside is that Garage48 events don’t take place too often. - Remember the article about a software developer who outsourced his work to China for one fifth of the developer’s actual salary? Well, you can do it, too!

Ajujaht - good for a project which is only taking its first steps

Forums - talk about your idea and you might find someone who wants to join in

  1. Marketing! First of all, if you’re not able to sell your idea to your friends and acquaintances, there’s no way you’re going to sell it to other people!
  2. Go to METRIX.Station and check which sites have ratings similar to your site. Contact the owners and propose adding each other’s links to your sites.
  3. Post ads on Facebook when you know who’s in your target audience. If you don’t know, Google AdWords might be a better idea.
  4. Last but not least: you have to think through who’s going to pay for your service. People expect to get everything for free on the web, so how to convince someone to spend their money on your product? If you don’t know that, the chances are, you’re not going to make any profit.

Ave Lauringson told us very charmingly about her work as the head of training at Tiger Leap Foundation. She’s mainly involved in two great initiatives: introducing robotics to schoolchildren and ProgeTiiger.

Estonia is in serious lack of people with ICT skills and those two programs are doing their best to change that. Experiences show that It’s too late to change things when students are already graduating from high school, and that’s why the key is to start when kids are still in the primary school (or even kindergarten).

One of the most popular projects of Tiger Leap Foundation has been their robotics initiative. Since 2007/2008, they’ve organized robotics theaters, workshops and competitions among schoolchildren, using mainly Lego Mindstorms equipment, including Lego NXT robots. Robotics has proved to be a great tool for inspiring and motivating students, increasing their will to learn, improving their relationships and making them better team players. Since so many teenage boys find learning a bore, lose interest and drop out of school, robotics might be one of the solutions for gaining their attention and keeping them in education system.

The problem with ICT education in Estonia is that there isn’t enough of it at the primary and secondary school level. This is why ProgeTiiger was founded. ProgeTiiger’s goal has been creating proper learning materials for primary and secondary school children. When Tiger Leap Foundation issued the press release on August 31st, 2012, the news went viral. Many foreign blogs, portals and newspapers picked up the news about how soon every Estonian kid can program. The team had mainly ideas back then and not many actual products or results, so you can imagine what amount of pressure it put on the people who worked at ProgeTiiger. Fortunately, everything went as planned and by the end of 2012, the study materials very ready. It must be emphasized that the programming classes are free of charge, taking part of them is voluntary and they should take place not only in the biggest cities in Estonia, but in the smaller ones as well. As it has turned out, most diligent and enthusiastic learners come from tiny schools. ProgeTiiger wants to give a chance to every child, regardless their location or socioeconomic situation.

Anna-Greta Tsahkna is the marketing manager at Nortal. She was involved in re-branding Webmedia Group and CCC Corporation Oy to Nortal in 2012.

Anna-Greta told us about her experience in working with people from far away countries. Who would’ve known that people in Oman have lots of good words to say about Estonian e-voting system! This might partially play role in setting a positive scene for Estonian companies who want to accomplish something in Oman. Anna-Greta had a few experiences in Nigeria, too. Corruption is a huge problem there and part of the solution is automating state financial matters. This is where Nortal stepped in with their know-how.

As mentioned, she took part in re-branding Webmedia Group and CCC Corporation to Nortal in 2012. The company couldn’t settle with neither Webmedia nor CCC brand. Webmedia was a too generic name and CCC didn’t mean much. The conditions they had set for the new brand were the availability of a .com domain name, possibility to register the new brand as a trademark, and a name with unambigious meaning. After hours of brainstorming, they came up with the name Nortal, that refers to the company’s Nordic working culture and it’s talented employees. The logo resembles Nordic lights. Interestingly enough one of the most difficult tasks of re-branding was to make the employees keep the secret for a month before the birth of the new brand was offically announced in May 25th, 2012. Of course, everything went well and now most people don’t seem to miss the days they identified themselves as Webmedics.

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