From student-company-caterpillar to a startup-butterfly

October 28, 2016. Upper floor corridor of Hugo Treffner’s Gymnasium. Joonatan was typing the last few lines of a document in his laptop. At 6 p.m, student company Festera was born.

Three boys, one freshly joined girl and a primitive sketch with a big idea behind it - that’s all Festera was back then. However, we found it to be more than enough to apply for a place in Ajujaht, Prototron and international student company programme. We got rejected from all of them. Today, on 29th October 2017 we belong to the top100 teams of Ajujaht, our prototype is working, we have a community of 30 test clients etc. As it was Festera’s birthday yesterday, we looked back to the beginning of this crazy year. We wanted to see how Festera has changed us.

November 2016. Our first meeting in Säde

Being part of a student company is like a hyper-accelerator for some of your skills. In our team, Joonatan has become a master of writing formal emails and Kevin is a well-trained inspirational speaker. However, what’s more important is the change in our mindsets. When Kris started to build the first biobox, he saw it just as an exciting inventing project, he couldn’t even dream that after a year he would be studying university research papers about composting - voluntarily. Joonatan started a revolution in his domestic waste management - not a single item is thrown away without sorting. Sandra as our greatest coffeeholic does not leave home without her silver coffee cup - paper cups are a total no-go. We stumble across problems with waste disposal everywhere we go - we note them because who knows, maybe we can solve them one day.

We have met so many different people this year and some of them have inspired us to test ourselves more as well. A month or two ago, we had a conversation with a girl who keeps her biowaste in the deep-freeze, because there has been no better solution for recycling it so far. Hearing the stories of eco-activists or vegans tempts us to try zero-waste living or eating differently ourselves. For sharing challenges like this, we have created this blog.

Hard work has already paid off in some means. Instead of meeting once a month in cafe Säde, we are now a part of the family of Startup Hub Tartu.  For the beautiful facilities, great coffee and invaluable advice, we owe a huge thanks to the Cocoon programme. This 3-month-long project is, indeed, just like a cocoon - the period between being a student-company-catepillar, and spreading our wings as a real startup.

Every day, we are working to make the life span of Festera longer than it is for the butterflies. We want to fly until the world is green and you are all welcome to join us.

Stay tuned!

Your team Festera

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