Our experience in Lift99 has been progressive. The Startup Story

Ucha Vekua
Aug 3, 2020 · 7 min read

It is very important for startup founders and other individuals in this field to communicate with different people, attend various events and be active to connect to the future possible partners. I’m Ucha from Startup Adventures and I would like to tell you about our two-month experience in Lift99.

Lift99 is a startup hub and a community space located in the heart of Tallinn. Flagship of the Estonian startup ecosystem, home of #EstonianMafia community and the go-to place for founders. Their mission is to create startup success stories and help founders change the world.

Lift99 Tallinn Hub

The hub is located in the Telliskivi Creative City — one of the most popular destinations of Tallinn — You can find great bars, design shops, museums and many startup companies that have settled in there.

From the 1st of June, Startup Adventures team had a chance to be part of the Lift99 community and have a desk in the Flex area of their Tallinn Hub.

The experience has been totally amazing!

We had a huge improvement and progress since we started working from the Lift99 and we are really excited to tell you all about it!

But before that, let me tell you how we started and reached here.

Where were we before joining?

Our initiative started in January 2020 as a side project. In the beginning, we were just two guys (Ucha & Hardik) wanted to know how startup companies generally operate. So we would go to the offices of different successful startups and interview their people operations or marketing specialists and ask them about their corporate culture. We quickly onboarded our 3rd co-founder — Simonka from Slovakia and started to take it on the next level, because we saw the potential — we wanted to bring international student community closer to the startup ecosystem and show how the startup mindset works, by interviewing people on this field and organising events together with different startup organisations.

Selfie from the interview with Startup Estonia

My passion has always been content creation. So I was the one who wrote and published all the interviews as well as handling the visuals and social media. Hardik was assisting with planning and handling the tech and Simonka was great with communications — she was taking leads, talking to partners and arranging meetings for the possible cooperation.

From the first of June, we got a chance to have an office space in Lift99 Tallinn Hub and be part of their community. We definitely wanted to use this chance and claimed our membership as early as we could!

We were really excited about our opportunity to be part of the Lift99 community. So me and Simonka were here every day in the beginning, from the morning to the evening, trying to talk to everyone and spread the word about us and our project.

After the first week, we realised that this is a great place to network and meet new, interesting people with exciting backgrounds. We knew that we should have been really active and needed more resources for that.

So we opened a call for our followers to join our international team and, as a result, we recruited two new members in the core team — Christina from Greece and Darina from Estonia.

The Core Team of Startup Adventures

Our team was very active within the first month — we showed up to the office every day and tried to talk to every founder and interesting person inside and outside the Lift99. We did our first podcast about our team and background startup stories from each one of us, which was really successful.

From the beginning, we planned the whole journey in details and tried to stick to the plan, because we knew that it would help us to reach our goals in the most effective way.

Lift99 team was really helpful during the whole process. Let’s dig into it more:

Vibrant Community

It’s inspiring for us to be around all these amazing startup founders and creative people every day! Here you can really meet people from all over the world working on the project that is amazing and has great potential. We enjoy having chats with different founders and community members and we always ask them feedback about what we do and what we can make better. That’s how we improve daily as a team and as individuals.

This helped us to reach out to more people and get advice from the industry professionals to position ourselves on the market more easily. Also, we got really good contacts and feedback for our project. It is truly valuable to hear the feedback from people who have been working on in the startup organisations such as Startup Estonia, Garage48, Latitude59 and many more!

It is a great boost and inspiration for us to organise some great community events, which we do every week in different venues.

We would definitely be willing to organise public and private events together with Lift99 in the future!

Selfie with the founders of Woola

Being active with communicating with other members gave us chance to interview many interesting founders and startup initiatives such as Homestudy, Sunmill, Koolio, Woola, and many more which will be available soon!

For sure we can say that it has been a Great Impact to be part of such a vibrant startup community in Estonia.

Events & Opportunities

There are lots of physical and online events happening in Lift99 every week — showing up on these events is a great way to connect to new people and spread the word about your project. We managed to attend every event happening in Lift99 Tallinn Hub in these two months. Sometimes we even helped with organising it, which was a very valuable experience for us.

For example, once a month, they do a ‘Mingling Night’, where every member come together in the main area and connect with each other. On the one in July, we came up with an idea to play the Human Bingo game, where everybody had to match people around with certain characteristics — this way, people started asking questions to each other and they came closer.

Koolio team playing table tennis

On the ‘Lunch Wednesday’ event, which has the same purpose, we had an idea to put sticky notes, where we asked guests to write about their fail story from their professional life — this helped them to share the failure and start conversations with each other in this way.

Speed Dating was also a great experience for us. There we had to meet different founders and get to know with them within one minute.

We took part in different trainings as well. For example, there was a Pitch training and feedback session happening online for the community members. Both Estonian and Ukrainian hubs were involved in this and we used this chance to test our pitch— we got a very good and valuable feedback from that session, which helped us to improve ourselves and connect with founders with Ukrainian Hub as well.

We truly believe that the biggest value from these activities was to meet new people and get their feedback about our idea, concept and the way of working.

To sum up, these 2 months have been extremely active, challenging and interesting for us — we managed to do interviews with 8 different startups, organise 7 events, record 4 podcast live interviews, finalize our core & contributor team, reach out to new partners, position ourselves, launch our platform and, most importantly, have an organic growth! That’s why we would like to continue our cooperation with them and still be based here in Tallinn Hub.

Other than putting efforts to use our chance and be visible in Lift99, we were also quite active with other communities too!

To be precise, we managed to officially partner up with Draper Startup House Estonia and organise the physical events with them on a weekly basis — we do it every Tuesday and don’t forget to join us there — we welcome everybody! Also, we planned interviews and partnerships with other startup hubs and early-stage startup founders in Tallinn. We are happy to announce that ESN is officially on board and we will do lots of great activities with them from the new semester to bring international students closer to the startup ecosystem. So stay tuned!

I would like to thank the whole team of Lift99 once again for giving us this chance to boost our project and be part of a vibrant community. Especially the founder Ragnar Sass and the community manager Kärt Rääbis, who were in charge of this project from the very beginning and helped us to reach our goals more effectively!

Thank you!

Ucha Vekua

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Ucha Vekua

Written by

Content Creator — Sharing experiences and Startup Adventures 🚀

Startup Adventures International

We are Startup Adventures - we show how the startup mindset works! In this publication, you can share your startup experiences and tell us about you! Join our community on Facebook 🙌🏼 🚀

Ucha Vekua

Written by

Content Creator — Sharing experiences and Startup Adventures 🚀

Startup Adventures International

We are Startup Adventures - we show how the startup mindset works! In this publication, you can share your startup experiences and tell us about you! Join our community on Facebook 🙌🏼 🚀

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