Tallinn announced winners of its annual entrepreneurship awards

Yesterday, on 9 October, in a formal gala in the Noblessner Foundry, the City of Tallinn announced its 2019 award winners for the best property development to promote entrepreneurship or tourism, corporate cooperation project, brightest startup, tourism achievement, job creator, responsible company, and future solution.

According to Kairi Vaher, Head of the Tallinn Enterprise Department, the activities of the winners have had the greatest impact on the development of the city’s business environment in this year and stood out with their economic value and innovativeness.  The group of award recipients includes a diverse range of organisations, from major developers to startups and from research institutions to companies with a global reach. “All initiatives that, in one way or another, create additional value are important for Tallinn, because the success of the city depends on the entrepreneurial spirit of its residents,” Vaher said.

The winners of this year’s Tallinn entrepreneurship awards are:

Development Project 2019: First stage of the Noblessner harbour district development by BLRT Grupp AS

It is an extensive project that has transformed the historic territory of the Noblessner submarine factory, which used to be closed to the public for a long time, into a welcoming urban space, including a marina, apartments, business spaces, a seaside promenade and venues for cultural events. The final cost of the first stage of the project was nearly 77 million euros. 

Cooperation Project 2019: ISEAUTO, organised by project partners AuVe Tech OÜ, Tallinn University of Technology, and ABB AS

The three partners launched the cooperation project to develop and test the ISEAUTO self-driving vehicle. Potential applications of a self-driving vehicle include extension of public transport routes as well as provision of rental services. ISEAUTO is ideal for covering short distances in locations with low traffic speeds or on the streets that would be too narrow for regular city buses.

Brightest Startup 2019: Smartcraft OÜ

Established in 2018 and currently employing 4 persons, the company specialises on installation of production lines and equipment for the manufacture of frame houses. Smartcraft focuses on export markets and provides its services throughout the world. Service export accounted for 75% of the company’s turnover in 2018, and for a staggering 90% in 2019.

Tourism Achievement 2019: Fotografiska Tallinn by Fotograafia Tallinn OÜ

Opened in June 2019 in the Telliskivi Creative City, Fotografiska is a world-class photo art centre, providing a meeting place for photography, food, design, music and events. In its first two months, the centre received 50,000 visitors, with 60% of them being tourists.

Job Creator 2019: Estonian branch of the TransferWise Ltd financial technology company

The Estonian branch of TransferWise won the job creator award for the second year in a row. TransferWise’s ability to create jobs and expand is related to the popularity of the company, indicating that their service is in high demand among people who need to work, study or travel abroad. TransferWise has 6 million clients and supports 1,600 currency routes.

Responsible Company 2019: Avaron Asset Management AS

Investment firm Avaron Asset Management only invests in responsible listed companies in Eastern Europe that follow specific principles of environmental, social and corporate Governance (ESG). Avaron requires the companies to demonstrate sustainability in their environmental and social dimensions, as well as compliance with good business practices.  

Future Solution 2019: Computer vision algorithm project in Tallinn by SIFR OÜ

In cooperation with the City of Tallinn, SIFR OÜ has developed a computer vision algorithm, which makes it possible to use regular cameras to monitor traffic junctions. It can be used as an affordable infrastructure with the possibility of simultaneous monitoring of multiple lanes to achieve a greater coverage of traffic.

Besides the seven main categories, additional prizes were awarded to the best applied science projects in cooperation with the Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn University, the Estonian Academy of Arts, and the Foundation of Applied Higher Education Institutions.

The following special prizes for applied science projects were awarded:

  • Best science project at the Tallinn University of Technology: “ISEAUTO”, project manager Raivo Sell
  • Best science project at Tallinn University: “Interpreting meteorological data for the Toyota Racing team”, project manager Hannes Tõnisson
  • Best science project at the Estonian Academy of Arts: “A Responsive Cutlery Concept”, author Denisay Apusoglu
  • Best science project in Estonian Applied Higher Education Institutions: “Design of a 3D-printed radiator for a student formula car”, author Konrad Ilustrumm

The gala event also included the award of the special prize of 5,000 euros in the “Productive Vitality” competition, organised by Tallinna Kaubamaja and the Adapter cooperation network, which was won by the Estonian Academy of Arts for the “RINGNÕU” conceptual design. The aim of the competition is to find new ideas for recycling film and plastic.


Pictured: Nominees and winners of the Tallinn 2019 entrepreneurship awards

The entrepreneurship competition is part of the annual Tallinn Entrepreneurship Day, which was held this year on 8 October. The goal of the Entrepreneurship Day is to value and recognise entrepreneurship, to encourage the realisation of good and audacious ideas and, in addition to sharing new knowledge, to provide an opportunity for networking. The Tallinn Enterprise Department organises the Entrepreneurship Day for the 16th time and this year’s theme is “Dare to Think, Dare to Act”.  Participation in the Entrepreneurship Day is free.

Photos by: Andre Altjõe

Additional information:
Kärt Kanne
Tel 640 4227
E-mail kart.kanne@tallinnlv.ee