How it was started?
Estonian startup leaders club was formed in January 2009 by a group of people, leaders of Ambient Sound Investment portfolio companies. They participated on a 4-module startup leaders training program in autumn 2008. After the training program was finished, the participants wanted to continue sharing their experiences and getting advice from people working on similar early stage startups.
Back then the main goal was to share experiences, pretty intimate details of failures and success - and therefore a pretty intimate club form seemed most suitable. Most startups and young CEO-s face similar daily issues - hiring good people, product development, funding, sales, setting up compensation models and options programs, establishing UK/US entities, IP & patents etc.
Today most of members are already quite experienced startup leaders. We still share information and experience on daily bases. But close relations also lead to founding new startups together or joining an other startup - and most of awesome startups have been founded by people who already knew each other for a some time, have done something together.
Some other initiatives were also born during our casual meetings or in our Skype chat - like Garage48 or GarageHUB (now Lift 99). We are not trying to save whole world (or Estonia as a part of world). If someone takes initiative and others want to join - go for it, do it. Several of our members are mentors for young startups via WiseGuys, Tehnopol incubator or other incubators.
Goals of the Estonian Startup Leader Club
- Build stronger relationships among professional Estonian startup entrepreneurs.
- Provide opportunities for members to meet face to face in a social setting.
- Encourage direct communication, cooperation and knowledge sharing.
- Encourage development of new Estonian professional startup entrepreneurs.
We expect our club members to get to know each other and cooperate closely. We use Skype multichat, Fakebook group, Linkedin group and in Twitter via #EstonianMafia
Ad-hoc lunches. Organize club lunches a couple times a month in both Tallinn and Tartu. Members are welcome to bring a guest (founders and executives preferred). Organizer can invite external guests or set a theme (e.g. Bring-your-marketing-exec-to-lunch day).
Monthly dinners. Organize a club dinner once a month both in Tallinn and Tartu (preferably on different days) that can include invited guests and set topic or theme. If there is a great presenter or too many members sign up, upgrade dinner to a cocktail party or a boardroom meeting. Can be replaced with another event - like sauna party, grilling evening or whatever else instead at organizers discretion - up to ideas, effort and time.
If something interesting comes up between dinners and lunches, we'll see each other more.
President and Board
The club is managed by President and board members. The President is voted by club members and nominated for 12 month period. Voting takes place in December. The president invites 2-5 club members to become board members and help on administration tasks. See Members >
President 2017: Rein Lemberpuu
Board: Herty Tammo, Märt Aro
Eesti Startupi Juhtide Klubi MTÜ / Estonian Startup Leaders Club NGO
Reg. No. 80305937