MoMo March: Mechanic Monday

March 29, 2016
MoMo went mech tech with Protolab, Kinotehnik, Evocon and Lahzit. And the concept of Makerlab was introduced. Also, we had an electric motorbike in the lobby!

Another MoMo, another insanely interesting evening at the HUB!  This time it was MeMo – Mechanic Monday. Instead of different people discussing code, programming languages, optimisation and such, we saw people who make real stuff. Mechanics and engineering meeting IT. Motorbikes. Batteries. A manufacturing efficiency app. Prototyping like mad men. Woodworking accessories.

Working electric motorbike by Protolab

But first, we had some Wall of Fame additions!

The event unfolded with some credit giving: our Wall of Fame got 4 new plaques. The criteria for getting on the wall is pretty simple:
1) Your office or most of your team has to be located in Tartu;
2) You have to have either €10k revenue per month or raised €100k in VC capital.
If you have all of those, even better!

First up was SprayPrinter that has seen lots of success. They started from BuildIT and went on to conquer the world. Not to mention some of their employees are real graffiti artists.

Then there was Speak Languages that helps everyone to learn a new language through conversation.

Go Work a Bit is another success story, helping employers find temporary, sometimes even permanent employees very quickly. With an added bonus of giving people a chance to test out different positions through work "bites".

Transferfast is a fintech startup that provides instant money transfers. And when I say instant, it means that the longest it takes is 10 minutes, but usually the money is there in minutes.

Congratulations to all four new Wall of Fame companies!

Tartu has been seen as Estonian Silicon Valley for a while now, and that usually means lots of different IT startups and giants. Turns out, there's more to Tartu than many of us knew. Of course, we do have BuildIT, the accelerator of things, and Tartu Science Park where things happen, too.  So deep down we knew IT isn't all there is but nothing prepared most of us for a flurry of genius that we learned yesterday.

To all who didn't make it to the HUB for Mechanic Monday, introducing Protolab! They are a team of 4 people who make amazing things. First of all, their expertise and helping hand are behind some success stories you probably have already heard of – Click & Grow and LCDVF to name a few. But in addition to offering excellent prototyping, engineering and batch manufacturing service, they have their own projects to keep things interesting. For an example, they have built a working electric motorbike prototype! Also swappable batteries are in the works, open source charging station for your home and a dashboard app, and an electric go-kart they use to attend races in. Not to mention EstCube. If you have an idea, Protolab guys will help you turn it into reality.

You may have heard of the success story of LCDVF, the LCD viewfinder, the missing link in the photovideogpaphy era. Tõnis Liivamägi of Kinotehnik made the LCDVF 7 years ago because he urgently needed one himself. First 300 clients were found online (note that it predates any sort of crowdfunding!) and currently LCDVF is sold in 50 countries worldwide. By now, the product line has expanded with an eletronic viewfinder called LCDVFe and Practilite 602, a smartphone controlled LED light you can use anywhere without err...overheating your subject, among other very important advantages. The Kinotehnik team has 4 members, in-house manufacturing by Protolab and more interesting products in store. Spread the word among your camera-clad friends, they'll thank you for it!

Evocon is an app with sensors to track efficiency in manufacturing, and what's even better - they have neat reports. You can find the reasons behind delays and address them on time. The founder has a background in manufacturing and decided 8 years ago to build an app with sensors to solve with these issues in a timely manner. By now, Evocon is used in 12 countries and countless plants, mostly in Europe.

Lahzit is the tiny but mighty company, founded by Toomas Laatsit, a mechanical engineer with work experience in an array of manufacturing companies. Lahzit manufactures unique woodworking accessories for tools - for an example, a truly amazing log peeler. With an online shop and a Youtube channel, Lahzit exports to 16 countries, mostly to log house building companies.

Exciting times never end in Tartu. The mastermind behind .Contriber and .Contriber Labs has a fresh new initiative called Makerlab in mind. It would be a place of walk-in prototyping, given you know how to use the machines. Plus mentors and tutors to provide get the best advice, and educational programmes. If you want to get involved with the project, drop us a line on FB or email, we'll hook you up!

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