So at the doors of Garage48 HUB was my next #StartUpSelfie guest. It was my last scheduled meet-up for that day and a perfect timing for catching pink skies over Tallinn. Everyone that knows me will definitely confirm that I love ‘sunset colors’ and if there’s a rooftop view involved, than that’s the perfect combination 🙂 For that reason, we were headed to the Rooftop bar, which was in a walking distance from the HUB, minutes before freezing.
“I never thought of SportID as a startup, but after being part of the second batch of the Startup Wise Guys program and seeing the change of the mindset within our team, you can say now that we are. The whole acceleration program has given us a great boost and helped us in synchronizing many processes. My background is in sports and since we are having many companies that have corporate wellness policy, the idea about this business just clicked. This is the reason why I am building the best wellness management platform for companies – SportID and we are striving to help you make your employees more fit and productive. On the other hand, we are also organizing many fun sport events for the companies at the Estonian Federation for Company Sport. Also as a sports company we are very competitive. We’ve been bootstrapping for 3 years, but now we are market leaders in what we do and not only in Estonia, but Lithuania and Latvia as well. In the following period we are trying to build business models that will fit the German and Austrian market, as we are looking forward to expanding to these countries very very soon” – says Marti.
I was also interested to hear his thoughts on the Estonian eco-system and to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey. As well as what advice would he give to anyone interested in starting a business…
“In Estonia at the moment, the startup eco-system is booming! There’s a change in the mindset among the younger generation, the government is supporting new and innovative business ideas, etc. I am quite sure that the government is never ready in any country, that there is always room for improvement, but here an advantage is that, it is relatively fast to change something. The weakness is that the market is very small and it is very hard to find great team member, because the competition is very tough. Maybe most valuable and strategic advice that I would give to anyone interested in starting their own business is: Rather than thinking if this business will be profitable or not, start a business around something that you enjoy doing. Because at the end, we spend most of our time working, so why not make it enjoyable and fun? Don’t build a startup up just because you have heard that joining the ‘startup world’ is cool and it is trendy now, do it because you are passionate about something. Because you will face many problems and obstacles on the way, but for me, there was never a point where I considered giving up SportID. You just need to keep moving forward and in Estonia because of the cold weather, we get to work more as a consequence of staying more indoors.” – adds Marti.
It was a real pleasure meeting and talking with Marti, while enjoying panoramic view of the mesmerizing Tallinn. I wish him and his team a great success with the expansion and hopefully after Germany and Austria they can spread SportID to many more countries around Europe. Since that was the 4th meet-up for the day and I was feeling exhausted, it was time for me to recharge my batteries with a group of friends, so we went to experience the “No WiFi” in the 15th Century’s “Olde Hansa” restaurant!
Sooner than you expect a new #StartUpSelfie coming from Tallinn 🙂