Sulev Kirst and Tarmo Pihl. Photograph: Raul Mee
Estonian based social networking company Sentab has won the Estonian final of international start-up competition ‘The Venture’ by Chivas, and gets the opportunity to compete for $1 million in investment.
‘The Venture’ is created by Chivas Brothers to inspire business thinkers and find social entrepreneurs who believe that business can be used as a force for good. A total of $1M in investments will be shared between start-ups who want to do business differently.
There were 32 companies applying for the local competition, whilst only 5 were selected for the final held on December 4th in Tallinn, Estonia. According to the panel of judges, Sentab has the strongest social impact on society and was therefore named the winner.
One of the judges and a consultant to investors, Colin Tan from Dotforge emphasized that Sentab has a great potential in the international arena. “They have a great team and a very strong vision of what they will do and how it could change the world. Sentab’s product is aimed at a target group that is constantly growing – seniors. I believe that this start-up will become a successful company and an important social business,” said Colin Tan.
Sentab is a social network for older people that connects its members via turning regular household TV into an interactive social hub. It enables its users to make free video calls with friends & family, share photos & videos, as well as helping to make new acquaintances with likeminded individuals.
“There is a verified interest and a strong demand after our product. The idea came from life itself – we sensed the need for a new technological bridge that would allow us to communicate better and more frequently with our parents. Older people do not tend to embrace the newest technological solutions and we decided to give them a solution that is familiar, yet still modern – communication through TV,” said one of the founders and CEO of Sentab, Tarmo Pihl.
The winner of Estonian final will participate in an accelerator week taking place in April 2016. After completing the mentor program, the start-ups will compete for the People’s Choice award and $250k of potential funding, voted for by the public.
The Final Pitch will be held in front of an International jury in July 2016, when the remaining $750k of funding will be awarded by The Venture’s esteemed global judging panel. Besides the Estonian finalist, Sentab, there will be 27 more countries represented in The Venture initiative, all hoping to make their mark and create a positive legacy.