Microsoft Development Centers usually are what their name says – hubs for IT professionals who develop amazing IT ecosystem of Microsoft. In the case of Microsoft Development Center Estonia (MDCE), they strive to go beyond. Brain Hunt collaborating with MDCE will bring on Estonian ambitious Startups that have a great potential to be successful worldwide.
Microsoft chose RUEX
Local importance of Brain Hunt was firstly recognized and initiated by Estonian government through the national institution “Enterprise Estonia.” Brain Hunt has jumpstarted many local IT success stories that have become employers for thousands of Estonians – finalist Bolt (taxi service Startup) has become a worldwide transportation brand and Click’n’Grow (Self-growing indoor gardening Startup) was molded into a worldwide household gardening wizardry. One of the latest winners, FoodDocs (Food Safety Management System), has made great progress in foreign markets. Some finalists have gone to the Bay Area to search for more investors other than local Baltic business angels.
Tanel Erm, MDCE’s leader and a TV jury member for Brain Hunt, was hoping that this year’s TOP 3 finalist RUEX can become the next team to win the competition. Erm had been mentoring RUEX for a couple of months and the startup prevailed with 2nd place, earning 15,000 euros.
RUEX is developing a platform that connects electric car users with chargers. An electric car driver sees the chargers nearby on the platform, their occupancy, books an appointment, chooses the shortest route, charges the car, pays, and receives an invoice. The charger owner can therefore monetize their chargers when they are not in use.
Erm recognizes the vast potential in the realm of electric and hybrid vehicles. He appreciates the fact that RUEX has collected a team of enthusiasts who have experience in the field. “Every time we meet, I can see the progress RUEX’s had. I’ve helped them to clarify their message and I’ve given them new ideas on what to do with their technical solutions. This is a great source of motivation for me, and it inspires me to look through some forgotten ideas in my folders, both physical and digital. Maybe some of them can be implemented for Microsoft and I can experience a similar journey RUEX is embarking on. Their idea is now almost entirely different from their starting point.”
Physical health care services are meshing with technology
Other Microsoft representatives who mentored Brain Hunt TOP30 teams this year were MDCE’s HR Partner Merle Liisu Lindma and Engineering Manager Henn Ruukel.
Merle Liisu Lindma was willing to invest her time and energy in projects related to education led by women. Her reasoning was that education and lifelong learning give people the freedom to make choices in life. “I confess, I’m lucky. I mentored Ajujaht contestant Maria Kasepalu, who creates a collaborative subject program. For me, it is an opportunity to see the world from another angle, to contribute to topics close to my heart, to learn and think out of the box of everyday work,” said Lindma.
Microsoft’s Sales Team in Estonia has been represented by start-up expert Mihkel Rembel . He had been assisting Brain Hunt’s last season finalist DriveX earlier and he was familiar with Brain Hunt via his previous employer before joining Microsoft. This year, Rembel was a jury member in the preliminary TOP 100 Brain Hunt idea assessment round and TOP 30 round. He was curious to witness how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the way people think about developing business and added that he wasn’t disappointed since he mentored three teams – all of which made it to the TOP 10 round.
Mihkel Rembel praised the ongoing effects happening for Microsoft in Estonia: “Since we are participating together – sales and tech – our effort shows the local IT and start-up sector that we are serious about giving knowledge back to the community. We invest time and use our network to help Estonia’s new IT beacons. Different units inside MDCE can see how our experts can collaborate and this creates interest with our employees to mentor Brain Hunt teams next year. Our sales and tech teams are standing for one cause and when we are united, we become stronger,” said Rembel.
Brain Hunt working with MDCE will be a mutual profitability that will support local entrepreneurs and businesses to innovate and scale globally their ambitions for growth.