Hüppelaud Summer School

Hüppelaud is a Summer School for 14-19-year-old students from all over the world who take an interest in entrepreneurship and technology. In 2024 Hüppelaud will take place in Viljandi on August 5th-9th.

The purpose of the week-long hackathon is to provide teenagers with an opportunity to get firsthand experience on how to build a functional prototype. Working in teams of 4-6 people, all participants will obtain experience in building their ideas into functional products, covering the topics from ideation to design, programming, testing and marketing.

The teams will be assisted by highly skilled mentors who will facilitate the progress of the participants, direct them towards useful resources and build an overall positive atmosphere. 

Hüppelaud is free for all participants!

Weekly schedule (will be soon updated for 2024)

Monday, August 5th:

  • 8:00 – Early bird catches the form (for those who want to get a sporty start)
  • 9:00 – Having breakfast together
  • 9:30 – Greetings from Hüppelaud, pitching the ideas
  • 11:00 – Team formation, getting to know the mentors
  • 12:00 – First workshop: “How to build a product in a week?”, Martin Sokk
  • 13:00 – Lunch
  • 14:00 – Parallel workshops: practical tools for web development no-code vs pro-code, Kaarel ReinvarsMihkel Jesse
  • 15:00 – Introduction to Dev Sprint
  • 19:00 – Dinner
  • 20:00 – Evening activities

Tuesday, August 6th:

  • 8:00 – Early bird catches the form
  • 9:00 – Having breakfast together, teams discuss their plans for the following day(s)
  • 10:00 – A trip Viru patallion, discussion on state and cyber defence
  • 13:00 – Lunch
  • 14:00 – Speaker: “Practical solutions and the future of AI”, Denys Kovalenko
  • Continue DevSprint / Building in teams
  • 18:00 – Hike to Kukruse ash hill, having dinner at Valge Hobu restaurant

Wednesday, August 7th:

  • 8:00 – Early bird catches the form
  • 9:00 – Having breakfast together, teams discuss their plans for the following day(s)
  • 10:00 – Workshop on the Product Visuals and Marketing, Kaspar Kuus
  • Building in teams
  • 13:00 – Lunch
  • 14:00 – Speaker: “How to turn science into business and vice versa?”, Carmen Kivisild
  • Building in teams
  • 19:00 – Dinner
  • 20:00 – Evening activities: discussion panel on academic vs vocational education

Thursday, August 8th:

  • 8:00 – Early bird catches the form
  • 9:00 – Having breakfast together, teams discuss their plans for the following day(s)
  • 10:00 – Pitching workshop, Rasmus Merirand
  • Building in teams
  • 13:00 – Lunch
  • 14:00 – Speaker: “How to raise capital for your budding business?”, Kärt Siilats
  • Building in teams
  • 19:00 – Dinner
  • 20:00 – Evening activities: in case of bad weather we watch the movie “Child Machine“

Friday, August 9th:

  • 8:00 – Early bird catches the form
  • 9:00 – Having breakfast together, teams discuss their plans for the following day(s)
  • 10:00 – Speaker: “How to explain hard things in an easy way”, Madis Lehtmets
  • Finalizing products
  • 13:00 – Lunch
  • 14:00 – Final presentations
  • 16:00 – Closing dinner, bus back to Tallinn

Mentors

Kristjan Erik Liive
Kristjan Erik isa a data scientist at Wise. He earned his Master’s degree from The University of Edinburgh in computer sciences and artificial intelligence and has worked as a data scientist at STACC and Bolt but also tested his skills as a door-to-door book salesman in the US. As a student he also helped organizing several hackathons and conferences and his secret mission is building bridges between Estonians in diaspora. Kristjan spends his free time in nature.

Kaspar Kuus
Kaspar has been a mentor at Hüppelaud a few times as well as doing workshops on (digital) marketing, the skills that he has obtained from various Estonian startups like VeriffKatana ja Lingvist. Now he works as a designer for investment platform Lightyear. Kaspar has studied computer sciences at Tartu University and digital product design at Estonian Academy of Arts. Kaspar was an avid entrepreneur and programmer already at high school: he founded a coding platform Cody and his student company Spoony won the title of the best Student Company of the Year.

Lily Forman
Lily is studying history, data science, and gender studies at Stanford University. She’s very excited to be working at Vabamu and spending the summer in Estonia. In her free time, she loves trying out new cafes and spending time in nature.

Juri Volodin
Juri participated at the very first Hüppelaud in 2017, building a shoe polisher on magnets. In 2018-2021 he studied chemistry, physics and material sciences at Tartu University and since last year he’s on a Electric Power Systems track for a MSc degree at the European Wind Energy Master (EWEM). Juri has created educational materials on metal 3D printing, topology optimization techniques, and utilization of computational models for quality improvement of printed details as well as predicting optimal operational parameters for 3D printing.

Dmitri Orehhov
Dmitri was the founder of the biggest street dance festival in the Baltics, J-Fest. He graduated from Tallinn University this spring with a degree in sociology and has worked as a project manager, social work specialist and an analyst. At high school in Jõhvi he took part in various hackathons and entrepreneurship programs and has been mentoring at Hüppelaud spring school.

Elsa Wilbur
Elsa is studying art history and archaeology at Stanford University, and has previously worked on excavations and for art galleries. She is currently interning at Vabamu, and looks forward to helping with the program. For fun, Elsa enjoys photography and exploring new places. 

Hendrik Mölder
Hendrik has been with Hüppelaud since the very first year. While at it, he received a computer sciences and business administration degree from The University of Manchester. He’s worked as a software developer at Teleport, Testlio and for the past four years at Wise. He’s most addicted to product development, web development, JavaScript, React, Java and Python. To take a break from work, he enjoys hiking on rugged terrains.

Helena Eglit
Helena has worked as a program manager at European Innovation Academy and Alchemist Accelerator in Silicon Valley. She has also helped organizing events for Garage48 and Latitude59. This spring she graduated from Tartu University cum laude and works as a research assitant at Princeton University this summer. Helena will continue her studies on the impact of Russian desinformation at Stanford University this fall. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and watching basket ball games.

Fred Gregor Rahuoja
Gregor is a true team player: either on a basket ball field or working as an Estonian language and civics teacher at a Russian speaking school in Tallinn. He has earned his degree in history and philosophy from Tartu University and has also studied at universities in London and Pardubice. This fall Gregor will start his programming studies at kood / Jõhvi while moving to Silicon Valley.

Denys Kovalenko
Denys is passionate about applying data and machine learning to real-world problems. He’s currently leading ML Platform & Experimentation teams at Bolt. He has cofounded two IT-projects and loves to make valuable products. He has more than ten hackathons under his belt with a lot of useful products being built across hardware and software. He’s also into extreme sports – from cycling and snowboarding to volcano hiking.

Carmen Kivisild
Carmen aspires to make a positive impact on people’s lives by bringing scientific breakthroughs into everyday lives. Her scientific interests are focused on novel therapeutics, including drug discovery. She has studied genetic engineering at TalTech, biomedicine at Tartu University and completed her doctoral studies in neurosciences at University College London. Until this summer she worked as a researcher at London King’s College. Carmen is also a cofounder of PracticeGate where she is teaching and mentoring adults from diverse backgrounds.

Martin Sokk
Martin is a cofounder and CEO of the the investment platform Lightyear. He has been building products in various big companies like Swedbank, Eesti Energia and Wise where he led the international product, payment oprations and HR teams over the span of five years. Three years ago Martin and Mihkel Aamer discovered that they were both fed up by using several different platforms and paying high fees for investing, therefore they decided to build their own platform that would solve all these issues at once.

Kärt Siilats
Kärt knows everything about private equity, venture capital research and investment banking. teab kõike investeerimispangadusest, riskikapitalist ja varahaldusest. She’s a cofounder at Mojo Capital and a member of its investment committee. Kärt completed her psychology studies at Harvard University cum laude and received finance-focused MBAs from Barcelona School of Economics and INSEAD. She has helped budding entrepreneurs as a mentor at European Innovation AcademyTechstars as well as CDL. Kärt held three consecutive Estonian records in high jump and also won the US Championships in Athletics.

Mikk Olli
Mikk is a digital product designer who has been one of the most popular mentors throughout the years at Hüppelaud. This year he’ll also conduct a workshop on product design. Currently Mikk works as a freelancer since working for a startup Whatifi, building an app that offers new kind of cinematographic experiences. He’s been the head of design team at GrabCAD, building a network for more than five million mechanic engineers all around the world as well as designing software for industrial 3D printers at Stratasys in Boston. Mikk also enjoys being a street photographer and an illustrator.

Andrius Matšenas
Andrius participated at Hüppelaud in 2018-19 and has returned as a mentor. He currently works at Cachet as a Data Product Manager building person-centric insurance. He has previous experience as a Product Analyst at NFTPort building infrastructure for person-centric web. Andrius has graduated mathematics at University of Southampton, focusing on insurance and risk modelling. He loves participating in hackathons to quickly test mini-project ideas and also travelling, swimming and socialising with people from different backgrounds.

Lucy Zimmerman
Lucy is studying Computer Science and Creative Writing at Stanford University in the United States but grew up in Sydney, Australia. Outside of university, Lucy has had years of experience in tutoring and teaching, leading and integrating coding and robotics curriculum in public high schools in Sydney. Lucy has previously taken part in computer science camps and hackathons as both a mentor and a participant. Lucy also works as a software engineer for WiseTech Global and has experience in start up environments. She loves the outdoors, running, basketball and surfing.

Natali Mutli
Natali studies business analytics at University of Amsterdam and outside of school helps student entrepreneurs get VC funding from ASIF Ventures. She has participated in and organized and mentored at several entrepreneurship and technology camps and initiatives. Last summer she started a coding camp Enter Bootcamp with her friends from high school.

Mihkel Jesse
Mihkel has been at Hüppelaud several times both as a participant as well as a mentor. He was a technical assistant during the first sprint at kood /Jõhvi and an intern at LHV bank. With his friends he was in charge of organizing Enter Bootcamp las summer where the main focus was on programming and entrepreneurial workshops. Mihkel just finished his first year of maths studies at Tartu University.

Lii Schmidt
Lii is a student of data science at Eindhoven University of Technology where she’s building 3D artificial organs and medical robots at Honors Academy. She’s the third cofounder of Enter Bootcamp and has work experiences as a system analyst, lab assistant as well as data processing. She has passed the hackers’ course in both Python as well as SQL.

Sander Tammer
Sander is one of the most seasoned Hüppelaud participants and mentors, having built the legendary fingerprint-proof backpack back in 2017. He will start his studies at TalTech informatics this fall. As a product manager he’s built the audio- and e-book app for Estonian biggest book retailer Rahva Raamat and during his spare time he is an avid biker and runner and builds a health app for sportsmen like himself.

Maria Heinsar
Maria first participated at Hüppelaud as a 8th grader back in 2017, building a physics game called PowerDomino. In 2018 Maria was leading a team called GoLunch, building an app for working people to dine together. Now Maria is a student at ESCP Business School in Italy and with her endless energy helps organizing the second Hüppelaud in a row.

Kaarel Reinvars
Kaarel started studying programming on his own when he was ten and has by now mastered several languages. Now he works as a full-stack developer at Modash, a platform for social networks influencers. As a hobby he still occasionally tinkers with Arduinos and Raspberry Pis. Kaarel has also experienced a skydive pitch aka introduced his business plan to investors while dropping from a plane with a parachute.

Ede Schank Tamkivi
Ede has been running Hüppelaud since its start at 2017. She is a Product Manager at NoVa and has been running several other education projects aimed at empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs, being also the cofounder of kood / Jõhvi. Ede started her career as a journalist in press, radio and TV, occasionally conducts research as an applied anthropologist and has published a few books

Hanna Eliise Kitter
Hanna studies architecture and city planning at Estonian Academy of Arts and is also a member of an art movement that produces art pieces in the cityscapes. She has three years of experience with coding in Python and has studied graphic and UI design on her own. Last summer she produced the designs for coding camp Enter Bootcamp and has been helping out with visuals for Hüppelaud this year.

Fred Eerik Laats
Fred studies chemical engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. He also builds a formula race car as a hobby and helps youngsters learn math at Youtube. He has also tried being an entrepreneur as he built his student company VLVR into a real business Viiv OÜ. Fred is also a member of ChemTube team at his university, introducing specific chemical lab technology to wider audiences.