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top women in vc and startup ecosystem from Estonia by vestbee
28 September 2022·17 min read

Katarzyna Groszkowska

Editor, Vestbee

Top Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Estonia

We continue exploring the CEE VC and startup ecosystem, looking for the most inspiring and influential female market players across the region. As we have already discovered key figures from Croatia, Slovenia, Czechia and Slovakia, it’s time to stop by Estonia!

So, without further ado let’s meet the top Women from the Estonian VC and Startup Ecosystem! 

Karoli Hindriks

Founder at

Karoli has been numerously named as one of the most influential women in the European startup and VC space. In 2020 she was named by the EU Council as one of the 8 most inspiring women in Europe. She is a serial entrepreneur and a TED Speaker, having founded many companies, amongst them Jobbatical - HR company facilitating employee relocations. 

Merit Valdsalu, CEO, Co-Founder
Maarika Truu, Head of Sales & Partnerships



Merit is a highly experienced entrepreneur, having co-founded companies such as StandByMate (a startup aiming to improve the maritime employment market), digital marketing agency Kardemon and most recently - Single.Earth - a GreenTech company that uses natural sciences and blockchain technology to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss.

Maarika is currently a Head of Sales & Partnerships at Single.Earth. She has also significantly contributed to the development of Estonian startup scene as a Head of Startup Estonia and (amongst many) a board member, mentor, and organizer of hackathons at Garage48. 

Marili Merendi

Principal, Karma Ventures

Marili is an active member of the Estonian VC scene, holding a position of principal at Karma Ventures, a VC fund investing in European early-stage deep tech software startups, where she facilitated the closure of more than 15 deals. 

Kristel Kruustuk


Founder, Testlio

Kristel is yet another successful Estonian entrepreneur, having founded Testlio - an originator of networked testing, that helps ensure world-class customer experiences to clients all around the world. The firm's offices are located in Austin, TX, and Tallinn, Estonia with an additional network of freelance expert testers and quality engineers in 150+ countries.

Jana Budkovskaja

CEO, Prototron fund

Jana is an entrepreneur dedicated to the startup world. She worked in the public and educational sector and now is (amongst many other functions) a partner at The Better Fund (dedicated to diversity-led tech startups) and a CEO of Prototron, an early stage tech-start-up fund and an accelerator with equity free funding that turns science and tech ideas into businesses.

Elise Sass

Co-Founder, Salto X

Elise is a highly experienced Estonian startupper with many years of experience under her belt. She founded Social Fox Media (media company), worked as an advisor and mentor at Garage46 and was a CEE Startup Lead at Microsoft. Later she co-founded: Salto Network (a platform to connect startups with experts from different industries) LIFT99 ( building a skill-sharing software for startup founders) and Salto X (tokenizing future success for distributed companies to share with their remote teams). 

Annika Helendi

CEO & Consultant,

Annika is a seasoned specialist on the Estonian business scene. She was the CEO of Teamweek, and co-founded Dashbird ( monitoring and intelligence platform), ContentFly and Ruum (platform for booking remote working spaces). Currently, she holds a position of CEO and consultant at, where she works on custom SEO-focused content marketing strategies for B2B SaaS startups & scaleups.

Sille Pettai

Fund Manager, SmartCap

Sille is a Fund Manager at SmartCap - a small fund manager, providing cornerstone investments for private fund managers. She has experience in the industry, being also a Management Board Member at Estonian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association. 

Meeri Savolainen

Co-Founder and CEO at INZMO

Meeri is a serial entrepreneur with impressive business experience. She co-founded Baltic Business Advisory, where she also worked as a lawyer as well as co-founded and managed as a CEO Bike-ID (building bicycle registry and giving consumers access to full-coverage bicycle insurance). Currently, she holds the position of co-founder and CEO at Berlin-based Insurtech company INZMO, awarded an Insurance Shaper of the Year 2019. 

Hedi Mardisoo 

CEO & Co-Founder, Cachet 

Hedi has more than 15 years of experience at the intersection of technology, communication, and business development. Currently, she is the CEO of Cachet, a financial services marketplace for gig workers, which she also co-founded. On top of that, in 2017 she founded Matuk - a consultancy company, providing strategic marketing, branding, and business development services. 

Tatsiana Zaretskaya

Founder, Laava Tech Inc.

Tatsiana is an awarded and accomplished entrepreneur working in the cleantech space. She is a member of Greentech Alliance and Forbes Technology Council as well as a mentor at Beamline Accelerator (specializing in Clean Innovation). Most of all, she is a founder of Meliora (a company that automates sustainability: making recurring purchases, combining projects with strategy) and a founder of Laava Tech Inc. (a company that develops electronics that optimizes energy consumption and automates indoor farming). 

Annika Ljaš

Founder & CEO, Noontide

Annika is an experienced startup marketer and PR expert who has led marketing in notable technology companies like Planet OS and WePower. In 2018 she co-founded Noontide (a company that provides online marketing, growth hacking and PR services to selected technology companies in Europe and Silicon Valley) and works as a Visiting CMO in several B2B startups as well as supports Tehnopol as a Startup Mentor. 

Kadri Tuisk

Founder and CEO, Clanbeat

Kadri is a Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Estonia that gathered her experience co-founding (and leading as a CEO) a Clanbeat for school staff ( developing HR tech software for onboarding processes). She is also a Board Member of The Nordic EdTech Forum, Draper Startup House Ambassador ( working as a volunteer supporting startups and entrepreneurs looking to connect) and EdTech Estonia co-founder and Board Member (to name a few). Moreover, she is a Female EdTech Fellow and in 2018 she co-founded and assumed the CEO position of Clanbeat (an app that enables students to learn by focusing on their self-development and well-being). 

Kelly Kangur

Co-Founder, Decomer Technology

Kelly is an entrepreneur that has gained a wide range of very diverse experiences. She co-founded and managed the brand Plummé Beauty and Blenday. Additionally, she co-founded Decomer Technology Inc., a company based in San Francisco, that develops novel water-soluble and edible packaging materials and products. 

Aviva Ounap

CEO, Savii Digital

Aviva is an entrepreneur experienced in the world of blockchain and more. She is the COO of Zevolv - a startup creating an Off Grid, EV Charging Solution, reliant on renewable energy sources. She is also the CEO of Savii Digital Crypto and Blockchain Marketing agency - a digital marketing agency with a focus on the world of blockchain, AI, and Quantum technologies. Moreover, she manages as CEO Savii Media, a division of Savii Digital, that creates educational resources bringing blockchain technology to audiences of all ages. 

Katrin Liivat

CEO and Founder, FoodDocs

Katrin has an impressive experience in the food industry - she started her career managing restaurants and eventually created her own. She is the CEO and founder of the successful startup FoodDocs. It is a smart and fast tool for creating and maintaining food safety management systems, that saves time and efficiencies for newly born companies to get, and stay, compliant.  

Maarja Pärt

CEO, Yolo Group

Maarja has a wide experience in the iGaming and cryptocurrency industries. She gained it as a CFO and a COO of Heathmont and a Board Member of Kopikas Entertainment. In 2018 she became the COO of Yolo Group - a company that brings next-level innovation to the worlds of gaming, fintech & blockchain. Since 2020 she manages this company as a CEO. 

Kristi Saare


Kristi is an investor, passionate about financial education. She co-hosts an Estonian podcast about personal finance and investing, is a board member of Tuleva, Estonian pension savers'​ association, and founded Kirjastus WW Print, a business book publisher. On top of that, she is an active member and a Board Member at the Estonian Business Angels Network. 

Riina Palu

Investor, EstBAN member

Riina is an active entrepreneur, who is specialized in sustainable and digital solutions in maritime and logistics. Some of her many accolades include: being a shareholder of Good Cooperation Savings and Loans Association (the first ethical financial institution in Estonia), a CEO and a Lead Consultant of Saaresalu, offering consultancy services for Estonian exporters and importers, member of EstBAN and a research expert at Tallinn University of Technology. 

Heidi Kakko

early stage investor, mentor, and Chairman Of The Supervisory Board of UniTartu Ventures

Heidi is a highly experienced professional operating in the field of early-stage investments and developing startups and growth companies. She has been active in the ecosystem since 2008 and greatly contributed to its growth. Amongst her many engagements, there are: being an expert member of the Research and Development Council, chairing the Council of UniTartu Ventures, being a partner at BaltCap Growth Fund, managing Estonian Development Fund and much more. Additionally, she is involved in EstBAN, Accelerate Estonia, and Tallin Science park Tehnopol.

Kristel Meos

Partner, Zenith Family Office

Kristel has had a long career in the financial sector. She is a President and a founder of the Estonian Family Entrepreneurs Association and as an Angel Investor and a member of EstBAN she invested in more than 20 startups. Currently, she is a Partner at Zenith Family Office - an independent wealth management company dealing exclusively with investment portfolios for wealthy individuals, their families, and also their privately-owned companies

Kaidi Ruusalepp

Founder & CEO, Funderbeam

Kaidi is a very accomplished Estonian entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Funderbeam - a tech-powered global marketplace that enables global investors to invest in companies and founders to handle their fundraising across borders. Funderbeam was awarded as the Best European Fintech startup in 2017. On top of that, she is a Member of the Presidential Digital Advisory Council, a President of the Estonian Founders Society, a former CEO of Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange, and a co-author of the Estonian Digital Signatures Act of 2000. Her list of engagements is much longer and many times has she been ranked on Europe's most influential women lists. 

Karen K. Burns

CEO & Co-Founder, Fyma

Karen is a business professional with international experience in ICT and Business Development roles and a regular speaker on strategy, business development, and management topics at conferences and events. Amongst many, she managed business development for companies such as CGI Estonia and Moonscascade. She is also an Official Member of Forbes Technology Council, an invitation-only organization for successful senior-level technology executives. In 2019 she co-founded Fyma, a self-setup computer vision AI platform, and assumed a CEO position. 

Seren Rumjancevs

CEO, Dealum

Seren is a  business management professional with two decades of experience in innovation and technology management. Some of her experiences include founding Heelosophy, a fashion tech company, and managing platform Dealum as a CEO. Dealum is a well-known next-generation angel investor group collaboration platform.

Mari-Liis Lind

Co-Founder of VIVITA Creativity Accelerator

Mari-Liis is yet another experienced innovator on the Estonian business scene. She co-founded and lead the operations of VIVITA Creativity Accelerator, Mistletoe arm for future founders. VIVITA is a global startup and a creativity accelerator for kids, supporting them to turn ideas into reality. Moreover, on top of other engagements, she co-founded Tech Sisters - a non-profit organization with the goal to get more women excited about technology and IT.

Julia Ront

Founder & CEO, Vespia 

Julia was a Verification Team Lead at Tallin-based Veriff, a unique identity verification solution and a Chief Verification Officer for Entify. In 2021 she founded and became the CEO of her own company - Vespia - a tool for verifying and onboarding legal entities that helps companies minimize business risk using AI.

Ann Runnel

Founder & CEO, Reverse Resources

Ann is an experienced professional with a versatile business background. Amongst many other functions, she was a Project manager and a junior researcher of environmental economics at SEI Tallinn and an expert on the EU Mission Board on "Adaptation to Climate Change, Including Societal Transformation", set up by European Commission. In 2014 she founded Reverse Resources -  a Software-as-a-Service platform for the fashion industry, that enables full virtual traceability and closes the loop of leftovers from textile & garment production. Currently, she manages the company as a CEO. 

Anastasia Georgievskaya

CEO, Haut.AI

Anastasia is a well-versed entrepreneur, specializing in the Artificial Intelligence application for the beauty industry. She was a General Manager at Youth Laboratories, a big data analytics company, specializing in processing digital images and videos to develop diseases biomarkers and to evaluate the physical well-being of a human and lifestyle, a Research Scientist at Beauty.AI, and in 2018 she became a CEO of Haut.AI -  an Estonian company providing a SaaS platform for skincare hyper-personalization using computer vision technology.

Mari-Ann Meigo Fonseca

Co-Founder and COO, Gelatex 

Mari-Ann is yet another skillful businesswoman on the list. She was a Business Consultant at Tallinn Business Incubators, providing mentorship for emerging entrepreneurs. In 2016 she co-founded and assumed the CEO position of Gelatex, a highly innovative startup, that invented a novel high-throughput nanofiber production machinery and later focused entirely on nanofibrous materials for cultured meat, wound care, bio-based filtration, and more. Currently, she is Gelatex's COO, overseeing internal operations, communications, finances, and more. 

Kaari Kink

Investments at Superangel

Kaari has been active in the Estonian startup scene for many years. Currently, she is an investor at Superangel - an early-stage VC fund in Estonia, investing in the builders of world-changing technology in the Baltics and Nordics. On top of that, she was a visiting team member at a startup and a Chief Health Officer at Triumf Health, a company that delivers digital therapeutics to children with chronic illnesses.

Liisi Org

CEO, Latitude59

Liisi is an experienced community builder and connector with a passion for diversity and impact. She was a Startup Community Development Manager at Startup Estonia and currently she holds a position of a Venture Associate at Better Fund, focusing on female-led teams. She is also a CEO of Latitude59 - the Flagship startup and tech event of the world’s first digital society.

Kärt Siilas

Partner at Mojo.Capital

Kart is a private equity and venture capital research professional with big international experience. She is a part of the founding team and a Partner of a London-based Mojo.Capital, a company that manages the European Digital Opportunities Fund. She is also a founding partner of Go Beyond Capital, an European impact fund. 

Lilia Yeghiazaryan

CEO, Dexatel

Lilia is an experienced leader, with over 15 years of experience in finance and management. She held senior positions at companies such as World Bank, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and National Mortgage Company. In 2015 she co-founded and assumed a CEO position at Dexatel - an omnichannel messaging platform that drives the era of full personalization within cloud communications.

Vilve Vene

Co-Founder, Tuum

Vilve is a businesswoman well versed in the world of finance and technology. For many years she was a co-founding member of the Board of Icefire - a firm that has successfully transformed more than 15 banks and financial institutions and is responsible for the infrastructure of the Estonian tax system. In 2019 she co-founded and assumed the CEO position of Tuum - a fintech company that provides a flexible banking platform, allowing any business to rapidly offer seamless, tailored financial services to their customers. ​

Daria Dubinina

CEO, Crassula

Daria is an entrepreneur with international experience in the world of payments, strategic management, international business development, financial technologies, and international regulations. She is a mentor at Startup Wise Guys and a founder, as well as a CEO of Crassula - a FinTech software platform providing solutions for businesses to create financial products.

Hanna Talving

Product Lead, 99math

Hanna is a startup entrepreneur passionate about building software products. She co-founded At Front - an online marketing agency specializing in online marketing, SEO, copywriting, and WordPress website design. She also co-founded SayAt.Me - a viral feedback tool that later pivoted and became an influencer marketing database. Currently, she is a Product Lead at 99math, a startup introducing mobile games and eSports to math

Triin Kask

CEO, Metatellus 

Triin has diverse business experience as she founded her first company - BluNavi - in 2009. She was also a co-founder of, a leading cloud-based continuous integration service for mobile app developers. Moreover, she assumed the position of a Program Manager at Startup Day and a Board Member of the Estonian Founders Society. On top of that, she managed as a CEO two more companies - London-based Nevercode and Metatellus, where she currently works. 

Annemari Muru

CEO, Liigu

Annemari is a talented entrepreneur, that leads a company as a its CEO - Liigu - an app-based mobility service, that provides customers with the convenience of a personal car without the need to own it and have access to it anytime. 

Kristi Saaremets

CEO, IPF Digital Estonia

Kristi made her first mark on the Estonian startup world co-founding and leading the partnerships division of Vunk Labs, the first corporate accelerator in the Baltics and an arm of Telia Company. She also managed Investor relations in Latitude59, a flagship startup and tech event of the world’s first digital society. Currently, she is the CEO of IPF Digital - a fintech company developing a 100% online consumer lending service that leverages big data and machine learning to solve the needs of unbanked and underbanked customers. 

Anna Mets

Co-Founder and CEO,

Anna is an experienced data analyst that has co-founded and assumed the role of a CEO at, a startup that combines the latest developments in natural language processing and machine learning technologies to provide AI-powered copywriting services. 

Ingrid Hermet

Co-Founder, PäikesEST

Ingrid is a cleantech entrepreneur with a passion for sustainability. She is a co-founder of PäikesEST- solar food dryers with a platform that enables food producers to dry their food with solar power and sell their products at fair prices, and a CEO and co-founder of Nutriloop - an environmental movement with an aim to transition toward more circular and regenerative food systems. 

 Aliya Aytekenova

CEO & Founder, Fenorri

Aliya is an experienced business professional with a history of working in the computer software industry. Currently, she is the founder and CEO of Fenorri - an enterprise social network, zero code instant apps, and artificial intelligence platform.

Related Posts: 

Top Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Croatia (by Katarzyna Groszkowska, Editor, Vestbee)

Top 25 Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Slovenia (by Aleksandra Wirth, Vestbee)

Top 25 Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Bulgaria (by Aleksandra Wirth, Vestbee)

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