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  • Writer's pictureAnu Metsallik

Tanel Tilk, Co-Founder & CTO 

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Tanel is the CTO & one of the Co-Founders of HotelBuddy. His colleagues do not fall short of compliments when talking about him. Tanel is described as one of the most friendly, patient, hard-working, professional, cooperative and fun-loving team member.


What’s your role at Hotelbuddy?

As the CTO, my main responsibility at HotelBuddy is everything that concerns software development. As a co-founder, my role is all other stuff too.


Hotel Software Company Startup Hotelbuddy Co-Founder Tanel Tilk

What was your background before joining Hotelbuddy?

I actually started my career as a sailor. I graduated from the Estonian Maritime Academy as a navigator and worked as a third and second ship’s officer on cargo ships for a few years.


I love the sea, but half-yearly work cycles were not for me, and at the same time I felt that I was more and more interested in computers.


So I decided to start my studies at the Estonian IT College as an IT systems developer. In my third year, I went to work at Webmedia (now Nortal) as a junior developer. I worked there for 8 years as a software developer and system architect.

After that, some co-workers and I started our company ByteTrain and worked there for about 8 years and made software for various Estonian companies such as LHV and Telia Estonia, etc.


But I have always wondered what it would be like to work in startups, and after 16 years as a software development service provider, I felt that I was in my comfort zone and needed a change. I initially joined a mental health startup, but after half a year and alpha testing, we decided to freeze the idea. But I wanted more and my college buddy Hannes offered me the opportunity to join the great team at HotelBuddy. And here I am!


What’s the most exciting part of your job?

For me, it’s obviously coding. This is where I feel most productive.

Which 3 words describe you the best?

Friendly, easy-going, dreamer


Who inspires you?

People who are constantly evolving. We all have 24 hours in a day, but some people seem to have more, and that’s inspiring.


Recommend a good book/podcast!

Estonian podcasts Restart, Digisaade, Algorütm, Investoritund, LHV podcast, Investeerimisklubi. Montley Fool Money in English.


What’s your most-used productivity hack?

Do only the things you like to do, all other things delegate or automate.

What is one piece of advice about life you would give to people that has really helped you?

Don’t worry about what you can’t control. Accept them and put your energy into things that you can control.

Hotel Software Company Startup Hotelbuddy Co-Founder Tanel Tilk

When you were a kid, who did you want to become?

Don’t remember, a cosmonaut probably.


If you were a vehicle, which one would you be?

Spaceship, I love the stars and the unknown.

What has been your favourite travel destination?

My favourite destination is Spain. Good climate, nice people, not so far.


What’s your hidden talent/hobby?

I don’t think I’m talented, but I play tennis. I think it has been my hobby for about 7 years now. I also enjoy snowboarding, kite surfing and Bachata dancing. And of course, I love to play Fortnite with my son.


How do you keep fit? Do you work out or have some healthy lifestyle hacks?

I play tennis up to three times a week. I try to do at least five Tibetan rites every morning to wake up my body. Sometimes I go for a little run or walk. Sometimes some pull-ups and abs. I also try to eat healthily most of the time.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Carnivore, but also dangerous for plants!

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