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Estonian innovation and
entrepreneurial ecosystem
Andrus Viirg
Enterprise Estonia Silicon Valley
andrus.viirg@eas.ee
www.estonia.eu
www.investinestonia.com

European Entrepreneurship and Innovation Thought Leaders
Stanford Engineering
January 13, 2014
ENTERPRISE ESTONIA
State foundation for Business Support & Development:
 implementing agency of the EU structural funds in Estonia
 ca 270 employees
 financing agency (grants) for enterprises, R&D and non-profit institutions
 budget 784 mln EUR during 2007-2013
 budget 750 mln EUR for 2014-2020

Investment, Trade & Innovation Promotion
– assisting international companies to estonianize
– assisting Estonian companies to internationalize
– Foreign Representative Offices:
Hamburg, Helsinki , London, Moscow,
Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Oslo
Shanghai, Tokyo and
Silicon Valley
Republic of
Estonia
(Eesti)
1918 - 1940
1991 - .....
Member of
EU, NATO (2004),
OECD (2010)

Population:
1.36 million
in the EURO zone
from Jan.1, 2011
GDP:
28 billion USD
GDP per capita:
21 000 USD
(2012 estimates)
"With its narrow streets, medieval buildings and quaint Christmas markets, the city of Tallinn
resembles a scene from a Christmas card. The Christmas market in the Town Hall Square is
one of Europe's prettiest, and the city's old town area -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site often
referred to as the "medieval pearl of Europe," is also worth checking out."
Doing Business in Estonia
an Emerging Nordic country with a
strong and stable economy

• simple tax system
– flat 21% income tax
NO Corporate Income tax on reinvested
profits (21% tax on dividends only)
• efficient company setup and reporting
based on e-government solutions

#21 globally in the World Bank’s
Ease of Doing Business Index

#3 in terms of countries with small
populations
#7 best global location for “trading
across borders”.
among the most wired and
technologically advanced countries in
the world
e-Estonia
www.e-estonia.com

The

phenomenon

Technologically advanced business
Estonia's capital Tallinn - (david jones)
LES ECHOS/Worldcrunch
platforms & e-Government services
host of NATO´s Cyber Defence Centre
electronic ID card & digital signature from 2002
e-Tax Board, e- Land Register, e-Business Register
e-Police, e-School, e-Health, e-Prescription,
e-Voting,...
e-banking: 98% of bank transactions electronically
m-parking
Estonia produces a disproportionate
number of startups per capita
slide shared by Robin Wauters
during Seedcamp Week in London
(sept.2011), where out of 20
companies 4 Estonian startups
presented and two 2 became
finalists.

and this happened again in 2013
AngelList has 138 Estonian entries,
which on a per capita basis, puts it as
number one country (US is second)

#estonianmafia coined in by Dave McClure (500 Startups)
ESTONIA
the top nation per capita
for the number of
international fashion
models.
Connectors
of the Estonian entrepreneurial ecosystem
• Garage48
o

www.garage48.org/en
Hackathon – turn your idea into a working services within 48 hours

• Enterprise Estonia

www.eas.ee/en
o StartSmart (EST- FIN network for startups,...) www.start-smart.me/en
o BrainHunt
www.ajujaht.ee/english/
o Network of Foreign Rep. Offices

• Estonian Development Fund & SmartCap
o Monitoring & Growth Programs
o Governmnet VC arm

www.arengufond.ee/eng
www.smartcap.ee

• Tallinn Tech University
o Mektory (Innovation & busines center)

• Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol
o Prototron, prototyping fund

• Accellerators/Incubators
o
o
o

StartupWiseGuys
Gamefounders
Technopolis Ülemiste

www.ttu.ee/projects/mektory-eng/

www.tehnopol.ee/en
innovative Estonia
2013
• Going electric:

first country to operate a nationwide Electric Vehicle (EV)
fast chargers network
• Technology supplied and built by ABB (Switzerland)
• The payment and billing platform provided by NOW!Innovations (Estonia)
www.nowinnovations.com

• Going to Space:

first Estonian satellite launched May 4, 2013
• around 100 students and scientists from Tartu University & Tallinn Tech
• 40 research projects & 3 doctoral thesis
• main mission to test electric solar sail technology

• Going Digital:
•

Estonia and Finland in first-ever digital treaty 'signature‘. The Estonian-Finnish
co-operation memorandum on IT matters signed by the PMs foresees joint
work on software for e-government services.

the Top7 Intelligent Community of the Year is Tallinn
(The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), based in New York)
”Here you have a big black guy, a
skinny India guy and we’re investing
in a country in Estonia.
I love globalization it’s great.”
Sacramento Kings owners Vivek Ranadivé and Shaquille O’Neal
announcing their investment in

Oct.30 2013
From a humble swing to a mad northern
European sport KIIKING
the go-to way to carry your wife is
called the “Estonian” method
9 tech Trends for 2014
& European startups building
businesses on top of them
3 Estonian startups to watch

@robinwauters / founding editor of Tech.eu

• # trend: Connected Cars & Fleets
www.high-mobility.com develops new entertainment, navigation,
electronics and settings system for cars
• # trend: 3D Printing
www.grabcad.com shares CAD files with chosen partners and
allows users to view, measure, and comment on 3D models right
in the browser.
• # trend: Digitization of Finance
www.transferwise.com transfer money
wherever it's needed, at the lowest possible cost.
What can Estonia offer?
www.investinestonia.com
Strategic & Safe Geological Location
- on the trade roots between W & E;
- no volcanos, earthquakes, tornados
- cool climate

Modern Infra
- excellent fiber connections to global
data networks

Power
– self sufficient in electricity with added
connections to Finland, Latvia and Russia

Competitive Environment
- 0% corporate income tax on reinvested profits

Highly Qualified Labor
- language, finance, IT skills

a perfect location for
- data centers
- tech manufacturing
- service centers

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Andrus Viirg - Enterprise Estonia - Silicon Valley - Stanford Engineering - Jan 13 2014

  • 1. Estonian innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem Andrus Viirg Enterprise Estonia Silicon Valley andrus.viirg@eas.ee www.estonia.eu www.investinestonia.com European Entrepreneurship and Innovation Thought Leaders Stanford Engineering January 13, 2014
  • 2. ENTERPRISE ESTONIA State foundation for Business Support & Development:  implementing agency of the EU structural funds in Estonia  ca 270 employees  financing agency (grants) for enterprises, R&D and non-profit institutions  budget 784 mln EUR during 2007-2013  budget 750 mln EUR for 2014-2020 Investment, Trade & Innovation Promotion – assisting international companies to estonianize – assisting Estonian companies to internationalize – Foreign Representative Offices: Hamburg, Helsinki , London, Moscow, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Oslo Shanghai, Tokyo and Silicon Valley
  • 3. Republic of Estonia (Eesti) 1918 - 1940 1991 - ..... Member of EU, NATO (2004), OECD (2010) Population: 1.36 million in the EURO zone from Jan.1, 2011 GDP: 28 billion USD GDP per capita: 21 000 USD (2012 estimates)
  • 4. "With its narrow streets, medieval buildings and quaint Christmas markets, the city of Tallinn resembles a scene from a Christmas card. The Christmas market in the Town Hall Square is one of Europe's prettiest, and the city's old town area -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site often referred to as the "medieval pearl of Europe," is also worth checking out."
  • 5. Doing Business in Estonia an Emerging Nordic country with a strong and stable economy • simple tax system – flat 21% income tax NO Corporate Income tax on reinvested profits (21% tax on dividends only) • efficient company setup and reporting based on e-government solutions #21 globally in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index #3 in terms of countries with small populations #7 best global location for “trading across borders”. among the most wired and technologically advanced countries in the world
  • 6. e-Estonia www.e-estonia.com The phenomenon Technologically advanced business Estonia's capital Tallinn - (david jones) LES ECHOS/Worldcrunch platforms & e-Government services host of NATO´s Cyber Defence Centre electronic ID card & digital signature from 2002 e-Tax Board, e- Land Register, e-Business Register e-Police, e-School, e-Health, e-Prescription, e-Voting,... e-banking: 98% of bank transactions electronically m-parking
  • 7. Estonia produces a disproportionate number of startups per capita slide shared by Robin Wauters during Seedcamp Week in London (sept.2011), where out of 20 companies 4 Estonian startups presented and two 2 became finalists. and this happened again in 2013 AngelList has 138 Estonian entries, which on a per capita basis, puts it as number one country (US is second) #estonianmafia coined in by Dave McClure (500 Startups)
  • 8. ESTONIA the top nation per capita for the number of international fashion models.
  • 9. Connectors of the Estonian entrepreneurial ecosystem • Garage48 o www.garage48.org/en Hackathon – turn your idea into a working services within 48 hours • Enterprise Estonia www.eas.ee/en o StartSmart (EST- FIN network for startups,...) www.start-smart.me/en o BrainHunt www.ajujaht.ee/english/ o Network of Foreign Rep. Offices • Estonian Development Fund & SmartCap o Monitoring & Growth Programs o Governmnet VC arm www.arengufond.ee/eng www.smartcap.ee • Tallinn Tech University o Mektory (Innovation & busines center) • Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol o Prototron, prototyping fund • Accellerators/Incubators o o o StartupWiseGuys Gamefounders Technopolis Ülemiste www.ttu.ee/projects/mektory-eng/ www.tehnopol.ee/en
  • 10. innovative Estonia 2013 • Going electric: first country to operate a nationwide Electric Vehicle (EV) fast chargers network • Technology supplied and built by ABB (Switzerland) • The payment and billing platform provided by NOW!Innovations (Estonia) www.nowinnovations.com • Going to Space: first Estonian satellite launched May 4, 2013 • around 100 students and scientists from Tartu University & Tallinn Tech • 40 research projects & 3 doctoral thesis • main mission to test electric solar sail technology • Going Digital: • Estonia and Finland in first-ever digital treaty 'signature‘. The Estonian-Finnish co-operation memorandum on IT matters signed by the PMs foresees joint work on software for e-government services. the Top7 Intelligent Community of the Year is Tallinn (The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), based in New York)
  • 11. ”Here you have a big black guy, a skinny India guy and we’re investing in a country in Estonia. I love globalization it’s great.” Sacramento Kings owners Vivek Ranadivé and Shaquille O’Neal announcing their investment in Oct.30 2013
  • 12. From a humble swing to a mad northern European sport KIIKING the go-to way to carry your wife is called the “Estonian” method
  • 13. 9 tech Trends for 2014 & European startups building businesses on top of them 3 Estonian startups to watch @robinwauters / founding editor of Tech.eu • # trend: Connected Cars & Fleets www.high-mobility.com develops new entertainment, navigation, electronics and settings system for cars • # trend: 3D Printing www.grabcad.com shares CAD files with chosen partners and allows users to view, measure, and comment on 3D models right in the browser. • # trend: Digitization of Finance www.transferwise.com transfer money wherever it's needed, at the lowest possible cost.
  • 14. What can Estonia offer? www.investinestonia.com Strategic & Safe Geological Location - on the trade roots between W & E; - no volcanos, earthquakes, tornados - cool climate Modern Infra - excellent fiber connections to global data networks Power – self sufficient in electricity with added connections to Finland, Latvia and Russia Competitive Environment - 0% corporate income tax on reinvested profits Highly Qualified Labor - language, finance, IT skills a perfect location for - data centers - tech manufacturing - service centers