With offices in Munich, Berlin, and Tallinn, birkle IT offers companies in the DACH and Nordic regions a unique model of outsourcing — a mix of onshore business analysts, project managers, and development leads who are in direct cooperation with development teams in Tallinn, Estonia.
Soon after starting the company in 2016 in Germany, founder Jörn Halbauer noticed a growing trend of German companies interested in outsourcing IT. But while the need was strong, DAX-listed multinational companies were reporting mixed experiences with outsourcing, with cultural and time zone differences and travelling time often getting the way of resounding outsourcing successes.
From a market analysis among their largest customers, birkle IT soon uncovered an opportunity to provide a new and more comprehensive model of outsourcing. This model, which they call bestshoring, is designed to guarantee maximum flexibility, scalability, know-how, and cost optimization.
The missing piece was the location for the innovation hub where the development teams would work.
Based on findings from a sweeping comparison study — taking stock of factors like ease of doing business, flight connections, digital state services, working culture and mentality, and innovation ranking — birkle IT narrowed their list of potential locations down to Portugal, Lithuania, and Estonia.
In the end, Estonia came out on top and won the coveted spot as birkle IT’s new innovation hub.
Here are the top three reasons why Estonia stood out as the best option for this IT powerhouse.
Estonia is a haven of IT expertise
Because the innovation hub’s success largely rests on the know-how of the development teams, the quality of available tech talent was naturally among the top must-haves for birkle IT.
It just so happens that one of Estonia’s most remarkable characteristics is the size and quality of its pool of IT talent in relation to the general population size. At just over 1.3 million inhabitants, the small Northern European country is consistently punching far above its weight when it comes to tech and innovation.
As the home of five unicorn companies, Estonia reigns as the country with the world’s highest number of unicorns per capita. The existing expertise, through a culture of knowledge and experience sharing within the tech community, attracts more talent from further afield and creates the perfect breeding ground for more innovation and technical excellence.
Estonia is a digitalization pathfinder
Estonia has been a trailblazer in the digital space for years, most notably with its e-Residency program. In the six years the program has been running, people from around the globe have founded roughly 15,000 companies through it in Estonia. More than 1,000 of those have been established by German founders.
According to CEO Marco Spielmann, the Estonian government’s strong vision in creating the world’s most advanced digital society was the key differentiator and main motivator in building birkle IT’s first nearshore innovation hub in Tallinn.
Speed of implementation and absence of bureaucracy
Over the past few years, German entrepreneurs have discovered Estonia’s remarkable ease of doing business and lack of red tape — particularly compared to Germany itself, a country famous for its love of paperwork.
The Estonian legal environment is famous for its entrepreneur-friendly conditions, with foreign investors given equal rights with local entrepreneurs. It takes no more than three hours to start a business online, and almost all banking transactions and tax declarations happen digitally.
The online-first, tech-forward approach that sets the country apart is an extension of Estonia’s forward-thinking business environment at large. And it’s a reflection of the pragmatism of the people who shape it.
“In Germany, it is common to have longer more detailed meetings and weigh all the theoretical possibilities,” Marco Spielmann notes. “In Estonia, meetings are very concise and to the point. Everyone lays out their arguments and a decision is reached in no time. Most importantly, implementation of the agreed outcomes is initiated straight away. German thoroughness and Estonian agility combine the best from both worlds.”
With its commitment to being the world’s most digitally enabled nation, Estonia has certainly put itself on the map as one to watch. Anyone on the lookout for business and investment opportunities — look no further.
👩💼 Want to know how to start investing in Estonia? We have a friendly robot-colleague Eia here to help you out and arrange a first meeting with your personal investment advisor.