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Estonia climbs up in Global Startup Ecosystem Index, Tallinn enters EU’s top 10: report

Estonia's startup scene has jumped to 12th globally in the 2024 Startup Ecosystem Index, with Tallinn breaking into the EU's top 10 startup cities thanks to a supportive ecosystem, innovative policies, and a talented workforce.

Estonia’s digital success has gained momentum once again. StartupBlink, a leading global ecosystem map and research centre, has released the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2024, ranking 100 countries and 1000 cities.

Estonia’s position vastly improved, ranking 12th globally, with Tallinn entering the EU’s top 10. Established in 2017, the Index is powered by partners like CrunchBase, Semrush, UNDP, and Statista, along with over 100 governments and economic development organizations, offering valuable data to entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers.

What makes Estonia such a sweet spot? According to the data, Estonia’s startup ecosystem is thriving, having secured its best ranking since 2020. Estonia is now ahead of Finland, Denmark and South Korea, scoring 22.924 points across all metrics. According to the StartupBlink data, Estonian companies raised over $0,5B across 118 deals in 2023. In a per-capita view, Estonia tops the charts when compared to other countries with population between 1M and 2M, with a significant lead over Latvia and Cyprus.

Tallinn, the capital, has played a crucial role, climbing up 5 spots and entering the EU’s top 10 startup cities, replacing Copenhagen, Denmark. The country’s success is attributed to a supportive ecosystem, innovative policies, and a strong talent pool.

“There have also been effective and aggressive marketing efforts by the Estonian public sector, the likes of which we have not seen anywhere else in the world. Examples of these include several innovative projects started in Estonia that are now being copied by dozens of governments around the world: Estonian E-residency, startup and digital nomad visas, and the branding of companies as completely digitized”, reads the report.

With the highest number of unicorns per capita, Estonia’s startup scene is characterized by its global outlook.  With this success comes great responsibility. While the country has produced global success stories like Wise, Bolt, and Pipedrive, the next big challenge is retaining these companies within the ecosystem.

The good news is that more niches are unfolding—the Estonian DeepTech sector shows record gains, with companies from novel energy sectors raising record financing. In addition to being known currently for its mastery of software development, Estonia may soon make a global mark with its green transition initiatives.

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