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The naked truth about business in Estonia: Estonia isn’t ‘the Silicon Valley of Europe’

Estonia has been repeatedly compared to Silicon Valley. Sure, Estonia has a vibrant startup ecosystem and close connections to Silicon Valley — but we are still different. Estonia’s strengths are Silicon Valley’s weaknesses — and vice versa.
We’re the Estonia of Europe – and that’s fine by us.

As Estonia’s largest tech conference Latitude59 approaches, we entered something known as the ‘sauna state of mind’, opening up about taboo subjects and uncovering the naked truths about startups, tech, investing and doing business in Estonia.

Some people have compared Estonia to Silicon Valley – including others, BBC News and Deutsche Welle.

Sure, we have a vibrant startup ecosystem and we value our close connections to Silicon Valley — but we really couldn’t be more different.

Estonia’s strengths are Silicon Valley’s weaknesses — and vice versa.

Silicon Valley has a huge economy of scale to provide startups with access to local talent and finance. But it’s also a very expensive fixed location for a business. And location is less important in the digital age.

Estonia is the opposite. Our location is very affordable and you can manage your Estonian company online from literally anywhere. You won’t find a huge talent pool locally (so you’ll probably need to go remote as you expand) but you will find a closely connected and very supportive community of entrepreneurs locally. Being an independent country also means we can adapt fast with legislation to support emerging industries and new technologies – like we did to legalise delivery robots, ride sharing, AI, and other new startup ideas.

So Estonia isn’t the Silicon Valley of Europe. Estonia is… the Estonia of Europe — and that’s how we like it.

Want to know more naked truths about Estonia? You are welcome to step into our sauna’s waiting room here and find out all the naked truths about doing business in Estonia. See you at Latitude59 and our virtual investment sauna in a few days.

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Need more information?

What is it like to run a business in Estonia? How to benefit from the e-solutions and the efficiency of our business culture? What are the opportunities in specific sectors? Who to partner up with?

The Estonian Investment Agency’s team is happy to help you via its complimentary e-Consulting service, organize online or offline follow-up events such as virtual investment visits and guide you through the fairly simple process of investing in Estonia.

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