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Estonia, the world leader in startup unicorns per capita, awarded its best startups of 2020, the record year for startup investment

Europe's unicorn factory, Estonia, recognized the achievements of its most outstanding founders, startups and community initiatives at the Estonian Startup Awards 2020. Among others, the founders of Estonia's fifth startup unicorn Pipedrive were recognized, as Estonia finished its most successful ever year in startup investments.

Despite the COVID-19 situation, Estonia’s startup sector has been growing fast – around 30% year over year. But that’s not just a number, as behind the statistics, there are real people – founders and their teams – whose achievements have brought our local community to where we are today.

Awards in 9 categories

The awards were given out in nine categories and were chosen from nearly 300 nominees chosen by Estonia’s startup community. According to Martin Villig, the Head of the Estonian Founders Society (and co-founder of Bolt), the spring of 2020 was not easy for the Estonian startup sector but despite that, the number of startups kept growing and reached 1,000. “2020 was a record year for 450 million euros of startup investment, the growth in startup revenue and its eight exits,” Villig said. “Estonia’s startups sector has the ambitious goal of growing still ten more times in the next ten years and reaching the goal of having created 50,000 high added value jobs.”

According to the head of Startup Estonia, Eve Peeterson, to reach the next level in development, the startup sector must become more research-based. “It is good to see several tech and researche based startups shining at this year’s awards ceremony,” she added.

The Estonian Startup Awards 2020 is an initiative led by Estonian Founders Society, Startup Estonia and LIFT99 to recognize the most outstanding startups, founders, and community supporters.

The Foreign Founder of 2020

Top 3 nominees: Avery Schrader, Founder of Modash; Vishen Lakhiani, Founder of Mindvalley; Jeff McClelland, Founder of Salv

Winner: Vishen Lakhiani, Founder of Mindvalley

The Stereotype Crusher of 2020

Top 3 nominees: Kaidi Ruusalepp, Founder of Funderbeam; Vilve Vene, Founder of Modularbank, Anna-Liisa Palatu, Founder of Woola

Winner: Anna-Liisa Palatu, Founder of Woola

The Wise Wallet of 2020

Top 3 nominees: Jaan Tallinn, Ragnar Sass, Martin Villig

Winner: Ragnar Sass

The Bootstrap Badger of 2020

Top 3 nominees: Rasmus Vooglaid, founder of FIIZY; Rasmus Gross, founder of ELIIS; Vishen Lakhiani, Founder of Mindvalley

Winner: Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley

The Big Bang of 2020

Top 3 nominees: Anna-Liisa Palatu, Founder of Woola; Hardi Meybaum, founder of Whatifi, Vilve Vene, Founder of Modularbank

Winner: Anna Liisa Palatu, founder of Woola

The Revenue Hack of 2020

Top 3 nominees: Ardo Kaurit, founder of Ampler Bikes; Markus Villig, founder of Bolt; Taavi Madiberk, founder of Skeleton Technologies

The Giving Back Powerhouse

Top 3 nominees: Computer to Every Student, HK Unicorn Squad, , Jõhvi Coding School

Winner: Jõhvi Coding School

The B2B Saas Startup of 2020 (Startup Sector of the Year)

Top 3 nominees: Martin Kõiva, founder of Klaus; Robin Saluoks, Founder of eAgronoom; Kaarel Kotkas, founder of Veriff

Winner: Kaarel Kotkas, founder of Veriff

The Founder of the Year 2020

Top 3 nominees: Markus Villig, founder of Bolt; Timo Ren, Martin Tajur, Martin Henk, Urmas Purde, Ragnar Sass – founders of Pipedrive; Taavi Madiberk, founder of Skeleton Technologies

Winners: Timo Ren, Martin Tajur, Martin Henk, Urmas Purde, Ragnar Sass – founders of Pipedrive

Interested in finding an Estonian startup to invest in? Enter the Unicorn Factory to find your perfect startup match.

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