After a successful pilot, Invest in Estonia has launched a specialised web environment to welcome investors on virtual business visits. Those are online events tailored to the needs of potential investors, allowing possible partners from Estonia to be met, business plans discussed and questions about Estonia’s business environment asked and answered completely online.
“We have created a really flexible solution for providing dedicated information pages for the virtual visits, where we add background information about possible partners in Estonia, the speakers featured in video calls and Estonia’s business environment, that are of great help during the virtual visits,” Marika Goldman, Events and Delegations Project Manager at the Estonian Investment Agency said. “We also provide dedicated live technical support to all the participants via a special support solution, so that the visits would go as planned from the technical side.”
The Estonian Investment Agency is planning to keep using the innovative solution after borders across Europe re-open and online visits can be combined with physical ones.
„When reacting to the COVID-19 situation, accelerating the development of, implementing and mixing technological solutions was not the only question that we had to think about,“ Andero Kaha, the Digital Services Development Manager at the Estonian Investment Agency said. „This far, for us, every step we take in developing our digital solutions has had a clear goal to help the investors that we advise, at the same time letting the agency grow into a more productive, more successful and more proactive insitution – be it during the COVID-19 situation, at a time before or after it. Even now, we are not developing short-term solutions.“
Known for its agility, innovative use of tech, and a systematic approach towards researching the effects of tech use in investment promotion, the Estonian Investment Agency came up with its first new and specialised video meetings solution just three days – or one business day – after the emergency situation was declared. By now, the concept of virtual investor visits has been developed into a fully functional web environment for potential investors.
Becoming more and more digital – and doing so in a way that benefits Estonia’s investors – has been the agency’s strategy for a few years already, the COVID-19 situation being just a small accelerator for some changes. „The key to Estonia’s quick reaction has been a strategic and in many aspects, research-based, approach towards the use of tech,“ Kaha added. „This is combined with cooperation between different parties, willing to fight side-by-side to keep the country safe and the economy running.“
One of the examples of Estonia’s agility during the COVID-19 situation is the emergency situation chatbot Suve that came to life and started its work on many public and private websites, including Invest in Estonia’s one, just a few days after an emergency situation was declared. It was developed to help both, residents and visitors of Estonia to find information on changes brought along by the new situation.
The idea was developed into a working AI-based conversational robot at a hackathon where volunteers from Invest in Estonia, Work in Estonia, several private tech companies and the volunteer sector formed a team that – led by one of Estonian Investment Agency’s employees, Michaela Snopková from Work in Estonia – had a great balance of technical, marketing and communications skills.
After just 36 hours of hacking, it was clear that the government of Estonia is really interested in the idea – the main tasks for the bot being keeping the emergency and information phone lines clear for those who had non-generic questions, and preventing the spread of fake news during the COVID-19 situation. The state-approved chatbot is now functional on several government websites, including the official emergency situation website, and will keep doing its work, helping residents and visitors, after Estonia’s full exit from the COVID-19 emergency situation. Including other uses, several possible use cases for business users of the chatbot have been identified for the future.
Besides the solutions mentioned above, other smart automation solutions have been in use at the investment agency for some time already. Last week, we wrote about Eia, our robotic colleague who has helped us a lot during the time our employees have spent working from home office and has had a lot of positive feedback. Since its launch, Estonian Investment Agency’s unique e-Consulting service, branded as electronic investment adviser Eia has helped 2,000+ potential investors – and the number is growing rapidly even during the COVID-19 situation.
Wish to invest or do business in Estonia? Our free e-Consulting is here to help you. Just send us a request and you will be assigned a personal adviser who will help you go through the whole investment process (including a virtual business visit, if applicable).