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How deeptech has become a hot topic in Estonia

“Really glad to see that deeptech as a concept or something we talk about as the new wave of innovation, has become a topic,” Eve Peeterson, the Head of Startup Estonia said at Estonian Startup Ecosystem Fireside Chat 2021. “The priorities are set in governmental growth plans, so this has to bring together ministries and organizations.”

According to Peeterson, Startup Estonia, the governmental initiative aimed to supercharge the Estonian startup ecosystem, is taking steps towards being a focal point of growing the deeptech ecosystem.

“We are seeing records in ICT based solutions in Estonia, but it’s not only we that are thriving,” she added, referring to recent IT successes of other countries in Europe and beyond. “So, Estonia really needs to start thinking what’s next.”

According to Peeterson, the new ecosystem needed for deeptech to prosper, can actually be built on top of the existing ecosystem(s) and past success, for example in digitalization. “We couldn’t have done a deeptech ecosystem ten years ago,” she added.

Good signs for the ecosystem

According to Martin Villig, President of Estonian Founders Society and co-founder of Bolt, Estonia has recently seen several good signs for Estonia’s deeptech ecosystem.

For example, Estonia’s oldest and most prestigious university, Tartu University started UniTartu Ventures this year. It is an organisation aimed to team up with early-stage deep tech investors in order to support the University of Tartu connected researchers, startups and spinn-off’s growth.

The President of EstBAN, Lev Dolgatsov stressed the importance of angel investments for deeptech teams. “I think it is one of the areas where angels’ investments are really essential for companies,” he said. “In many cases, angels can be really patient. And there is huge interest from angels in deeptech.”

“Another aspect is that – is our investor base ready for longer term investment cycles where getting to prototypes can take years and years?” Villig asked, stressing that there are growing possibilities for the deeptech community in Estonia to use blended funding – combining private funding with funds from different grants, for example from the European Union.

Recording of the Fireside Chat can be watched here.

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