Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is part of the economically stable Nordic area, situated on a busy trading route between East and West with excellent ports and access to 50 million consumers within 24 hours. A city of ca. 460,000 people sits on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, just 83 km south of Helsinki. A ferry trip between the cities takes about 2 hours. Tallinn shares a geographical latitude nearly identical to Stockholm.
The heart of Tallinn is the best-preserved medieval Old Town in Northern Europe that is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As much as Tallinners pride themselves on their city’s Medieval heritage, it’s the modern side of city life that tends to grab international headlines. Not only is Tallinn ranked among Europe’s most technology-oriented cities, leading the way in everything from the number of startups per capita to e-government, but it also has a dynamic business community eager to engage in new areas.
Tallinn offers a business-friendly environment and welcomes foreign investors and international companies. The business environment is supported by Estonia’s simple, unique, and stable flat-rate tax system, which encourages long-term value creation. This has attracted a great number of foreign investors and large companies to the city – Ericsson, Kuehne + Nagel, Stora Enso, CGI, Symantec, Royal Vopak, and many others.
Tallinn is the most important financial and business center in Estonia. Over half of Estonia’s businesses have converged around the capital, and over half of Estonia’s GDP is generated in Tallinn. The city is known as a technology-based business environment and a suitable location for the development centers of international enterprises and startups.
In fostering entrepreneurship, Tallinn focuses on the main areas of smart specialisation, i.e., areas that influence other economic sectors through their developments, contribute significantly to the city’s development, and whose productivity and target markets grow rapidly. These areas include cybersecurity, robotics, smart fabrics, personalised medicine, genetics studies, and e-health.
Tallinn has implemented various policies and solutions to enhance sustainability and the quality of life in several critical areas: mobility and infrastructure, connectivity and digitalisation, education and employment, government and governance, and real estate and environmental initiatives. Therefore, according to the Emerging Europe report – Business-Friendly_Cities_2023, Tallinn is the smartest city in the smart city development category.
Tallinn, as the capital of Estonia, provides excellent development and experimentation opportunities for testing new products and services for domestic and international companies. Tallinn is an attractive environment for (green) technology providers to test their solutions (focus areas: mobility, energy efficiency, renewable energy) in the city environment with the objective of gaining experience and transforming their products to global success using Tallinn as a testbed.
The startup community in Tallinn has been growing rapidly for more than 15 years. It is no coincidence that Tallinn has one of the highest rates of startups per capita among European cities. Estonian people are entrepreneurial and innovative, while the government supports small businesses and the development of technology. Tallinn truly is Europe’s start-up paradise.
Tallinn is the first European capital to offer free public transportation for its residents since 2013. As a result, car traffic has decreased and the number of public transport users has increased. Tallinn is one of the world’s top 500 cities in terms of how clean its air is.
The rapid growth in enterprises in the field of the green economy in Tallinn is very promising. This results in green economy business developments and innovations, including a circular economy, circular materials use, and the growth of the green community.
In September 2021, Tallinn received high recognition from the European Commission and has been crowned the European Green Capital for 2023. The initiative rewards cities that have committed to environmental, social, and economic sustainability. The winners of the awards are also those who can inspire others with their sustainable solutions, spreading the idea that green cities are liveable and enjoyable.
Renting an A-class office in Tallinn costs around 16.0-21.0 EUR/sqm/mo, B1 class office 10-16.5 EUR/sqm/mo, medium-sized retail in major shopping centers 8-38 EUR/sqm/mo, new and renovated warehouses around 4.9-6.2 EUR/sqm/mo.
Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol is a research and business campus that is home to several well-known startup and growing technology companies. It is a business environment with more than 200 technology-based companies and one of the largest tech universities in the region (Tallinn University of Technology or TalTech) with approx. 10,000 students. It is the birthplace of Skype, Starship Technologies, Skeleton Technologies, Cybernetica, Defendec, Thinnect, etc.
Technopolis Ülemiste is located at Ülemiste City, which is a privately-owned tech hub of 36 hectares in the territory, located immediately next to the airport with its direct footpath to it (a 10 min walk). Having over 120,000 sqm of modern office space with 400 companies and 10,000 people working there. Only a 10 min drive to Central Business District, superb connections to all major city districts, and connectivity to the rest of the world by air. The best-known companies on campus are Playtech Estonia, Kuehne + Nagel, Nortal, Helmes, ABB.
Tallinn Creative Incubator helps to accelerate the growth of young enterprises. The foundation has been operating since 2006 and has assisted in the sustainable development of over 400 companies. Fifty companies – from startups dealing with technology to designers participate in the Creative Incubator program annually.
Tallinn, as the capital of Estonia, provides excellent development and experimentation opportunities for testing new products and services for domestic and international companies.
The main test areas chosen by the city are urban mobility, energy saving (energy efficiency) and renewable energy, which are areas with great influence and legislative readiness and where today’s cooperation between the city and local entrepreneurs has been the most effective.
The map of Tallinn shows major strategic assets such as transportation hubs, industrial parks and educational institutions of the region. To go into more detail, these websites can be useful when interested in Tallinn:
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