It was only a few decades ago when the former president of Estonia Lennart Meri encouraged us to start new companies and find the “Estonian Nokia” as he called it. We still remember his words and when we look at what we have achieved so far it’s amazing! If he could see it, he would probably be proud of Estonia.
In January, the headlines of Estonian investment and business news were dominated by vivid startup life: a brand-new database of nearly 1000 Estonian startups was launched, the best startuppers were awarded, startup community gathered in sTARTUp Day, and as a cultural contribution, the startup-movie “Chasing Unicorns” encourages to bring innovative ideas to life.
#1 Estonian Startup Database with nearly 1,000 startups is now live
The Estonian Startup Database that contains data for nearly 1,000 Estonian startups is now live. As the co-founder of Bolt and president of Estonian Startup Leaders Club, Martin Villig points out, it creates the basis of strengthening and growing Estonia’s startup ecosystem.
Estonian Startup Database is the most extensive public source of information on Estonian startups, powered by Startup Estonia. The database gives an overview of Estonian startups by ranking and filtering them by sectors, technology, stage, employee count, turnover, etc. You can also create custom reports on specific sectors.
Continue reading about the Estonian Startup Database system here.
#2 Remarkable Estonian startups to watch out for in 2020
Who will become the next Estonian unicorn? It is very likely that this will be one of the winners or nominees of Estonian Startup Awards 2019 announced just recently. The winners are:
- Kaarel Kotkas, Veriff – Founder of the Year 2019
- Comodule – The Hardware Comet & The Revenue Hack of 2019
- Gerri Kodres – The Wise Wallet of 2019
- Salv – The Big Bang of 2019
- Reverse Resources – The Impact Visionary of 2019
- Ann Runnel – The Stereotype Crusher of 2019
- Multilogin – The Bootstrap Badger of 2019
Estonian Startup Awards was initiated by LIFT99 and co-hosted with Startup Estonia in 2019. LIFT99 has put together an excellent summary of what these startups do and what are they unique for. Read more here.
#3 The Ampler Bikes electric wheel: invented from curiosity
Sometimes business success isn’t something you wholeheartedly desire, it just happens if you are extremely passionate about something. Just like the Ampler Bikes electric wheel was invented simply for curiosity and later turned into a thriving company.
Ardo Kaurit and his friends Rait Udumäe and Hannes Laar decided to design a bicycle that could not be identified as an electrical bicycle. It looked just like a regular bicycle that a hipster in a trendy part of the town would use. They garnered a lot of attention and decided to form a company and started to sell the bikes. Because 99% of the Estonian-made bikes are exported you can now find Ampler bikes in 23 countries.
Read more about Ampler Bikes here.
#4 Estonian startup movie “Chasing Unicorns” inspires brave souls to start a business
Inspired by real-life events and produced by startup entrepreneurs, the brand-new Estonian startup movie “Chasing Unicorns” allows a peek inside the crazy life of startup founders.
Estonian startup comedy “Chasing Unicorns” has received positive reviews from all around the world, offering the pleasure of self-recognition on screen for many startuppers and investors alike. Why? Because the stories and characters in the movie are all based on real-life events that have, in one way or another, happened to people in the startup community.
“Chasing Unicorns” follows a young startup entrepreneur Õie and a serial failure Tõnu on their crazy ride from a small town in Estonia to Silicon Valley – and back.
Read the interview with movie director Rain Rannu here.
#5 sTARTUp Day
The sTARTUp Day, called one of the biggest business festivals in the region, gathered hundreds of smart and young people telling visitors about their developments and looking for funding.
The gold mining at sTARTUp Day went very well: the visitors record with 4400 participants was broken, all the visitors were super happy about the event and a lot of follow-up activities with new partnerships are going on now.
This event is not only a place to work hard, there is a lot of fun also. For example, Superangel invited technology startups to pitch to a panel of grandmas and grandpas and Superangel’s portfolio startup Lumebot accepted the challenge. Watch how Kaspar Kikerpill pitched their autonomous street cleaning robot to the jury representing the older generation.
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