The New Silicon Valley: Tallinn, Estonia

While most people think of Silicon Valley as the leading tech hub in the world, Estonia is quickly becoming a top player on the world stage for entrepreneurship and technology. Famed for its innovation, Estonia boasts a vast community of over 1,000 startups – famously dubbed the #EstonianMafia on Twitter – including a varied mix of established names such as Skype, to newer innovators such as unicorns including Pipedrive, Transferwise, and Bolt.

With its disruptive startup ecosystem, progressive government policies, and digital nomad education initiatives, it is fast becoming a more attractive alternative to Silicon Valley’s crowded ecosystem.

Pioneering a digital-first society

Upon breaking away from the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonia found itself short of a resource critical to its economic growth – people. To counter this challenge, Estonia developed a nationwide digital system to enable information to be easily shared across the private and public sectors – to the point where 99 per cent of the Estonian government’s services are digital – and pioneered the e-Residency project. Launched in 2014, the project allows foreign citizens to become e-citizens of Estonia. Enabling e-citizens access to the same benefits as an actual resident including, registering a company for business, and accessing the government’s e-services – growing the country’s economy.

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Victoria Krisman
Victoria Krisman is Interactive Media Specialist and Communications Manager for the Intelligent Community Forum.
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