Estonia’s start-up success stories alongside with cultural programs in Nantes

09. December, 2014

In our everyday routine we have become used to our e-government even to an extent that we do not appreciate its value until we are in another country and realise how the most simple processes can take up so much time. This could be opening a bank account in London or getting wifi access in Brussels.

Estonia is in the forefront of e-service and start-up development. Estonia’s recent and currently most attractive offer to the world is e-residency, which is a state-issued secure digital identity for non-residents that allows digital authentication and the digital signing of documents. The e-residency service, among other e-services that are closley linked to start-up, was introduced on the 5th of december in Nantes, France.

The purpose of the seminar was to introduce Estonia’s business environment and its various supporting programs that are international in its form and thus, open to many countries including France. Urve Tiidus, Minister of Culture of Estonia, highlighted many of Estonia’s start-up succes stories in her opening speech.

In his presentation Pirko Konsa, head of the Enterprise Estonia (EAS), gave an overview of the start-up business, ecosystem functioning, as well as the success stories that have had an international breakthrough. Pirko Konsa emphasized that creativity holds an important place in the the formula for business success. For example it is often the design that significantly increases the added value of new products and services.

Many Estonia’s start-up success stories in business were discussed and complemented by Kristiina Kalda, Enterprise Estonia forreign representative in Paris, by Tallinn’s Business Consultant (Ettevõtlusinkubaator) Kristjan Niinemaa and by two accelerator program representatives Alexander Tõnnisson from Buildit and Erik Anderson from Wise Startup Guy.

Local speakers and seminar participants appreciated the opportunity to see and hear what is happening in Estonia, to learn from our experiences and participate in discussions, in which the main theme was the accelerators future – Accelerators 2020. The roundtable assembled vision of the future presented for the input of the ECCIA ( The European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance) working group policy document.

The seminar was the first cooperation project between Creative Estonia and SAMOAcluster. During the two-day meeting plans were set in place for the follow-up project, which is aimed to be launched in 2016 .

For those who missed this seminar, we are pleased to announce that the Estonian startup accelerator programs Buildit and Wise Guyis are open for another round of applications until 15 December 2014. For more information please visit and Take a look, perhaps Estonia is just the right place to start your own business!

Nantes seminar was visited by Eva Leemet.