The ArcticStartup guide to: Estonia

22. November, 2014

Garage 4-e1416472530206Estonia is known for Skype just like Finland is known for Nokia. However, there is much more the tech-savvy country has to offer. The Estonian scene can be explored in more detail on the #Estonianmafia wall of fame at Garage48, but here are just a few startup names that you should know.

“If I see a company coming out of Estonia I am reasonably assured that it will be executed well. For its size, Estonia is generating more high quality startups than you would expect.” – Naval Ravikant, Founder of AngelList”. 

Hottest startups:

GrabCAD – the cloud based platform helping mechanical engineers collaborate has made headlines in September as it was acquired by Stratasys, a large 3D printing solutions provider for over €70 million.

With Estonian founders Transferwise, a company facilitating international money transfers, has been placed on Europe’s top 10 hottest startup list by Wired and landed an investment by Sir Richard Branson.

Weekly productivity tool Weekdone won the Slush pitching event last year.

Pipedrive is another well-known Estonian company, it helps its customers manage their CRM and sales pipelines. Co-founded by Ragnar Saas, one of Garage48 founders.

There are also some well-known grown-ups like mobile payments solution Fortumo and retail management solution Erply whom some commentators do not see as being called startups anymore. This brings us back to the vague definition of startup which is another topic for another time.

Places to work and meet up:

Garage48 HUB – a co-working space in the heart of Tallinn, founded by Ragnar Sass, Martin Villig, Priit Salumaa and Juri Kaljundi from Garage 48 Foundation and Startup Leaders Club. The place stands out on the street and all events take place in English, so international visitors will feel comfortable there.

Tehnopol Startup Incubator – an incubator and science park with a co-working environment hosting more than 20 high-growth startups. Its alumni include Transferwise,, Defendec, Signwise, Fleep and others. Technopol is affiliated with Tallin University of Technology and IT College, currently hosting more that 180 tech companies from the Baltics, including , Fujitsu Estonia, Cybernetica and Karl-Storz Estonia.

Technopolis Ülemiste – an office space in the close vicinity of Tallinn airport. It is built at the territory of an old Dvigatel factory and its design is inspired by Estonian innovators throughout its history. Technopolis Ülemiste is known as home to several contemporary startups like Signwise and ZeroTurnaround that has grown out of their first and largest tenant Nortal. An office of WNB, an open-minded Estonian seed investor with a diverse portfolio of companies from Bulgaria, Ukraine and Brazil, is located there as well. The Startup Wise Guys accelerator started in Technopolis Ülemiste campus, they have hosted many startup events – Garage48 hackathons, Money Talks for startups and investors, Technopolis Business Breakfast and Meet Your Neighbors. They also offer a Business Lounge with flexible pricing options for getting your work done.

Estonian Development Fund (EDF) – a public institution supporting established by the Parliament with the goal of supporting Estonian startup ecosystem. EDF invests in Estonian startups and supports a range of initiatives fostering startup development.

Find the calendar of events and more information here.