Meet the new tech trailblazer, Tallinn
Meet the new European startup hub; Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, it is the 132nd smallest country in the world, with just 1.3 million residents.
The perfect combination of old and new, Tallinn successfully fuses modern architecture with medieval churches, and even a few Soviet characteristics thrown in for good measure, to create a vibrant and versatile city with a rich cultural scene.
Estonia has long been ahead in the technology game, it has one of the world’s most advanced e-governments that has long advocated technology in the public sphere. Access to the internet is considered a fundamental right, and it has among the world’s fastest broadband speeds, offering nationwide open wireless access. A tech trailblazer, it was the first country in the world to implement voting online and it is also one of the first countries to make learning code in school compulsory for all children. Furthermore, it was the first country to offer e-residency, a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world. To date there are over 12,000 e-residents, many of whom are joining to establish companies in the region. The introduction of e-residency has encouraged international entrepreneurs and investors to the area, who hope to benefit from the low business costs and the digital infrastructure already in place.
Unsurprisingly, Tallinn has its very own version of Silicon Valley, Technopolis which hosts a number of tech enterprises and established companies. It also has the highest number of startups per person in Europe, with high-tech industries making up around 15% of Estonia’s total GDP. Home to some of the most renowned tech companies such as Skype and TransferWise, the country has massively benefited from attracting foreign investment, in 2015 Estonian startups had raised $100 million in foreign capital, acting as an incentive for other startups looking for a hub to grow.
With such a progressive government that has actively encouraged innovative entrepreneurship, and with lots of access to support and investment and a simple tax system, Tallinn is fast becoming the startup hub to watch.