Глобальный индекс экосистем стартапов 2022

2022 | StartupBlink View the Global Startup Map p. 97 Startup Ecosystem Overview One of the most important milestones in the history of the Estonian ecosystem was the success of Skype, an app largely developed in Estonia. Skype’s founders used this exit windfall to support new successful local startups. The Skype Mafia,' as they are called, show how big an impact one exit can have on the culture of an entire startup ecosystem. There have also been effective and aggressive marketing efforts performed by the Estonian public sector, the likes of which we have not seen anywhere else in the world. Examples of this include several innovative projects that started in Estonia and are now being copied by dozens of governments around the world: Estonian E-residency, startup and nomad visas, and the branding of companies as completely digitized. These efforts result in the word Estonia now being whispered by digital nomads and small business owners in many developing countries, an impressive accomplishment for a country of less than 2 million inhabitants. The small population also means that startups in Estonia are in strong competition for talent, and the public sector has the difficult task of providing the booming startup scene with a steady influx of foreign talent. The Work in Estonia Program, launched by Estonia’s Government, aims to attract new IT specialists as well as talent in natural and exact sciences. So far the country seems to be attractive to foreigners, with Startup Estonia reporting in 2021 that over 27% of startup employees were from other countries. However, Estonia’s challenges remain unchanged as it aspires to grow. First, Estonia must continue to make sure actual results on the ground match the expectations created by its effective marketing efforts. Second, Estonia should be forewarned that initiatives like e-residency and the nomad visa can attract lifestyle businesses to Estonia instead of making it a serious hub for scale startups that could expand globally or seek access to capital and potential clients. Estonia should also carefully transition from a development center, where companies from wealthier countries might come to develop startups (e.g. Skype, Playtech), and instead focus on building its own locally sourced startups, especially considering that the cost of living in Estonia is growing to match the country’s economic success. Estonia has proved it can produce successful startups like Wise, Bolt, and Pipedrive. As the Wise transition to London has shown, one key challenge the country faces will be making sure its unicorns stay in the ecosystem instead of leaving for bigger startup hubs. According to the Startup Estonia White Paper 2021-2027, the nation continues to support its growing startup ecosystem, has set a number of goals focused on growing the Estonian startup and technology sector to 15% of the nation's GDP by 2025, and actively promotes an all-inclusive startup mindset.

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