Reasons why start-ups are born one after another in Estonia-local Japanese explain ecosystem

シ リ コ ン Silicon Valley in the United States, where the world's leading IT companies and talented IT personnel gather. On the other hand, there are small countries in Eastern Europe that are aiming for Europe's Silicon Valley. That is Estonia. The country quickly adopted an electronic administration system and succeeded in branding "electronic administration".Electronic nation"It is called.

Estonia is a small country with a population of about 1.3 million, but so far about 988 startup companies have been registered in the database. In other words, it is a country that has many startups. In addition to Skype, the leading IT company in the country, Playtech online casino, TransferWise international remittance, Bolt ride share, and so far four unicorn companies in total.Productiondoing.

Why are startups so exciting in Estonia? Behind this are the recruitment and education of IT personnel in Japan and overseas, and incubation design.

I moved to the country four years ago and graduated from Tallinn University of Technology [26 years old]. I would like to explain about the Estonian startup's ecosystem design through local life, hackathons, and student experiences. However, please understand that the content is based on the actual experience of the author.

What is Estonia's "startup ecosystem"?

以降 Since 2013, Estonia's funding has increased linearly. In 2018, startups increased 21.4% compared to the previous yearProcurement amountWas about 40 billion yen.

ス タ ー ト ア ッ プ Skype, the creator of the communication tool “Skype,” is a big factor behind the rise of startups in Estonia. Skype is the biggest innovation in Estonia's history, and its contributions make it a national star.

[Quote: https://www.skype.com/ja/


However, I would like to note that the country and the media agree with the image of “ Skype = Estonia '', but the actual founders of Skype are Swedish and Danish, and even if the company was headquartered in Estonia It is not.

The Estonian capital, Tallinn, was used to develop Skype, and the company is founded with several Estonians in addition to its founder. It can be said that this has greatly influenced the story of the current Estonian startup scene.

Because the founding members of Skype at the time are now investing again in building the ecosystem of new Estonian startups. For example, Lingivist, a language learning app that Rakuten also invests in, is one of the former Skype developers who advises the founder and makes the first investment.

Quote: https://lingvist.com/

Lingivist language learning app

People who have gained a lot of money with the success of Skype take advantage of it to start a new company or invest in the younger generation, and a community is born as a sink for technology, know-how, people and funds. Let's interact and nurture the community. And a circulating ecosystem has been established in Estonia, where the people who grew up repeat it. The point is that the circulation system itself is also operated by relatively young people.

シ リ ア ル Serial entrepreneurs [serial entrepreneurs] who repeat entrepreneurs appear many times, share the know-how to lower the failure probability of startups, and raise funds from investors around the world. If the role model is created, it is natural that people who yearn for it will appear more and more, which tends to become a strong ecosystem.

In addition, people from Skype who got a lot of assets invested not only money but also skills and connections in the next generation, exciting small countries with only 1.3 million people with startups, which spread to the younger generation, The ideal ecosystem design for investing in the younger generation is being created. This is one of the advantages of being a small country.

There is a thing called Six Degrees of Separation in network theory. It says that if you have six people you can be connected to anyone, but now it is said that thanks to the Internet, it is in fourth and fifth order. In Estonia, where the population is about one-tenth of Tokyo, it is easy to reach anyone who has the right to make a decision, as it is like having three people connected to anyone. Diversity is so important to the start-up community that the small size of a country that can be easily connected to people with different ideas will be an advantage.

Abundant events and accelerator programs

ス ト Estonia has a wealth of events and programs related to startups. Instead of entertainment, hackathons and network events are held weekly every day. The author actively participated in these while studying at university, and has actually won many awards at local hackathons.

Local hackathon
Local hackathon

* Click to see enlarged image

Is the Estonian government rivaling companies such as Facebook and Alibaba, strengthening the community between e-residency acquirers, creating services for groups from each region from there, activating exchanges like Facebook, We are taking a strategy to fight against.

チ ー ム The team that won the event such as Hackathon is guaranteed not only the prize money but also a one-year mentoring program, investors and necessary recruitment. It is an image of starting with the whole country as an actual start-up company by taking the time to prepare from there. This incorporation of entrepreneurship education is a major factor behind Estonia's birth of many startups.

In fact, while I was in college, I formed a team after participating in Ideason. Get weekly feedback from lectures and mentors, and be prepared for the actual pitch to investors at the end of the three-month program. The winner will be able to rent an office for half a year at MEKTORY [incubation facility where company-related events and corporate-sponsored workshops are held] at Tallinn University of Technology and connect with investors and incubators. Can also.

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