I am a big fan of Estonia and not because I was born and spend half of my life there. It is because of the mindset of people and atmosphere that you meet in Estonia. It is because of the way how they deal with challenges (e.g. COVID). Estonia has changed from post-soviet country into the lead IT country only in 15 years. So it is obvious for those who are into startups, investing, and care about the future of business and governance to be in Estonia at the end of August.
This year, on August 27 and 28, Tallinn hosted a Latitude59. This conference is a venue for the Nordic or Baltic Technology and Investment experts.
Online & offline
A new situation in the world requires new formats, and the conference this year was taking place as a hybrid event, so many contestants and investors were present online. That was a great chance for networking opportunities for all the participants. Also there were extensive conversations with top players from the region and pitching rounds for both startups and investors.
Crisis and how to deal with it
The opening part was dedicated to Belarus. The goal was to support the country and its startup ecosystem. 10 promising Belarusian startups from Imaguru Startup Hub and TechMinsk community were presented online. Inaguru and TechMinskshared their experience how they help Belarus founders open new opportunities and connect them to the global tech ecosystem.
Unsurprising that the conference topics were mainly devoted to the current crisis situation in the world and ways out of it. The issues of current concern such as investing in innovations, running the remote teams, crisis as a routine for VCs and startups were discussed.
Investors and founders noted that in fact ecosystem in the Baltic region is seeing one of the best times ever. And despite the pandemic there’s a record number of startups to invest in, especially in the energy and digital fields. Definitely the crisis had a significant impact, and companies have reacted differently to these changing conditions: some of them became very attractive, they innovated and get on a new level, some still need to adapt to this situation, and some companies’ rates have unfortunately fallen. IT and tech, as well as digital and energy segments are lucky – they all benefited from crisis and got the opportunities that speeding up the development.
Also during the conference many founders shared their stories, inspiring participants to remain steadfast and keep the lights on at this time of great challenge, while taking heed of the making new plans for the future.
E-Residency in Estonia
Of course the most interesting topic about Estonia was discussed at the end of the first Day. Estonia was the first country to launch e-Residency, a digital identity and status that provides access to Estonia’s trusted and transparent business environment. Since 2014, more than 70,000 people from 160+ countries have applied and joined Estonia’s digital nation.
The result of Latitude59
Investors have got an access to the most promising and fastest-growing startups from the region, and the startups that were born out of the crisis were at the forefront.
Tallinn – the most inspiring city in Europe
From my part I can just add that that it is worth visiting Tallinn. The city itself is recognized as the most vibrant and cosy startup city in the region. So you get inspiration and energy just of visiting Tallinn.