Startup Funding for e-Resident Founders
Estonia, a country full of ambitious entrepreneurial minds, also extends a variety of resources and opportunities for growth to its e-Resident founders. Some grants may require your Estonian company to have a certain turnover or people on the payroll to qualify, while the startup funding and accelerators have no bureaucratic requirements stopping you from accessing them equally to resident founders.
Estonian flourishing startup ecosystem includes various grants, accelerators, business angels, venture funds and networking platforms available to all founders, aiding you in overcoming the initial hurdles of building a business from scratch in a foreign country. You may also want to learn about Estonia’s unique tax system and build your business here.
Estonian Startup Ecosystem
The startup ecosystem in Tallinn has been booming ever since the first Estonian unicorn Skype alumni started to build their own unicorns. The next unicorns that made it to exits created hundreds of alumni with deep pockets. As a fun fact, they call themselves the Estonian Mafia. Estonian startup companies received a combined funding of €906.6 million in just the first quarter of 2022.
You can get access to this entrepreneurial haven. Even if you are not an EU citizen the Estonian Startup Visa programme allows you to migrate your talented team to utilise accelerators like the Startup Wise Guys, Superangel, Prototron or Tehnopol that pave the way to an expansive network of investors and fellow founders in Tallinn.
The Estonian Founder’s Society is also fertile ground for nurturing ideas, building your network, and propelling your startup towards success through the shared wisdom of the startup community. Here is also a video from Lift99 founder Elise Sass giving her insights into networking in Estonia.
Financing is the lifeblood of startups in Estonia, be it Estonian Business Angels or VC funds you need to take your company to the next level. The startup funding landscape here is also supported by a myriad of public financing opportunities, ensuring that your company has the resources it needs to grow.
Estonia, in collaboration with the EU, offers a wide array of grants to help startups develop and expand innovative business ideas. Below we list some of the opportunities available to Estonian companies. You can also watch an interview with EstBAN president Lauri Antalainen for his insights.
Several grants are available to founders who are looking to start or expand their company in Estonia. These grants cater to various sectors and project scopes, providing the financial backing necessary for innovation and growth.
Here is a small sample of the public grants available to Estonian businesses upon qualifying:
- Implementation of the Development Plan for Creative Enterprises: Up to €100 000 to bolster SMEs in the creative economy sector.
- Eurostars product development: Up to €300 000 for small and medium-sized companies for product development projects in collaboration with partners from Eurostars countries.
- Digitalization Roadmap Support: Up to €15 000 to aid Estonian companies in creating a digitalization roadmap.
- Horizon Europe Partnership “Key Digital Technologies”: Up to €300 000 for companies engaged in electronic components, systems design, and related software solutions development.
- Support for the Digital Transformation of Companies: Up to €300 000 to support digital transformation initiatives.
- Large Investor Support Scheme: Up to €3 million (and above for strategic projects) for industrial companies with a turnover of €50 million and above to start or expand manufacturing operations.
- Product Development Program: Up to €500 000 for R&D support aimed at developing and launching new products or services.
- Enterprise Development Program: Up to €500 000 for industrial enterprises aiming to develop and launch new products or services.
- Programme for applied research: Up to 2 million euros for developing new or significantly enhanced technologies, processes, products or services.
Considering how many different options there are you may need someone to guide you. Estonian County development centres can assist you in finding financial support for your projects. Development centres can provide information on the right EU grants and other possible sources of financing as well as private sector consultants with their project writing services. The Tallinn Entrepreneurship Centre offers free advisory services to start-up companies, including preparing a business plan and financial forecasts. Enterprise Estonia is the national investment agency that offers grants and advisory services as well as practical training and workshops conducted by experts in the field to start-up companies.
Funding and grants available for e-residents
Navigating the funding landscape as a foreigner with no idea where to start can be quite time-consuming, yet the Estonian extensive support system includes a database of opportunities available to e-resident founders to access funding and grants. Estonian supportive ecosystem also includes smart migration options for startup teams with attractive working business models. If you would
Thanks for reading
We hope you enjoyed this article. If you have more questions check out Unicount’s extensive support articles here