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Estonia needs to focus on developing smart businesses

THIS PUBLICATION HAS 8 COMMENTS
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That's the target for all countries... nothing special. Reply to the comment answer
~Lexxus [07.01.2013, 15:38]
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But it's impossible to achieve under the right wing government. Reply to the comment answer
~yo [07.01.2013, 17:18]
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Yes, water is wet. There is nothing profound here much less interesting. A quality educated work force that is efficient and produces something. Not sure what the point of the article is besides pointing out the obvious. Reply to the comment answer
~Exactly [07.01.2013, 19:28]
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I'm not sure that the government has any priority on developing any kind of business, so calling out for higher or lower priority is meaningless. Calling to the Estonian Nouveau Riches is meaningless as well, the low hanging fruits were picked up, smart business needs serious investments and time to grow up. Does Estonia have enough smart business entrepreneurs, with enough knowledge and financial background to become successful? What kind of support do they get from the state and from society? These are question, which must be asked and not just an obvious calling for smart businesses. Reply to the comment answer
~kloty [08.01.2013, 02:55]
..and what type of foreign investors could help them or how to attract them at all to invest into Estonia?
~knut albers [08.01.2013, 12:51]
Declaration of english and russian languages as official languages would be a good start. Klaus Dornemann described in his book, when he was told by an Estonian representative to learn Estonian first, before he creates business in Estonia.

Financial help or at least attractive credits and cheap infrastructure from the state for start-ups would help.

Relaxed immigration laws for foreign workers.

Best possible access to education (means free education), more investments in education.
~kloty [08.01.2013, 14:34]
Actually, the support for entrepreneurs has grown tremendously in the last 2 years. Now there are incubators and advisory centers, including: Start Smart, Tallinn Tehnopol, Garage48, Startup Wisegusy, Eesti Arengufond, Connect Estonia, Ajujaht, and 2-3 more I can't remember right now.

So one would think, with all this support, there would be many great startups as a result. Yet, we haven't quite seen that. There have been some (GrabCad, PipeDrive, TransferWise), all of which are now only loosely Estonian (they all moved their offices abroad), and weren't that closely involved with the incubators or help.

My theory is that in a country this small, it's hard to have a lot of "winners" in the startup area, because there just aren't enough talented people (lack of population). For most of these ideas, they are world-focused so a startup has to compete against startups doing the same thing but based in other countries. It's a difficult task.
~ameeriklane [08.01.2013, 16:33]
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2ameeriklane: well, on one hand being a start-up in a small country means no competition and a resonable test-market. On the other hand lot of IT-ideas work only on large scale, and of course you're right that in large countries there are also start-ups working on similiar ideas. Another problem is definitely the lack of skilled working force. Maybe concentration on IT-startups is not the right one, because, sure it is cheap to setup a webservice, but as I stated before IT is all about interconnection and scaleability, so a certain amount of users is necessary to refinance the startup. Maybe startups in chemistry or alternative energy or biology would make more sense? It is more expensive, but even a small market can already show if the ideas are viable or not. Reply to the comment answer
~kloty [08.01.2013, 18:52]
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