JETRO Global Connection -Accelerate Innovation with Japan-

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Mission to Estonia, business meetings with local startup companies

(Estonia)
From Warsaw
November 11, 2019

JETRO sent Open Innovation Missions to three Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, and Estonia) from September 30 to October 4 and conducted business matching programs for Japanese companies seeking to collaborate with local startups (Refer to the articles on October 29, 2019, November 11, 2019, and November 11, 2019). On October 3 and 4, a pitch (Note) event and business meetings were held in Tallinn, Estonia.

On October 3, presentations were given by Enterprise EstoniaA new window will open. , an organization that attracts investment to Estonia; Startup EstoniaA new window will open. , which organizes Estonian startup-related companies; and Tallinn Science Park TehnopolA new window will open. , an incubator that supports startup companies.

First, Enterprise Estonia described Estonia’s well-established digital business environment; 98% of business registrations, 99% of banking transactions, and 96% of tax filings are done by online. Estonia has the World's best tax competitiveness index and is one of the most educated countries in the world. Enterprise Estonia explained that Estonia will become the new Silicon Valley in Scandinavia.

Secondly, Startup Estonia explained the startup market in Estonia. Eighteen percent of the founders of startup companies are foreigners; the Estonian government invests in startup companies; Estonia has abundant human resources. In recent years, companies from outside the European Union are establishing startups in Estonia.

Finally, Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol gave a presentation on the systems available to support startups, including legal and marketing support, funding of up to €35,000 for startups, and research and development (R&D) consulting services.

After the presentations, the Japanese companies that participated in the initiative actively engaged in networking and exchanges of opinions with the members of Tallinn University of Technology, signaling their interest in Estonian startups. The Estonian side also pointed out that Estonia and Japan are highly compatible for business and hoped for even more concrete results.

On the fourth day, the Japanese companies and Estonian startups held individual business meetings. Following the presentations and business meetings, the Japanese companies commented, “I was able to understand the industrial situation around the Baltic Sea,” “There were companies with interesting concepts,” and “Estonia has a high level of technology, and we must keep an eye on the country.”

JETRO plans to launch a mission in Munich, Germany, in early March 2020, to send a group of Japanese companies interested in open innovation.
(Note) A short presentation for investors.

(NARAHASHI Hiroki)

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