As of 1 July 2016, Startup Estonia has merged with KredEx, which aims to improve support for startups and to facilitate funding options in all stages of growth. This is only one part of a bigger merger – the intention is that Smartcap will also continue its operations under KredEx in the future. The more specific purpose of this merger is to create a more favourable environment for startups, which enable faster development, improve funding options, knowledge and investor contact-sharing. Until now, this role has been fulfilled by SmartCap, but the opportunities available to entrepreneurs are about to widen thanks to new accelerators and cooperation programmes as well as sub-funds created in the framework of EstFund.
As to further plans, in the second half of 2016, a programme for developing sales skills for startups is due for launching and a partner found for a cooperation programme between businesses and startups plus counselling for the founders of startups. Additionally, the final round of European green technology will be brought to Estonia, along with promotion of Estonian startups at conferences abroad. By autumn, partners will be selected with whom negotiations will begin to create new accelerators.
Startup Estonia stands for maintaining Estonia’s position as a known and attractive destination among startup entrepreneurs in Europe, so that by 2020 it could become one of the leading centres for startup businesses in Europe
According to the Startup Compass survey, Estonia had 500-700 startups at different stages of development as at the end of 2015. Altogether, Estonian startups provide nearly 2,300 jobs, more than 80% of which are in Estonia. In 2015, startups paid over EUR 20 million to the state budget in employment-related taxes. Information from KredEx article as of 30 June 2016 available here.