Mamie Joeveer, forbes.com 2014/12/31
The small Baltic country of Estonia, with a population of slightly more than 1 million, is a place with big ideas and a big footprint in the world of technology. Entrepreneurs who plan to expand globally in 2015 can take note from Estonia’s rapid success. In Estonia, thinking globally has become a national mindset.
The nation’s global future in the high-tech arena, gained momentum with the success story of Skype, developed by Estonians, and later acquired by Microsoft MSFT +0.65% in 2011 for $8.5 billion. Skype’s success created a domino effect for other rising Estonian entrepreneurs with the latest and greatest idea for a startup. Internally, the Estonian government had already started transforming its society into an e-society, with electronic tax-filing, Internet voting, electronic health records, and helped push the new wave of entrepreneurship forward. Estonian’s government foundation, Enterprise Estonia, established in 2000, became a national support system for entrepreneurship and took the next step forward. Enterprise Estonia’s primary mission is to support the level of well-being in society by supporting objectives such as increasing the number of sustainable and growing companies, export capabilities, and product development and technological capabilities of Estonia. One of the offices of Enterprise Estonia naturally opened in Silicon Valley.
“The success of Skype has been a trigger of Enterprise Estonia to be in Silicon Valley as well as for the new wave of startups from Estonia,” says Andrus Viirg, Director of Enterprise Estonia in Silicon Valley. Along with California, Enterprise Estonia has representatives in Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Hamburg, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Tokyo.
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Estonia's Rise As A High-Tech Leader Boils Down To One Notion: Think Globally From The Start