E-services winners selected

  • 2013-06-12
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - For the fifth time, the Estonian Information System’s Authority organized a competition looking for the best Estonian e-services, reports LETA. This year, 77 projects participated in the competition, and winners were elected in five categories.
The aim of the competition was to introduce innovative e-services and e-solutions, and also their customers and developers in the public, private and non-profit sectors. The winner of the competition will be participating in the World Summit Award.

TransferWise was recognized in the category Overall Best e-Service, Best e-Business Service. TransferWise is a money transfer service launched by Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus. The service allows people to send money abroad at the lowest possible cost, so they can avoid paying considerably big fees to banks for the transactions.
In two years, TransferWise has grown to include 36 currency directions and has transferred more than 125 million British pounds of their customers’ money.

GoSwift received the award for the Best e-Government Service. GoSwift is an online reservation system for border crossing – it is setting a new standard for border crossing, not only in Estonia but also for the whole region. Lithuania is planning to start using the GoSwift system starting this month.

Ennemuistne has been awarded for the Best e-Culture Service. It is a free online game inspired by Estonian folklore that can be used as an entertaining addition to the national high-school curriculum. It is a fun and interactive way for teenagers to learn about ancient times in Estonia and to enrich the knowledge gained from school lessons. The game is still in the development phase, but the creators aim to improve it through feedback from actual players. This way, they’re seeking to better respond to expectations for a game that is educational and still fun to play.

TipTheAuthors was named as the Best e-Entertainment Service provider.

TipTheAuthors is a platform for selling films online. The idea was first formed at the beginning of 2012 during Garage48 - an Estonian-born startup event where ideas are turned into working services or prototypes within a time limit of 48 hours. The platform aims to provide an easy way of legally buying films online and thus counter the issue of piracy. Hence their slogan is “movie downloads for honest people.”

According to Margus Pala, one of the creators of TipTheAuthors, a successful e-service has to create value for the users and answer their needs. And even in the case of fierce competition on the market of selling and streaming films online, it’s the flexibility of a small company that might lead to success.
Hooandja was recognized as the Best e-Involvement Service. This is a crowd-funding platform for creative projects, borrowing its idea from the U.S.-born Kickstarter.

It’s a place where good ideas meet consumers/clients.

Every project on Hooandja presents itself with an introductory video that clearly explains the purpose and requirements of the project. A project can gather funding from two-eight weeks. However, one of the main rules of Hooandja is the requirement to achieve 100 percent of the targeted funding - if the project fails to gain that support, all the money is given back to the supporters.
Hooandja has been in use since summer 2012. Since then, they have managed to fund creative projects totaling over 100,000 euros.
Crowd-funding is clearly becoming a trend within the creative community. It also creates a new way of communication and closeness between creators and their audience.