While Barcelona and London are booming, there is a smaller city in north-eastern Europe that deserves some attention. Entrepreneurs who are looking to found a start-up should particularly be looking deeper into Tallinn.
With a population of approximately 430,000 people, Tallinn is the biggest city in Estonia. When entering the city centre, people find themselves inside a medieval town that is one out of two UNESCO world heritage sites in the country. The city wall, which was built in the 13th century, offers a scenic view over the gothic architecture of the old town up to Tallinn Bay, the popular waterfront.
Tallinn is a city that has something to offer for everyone. There is plenty of stunning architecture from historical times to modern buildings, a warm and welcoming culture and by being surrounded by nature, it also attracts families and nature lovers. But the city has also become a hub for a vibrant start-up scene for entrepreneurs and it now has the highest start-up-to-population ratio in Europe. Therefore, it might not be surprising that it is often referred to as Europe’s Silicon Valley.
Tallinn is aiming to combine the charm of an old town with modern standards. The city wants to become the world’s smartest capital and is currently working on implementing a wide range of projects, such as self-driving vehicles and the use of artificial intelligence to create personal routes for tourists. A smart capital that meets the needs of the digital society in Estonia.
To become a resident of Tallinn, you don’t even need to be there in person. You can easily become an e-resident by applying for it online and picking up your e-Resident digi-ID card in an Estonian embassy near you. As an e-resident, it is possible to open an EU-registered company that is manageable completely online. From opening a bank account up to doing taxes – everything is accessible through the government portal with the ID-card. This makes it easy for entrepreneurs to found a start-up without experiencing bureaucratic barriers.
As it is easy to start an online business in Estonia, Tallinn is on its way to becoming a hotspot for iGaming companies. Online gambling became legal in 2010 after the country’s economy suffered from the world economic crisis in 2008-2009 and the government looked for a new source of income. There are still many land-based casinos in Tallinn but, as a digital society, many Estonians prefer to play in an online casino these days. The number of enterprises that are associated with this industry is rapidly growing. Not only do companies create games but there are also those that provide related services, such as software solutions, designs, publishing or advertising.
Estonia is often considered to be one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, making Tallinn a great base for entrepreneurs. Besides that, it is secure, beautiful and full of history. It might still be one of Europe’s best kept secrets – so consider moving as long as the rent is still affordable.