Estonia is well known for its impressive startup culture and few things illustrate this spirit better than recognizing the best smartphone applications of the year in the „Best smartphone app of the year 2016“ competition.
This year the jury, consisting of leading design experts, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and executives, decided that the application worthy of the title of the best smartphone app of the year is Pipedrive, a sales CRM application which makes it possible for sales staff to organize their interactions with clients as well as acquire new clients, even when they are away from their computer.
In addition to the acknowledgement of the best application of the year, there were several other honours awarded to various applications. These honours include the prize for best design, for the best new business model, for innovation and for the favourite of the public.
The prize for the best design was awarded to Estonian startup Pocopay for their application which allows the user to open an international bank account straight from the application itself. In addition to this, Pocopay also won the special „NutiKaitse 2017“ award.
The award for the best new business model went to Bike-ID Eesti, an application which enables the user to register their bicycle in an international database and if they so choose, also insure their bike in case of theft.
The prize for innovation was this year awarded to VitaFields, an innovative Estonian smartphone application, which allows the user to have an excellent overview of everything that happens at their farm and farmlands.
The public chose as their favorite application this year the Elisa Raamat app. This app has not been developed by a startup, but rather one of the leading telecommunication companies in Estonia, Elisa. The app grants the user access to more than 1700 e-books, which are all available in Estonian.
Award ceremonies are just the tip of the iceberg that is the startup culture in Estonia
To accelerate the growth of startups and to make sure that everything is done in the best possible way, there are countless numbers of different accelerators and incubators in Estonia, which offer aspiring entrepreneurs mentorship and funding. Even better, most of them also accept startups that are not natively from Estonia. So this is another reason to become an e-resident of Estonia and take part yourself.
Contriber.com recently compiled a list of the best accelerators in Estonia that also accept applicants from outside Estonia. Here are just a few of them; the full list can be found on Contriber’s website.
BuildIt focuses on hardware and the creative industries and accepts startups from all over the world. The program offers 3000 euros to cover the living costs and lasts for one month, with the possibility for a follow-on program, if the team is successful.
Startup Wise Guys focuses on Business to Business (B2B) and Software as a Service (SaaS) and accepts startups from all over the world. In fact, more than 60% of their companies are not from Estonia.
Startup Wise Guys is willing to pay 20 000 euros for 8% of the shares of the company. Their program lasts for three months and is based in Tallinn, the capital and business hub of Estonia.
VUNK is one of the newest accelerators launched in Estonia. It is led by telecommunications company Telia, in association with Garage48 and Startup Wise Guys. VUNK is interested in startups related to the Internet of Things, mobile commerce, or communication and connectivity.
The startups accepted to the accelerator can secure equity-free funding and the program lasts for three months.
Joining any of these accelerators offers foreign startups the opportunity to learn from an array of leading entrepreneurs from all around the world, as well as get to know the Estonian business landscape on a level that is impossible to achieve from a distance.