Startup Ecosystem

Statistics & Surveys

It is important to be aware of the performance of the ecosystem for business promotion or investment decision making.
For this, we issue biannual statistical reviews of the startup field and conducted surveys conclusions.

Estonian Startup Ecosystem Participants Satisfaction Survey 2022

The goal of the Startup Estonia programme is to create more success stories of startup companies in Estonia by developing their ecosystem for that purpose. It is important for Startup Estonia to consistently get an adequately verified overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the Estonian startup ecosystem, viewed both by startup companies and community members. The survey output is a mapping of startup ecosystem bottlenecks, which can be used to organise future startup ecosystem development programme procurements and plan other ecosystem development activities.

The satisfaction survey in the field of startup business has been conducted twice so far. The survey organised in December 2016 focused on mapping the general satisfaction with existing services. The aim of the 2018 survey was to map the satisfaction of the parties of the Estonian startup ecosystem with the ecosystem and investigate the awareness of the support organisations and startups operating in the field about Startup Estonia and the services offered by them.

The aim of this study was to conduct a satisfaction survey of the parties participating in the startup ecosystem based on the activities coordinated by Startup Estonia. The parties of the ecosystem are startup companies and support organisations that provide services to the community, consultation companies and public sector service providers.

The survey focused on ecosystem parties’:

  • awareness of SUE and the goals of its activities
  • satisfaction with SUE's services and activities;
  • awareness and user experience regarding the Estonian Startup Database;
  • awareness of the activities of SUE's focus areas;
  • the vision of the development of the ecosystem in the near future.

In addition, the startup community's assessment of its own activities and the satisfaction and expectations of startups for support services were studied.

The survey is available to all readers in Estonian and English. 

Lõpparuanne Eesti startup ökosüsteemi osaliste rahulolu uuring 2022 EST.pdf

Estonian Startup Ecosystem Participants Satisfaction Survey 2022_ENG.pdf


Mapping of Factors behind the Estonian Tech Companies Headquarter Location Decisions (2021)

Estonian Centre for Applied Research (CentAR) carried out a mapping regarding Estonian tech companies headquarters with the aim to gather info about factors influencing the decisions around headquarters location. 15 interviews with tech companies’ founders were conducted during November 2021 to share experiences and open up the founders perspective.

Summary based on interviews will help to understand the aspects behind founders decisions and on policy level is used as input in taking next steps towards becoming a scaleup country.


Mapping was conducted in Estonian.


Action Plan to Make Europe the new Global Powerhouse for Startups

The EU Innovation Ecosystem Leaders Group was first called upon by Commissioner Gabriel for a meeting on April 16th to give voice to the innovation ecosystems in the making of future EU Innovation Policy.

On 16 April, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel had met the group to listen to their experiences as leaders of the innovation ecosystems in the 27 Member States. The group presented to the Commissioner their first ideas of an ‘Action Plan to Make Europe the new Global Powerhouse for Startups’ that aims to increase the number of unicorns (privately owned companies valued at over $1 billion) tenfold in Europe over the next ten years.  


The aim of the group is to provide feedback to the European Commission on how it can further support and promote European startup ecosystems and increase employment, innovation and exports across the EU over the next decade. The initiative also represents a strengthening of relations between the startup sector and the European Commission. 

The group consists of one representative from each Member State: Constantijn van Oranje (Special Envoy at, Peter Vesterbacka (FinEst Bay Area), Carlos Mateo (Asociacion Startups), Markus Raunig (AustrianStartups), Charlotte Greant (, Dimitar Vasilev (Bulgarian Business Forums), Hajdi Cenan (Croatian AI Association), Stavriana A. Kofteros (Startup Cyprus), Markéta Přenosilová (CzechInvest), Tomas Mathiesen (Danish Startup Group), Matej Rus (Startup:Slovenia), Maarika Truu (Estonia), Eve Peeterson (Startup Estonia), Nicolas Brien (France Digitale), Christian Miele (Deutsche Startups), Panos Zamanis (Hellenic Startup Association), Csongor Biás (Startup Hungary), Martina Fitzgerald (Scale Ireland), Giorgio Ciron (InnovUp), Olga Barreto Goncalves (Latvian Startup Association StartinLV), Roberta Rudokiene (Startup Lithuania), Tomasz Snazyk (Startup Poland), Simon Schaefer (Startup Portugal), Cristian Dascalu (Romanian Tech Startups Association), Michal Kardos (Slovak Alliance for Innovation Economy), Arash Sangari (Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth), Stephen Chetcuti Bonavita (Silicon Valleta), and Elodie Trojanowski (Federation Luxemburgoise des Startups). Jan Bormans is performing the secretariat functions for the group. 

The exchange takes place against the backdrop of the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon Europe), the Innovation Transformation of Higher Education institutions, and the Commission’s recent Digital Decade Communication that calls to double the number of unicorns in Europe by 2030, to around 250. In January, the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the two pillars of EU support to entrepreneurs, signed a Memorandum of understanding to enable innovators, innovative SMEs and startups, higher education institutions and research organisations to receive quality support services to deploy and scale up innovations faster and with greater impact.


Startup Estonia White Paper 2021-2027

In 2021, Startup Estonia will be entering its sophomore edition with a fresh set of ambitious goals for our small yet vibrant ecosystem and its impact on Estonia as a country.
During 2019, we have been looking inside and outside, seeking feedback and debating with local and international founders, investors, ecosystem builders, and policymakers.

We had to evaluate how and to what extent the Estonian startup ecosystem contributes to the country as a whole, as well as what is and should be its global positioning and unique offering. We also went back to basics to define the core terms and definitions for all ecosystem players for clarity in language, goals and understanding. As a result, we created a white paper, which highlights the potential future development of our startup ecosystem.

Our strategy for 2021–2027 centers around the importance of an all-inclusive startup mindset, making this ubiquitous throughout the business and public sector and society – making this our unique offering in the world. We are set to promote a locally global startup mindset across all stages, encourage the step up from science/ inventiveness to creating more startups and competitive scaleups, ensure all hands-on and all-inclusive opportunities, and establish open and data-driven steering and foresight for the startup community.

We thank everyone who contributed to the creation of the Startup Estonia White Paper 2021-2027, and above all, the founders and doers hoping to kickstart the conversation about the future of the Estonian startup ecosystem and startup innovation at large. 

Science to Commercialisation in Estonia Research report

In Autumn 2019, Technopolis Group conducted a research focusing on spin-off companies established in collaboration with universities in Estonia. 

The aim of the study was to map the current state of science to commercialisation in Estonia, with particular emphasis on spin-off companies answering the following questions: what kind of spin-off companies exist; in which fields; which universities have succeeded in generating spin-offs the most; what have been the driving aspects. The study looked into different countries and what they have done to support their spin-off landscapes by analysing the best practices and interviewing Estonian public universities and field experts.   

Science to Commercialisation in Estonia Research involved all Estonian public universities: Tartu University, TalTech, Tallinn University, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonian Academy of Arts and Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. During the period from September to December, 2019 Technopolis Group conducted the study, which included 4 stages: analysis of literature on spin-off companies and landscapes in the world, analysis of 3 best practices on the governmental, university and spin-off company level, Estonian spin-off landscape mapping with  interviews, and generating a list of recommendations for supporting the spin-off companies and landscape.

This survey was conducted in Estonian.


Estonian startup ecosystem satisfaction survey 2018

In autumn 2018, Civitta Estonia conducted a survey of the satisfaction of relevant parties with the current Estonian startup ecosystem.

The aim of the study was to map the satisfaction of relevant parties with the current Estonian startup ecosystem. The study focused on the satisfaction with the services of and support from Startup Estonia from the viewpoint of various support organisations as well as startups.  

The target groups of the study were divided into two main sub-groups: startups and startup ecosystem support organisations, which included among others incubators, HUBs, consultancies and public sector support organisations. During the period from September to November Civitta Estonia conducted the study, which included qualitative and quantitative information collection methods.

This survey was conducted in Estonian, executive summary is available in English.


Future Founder Journey research 2018

Between June and November 2018 the Center for Applied Anthropology of Estonia conducted an anthropological research aimed at investigating the "Future Founder" journey.

The wider approach of our study dealt with the questions of how to develop the interest in entrepreneurship and digital competencies among children and adolescents. More specifically, our focus was on the field of cyber security and knowledge, skills, and attitudes that potentially encourage young people to become founders of startups.

This research was conducted in Estonian, executive summary is available in English.


ESTaas - research of unique value offering for early stage entrepreneurs

In spring 2018, a research project Estonia as a Servise (ESTaas) was undertaken to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the existing Estonian startup landscape.
This work was conducted with an aim of highlighting Estonia’s unique value offering for early stage entrepreneurs. The project sought to take a broad view of the current startup ecosystem and provide an outlet for Estonian and non-Estonians active in the startup ecosystem to share their positive experiences and difficulties in the existing ecosystem.