Starting a business or expanding an existing company into the Baltic countries is proving popular with global entrepreneurs and it's not difficult to understand the reasons for this. The Baltics can offer unrivalled access to customers in the EU and Turkey or the Middle East and provide a highly skilled, young workforce eager for employment with overseas companies. One of the major Baltic tech successes was the creation of Skype by a group of Estonian high tech entrepreneurs and the tech startup scene is thriving in Estonia on the back of this.
Top startup locations in the Baltics
Estonia is ideal for tech startups, offering an efficient and agile infrastructure for new businesses, offering increased levels of angel and venture capital investment to budding entrepreneurs. The government's Startup Estonia scheme has the ambition of making Estonia one of the most popular startup counties in the globe, and offers a great deal of assistance and advice to incoming businesses (http://www.startupestonia.ee/). Recent startups to achieve high levels of funding in Estonia include Testlio.com and Bondora.com. Another promising new startup in Estonia is Taxify, a ride app which aims to rival Uber in the Balkans and throughout Europe.
Lithuania and Latvia are also proving to be popular tech startup locations and offer a strategic location in Central Europe alongside low levels of taxation and rates of pay for workers. Starting a business in Lithuania is an affordable option and the country's internet connectivity is one of the best in the world, with the capital Vilnius rated as one of the globe's leading smart cities. Some of the most successful recent Lithuanian startups include Trafi, Vinted and Deeper. Nearly 400 startups were operating in Lithuania in 2017, and this is a triple the total for 2016. Part of the attraction is that investment funds for startups are available from a range of sources, with almost 16mn euros offered through 2017.
Latvian startups will find it's a fairly easy matter to source financial help via the Latvian Guarantee Agency. Available startup funding from 2018 onwards includes 15mn euros from the country's acceleration fund and 60mn euros for growth stage startups. Social entrepreneurship legislation currently in place also provides access to 12mn euros of funding for startups with an emphasis on solving social problems.