The Tallinn-based Tehnopol startup incubator is planning to open an office in the predominantly Russian-speaking Narva, in Estonia’s Ida-Viru County; its first steps will be to increase entrepreneurship in the community by providing a valuable training programme.
According to Kadri Tammai, the head of incubator, the expansion to Narva and Eastern Estonia is a strategic step, the decision of which was made even before the crisis.
“We know that in many regions there are active people with exciting ideas who are not yet engaged in entrepreneurship because they lack systemic support. Looking at today’s economic situation, this enlargement step is more necessary than ever. It’s true that the business landscape will be significantly different for a while,” she said in a statement.
“However, this does not mean there are fewer opportunities than before. These opportunities are simply in different business models, areas and audiences. From a positive angle, people today now have more time than ever to make their startup idea a reality. We offer a high-quality programme that will support it.”
High survival of startups
According to Olga Kurdovskaya, the programme manager of the incubator’s Narva office, one of the strengths of the growth programme is the high survival rate of startup companies, claiming that while usually less than 10% of startups survive, more than 60% of those that have gone through the Tehnopol incubator growth programme remained viable.
The incubator’s Narva office will be in the premises of the Objekt creative incubator and will be open to all startups in the vicinity immediately after the national coronavirus emergency has ended.
The Tehnopol startup incubator’s growth programme offers participating companies training and support from mentors in Estonia and Europe, with the aim of finding an initial investment or reaching export markets. The total value of the programme is €10,000 per startup. The incubator is part of the support service of Tehnopol, one of the largest science and business campuses in the Baltics.
Cover: Estonia’s Narva (on the left side of the river) is facing Russia’s Ivangorod (Shutterstock).