According to Kadri Tammai, head of Tehnopol Startup 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 startup entrepreneurship because they lack systemic support," said Tammai.
According to Olga Kurdovskaja, the program manager of Tehnopol Startup Incubator Narva, one of the strengths of the growth program is the high survival rate of startup companies. "While usually less than 10% of startups survive, more than 60% of those that have gone through the Tehnopol Startup Incubator growth program remain viable," Kurdovskaja said.
The incubator will primarily advise startups that are developing green, health, smart city or business-to-business technologies. "We are looking for companies or teams that have a strong and innovative idea and a great amount of desire to implement it. With the support of the program, we will further develop the idea, help achieve the prototype, and validate the results," said Kurdovskaja.
She added that the startups selected for the incubation program will be supported by a dedicated key mentor who will work with other specialist mentors. The development of startups will be supported by a practical and comprehensive training series and the community fosters connections through networks of contacts created at common events. The value of the program is € 10.000 per startup. The program can be completed in Russian, Estonian and English.
According to Tammai, the expansion to Narva will also provide an opportunity for the investor community to access startup companies in the region via Tehnopol and thus bring additional investments to Ida-Virumaa that would not otherwise be made to companies in the region.
Tehnopol Startup Incubator's Narva office will be located in the premises of the Objekt creative incubator and will be open to all startups in the vicinity immediately after the lockdown. "We have common ground with the Objekt creative incubator. Creative startups often need technology support, and technology startups cannot do without good design. Therefore, working in the same space is a big plus for both of us," says Olga Kurdovskaja.
Tehnopol Startup Incubator is part of the comprehensive support service of Tehnopol, the largest science and business campus in the Baltics. The aim of the Tehnopol science and business campus is to contribute to the emergence and growth of world-class technology companies in Estonia and to support their expansion into foreign markets by offering solutions from commercial real estate to needs-based business development services.