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Spring Hub: Home of Estonia’s Startup Mafia

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, less than half of Estonians had a telephone. But in the two and a half decades since then, Estonian government and business leaders have built a high-tech economy from the ground up, becoming what the New York Times has called “a sort of Silicon Valley on the Baltic Sea.”

Spring Hub is one of the newest entries to that high-tech economy. Founded in 2016, Spring Hub is a community of startups, professional freelancers, and other entrepreneurs working together in Tallinn, the country’s capital. Spring Hub offers a coworking space as well as workshops, consulting services, and a synergistic community.

On September 14, Spring Hub hosted the first-ever Challenge Cup Tallinn, so we asked Chief Marketing Officer Dolores Daniel to share some thoughts on Spring Hub and its startup ecosystem.

What challenges do startups in your ecosystem face? What change or resource do you think could have the biggest impact in helping them be successful?

In Estonia, startups’ marketing and sales skills are in need of a supportive kick. In addition, more investment is needed to get startups up and running.

At Spring Hub, we assist startups with this type of skill building by hosting free masterclass events with high-level experts. We also offer Spring Hub members 1-1 consulting services by our partners in several fields including law, digital marketing, design, innovation, communication, finance, and fundraising.

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What facts about your program’s startups stand out most to VC investors or partners?

First, we have a variety of startups. Some are pre-scale, some are seed financed, and some have a solid background and are already generating revenue. Second, our startups have strong IT knowledge. And third, our startups are small, but they have already managed to do a lot with small investments.

How is Spring Hub working with local government or other businesses in the region?

We work closely with Startup Estonia, a governmental initiative aiming to support and supercharge the Estonian startup ecosystem. Startup Estonia works together with all sorts of startups, accelerators, and incubators in the private and public sectors to form a big Estonian mafia family.

“The Estonian startup community is tight-knit and dedicated and has thus been compared to a mafia family (#estonianmafia).”

Currently we are working on an intensive two-day Sales Hack event, financed by Startup Estonia, to help startups improve their sales and marketing skills.

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Spring Hub’s Challenge Cup Tallinn took place on September 14. See photos from the event here