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Wednesday, 01.03.2017, 19:49
Estonian ministry to set up committee for identification of startups (corrected according to the Interior Ministry information)
To meet the definition of startup, the business model of a company that is being established or is already active must have big global growth potential, be innovative and repeatable, and the company must make a significant contribution to the development of the business environment of Estonia.
In order for a business to be evaluated against the criteria of startup, a foreigner, an employer or a person authorized by the employer must file an application with the expert committee on startups.
"Foreigners are able to come to Estonia and participate in the aforementioned (and other) accelerator programs without the committee’s evaluation as well. The evaluation is only needed when a startup wishes to get a residence permit or a visa on preferential terms or recruit foreign specialists on preferential terms. We are amending the legislation because we want to attract talented and enterprising people to Estonia. Therefore the the amendments will facilitate the entry of startups" Siim Kumpas Communication Adviser to the Interior Ministry noted BC.
The regulation of the minister of interior will be imposed on the basis of the Aliens Act.
The ministry also said that the lineup of the committee will consist exclusively of members appointed by organizations representing startups.
"This is to ensure that the evaluation of whether or not a company is a startup is given by people who are the most competent to do it," said Killu Vantsi, adviser to the Interior Ministry's citizenship and migration policy department.
The committee will be made up of representatives of seven organizations – Startup Estonia, Startup Leaders Club, EstBAN, Garage48, Buildit, Technopol Startup Inkubaator and Startup Wise Guys – and work in a digital environment it has developed specially for itself.
"The regulation concerning startups was drafted in conjunction with Startup Estonia and organizations representing startup companies of Estonia, also considering the best practices of other countries. To be able to apply for an Estonian visa or a residence permit on preferential conditions, a company must first receive a confirmation from the expert committee that it indeed is a startup company for the purposes of the Aliens Act," Vantsi said.
The official added that asking for an expert opinion is not necessary in the case of companies which arrive in Estonia within the framework of accelerator programs that the Estonian ministry deems reliable, which are the Buildit Accelerator program of Buildit Accelerator OÜ program and the Startup Wise Guys program of Wise Guys Holding OÜ.
The aim of the changes is to bring more startups and skilled workers to Estonia.