Estonia's Startup Success Shows Economic Resilience: President Alar Karis

Estonia's most international startup and technology conference Latitude59 started today in Tallinn. In his opening speech, President Alar Karis reminded the startup entrepreneurs that decisions and innovation in the technology sector impact our future, which is difficult to overestimate.

The 12th edition of Latitude59 in Tallinn, Estonia, has begun, bringing together more than 3,500 people, including over 900 startup representatives and 20 national delegations. Nearly 600 investors are participating this year; the size of their managed portfolios is at least 30 billion euros. Over the course of two days, 195 speakers will be on stage at Latitude59, 40% of whom are women. In total, there are participants from more than 60 different countries worldwide.

At the opening, President Karis emphasized the role of startups in implementing scientific discoveries: “Which chapters of the regulation should be changed to introduce solutions based on artificial intelligence is one question that should be considered together in Tallinn. The European economy today depends a lot on how quickly we can really integrate science." 

The main topics of this year's conference are Connection and Responsibility. The technology sector plays an important role in the development of the world - startups in both Estonia and the rest of the world today make a significant contribution to innovation, among others, in the defence sector. We ourselves can take responsibility for how technology will shape us in the future and what the world will be like in the near future. The role of Latitude59 is to bring these conversations into the minds of the startup community," said Liisi Org, CEO of Latitude59.

Deep technology, innovation in the defence sector, challenges in the application of artificial intelligence and other topics will be discussed in a total of five stages this year. "We bring the stories of founders, who are already building a different world, onto three stages this time. In addition, the Google stage will be occupied by startup pitches, and as a brand new SEB stage, podcasts will be recorded in real-time. Visitors will definitely find interesting topics to feed their curiosity and go home with new energy - today's world needs it very much," Latitude59 program manager Kai Isand illustrated the range of topic options.

Latitude59 will take place on May 23-24 in Tallinn, Estonia. The traditional 0-day before the main days was dedicated to investors and public sector decision-makers. One of the events of day 0, the short conference Thinking in Billions, implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, attracted almost 300 participants. The focus was on the challenges faced by startups in the fields of health technologies, artificial intelligence and data, and the defence industry in testing new technologies, and the opportunities for countries to simplify regulation to support entrepreneurship.