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  • Top 100 Estonian Brands homepage has been launched

    Posted on May 13th, 2016 Mr. Leo Siemann No comments

    European Champs , EGCC  © ESTgolf.com

    Looking at our dropping export figures I have decided to do something about it which could help us to become more visible out there. So other folks know also who are we and what we estonians can do the best.  Now, the question is: How to measure the coolest and most valuable brands what we have? I recon there are 3 major criterias only: 1.Popularity of the brand  2.Total net profit & 3.Innovativity, which gives a potential rise. Surely, it is about money but not always, because there are also charity brands which are not about money but goodwill & deeds for other people. Brands can be different. Some make company brands, some make personal brands like artists and sportsman and some make state brands like the British Royal family, which is valued more than £86BN today. All in all the branding is important marketing tool for any company. It is all about the imago and its likability for as wide audience as possible. Lets take this well known fruit’ company as a sample, I mean the Apple  : ) How on earth they made it?  Actually it takes so much effort from the sparkling idea to product design to marketing, but all it starts usually from one person. In this case we all know it was Steve Jobs. Yes, he was eccentric but also a novel character who was willing to work hard to fulfill his vision for the better PC which I got it on my desk now.. R.I.P. Steve! Therefore I have started recently our very own Top 100 Estonian Brands to show to the World what we are good at and why is it cool to visit Estonia and to make business with us :)  Yeah, this some 1,3M nation by the Baltic Sea is mainly known by its pretty girls, but it also has managed to create many wonderful brands from which some have become World famous like  Paiste , Estonia Piano, Minox, TransferWise  and  Skype.

    To find out more go :  Estonia100 .com

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  • TransferFast has found a Sweet Spot’ in a local banking

    Posted on March 16th, 2016 Mr. Leo Siemann No comments

    Erki Hendrikson and Sergo Ulpus @ Tehnopol coffee morning

    Not long ago Estonia had one of the fastest and the best e-banking systems in the the World till the SEPA payments were introduced back in Feb 2014 … Then it all went to slow motion again. So, instead of few minutes we could experience 1-2 days transfers from one local bank to another which in many cases weren’t just frustrating but also caused bank fines for innocent people. Then TransferWise started its revolution from London, showing the way to the highstreet banks how to transfer currencies from one country to another with a fraction of the cost what they charged. It was so cool that even Sir Richard Branson made his investment at Transferwise with some 25M. Still, it didn’t touch much of the Eurozone apart from the UK and Sweden who kept their own currencies but made waves in far East, US and Australia. Now we had Transferwise but as soon money reached to the land it was stuck again! Never mind the fast transfer accross the borders. So there was a obvious need to break trough this SEPA / Single Euro Payments Area / system and it happened. Well, it took just another 3 cool estonians: Erki Hendrikson, Sergo Ulpus and Jaak Sarv who started together a smart fintech company called TransferFast. Their service is so fast that it literally takes few minutes to get your funds shifted  in  between local banks and soon across Europe as well. How exactly they do it you can find out from their homepage but in a nutshell this is also a peer-to-peer solution which has emerged under the legacy of Skype what was also invented in Estonia back in 2003.

    So, in order to avoid hefty bank fines and to keep your friends & family happy  You can now move your money fast with  TransferFast :)

  • TransferWise is just a much wiser way to transfer your money abroad

    Posted on March 22nd, 2015 Mr. Leo Siemann No comments

    It all started because of two men – Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann. The official story tells that both men came across the same old trouble – loosing money on their transfers. But being a good friends helped as they decided to top up each others bank accounts using Reuters mid-market rate.  So, Kristo paid to Taavet the amount of his salary in pounds to London highstreet bank account and Taavet topped up Kristos account with euros in Tallinn. Doing that on monthly basis boys couldn’t stop thinking that there must be many more people like them who might need it as a service… and so the Transferwise was born. Surely there was something to do with this Skype thing where Taavet continued his work as the very first emploee. Inspirational as it was then, so became peer-to-peer useful once again. It is no secret that banks are taking off abuout 4-5% of money we sending overseas. As Kristo and Taavet figured out that there was no actual need to send money over physically they created a much smarter system to save our hard earned pennies :)  So, how it works? Just check out the next video:

    Now, if You think that You or your friend might need this groovy solution then go & check out the instructions  and click here to get your first transfer sorted. There is a fee as little as 0,5% which is about 10 times less than banks charge us. To learn more about Transferwise watch Matt Covan interview with Taavet Hinrikus @ Cass Business School. TW is now operating on 101 currency routes and has established its presence at US market just a month ago.

    * TransferWise has received investments for further development from Sir Richard Brandson, Peter Thiel, Index Ventures, IA Ventures, Seedcamp and the latest by Andreessen Horowitz in total of $91M , which values this company close to $1BN  benchmark.

  • FUIC has set the priority for free inventors

    Posted on September 22nd, 2014 Mr. Leo Siemann No comments

    Bicycles of Budapest  © Leo Siemann 2014

    Although there is a lot happening at the innovation & tech sector already still there are many flaws which need our urgent attention. It is not a secret that Europes tech sector is running way behind US, Japan, South-Korea and even China. The gap seems to grow even wider if we don’t make a move together. Therefore Finno-Ugric Innovation Corridor (FUIC) cooperation, founded by Finnish Inventors’ Forum, has set its standards & priorities at Budapest workshop last week, focusing on private or free inventors in Finland, Hungary & Estonia. The matter seems to be relevant as many of our all time best inventions like Skype, Minox, Schmit’s Telescope-camera and even the latest one – GrabCAD , all have come from private sector free inventors. And just because of that we should turn our attention to those simple people who have made it in the past and even more to those who can make it happen in the future! So it has been well proved that there are some great people amongst us, who can invent this kind of stuff outside the industry & companies – just at their garages and backyards ! Taking all this on board, the FUIC has started its initiative and here is a short press-release of the Workshop which took place at the National Innovation Office in Budapest :

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  • All Eyes On Us

    Posted on June 1st, 2014 Mr. Leo Siemann No comments

    The NEA Venture Capitalists @Tehnopol, Tallinn

    It might be a little hyped, but surely there are reasons why Estonia has been on the top of the World tech news again. This time it was the BusinessVibes  who wrote about us as the Startup Paradise. Why I’m not surprised is the fact that since I’ve been back to Estonia from 2011, I have met people almost every day who are doing some groovy tech stuff, specially in the digital world.

    US Embassy & American Chamber of Commerce called us together to Tehnopol last Thursday to meet the NEA Venture Capitalists with Yanev Suissa and Alex Oppenheimer on board. The NEA is apparently the Worlds biggest VC firm who has been investing into tech & healthcare more than $11Bn. Is it still the legacy of Skype or just the growing number of startups that has got their eye is hard to say, but probably it’s a bit of both.  So we were sitting there with megabux in the house and listening their advice how to attract big VC company and comments on the pitching contest of top 7 new startups selected by AmCham. Startups were interesting as usual and it seemed that 2 or 3 of them got their eye indeed. Winners were:  DigiFLAK , MRPEasy and Chief Financial Wizard. My personal favoutie was actually the AuthenticateIT.com , which helps you to check out if goods you are buying are real brands and not a counterfeit ones! The app is free to download already & I guess China would love it …

    * As myself I managed to launch the Invention News channel and that was a very first public appearance for us. The show will air weekly @ brandnew TV8starting from the end of June.  Our news-studio is located at the UK Lounge, Tehnopol, wich is the very same place where event was held but more news on this – next time ;)

    Photos & comments on the workshop  can be found @ AmCham Facebook page

  • The Best Estonian Made Inventions are Cracking the very 1st Cover at home Finally!

    Posted on September 9th, 2013 Mr. Leo Siemann No comments

    Inseneeria, September 2013

    I launched my homepage with the wish to help would-be inventors and to introduce Estonian made inventions Worldwide in Spring 2009. As a young inventor who lived in Torquay, UK at the time, I had no idea what sort of World I had entered to. Finally now, which is nearly 5 years on I can see the fruits of my leighbour.

    I guess it is a dream of most inventors to hit the front page of the tech magazine or to crack the mainstream news channel. So it was mine, but mainly for a sake of my fellow inventors who have been abused by the system. As many of us know the Soviet Estonia was much different place as it is today …

    The legacy of our prime invention – Skype  has changed this land to the land of plenty of IT solutions. Many of them like GrabCAD , Fits.me & TransferWise are making their way to the World markets. Inspired by the success of those companies many youngsters here are dreaming to become the next generation IT millionaires. True, if there was no internet or blogging – there was no “Estonian Inventor” either .

    But there is & for that reason I am IN ! And so has one of my dreams come true just last week when our main tech magazine Inseneeria released the cover-story with the best Estonian made inventions of all time. Yes, it surely feels good to be at cover of the magazine with something what matters to my people, but it feels even better to raise up those brilliant inventors who have done so well for my little country !

    Refreshed TOP 10 is here for you to read. If you have suggestions how to improve it, please post your comments to Inseneeria or my FB page.

    “The only matter what really matters is Grey matter !”

    Leo Siemann 

  • The most famous Estonian inventions

    Posted on February 21st, 2010 Mr. Leo Siemann No comments

    Despite many distractions I have managed to expand the list of our famous inventions of all times. You may think that we estonians hardly got any inventions and thats true, but still there are quite few things you surely can be amused of.  So, click on Top 10 page on top banner and find out what are these gadgets and who are those rocking inventors ! The A list’  is available also in estonian language and you can find it under EST page  on top  banner. I do hope it all shows that we still have managed to produce some very fine inventions despite our heavyweight history …