Latitude59 is the flagship startup and tech event of the world’s first digital society, Estonia. This event stands out as a premier gathering where startups enter a haven for fundraising opportunities, with a nearly 50-50 startup-investor ratio. Whitecap Director Stefan Haase attended, taking the opportunity to meet with industry contacts. Stefan specialises in innovation, growth and tech strategies, also assisting newly invested tech companies in expanding into the UK market. In this blog we share Stefan’s key insights and takeaways from his time in Tallinn.

Latitude59 Day 0 – Networking and Startup Showcase 

Stefan arrived on the first day and attended the British Estonian Chamber of Commerce networking event, where he met fellow Leeds local Paul Berwin, CEO of Berwins Solicitors. He also joined the Mastercard Lighthouse Startup Showcase event, which brings 20 of the Nordic & Baltic region’s most promising fintech & impact startups together for rapid-fire pitches.  

Start-ups at the event included Vespia, Receipts, eedenbull or CrowdWorksLeja and Avallone were chosen as the winners of Mastercard’s Lighthouse MASSIV and FINITIV programs for spring 2024. 

Latitude59 Day 1: Exploring Future Innovations and Technologies 

On the second day the Future Stage had a packed agenda spanning various topics, from the impact of AI regulation on the private sector to the transformative potential of biotechnology. While AI has been a dominant theme in tech innovation discussions in recent years, it was not the primary focus at Latitude59. 

Key topics that emerged at the conference included: 

  • Sustainability 
  • HealthTech 
  • Deep tech 
  • Enterprise Tech, including data optimization and cybersecurity 
  • Cleantech 

Cleantech: A Central Theme at Latitude59 

CleanTech emerged as one of the most significant themes of the conference. Estonia’s CleanTech sector, growing by 30% annually, includes around 550 startups, with 48 focused on CleanTech. Key players like Skeleton Technologies and Comodule lead the way in energy efficiency and intelligent electrification.  

CleanTech across the Baltics and Nordics, where protecting the environment and green thinking has long been part of the DNA even before the globally articulated drive to net zero, represents a significantly growing investment success story and a major opportunity for the UK.  

A vibrant montage capturing the essence of Latitude59, showcasing dynamic presentations, engaging networking sessions, and groundbreaking innovations.

Latitude59 Day 2: A Day of Key Connections and Insights 

The final day of Latitude59 began with a breakfast meeting organised by the UK embassy, which hosted Estonia’s ambassador to the UK. During this event, Stefan met with Adam Beaumont, CEO of Aql in Leeds and honorary consul for Estonia in the UK, as well as Viljar Lubi, the Estonian ambassador to the UK. The day’s events were inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, who featured in a podcast, setting the stage for another packed day of insightful discussions and networking opportunities.  

Latitude59: Key Insights

Latittude59 brings together great innovators from Estonia, the Baltics and Nordics and an ever-growing audience of European investors, advisors and thought leaders. 

Three key takeaways from the event: 

  1. A country with a digital-first government and society fosters ‘established‘ or ‘experienced’ innovation, as increasing innovation maturity emerges. 
  2. Creating a city that seamlessly integrates old and renovated industrial sites with modern innovation hubs attracts both innovators and investors. 
  3. Focus on ‘real’ European trends rather than simply following global hype trends such as AI. 

At Whitecap, we possess extensive market expertise, with Stefan and his team specialising in technology innovation for businesses. If you’re interested in discovering how technology can unlock new growth opportunities for your business, get in touch.