e-Residency for Startups & entrepreneurs: Am I to be an Estonian from now on?


If you are reading this blog, I can easly assume that you are already experienced in startup scene, one way or another. The most basic explanation of a startup is usually “solution to a problem”. We tell that “being a startup is not about your revenue or size of your company” and there are countless examples to bigger startups like Uber, Slack, Airbnb. In a way, we can call Estonia “a startup” with their e-Residency initiative.

In 2014, Estonia started accepting e-residency chance for startups all around the world. E-Residents gained the chance to work within Europen Union by establishing a digital company in Estonia, without a physical office or an individual in Estonia. If you apply and get accepted for the program, you receive a physical Estonian government-issued digital ID and start your program from anywhere in the world. But one important note: you DO NOT become an Estonian (therefore EU) citizen with e-residency, you only get the right to start a company.

Even if Estonia has less than 2 million population, they are using digital IDs since 2000.

e-Residency Opportunities

E-Residency gives great new opportunities, as you now have a company within EU borders. You can gain access to the banking system or international payment service provider, sign your documents safely and digitally, have easy access to EU market, work within EU laws and last but not least you will have an EU company which removes some trust issues (especially when compared to developing countries).

To apply for e-residency in Estonia, you just need your local government-issued ID, passport, photo, credit card and a letter of motivation for your application. Then you need to pay 100€ and wait for 6 to 8 weeks for background check. After that, you will be notified via e-mail and if you get accepted as an e-resident, you can get your ID from the nearest Estonian consulate.

Your digital ID is the way you can get into anything related to Estonia: from starting your company, to paying your taxes later on. Estonian ID cards can be plugged directly into a computer through an e-reader that connects to the USB port. The ID card holder then simply enters their unique pin codes to either authenticate their identity or digitally sign. Even if Estonia has less than 2 million population, they are using digital IDs since 2000.


I started my company. What now?

Even if you don’t need a physical office, you still need an adress within Estonia to start your company. And as most of the things in your way can be handled digitally in Estonia, that problem is easy to solve, too. There are services like LeapIn, which provides services you need for your digital company in Estonia. Starting at 60€ monthly, you can get a bank account in Estonia, accounting, taxing and compliance help.

After you handle all the “digital paperwork” for you company, you can start doing business asap. E-residents pay 20% income tax and it can also be done digitally with your ID.

For now, Estonia is the only country in the world that accepts e-residents, so there is no alternative unfortunately.

More Info about e-Residency in Estonia

Further reading: e-Residency whitepaper

Further reading: Why e-Residency is popular with Turkish entrepreneurs

Credit: Burak Büyükdemir @ Startup Istanbul 2018

FINAL CALL: You can Apply for Pioneers program until 10th of October

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We have extended our final application date to 10th of October. You can find application link at the end of the article.

If you’re hearing about Hackquarters Pioneers for the first time; let me explain it briefly. Hackquarters Pioneers is a community which helps young entrepreneurs to build the future they want by learning, experiencing and creating with startups. So till today, we made 40+ events at 14 different locations and we still keep doing it. Our main purpose for creating different types of events at several cities in Turkey is spreading entrepreneurship to very brilliant youngsters. So now, we add new ones to the schedule and I would like to share them with you.

Hacker Meetups

Lately, we started something new for us: Hacker Meetups. First one was at Bahcesehir University. And now we make it as a meetup series. There is going to be 8 meetups in İstanbul and once in other cities with different topics explaining what is product management cycle from hackers view. CTOs and mostly some cool software engineers will be our speakers during these events. All hackers are invited, of course.

Partnerships with Brands

New partnerships are coming and they are all about challenges, hackathons, and ideathons. Google is one of them, we firstly start Build Actions for Your Community series for Google Home & Assistant in İzmir on 20th of October. Next station will be in İstanbul during DevFest at Uniq İstanbul. Please follow Hackquarters Eventbrite account for registration.

Girl Entrepreneurship

Did you know that only 25% of enterprises owned by women in Turkey? Between all those events, this is the most important one for me to work on. Panels with our dearest women entrepreneurs from different backgrounds have been inspiring. Let’s encourage our powerful, intelligent girls to be more involved in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and to create great startups. If you are one of the women entrepreneurs who want to inspire young women, please message me via [email protected]

Online Meetups & Activities

Online meetups are welcomed! We’ll be doing an online meetup with a rockstar entrepreneur very soon. The same concept with offline Pioneers Meetups and also other cool topics will be on the agenda.

Online is cool. That’s why we changed something about our conferences and we recorded online courses with various topics. We mostly will be uploading conferences to our youtube channel and if you ask, we’ll increase that number. For conferences as online; I know some of you couldn’t able to attend our events because there wasn’t one at your city or dates didn’t fit your schedule. Now you don’t have one of these problems because we turned it online.

Our Slack channel is also public. You can join from this link. Omegas are invited too! You can approach them via Slack, ask questions and find proper opportunities for yourself.

We are not a totally closed community to the public, we share anything that can help you to understand entrepreneurship better. And if you want to be involved in the organization process of other activities in your school, you can just contact me via [email protected]

So you are always welcomed to attend and organize any Hackquarters Pioneers events or projects in your city. You can also apply for being a Pioneer. That’s how you can benefit from every opportunity Pioneers presents to you.

We now extend our applications till 10th of October. So hurry up and apply for being a Pioneer!

Cough it up! We need your help to get more science kits to rural areas


If you are following Hackquarters on social media, probably you are already familiar with the events we organize with help of Redbull and Amaphiko. We had meet-ups with university students all around Turkey (such as this one in Konya – the link is in Turkish). We also participated in RedBull Amaphiko Connect event in December 2017. There was a great guest at the event:
Bathabile Mpofu.

Bathabile helps young people become scientists by making science tools accessible for practical learning. They manufacture a mini science kit called ChemStart for use by high schoolers at home or school. It provides a chance for hands-on interaction with science for everyone. ChemStart unleashes a scientist in every learner using it. Manufacturing locally and in bulk makes the kit affordable for anyone. You can find more info about Chemstart here.

Now Bathabile needs your help to get science kits to rural schools in Hlabisa area.. She is using a crowdfunding service for that. You can click here (and please do) to help Bathabile and her cause.

Here is some more info about Bathabile’s call for your support;

My name is Bathabile Mpofu from Nkazimulo Applied Sciences where we help young people become scientists. When I was 16 years old I came to the knowledge my future as I imagined it, was never going to happen and it wasn’t my fault. I was capable but dis-empowered. High school didn’t prepare me for university education. I only got to do science experiments for the first time when I got to university, and because of that, I lost my confidence and didn’t do well enough to get into medical school. Unfortunately, thousands of learners go through this experience every year and this is no right!

When life dishes you lemons, you make lemon juice, this eventuality defined my new purpose in life. I couldn’t become a doctor, but I now have an opportunity to prepare and help others become the scientists they aspire to be through ChemStart. ChemStart is a portable science kit that makes science fun and comes to life. It provides hands-on interaction with science concepts and their application in real life.


Tipping point: R17,000 will enable 200 learners from 10 schools to perform science experiments themselves!!

Dream Goal: R25,500 will enable 300 learners from 10 schools to perform science experiments themselves!!!


SmartBIGG: Chance to get 150.000 TL non-refundable grant support for technology-focused business ideas


As Hackquarters we don’t just support startups in every way we can, but we also try to make them aware of every possible opportunity to get funding for their startups or ideas. Hasan Kalyoncu University (KHU) has a new entrepreneurship program called SmartBIGG, which is supported by TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey).

About SmartBIGG (from official website)

By applying to the SmartBİGG Program you can make actual your technology-focused business idea.

Hasan Kalyoncu University (HKU), one the most entrepreneurial and innovative universities of our country, is the official implementing agency of the “1512 Techno-Entrepreneurship Capital Support Program” implemented by TÜBİTAK. The Program offers a donation of 150.000 TL at the first step to eligible applicants for the transfer of technology-focused enterprise.

You can follow all the processes, applicants can be collected and evaluated, business ideas can be converted into a business plan, pre-incubation and acceleration services are offered to entrepreneurs etc. through the mobile application. After the training about creating a business model, preparing a business plan, intellectual industrial property rights, incorporation, business law etc. and the mentoring activities, entrepreneurs will be able to get a chance to establish a company by this grant.

If you have a technological business idea in these areas;

  • Intelligent Transportation,
  • Energy and Clean Technologies,
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Industry 4.0,
  • Communication and Numerical Transformation,
  • Health and Good Life,
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition

Apply immediately and transform your idea into a product, your dream into reality…

You can click here to apply for SmartBIGG or visit SmartBIGG website for more detailed info. Also, you can download the Android app for SmartBIGG here.