.ee Bubble and EAS Announce Project to Create an Incubator for IncubatorsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tallinn, Estonia, 1 April 2015. The .ee Bubble and Enterprise Estonia (EAS) are pleased to announce a new collaboration project. EAS will provide 2 million euros in funding to the Bubble, to start an Incubator for Incubators. The new incubator for incubators will focus on providing services and training to help new incubators in Estonia get started.
"We were doing an analysis of incubators in Estonia, and found that there is a 1-to-1 ratio of taxpayer-funded incubators to startup companies." said the .ee Bubble. "We thought this was way too high, and reported our findings to EAS. You know what they told us? They said it was too low and they wanted more incubators!"
"In Estonia, we need more incubators." said Andrus Mullisepp, chairman of the board of EAS. "Other than the Räpina Incubation Center, Viljandi Creative Incubator, Startup WiseGuys, GameFounders, Tallinn Tehnopol, Tallinn Creative Incubator, EBS Business Incubator, Roosna-Alliku Incubator, Mäo Incubator, Narva Eagle Nest Incubator, Läänemaa Incubator, Sillamäe Free Zone Incubator, Startup Estonia, Founder Institute, Võrumaa Technology Incubator, Tallinn Incubator, Ülemiste Incubator, Kopli Incubator, BuildIT, Mektory, Prototron, European Innovation Academy, Start Smart, SummerCamp4Startups, Startup Garage, Ideelabor, Protolab, Biomed Incubator, Seiku Social Entrepreneurship Incubator, Ajujaht, Tartu Creative Incubator, Tartu Science Park, and the Pärnu Incubator, we really don't have that many incubators in Estonia. For example, let's say you live in Abja-Paluoja and have started a new online dating service -- Tinder for Inbreeds, if you will. You'd have to drive all the way to Pärnu to find the nearest incubator. That's a 20-minute drive if it's a busy day!"
On the reason for the funding, the .ee Bubble said, "Look, we really don't know why they gave us money. We thought they hated us! We heard there were only two proposals they received, one was from us and the other was written by a bunch of monkeys randomly typing on their computers. They were going to give the contract to the monkeys, but there's some EU regulation against awarding contracts to circus animals."
When it was pointed out to EAS that places like Silicon Valley have a much lower startup-to-incubator ratio, and none of those incubators receive taxpayer funding, Mullisepp from EAS said: "I'm tired of everyone comparing great Estonia that that economic wasteland that is Silicon Valley. Other than Facebook, Google, Apple, Oracle, Intel, Cisco, Twitter, Uber, eBay, Paypal, and Adobe, what has Silicon Valley provided to the world? In Estonia, we have amazing innovative companies like Fits.Me, United Dogs and Cats, and Jobbatical!"
When asked why EAS is giving 2 million euros to the .ee Bubble for this project, Mullisepp said: "Actually, 2 million euros isn't that much if you think.... ahh.. it appears I've just been asked to resign because my wife's brother's company got funding from EAS last year. You'll have to ask my successor about that."
Jaanus Mullitaja, the new chairman of EAS, continued: "Two million euros isn't that much, if you consider how much we've been giving to the incubators themselves. We gave 2.7 million euros to just the incubators in smaller cities in Estonia, and you can see how well that's working out. The Roosna-Alliku incubator doesn't even have a webpage! I'd also like to add that... ahh... it seems I'm being asked to resign because my consulting company received funding from EAS last week."
Tarmo Mullipää, the third new chairman of EAS in the last hour, added: "We think incubators are the key to success for startups in Estonia. Our goal is that every startup will go through at least three incubators, and we'll have incubators in every city and village in Estonia. Ideally, startups will just permanently remain in incubators and never actually start doing business."
When asked about when the startups will start making money, Mullipää said: "Look, do you really think we care about profit? Hell, we gave a few hundred thousand euros to some rich British pop singer so he could make a DVD of his concert and keep all the revenues. The way we consider our efforts a success is if we've given away all the taxpayer money that was given to us."
Mullipää was also questioned about his qualifications to be chairman of EAS and he responded: "It's quite simple actually. Nearly everyone in Estonia has either received money from EAS, or has a friend or relative who received money, so that disqualifies them from being on the EAS board. I, on the other hand, am an orphan, virgin, childless, and I have no friends and no relatives. I'm perfectly qualified for the job because I have no conflicts of interest. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go take my hourly dosage of antidepressants."
Estonia's president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves also had good words to say about the new project, in this exclusive interview:
Interviewer: Mr. Ilves, what do you think of today's announcement?
President Ilves: Today is a great day for glorious Estonia! [Ilves pauses to tweet] I've always said that we need more [another tweet] incubators, and today we have [1 tweet, 2 retweets] the solution. An incubator for incubators [tweet, tweet, tweet].
Interviewer: How do you think this will help startup companies?
President Ilves: The reason it's good is that [tweet] [tweet] [retweet].. hey, I have some important work to do right now. I'm in a Twitter flame-war with two 12 year old boys in Chelyabinsk who are not convinced that Estonia is the greatest nation on earth. It's my job as president to convince them otherwise. My wife, First Lady Evelin Ilves is right here [tweet] [tweet]. You can talk to her.
Interviewer: Good day, Mrs. Ilves. It was quite an announcement today. Can you tell us what you think of Yoga...
First Lady Ilves: What!?!! I was told there would be no questions about my personal life! I go to yoga twice a day as a hobby! I don't meet any swarthy men there, and I'm definitely not kissing them! How dare you ask such a question! [storms off]
Interviewer: Ahh... I was just just asking your opinion on Yoga Intelligence, the startup that closed up then reopened under a similar name to avoid their tax debt.
An incubator for incubators has not been tried before, and the .ee Bubble provided more information on this novel concept: "This will be like a teach the teachers program. We'll teach our courses to incubators, and they can teach this to the startups in their incubator."
An initial course listing has also been provided:
- Government Funding in a Matter of Minutes. How to use your Estonian ID card to create a company in 20 minutes, then apply for EAS funding on the 21st minute.
- Techniques for Auditor Seduction. Your biggest enemy is the EAS auditor who wants to see how you're spending their money. This course will provide seduction techniques so the auditor's attention will be focused on something other than numbers. Special sessions in how to give compliments how to buy flowers will be provided.
- How to Get Government Money from Two Governments at Once: A case study of Publification.
- Time Management : How to Attend as Many Startup Networking Events as Possible and Still Have Time to Sleep. A good Estonian startup founder should be spending 80% of their waking hours at startup networking events, so they can meet the same people over and over and talk about "working together". This course will provide effective methods for time management and how to avoid double-booking.
- How to Siphon Money through an Estonian Company, Never Pay Taxes and Have the Government Still Love You. A case study of ComPlus Consulting.
- Techniques for Being a Small Five-Person Company and Still Getting Millions in Taxpayer Money. A case study of Meratel
- Choosing Your Next Incubator. Techniques for choosing which incubator to move to next. This course will show how to evaluate if the weekend social events are good, how much free food and drink is provided, and also provide tips for determining if the people who run the incubator are single and promiscuous.
Commenting on the budget, the .ee Bubble said: "It may seem like 2 million euros is a lot of money, but really it's not. We plan to run things like our idol, the taxpayer-funded Estonian Development Fund (Eesti Arengufond), so we'll need to get the most expensive office space in Tallinn. We'll also spend lavishly on alcohol. In addition, we've set aside 10% of our budget for hookers and blow.
Summarizing the project, Mullipää of EAS said: "We hope this will be the beginning of a great cooperation project with the .ee Bubble. If things go well, then our next project with them will be Mullimaa. It's an amusement park for startups, kind of like taxpayer-funded Lottemaa, but each of the "rides" will just be a government-funded incubator where startups can sit down and receive taxpayer money. We'll also have rides for the taxpayer. They can come and sit in a locked cage for 8 hours and watch all the fun everyone else is having with their money!"
Oh, and April Fool's!