How everything started

Estonian Startup Leaders Club was formed in January 2009 by a group of entrepreneurs, leaders of Ambient Sound Investment portfolio companies. They participated in a 4-module startup leaders’ training program in autumn 2008. After the training program finished, the participants wanted to continue sharing their experiences and getting advice from people working on similar early stage startups.

Back then the main goal was to share experiences — intimate details of failures and success — and therefore the form of a pretty intimate club seemed most suitable. Most startups and young CEO-s face similar daily issues — hiring good people, product development, funding, sales, setting up compensation models and options programs, establishing UK/US entities, IP & patents etc.

ESLC today

Today most club members are already quite experienced startup leaders. We still share information and experience on daily basis. Close relations also lead to founding new startups together or joining each other’s startups — and the majority of awesome startups have been founded by people who know each other and have done something together well before starting the company.

Goals of the Estonian Startup Leader Club

  • Build stronger relationships among professional Estonian startup entrepreneurs. 
  • Provide opportunities for members to meet face to face in a social setting.
  • Encourage direct communication, cooperation and knowledge sharing.
  • Encourage development of new Estonian professional startup entrepreneurs.
We expect our club members to get to know each other and cooperate closely. We use Skype multichat, Fakebook group, Linkedin group and in Twitter via #EstonianMafia hashtag. 


Ad-hoc lunches. Organize club lunches a couple times a month in both Tallinn and Tartu. Members are welcome to bring a guest (founders and executives preferred). Organizer can invite external guests or set a theme (e.g. Bring-your-marketing-exec-to-lunch day).

Monthly dinners. Organize a club dinner once a month both in Tallinn and Tartu (preferably on different days) that can include invited guests and set topic or theme. If there is a great presenter or too many members sign up, upgrade dinner to a cocktail party or a boardroom meeting. Can be replaced with another event — like sauna party, grilling evening or whatever else instead at organizers discretion — up to ideas, effort and time. 

If something interesting comes up between dinners and lunches, we'll see each other more. 

President and Board

The club is managed by President and board members. The President is voted by club members and nominated for 12 month period. Voting takes place in December. The president invites 2-5 club members to become board members and help on administration tasks. See the list of ESLC members.

Official data

President 2019: Sten Tamkivi
Team: Stenver Jerkku

Eesti Startupi Juhtide Klubi MTÜ / Estonian Startup Leaders Club NGO
Reg. No. 80305937
Bank account:  EE662200221054671167, Swedbank