We’ve been busy since announcing our mission on the eve of Latitude59 in May! In this, our first blog post, we’ll talk a bit about our genesis, what we’re currently working on, and a look at what’s to come.

Every organisation has an origin story, so let’s start with a bit of background. It all started when Christoph (who is serving as the first president) began discussing with Kirill (who is now responsible for the political relations in the board) over a coffee at RØST in Tallinn in the Summer of 2018. Both of them liked the idea and started talking to other people about it here and there.

But it took until January this year for the whole thing to gain momentum! When Christoph met some other e-Residents in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the idea evolved quickly. Ignacio and Lorenzo bought in, Ian came on board too. Eventually, the group grew to nine e-Residents spanning the globe from Vancouver (Michelle) to Seoul, and we all contributed to the manifesto now posted online. With Wissem from Tunisia, Arzu now living in Tallinn and Yevgeny currently relocating to the US we try to represent most e-Residents’ issues by being a maximally diverse team ourselves.

If you missed our launch event, we live streamed it on Facebook.

As active e-Residents ourselves with real businesses, we have benefited immensely from e-Residency and want to continue to do so. However, there was no organisation to represent our unique interests. A chamber of commerce would traditionally fill this role, but e-Residents are inherently operating across borders, and some of us don’t even have a fixed place of residence or business. We needed a unique kind of organization.

Fun fact: Christoph spent years campaigning against mandatory chamber of commerce membership in Germany.

We realize that the existing channels such as the Facebook group are not the best environment for discussion of the finer details of running an international business, and aren’t the most effective at enabling networking between e-Residents and Estonians. We have, as e-Residents, already established over 6,000 companies at the time of this writing, but it remains hard for e-Residents to discover each other. These are some of the problems we hope to solve with our member portal over the coming months.

You may notice some similarities here to the community platform that the e-Residency team trialled last year. While they decided not to continue building their own platform, the e-Residency team has shared some of their experiences with us and we are happy to support their mission and benefit the community at large.

In case it’s not already obvious, we really care about community. As EERICA members are scattered across the globe and we can’t all meet face to face, we’ll be hosting some virtual meetups over the next month. But it’s not all digital! We’ve also hosted 2 “non-virtual” meetups since launch – in Moscow and Berlin – and look forward to enabling many more e-Resident meetups through our member portal.

We (the founders) have some plans of our own for the future, including working with the e-Residency team directly to improve the available information on running your business, and an e-Residents festival next May in Tallinn (stay tuned for more details on this in future posts!). But it’s not just about the ideas of this small group. While we tried to build a diverse founding team, we need your input, and look forward to talking with you in the member portal about the problems that we can help you solve.

If you’re an e-Resident, an Estonian interested in working with us, or a company interested in supporting our mission, head on over to eerica.ee to join. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter as well, or follow us on social media so you never miss an update.