Interview with Teleport co-founder and CEO Sten Tamkivi
We met with Teleport co-founder and CEO Sten Tamkivi to discuss their innovative solution to a common problem in the tech world – how to find that perfect city to move to.
Hi Sten. Let’s talk about Teleport. What is it and what kinds of services do you provide?
Teleport aims to solve two problems: first, to help people discover new and interesting places based on who they are and what they want to do – more clearly, based on your own subjective criteria, we help you find and move to a place that matches your preferences. From the vast amount of collected data, we have composed around 50 indices on 110 cities around the world. All this data allows us to match you with the best places to live, study and work in.
The second thing we’re doing is what we call Execution. After you’ve discovered that perfect city you want to live in, we help you actually move there. We believe that technology and software can help people here too. For example, one service that we offer is something that we call “Teleport Scouts”, which consist of local people who help you with all the hassle that comes with moving to a new country or city.
Where did the idea for Teleport come from?
First, when I was still working for Skype, our team was scattered around the globe. I was managing Skype’s global operations and we had people working from all over the place – Tallinn, Prague, Luxembourg, London and so on. So our team was really diffused and I had to deal with all these location-related problems.
Also, I personally know how hard it is to move to a new country and city. I’ve lived in Silicon Valley, London, Singapore and Estonia. Every move is a painstaking process, especially if you have kids – getting all the paperwork in order, finding a place to live and so on. It’s a problem Teleport aims to solve.
You help people find cool new places. But where is Teleport at the moment?
Right now we are in a phase where the just launched the web-based location search engine and released our brand new mobile app. This is to say, we are still in a very early phase! Right now we have about 12 000 users who regularly update us with new data – what they do, where they work, how much something costs somewhere, their salary and so on. These are the users we are focusing on right now.
This is our core product, but we’re also developing other services. For example, Teleport Sundial allows teams to coordinate their work across different time zones and Teleport Flock helps you calculate the optimal location for your team to meet.
You have data on over a hundred cities worldwide. How do UK cities compare in terms of their startup climate?
As you said, we have aggregated data on over a hundred different cities worldwide. Right now we have data only on London and Manchester. London is definitely in the top 5 in terms of the environment it offers to new startups. It draws in a lot of new talented people.
What about Tallinn?
In terms of living costs plus life quality vs. tech scene plus business readiness, Tallinn is up there with Helsinki and Stockholm. Based on our data, Tallinn ranks high on quality of life and low on living costs. A perfect combination really.
If we look at business readiness vs. tech scene, then Tallinn is again quite similar to Stockholm and Helsinki. London on the other hand, has a very well developed tech scene.
Teleport is a UK-Estonia TechLink partner. More info on them can be found here.