From e-Residency to Estonia with love

Jan Lagast and ImpactBuilders are fostering society-relevant businesses and recently brought operations to Estonia

Jan with his e-Residency digital ID card in Tallinn!

Jan Lagast is founder of ImpactBuilders, a virtual management advisory firm based in Belgium and Estonia. Over his 30 year career in industrial sales & marketing, Jan has guided numerous companies to substantial success. Recently the serial entrepreneur added a venturing unit to the business to create and build its own startups and apps, including meeting management tool Flxion.com.

Jan became an e-resident in 2017. Several years earlier, he was shown an e-Residency digital ID card by a colleague. When he was preparing for his first visit to Estonia in 2017, he was reminded of the card via various information channels. He decided to apply so that he could start his new business venture in Estonia, while keeping his existing business focused in Belgium.

“E-Residency enabled me to very quickly start operating a little kernel of my international business, and then gradually grow it without being overstretched by paperwork and structure.”

That first visit to Estonia and his experience in setting up a company using e-Residency led to Jan seeing the true potential of the digital nation: much less administrative hassle and almost every government-related transaction is online or via email.

“The broad use of e-government has educated the Estonians to a high level of digital savviness. That makes Estonia also interesting for hiring for non-IT functions. And, of course, it is a great test market for new apps.”

Easy move to Estonia

In August, Jan moved to Estonia to establish the international commercial headquarters of his company and start the next chapter of his life, as a temporary resident. Being an e-resident made the transition easier, as he was already known to Estonian government authorities via his e-Residency digital ID, plus he had become familiar with the business environment here.

Having quickly found their place in Tallinn’s vibrant startup scene, Jan and ImpactBuilders have settled in fast, and are about to hire a fourth team member here.

“I have really appreciated the Estonian government for the easy administration both for my personal change in residence, as for the hiring and onboarding of new team members. That allowed me to focus on the business and have a team up and running in almost no time.”

The main goals of his Estonian team are now to scale the international virtual management advisory firm, and to launch more ImpactBuilders startups.

And so, at the end of October, the brand new Estonian team launched meeting management tool Flxion.com all over Europe, from their office in Tallinn.

Making business relevant for society

Now that home working sets in, companies start to realize online meetings are often much less effective, although — or maybe because — they tend to be much shorter.

The Flxion app increases the outcome of online meetings, by adding a second channel in which the report of the meeting is evolving live — for all to watch and agree. This increases collaborator involvement and leads to a more meaningful meeting, on top of making the company more profitable.

Flxion is a great example of how Jan envisions the future of business:

“It is not that difficult to make a business more relevant for staff. Making clients the priority of all activities makes it easier to involve collaborators and generate long-lasting profits — even in these difficult times.”

Jan believes making business priorities and practices more relevant for clients and staff is also an excellent starting point to ensure its relevance in broader society.

And this doesn’t mean the business will lose profit.

On the contrary, he believes that making a business more purposeful and generating more profit can be perfect allies. Helping business leaders achieve this, is what differentiates the international ImpactBuilders advisory services.

“Our advisors and coaches are solopreneurs who believe purpose and profit can go hand in hand. They transform businesses to become more relevant for their clients, for their workers, for their shareholders, … and for the future of our planet.”

Photo courtesy of Impactbuilders

Jan’s final words provide constructive advice for aspiring entrepreneurs considering starting a company in Estonia with e-Residency:

“Lay the first brick of your company in Estonia by creating a small OÜ, get an affordable accountant to take away the hassle of local tax & bookkeeping, and enjoy the creative process of your venture to the full.”

Become an e-resident now and take the first step in realising your business dreams.

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