Estonian e-residents are the Mayor of London’s Entrepreneurs of the Year
Estonian e-residents Ellenor McIntosh and Alborz Bozorgi have won first prize and £20,000 in the Mayor of London’s 2017 Entrepreneur competition, which recognises the best ideas to improve the city.
Their startup, Twipes, is developing ‘the future of toilet paper’. The environmentally-friendly wet wipes fit into existing toilet roll holders, but are made from wood pulp so contain no harsh chemicals and dissolve after just a few hours in water.
This makes them the world’s first truly flushable wet wipes.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “As London’s population grows, the pressure on our infrastructure increases with it. Alborz and Ellenor are to be commended for tackling this challenge head on and they should be very proud of what they have achieved.”
Alborz and Ellenor are residents of London, but both became e-residents of Estonia after the Brexit vote in order to keep their company inside the EU where they believe there is a large market for their innovative product.
Kaspar Korjus, Managing Director of the e-Residency programme, said: “We’d like to congratulate Alborz and Ellenor from all of us in Estonia. It’s fantastic that Mayor Sadiq Khan has recognised their potential to make London a better place to live. We also hope that e-Residency can help them bring their smart solution to more cities around the world.”
The duo qualified for the competition from more than 300 entries then had to pitch at a live final in London’s City Hall in front of a jury of high profile entrepreneurs and public figures.
Alborz said: “It feels amazing to win such a prestigious prize. It’s great to know that we’re following in the footsteps of some amazing entrepreneurs, such as last year’s winners who now feature on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.”
Elle added: “It really gives us some fantastic validation, having the Mayor of London, and captains of industry such as Jo Malone, believing in Twipes to give us this award.”
The e-Residency programme provides entrepreneurs around the world with a secure digital signature and access to Estonia’s advanced digital infrastructure and public e-services so they can remotely establish and manage a company.
In addition to helping lower the costs and hassle of business, this enables entrepreneurs to remain in the UK to continue conducting business inside the EU after Brexit.
As a result, applications from the UK are now arriving twice as fast since the referendum and more than 1,000 have now been received, including from startups, established businesses and freelancers. More than 18,000 applications have been received globally.
British entrepreneurs concerned about the effects of Brexit can find out more about e-Residency at www.howtostayin.eu.