Steve Jurvetson, business partner become first non-Europeans to receive Estonian e-residency card


Steve Jurvetson, the US venture capitalist of Estonian decent, and his business partner Tim Draper, have become the first persons not in Europe to receive an Estonian e-residency card.

The two received their IDs from in a business forum from Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas that took place at Draper University in California on Monday.

Estonia began offering foreigners e-residency last week. Senior editor of The Economist magazine Edward Lucas became the country’s first e-resident on Dec. 1.

With the e-residency card, foreigners can use the Estonian electronic “X-Road” system that allows physical residents to bank, sign documents and conduct business.

Taavi Kotka, under secretary for ICT at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said on the program's launch that the aim of the project is to make Estonia more visible in the world and attract more business people to associate with Estonia.

"Estonian citizens are able to perform nearly every public and private sector transaction in digital form, including signing any document. Until now, this ability has not extended to foreigners who are permanent residents of countries other than Estonia," he said.

Jurvetson is a well-known figure in the global venture capital and startup communities. He was born in the US to Estonian parents - Tõnu and Tiiu Jürvetson - who fled the country during World War II. His great-grandfather was the younger brother of Konstantin Päts, who was president of Estonia from 1938-1940, and considered the most influential political figure of the pre-war years.

Jurvetson and Draper are partners and managers at Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), a venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California. Jurvetson is also on the board of Space X, Synthetic Genomics, and Tesla Motors. He was a founding venture capitalist in the development of the Hotmail e-mail system.

Previously, Jurvetson was a research and development engineer at Hewlett-Packard, where seven of his communication chip designs were fabricated. At Stanford University, he finished his bachelor’s degree in two-and-a-half years, and graduated No. 1 in his class. He then went on to receive an MBA from the Stanford Business School.

He was honored as "The Valley's Sharpest VC" on the cover of Business 2.0, and was chosen by Forbes as one of "Tech's Best Venture Investors", and by Fortune as part of their "Brain Trust of Top Ten Minds."

Jurvetson comes to Estonia on a regular basis, attending conferences relating to IT development issues.

Editor: S. Abel

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