Apply to the CDL program

For founders pursuing commercial opportunities predicated on creatively, securely and responsibly fusing data from public and private digital registries to create business models that transform human societies.

The Digital Society Stream at CDL-Estonia brings together experienced founders of unicorns and world-leading experts across digital governance, cyber security, and genomics to help scale innovations underpinned by the digitization of human societies. It also provides an opportunity for startups to develop and pilot business models on real data produced by Estonia’s digital government ecosystem.

CDL startups work with these mentors to sharpen objectives, prioritize time and resources, raise capital, and engage with experts working on the frontiers of research.

The startups attend five objective-setting sessions between October and June. CDL is a non-profit organization. There are no fees for participation and CDL does not take any equity. Learn more about the CDL program.

Who Should Apply?

The Digital Society Stream is particularly suited to ventures working in the fields of governance, health, genomics, elections, privacy, data science, and regulation. This stream is tailored towards early-stage companies (early venture or growth) or even projects (pre-incorporation); however, startups at all levels of maturity will be considered.

Example Innovation Areas

  • Predictive services, 
  • Data protection and encryption, 
  • Privacy and data ownership control, 
  • Private-public data fusion for vertical use cases: 
    • Health and genomics, 
    • Digital identification & verification, 
    • Distributed ledgers, 
    • Distributed autonomous organizations, 
    • Predictive public and private services, 
    • Real-time economy, 
    • Government UI overlays, 
    • Legaltech, 
    • Regtech, 
    • Edutech.

The list above is not exhaustive. Contact to discuss the program and your venture with someone from the Digital Society Stream.

Our Mentors

CDL mentors include accomplished entrepreneurs, experienced operators, active angel and venture investors, world-leading scientists, engineers, and economists. Mentors meet every eight weeks in Tartu or virtually to help founders set objectives over the program’s nine-month duration.

Companies accepted to the CDL Digital Society Stream benefit from world-leading experts in digital governance, cyber security, and genomics. These experts meet with companies periodically to evaluate their technologies, suggest improvements, and to explore formal advising.

Apply to the CDL program

For more information or to schedule an introduction meeting with the CDL team, email

“CDL’s strong network will perfectly complement the research strengths of UT, and the strengths of Estonia’s digital governance community.”

Kristjan Vassil

Associate Professor of Technology Research | Chief Scientist, CDL-Estonia

“Estonia is already home for 1300 startups, which is kind of absurd for a country of 1.2 million people. As a society, we’ve considered things like ubiquitous digital signatures and secure, paperless governance a comfortable norm for several decades – while still so many business environments dream of this as science fiction. Being open to the world and giving back is a strong part of our entrepreneurial ethos.

Sten Tamkivi

Partner, Taavet+Sten | Founding Partner, CDL-Estonia

Applications are now open!