Last Saturday Riga became the venue of one of the biggest tech conferences in the Baltic region – Silicon Valley Comes to the Baltics. More than 650 young entrepreneurs and talented developers attended the event, meeting the leading professionals from the Silicon Valley and largest European tech companies. Latvian bank Rietumu and TechHub Academy were the main partners and organizers of the conference.
One day before the conference, on November 6th, a separate board of investors and entrepreneurs gathered at Riga Venture Summit, organized as a part of the event SV2B. The key topic covered during the summit was building a quality ecosystem and financial infrastructure for startups. Riga Venture Summit attracted representatives of all the Baltic States, including politicians, businessmen, and investors: Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Minister of Economics in Latvia), Sten Tamkivi (Skype), Uldis Leiterts (Infogr.am), Renat Lokomet (Rietumu bank) and many other outstanding individuals, somehow the involved in the tech industry.
SV2B saluted the motto “Money goes where talent grows”, implying the importance of innovative ideas and investors’ aspiration to promote them within a well-built ecosystem. The conference was mostly marked with the performances made by expert speakers, who previously started their careers as startuppers: Kamran Elahian (Iran), Mikko Järvenpää (Finland), Alicia Dai (USA), Kristo Käärmann (Estonia), Robert Kalinkin (Lithuania), Yuki Sato (Japan) and many more.
Of course, startups contributed to vibe creation during the conference. There were more than 50 startups’ applications from different countries, including the Baltic States, Russia, Belarus, and Egypt. All of them were competing for the financial award provided by Rietumu bank. The jury finally selected five best projects: Toona, Sorry as a service (Latvia), Levidera (Estonia), Facety (Estonia) and Dropbyke (Lithuania).
After numerous debates and discussions among the jury members, Rietumu bank representatives decided to give the main prize to startup Levidera, which offers an original educational program for singers.
Another nomination, coming from TechHub, was granted to the contest winner Sorry as a service. This is a platform for users’ experience evaluation.
Since SV2B team members are all coming from different world parts, the event turned out really international, allowing to find out the certain features of the investment climate in different regions. Thus, speakers came to the conclusion that the European Union is a relatively favorable place for starting a new business venture and managing all the paper formalities. In general, such intercontinental meetups encourage great business cooperation and exchange of expertise. As a recognized center of technology and business development, Silicon Valley should cooperate not only with the Baltic States but also establish more connections with all European countries and ecosystems. Let us hope that one day Silicon Valley will come to Central and Eastern Europe.
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