Popular hashtags have helped Nordic and Baltic communities to gain wider traction globally, with #CPHFTW, #sthlmtech, #HELYES and #estonianmafia among the most known regional tags.

Latvian hashtag was selected by an open vote on Twitter during the event. 58% of voters chose #startinLatvia, including the wife of Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the Latvian cybersecurity expert Ieva Ilves.

Latvian Startup Association was established by 30 senior members of Latvian startup community who have united to promote Latvian startup scene, connect it to the rest of the world, represent its interests, foster mutual respect and promote understanding about startups in Latvia.

The event included presentation of common goals, Latvian Startup Manifesto and a practical discussion involving Latvian Minister of Economy Arvils Aseradens, Lattelecom board member Kerli Gabrilovica, founder of Vortex Oil and Koatum Sergey Jakimov and others.

Founding members are diverse and include: co-founder of Infogr.am and Fragmentic Uldis Leiterts, the world’s first action sports auto-follow drone Airdog, Latvia’s oldest and biggest co-working space TechHub Riga, private fund iTechCapital, one of investors in world’s most funded bitcoin miner BitFury, Latvia’s most recent successful science-based exit Naco Technologies, former Minister of Economy of Latvia Daniels Pavluts, Board Member of Rietumu Bank Renats Lokomets, European Investment Fund regional manager Krisjanis Zarins and many other startups, organizations and individuals. Full list of First Members is available here. Organizers said that almost 50 new members signed up to join during the event.

The team has a balanced mix of people from different backgrounds, all joining for their own reasons but around common values.

I have traveled to over a 40 countries and seen startup ecosystems from Silicon Valley to Iran. Probably, the most important thing I observed in every strong community is the notion of celebrating each other’s successes like your own. We are already celebrating each other’s successes but quietly. I see Latvian Startup Association as a major step to consolidate our efforts. I have joined in order to help the startup ecosystem to engage with policy makers, society and bring about new, globally competitive economic reality.I am happy to join Latvian Startup Association to share my experience with high tech startups, develop our local community and facilitate more exits in the future.Banks around the world begin to realize that collaboration with fintech startups must be on their agenda to provide contemporary financial services.

The event was packed: all chairs taken, all back rows full and even the window ledges used as seating. The activity shows a great promise, now the team needs to work hard to justify the excitement.


We already have a list of priority tasks. Currently, we are working on a legal definition of the differences between startups and SMEs, which is the first step for policies that would foster the startup economy.

Latvian Startup Association is an open initiative and founders encourage more members to join. Potential members are welcome to reach out to chairperson of the board Jekaterina Zaiceva to find out more and become part of the movement here.

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