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Monday, July 4, 2022

The Founders of Labs of Latvia Leave Due To Internal Disagreements

The Latvian startup community platform covering the Latvian startup scene is taking a new course. According to Labs of Latvia website and tweets, the founding members have left the team due to internal disagreements on the focus of the project.

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The founding team – Kristaps Skutelis, Jekaterina Zaiceva and Marija Odineca – announced leaving the project within The pulse of Latvian startup scene for Week #3 this week. The key reason was quoted to be ‘inconsistency between the interests of Latvian startup community to attain international visibility and the proposed strategy for year 2016 focusing on Latvian audience’. The interesting part is that this paragraph has since been deleted.

The project director Zaiceva announced her departure from Labs of Latvia on Twitter last week, and editor in chief Odineca will be leaving in February after transferring the remaining responsibilities. In addition to that, tech editor Skutelis has left the project earlier for personal reasons.

So let’s get this straight. One part of the organization wanted to focus on international audiences so as to show the strength of the Latvian Startup Community, the other (current) side wanted to focus on the local audiences aiming towards pretty much the same goals. Given the drastic action of deleting the announcement, there was presumably a bit of tension between the two which caused the team to disband.

As a media company ourselves, and an active player in the community, we think that both options are viable and can help the community to grow. What is not helpful, however, is to have any kind of divide and tension in the community as small as Latvia, so I hope that Latvia can get together behind something like #HELYES and focus on showing just how awesome the Latvian community is both internally and externally. ArcticStartup is also happy to help in both.

Labs of Latvia was launched in March 2015 as a public project by the Latvian Guarantee Agency aimed to consolidate Latvian startup scene, represent Latvian startup community to the world and foster more successful venture capital deals for Latvian startups. Ever since, the project has gathered a database of over 200 Latvian startups, Latvian startup funding data and attracted over 1700 followers on Facebook and over 900 followers on Twitter for their regional startup news. If you have ideas about what they should do, reach out.

In May 2015, Latvian Guarantee Agency was reorganized and became part of ALTUM. Labs of Latvia platform is now be managed by Arnis Ozols, the former editor at Latvian news portal Delfi in Ukraine, and Kristaps Zālītis. Ozols says that they’re finalising the future labs of Latvia strategy at the moment.

“One thing is clear, that the content policy will remain as it have used to be, but there will be some additions. I will come back to broader explenations after we will finalise our internal discussions. Meanwhile, all the ideas are welcomed,” states Ozols.

*The comment from Arnis Ozols has been added to the article on January 29th.

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