Latvian Startup Awards Program

Startup Day 2023 &
Latvian Startup Awards Program

Friday, September 8
Digital Art House, Skolas iela 2, Riga

09:30 – 10:00

Doors open. Arrivals. Morning coffee.

10:00 – 10:30

Greetings from Latvian Startup Association Startin.LV CEO & the Board

Opening Remarks:

Arvils Ašeradens, Minister for Finance of the Republic of Latvia

Raimonds Lapiņš, Deputy State Secretary at Ministry of Economics

10:30 – 11:00

I know what you did on Aug 29. Plus, a little bit of startup data.

Presentation of the Ecosystem Workshop results; a plunge into the freshest startup data.

Olga Barreto Goncalves, CEO at Startin.LV

11:00 – 12:00

Panel #1 – We had a vision. Cool. Who cares?

We all want the best for Latvia. We are ready to work for it, too. We draw a vision of a prosperous country, where economic development is vibrant and growth opportunities are plentiful. We even put together an action plan that would pave the way for reaching our vision. But more often than not something goes south and we’re left clueless as to why we didn’t reach our goals. Why bother creating a vision at all? How do we make sure that we achieve it?

Agnese Veckalne, COO at Longenesis, Chairwoman of the Board at Startin.LV

Ernests Štāls, CEO & Co-Founder at

Inese Andersone, Head of Riga City Development Comittee at Riga City Council

Kaspars Briškens, Member of Parliament, Chairman of PROGRESSIVES Parliamentary Group

Līva Pērkone, Partner at Helve, Board Member at TechChill

Toms Niparts, Co-Founder & CEO at JEFF

12:00 – 13:00

Panel #2 – Country on a Mission: Mission-driven tech-powered innovations

Dive into the story of MissionLatvia, where a nation’s ambitions have taken center stage. Join the conversation as experts unravel the synergistic relationship between nation’s brand, RIS3, and the deeptech approach, offering insights into the building blocks of the nation’s evolution.

Imants Martinsons, Director Latvia at Cleantech for Baltics

Julia Gifford, CEO & Co-founder at Truesix, Editor at Labs of Latvia

Kaspars Rožkalns, Director General of Investment and Development Agency of Latvia

Liene Briede, Vice Rector for Innovation at Riga Technical University, EIC Board Member

Ņikita Kazakevičs, Director of Innovation and Technology Department at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia

Osvalds Pugovičs, Director of Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis

13:00 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:00

Fire-side chatting

As the wisdom goes, it all boils down to people. All breakthroughs and achievements, but also failures and disasters, stem from the very decisions and (non)actions we undertake. But what does drive us in the process? This series of the fire-side chats invites three prominent innovation ecosystem players to anatomize their own mind and tell us what keeps them going.

Dr. sc. ing. Tālis Juhna, Rector of Riga Technical University

Anda Asere, Journalist at Labs of Latvia

Ņikita Kazakevičs, Director of Innovation and Technology Department at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia

15:00 – 15:50

Panel #3 – Navigating the chill: is VC heading into a winter season?

Once-warm venture capital environment is feeling a bit cooler. We dive deep to understand the reasons behind this VC shift. Moreover, we explore how startups can not only survive but capitalize on these changing winds. What strategies can they employ to thrive? Can founders possibly be the silver lining in this cloudy scenario?

Matīss Neimanis, Managing Partner at Buildit Latvia

Arvydas Bloze, Partner at Practica Capital

Janiina Kauppinen, Investment Director at Vendep Capital

Raimonds Kulbergs, Founder & CEO at

Reima Linnanvirta, Partner at Trind Ventures

15:50 – 16:10

The Epilogue: startup / VC heart-to-heart

A post-panel reflection on the VC industry and fundraising in 2023: the case of Monetizr.

Aija Perta, Partner at RubyLight

Andris Merkulovs, Co-Founder & CEO at Monetizr

16:10 – 16:45

Networking break

16:45 – 19:00

Latvian Startup Awards. Ceremony & Gala

Opening Remarks:

  • Ņikita Kazakevičs, Director of Innovation and Technology Department at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia
  • Fredis Bikovs, Director of Riga Investment and Tourism Agency

Special Recognition Awards

  • Digital Health Cluster – “MedTech Rising Star”
  • Cleantech For Baltics – “Cleantech Startup of the Year”
  • Latvian Blockchain Association – “Blockchain Democracy Award”
  • Riga Technical University – “Deep Water”
  • VEFRESH – “VEFRESH Future in Mobility”
  • Printful – “Unicorn Material”

Latvian Startup Awards, attended by the President of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs.


Celebration & Refreshments