By @ This event did a great job of putting many of the right people in the room at the right time. After the noise and hullabaloo of the mega events that look to chase bigger and bigger attendances in leaps of 10k at a time, this event was small and perfectly formed.
There was little speechifying, and a fantastically effective lunch period where it was possible to talk to and network with everyone of relevance. The Baltics may be relatively small, they mentioned a total of 4 million people across all three countries, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. However there is a lot of interesting things happening there, with Skype and TransferWise as high profile examples of successfully coming from this part of the world.
— Irish Embassy Riga (@IrelandEmbLat) February 15, 2017
We found it very easy to speak to a succession of national start up coordinators, ministers, investors and other relevant players representing all three countries in a matter of seconds, by looking around the beautiful dinner room. In many ways there is a lot of positive initiatives taking place, and many of the locals I spoke to commented on the relative youth and approachability of the policy making politicians. The sense seemed to be that as all of the Baltic countries are so small, relatively, no one has airs and graces about the positions they hold. Several startup mentors also commented on conversations they had had where ministers reached out to them to ask what could be done to aid and assist a positive startup culture.
Peteris Zilgalvis, featured above, Head of Unit – Startups & Innovation, Digital Single Market, DG CONNECT, Co-Chair, FinTech Task Force, European Commission was also there, accessible, and was keen to be of help. This was a clear example of the value of the Riga Venture Summit. As with TechChill it has been going for a few years and has gradually grown in size, but fortunately it is still on a scale where you can actually hear your self speak, and learn from the people in the room.