Techchill is as aptly named as Slush, with its weather climate of -14 degrees. It was a “refreshing” start waiting for my tram at 7:30am. I headed into Riga in time to get to my destination for the 10am start at the VEF Culture Palace.
As the venue started to fill up I looked around the building, capturing images before it became impossible to see clearly. One of the first rooms I came across was the Future Founders Playground. Intrigued, definitely!
Stepping into the room, I spoke briefly with Linda Sinka of Learnit, who explained she set up about 3 years ago and was looking to bring Coding to a wider audience and engage a new generation of coders through these fun classes. She runs an interactive programming group for primary school children, where children develop logical thinking, problem solving and collaboration.
There is a large area dedicated on the ground floor for a Biz Expo where Startups gain exposure and investors have the opportunity to explore the floor and speak to the Founders face to face. There is also a few stands on different levels which is where I met another business called Mooncascade.
Anton Prokopov, Sales Manager and Software Engineer explained that Mooncascade is a leading Estonian software and product development company founded by four software engineers, including two former Skype engineers. Since they started 9 years ago they have managed to grow to well over 80 staff and have managed it completely organically. They currently have 2 offices in Estonia and are hoping to expand in the future to have a further location outside. They have managed to gain some very reputable clients over the years (TransferWise, Tele2, Monese, Elisa, Merck, Telia, Twino & TUNE ) and have various services to support them:
- Idea & Product Discovery
- UX/UI Design
- Product Engineering (Full Stack Development)
- Quality Assurance
- Data Science and Predictive Analytics
An excellent resource available at Techchill is the “Deal Room”. This room is a dedicated area for Investors and Start Ups to meet and the hope is, drum up partnerships. This is arranged by Techchill initially as a blind date; by marrying the details that each party provide when signing up for the event on their website and then by both parties accepting.
Moving back down from the 1st floor I returned to the Ground floor to explore the Start Ups and to learn what was on offer, I was struck by this stand and a very decorative leg.
I met up with Einars Edzins from Wide Tech. The company is based just over the road from the venue and started up only about 18 months ago. They are 3D designers for osteo prothesis and have created software that can help design of an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) within 15 minutes. He is a holding a custom designed leg for a women who had lost her right leg to Osteo Sarcoma and wanted to be able to wear stockings on her wedding day. They scanned her left leg and mirrored it and then created the intricate design you see. She was able to have the day she dreamed of because of their product.
I started walking around again and I realised the rooms had continued filling up and conversation had raised the roof. Camera’s flashing and business cards passing. Techchill was in full swing and it wasn’t even lunchtime.
These businesses above are just a sample of the types of businesses at Techchill; sharing their unique set of skills and products. Some were there to find investment, others partners or even staff. This event is a Startup gateway for the Baltics and returns next February 21-22nd 2019.