By @SimonCocking. Interesting interview with one of main organisers and event MCs for the upcoming TechChill event in Riga.  Andris K. Berzins Veteran exec in two $100m+ startup exits. Co-founder . grad in Europe. Advisor and board member for startups

What is your background?

I have been working in this area for a long time, involved in startups, also at the C-level executive position for startups that have gone all the way to large exits. This includes one that was a big sale to Black and Decker, and another that managed live bookings.  So I have good experience with larger startups, I’ve founded some and also invested, and been an angel investor too.

What is your role at TechChill?

I will be mc’ing it, aiming to get right mix, and to make sure there is value for participants. This is not our day jobs for us event organisers, but we believe it is something worth doing. I met with president earlier today, who is a big supporter and will launch event on the day. We have good govternment buy in, they understand the value of this event for economic growth here. As a smaller country we have some good opportunities for incremental growth. You can now start anywhere in the world, which gives us a good opportunity to compete globally.

What is your own background?

My parents are Latvian, we moved to Australia, I then lived in London, the States, and am now back in Latvia,

Who is TechChill aimed at?

Number one is founders. We aim for them to meet each other and investors. We want them to get new inspiration in their startups. This is the best place in the Baltics, and the wider region for others to come see what it’s like. This applies to investors, corporates, and people who want to understand what’s going on in the startup world here.

What is the relationship between TechHubRiga and TechHub, and what does TechHubRiga do?

We re a branch of the London organisation. We have mentoring, an informal network of mentors, and help educate startups regarding the events we run. This is our biggest event, but we also run monthly meetups, training evenings such as the pitch training

How long has TechChill been going?

This is our 6th year. The 1st year we had maybe 100 people, this year we expect around 800 people, and it will be held at the striking new national library building.

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What is hot in Latvia in terms of startups?

Fintech, because banking is strong relative to size of economy, so it is logical that it would do well. As well as this B2B, does well because they are able to do business with companies from all over Europe and the world too.

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What are you excited about in terms of the Latvian startup scene?

We now have a more mature ecosystem, with many great teams here. Five years ago things were very small, and you knew everyone. Now there are many people that I’ve never heard of, who are emerging with exciting new ideas and companies so it has got a lot bigger.

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If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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