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Aug
10
2017

Latvia and Estonia join forces to boost local startup scene

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Are you ready for an exciting life of an entrepreneur? Apply for the pre-accelerator program, build your team, develop the idea and start a business! As simple as that with the new project ‘EstLat-Accelerate’ that is launched as a part of European Regional Development Fund program 'Interreg Estonia – Latvia'. There are two partnering cities involved – Riga and Tartu. And five strong community partners have joined forces to boost startup scene of both countries. 

'Latvian Startup Association', 'TechHub Riga', 'University of Tartu', 'Garage48 Foundation' and 'Baltic Innovation Agency' has taken part in the project with the aim to create a pre-acceleration program for helping very early teams to get to the acceleration phase. 'EstLat-Accelerate' will kick off with a Hardware and Arts themed hackathon in the end of September. For the hackathon, the participants should apply on an individual basis, and teams around the most engaging ideas are going to be formed during it. The first pre-acceleration batch for both the best hackathon graduates as well as directly applying early stage teams will run 8 weeks in October/November of 2017 culminating with graduation days in Tartu and Riga. Mentoring will comprise of series of individual meetings and joint events with highly experienced entrepreneurs and business coaches. The aim of these sessions is to help teams to build the successful business model as well as validate customers, their problems and the new product or service as a proposed solution.

Pre-acceleration will end with the graduation day where teams will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors. Organizing team expects ten new companies to be formed during one pre-acceleration program that should be ready to apply for the acceleration and pre-seed financing.

The pre-acceleration program enables to move forward with the development of the product with the most insight possible still without full commitment. Information on applications is going to follow soon.