New technology and startup entrepreneurs from all over the world to visit Riga

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Digital Freedom Festival (DFF), a global technology, policy, startup and lifestyle festival, will gather more than 1,000 new technology and startup entrepreneurs from all over the world in Riga from the 27th to the 29th of November. The main events of the festival will be a conference, a Startup Pitch competition and masterclasses.

Main topics: e-governance, shared economy, smart cities and cybersecurity

The first speakers at the conference to be announced were the President of the Republic of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves (Estonia), TransferWise Co-Founder Kristo Käärmann (Estonia), Partner 500 Startups Marvin Liao (USA), MysteryVibe Co-Founder Stephanie Alys (UK), IBM Watson Innovation Partner Christoph Auer-Welsbach (Netherlands). The list of conference participants will be updated regularly.

Digital Freedom Festival Co-Founder Dagnija Lejiņa: “This is just the beginning so that by 2018, Latvia’s Centenary, we can make a gift of an international conference of 5000 participants who have already made it onto the agendas of technology gurus and have put Latvia on the map. The world is developing fast, especially in the field of technology. We hope that Latvia will develop into a technology Davos – a place where we seek solutions to challenges posed by technology on a global level.”

Arvils Ašeradens, the Minister for Economics of Latvia: “The development of startups is an essential pre-condition for innovation and the continuing growth of the economy. I want to emphasize that the goal of the organizers of DFF, to create Riga as one of the most influential places for startup and tech, is ambitious, but in line the vision of the Ministry of Economics - to create good conditions for startups and become the leader in the Baltic region. To support the creators of innovative business ideas, the Ministry is creating a startup ecosystem concept, that will promote startup development in Latvia in order to become the leader in the Baltic region in the number of startups registered.”

Kerli Gabriloviča, Lattelecom Chief Corporate Development Officer: “We believe that Riga has all the pre-conditions to become one of the most influential technology and startup locations in the world. Latvia has a highly developed technology infrastructure and we are ready to provide our knowledge, experience and technologies to achieve this goal. By supporting the growth of new businesses and encouraging investment in the development of information technologies, we can make the business environment more attractive and develop local talents.”

Startups from the region invited to participate in 500 Startups pitch

The festival, in collaboration with the world’s most influential accelerator 500 Startups, will include a pitching competition for startup ideas where young entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to capture the attention of both investors and the media. You can apply for a place at the ideas competition by buying a ticket to the Digital Freedom Festival by the 13th of October.

By attending the master classes, startup entrepreneurs will be able to improve their knowledge of how to attract investors and EU funding, improve sales and marketing results and promote the growth of their businesses.

Festival Supporters and Organizers

The Digital Freedom Festival will be organized by an experienced team: the founder of the Latvian startup success story Uldis Leiterts, the international communications professional Dagnija Lejiņa and an experienced media expert Juris Šleiers.

Last year, together with their colleagues, this team organized the biggest startup conference to date in Latvia – Silicon Valley comes to the Baltics as well as a discussion for policy makers - the Riga Venture Summit that was attended by 650 participants from 20 countries around the world, including international investors with a combined investment portfolio of about 500 million dollars.

The Digital Freedom Festival is also supported by a team of experts from all over the world, including cybersecurity policy expert Ieva Ilvesa (Latvia),  technology media co-founder and editor Alejandro Barrera (Spain), the TED Talks ambassador Sartaj Singh Anand (India) and others.

Conference Supporters: The Development Finance Institution Altum, Strategic Partner Lattelecom, Riga Tourism Development Office (LiveRiga), Pitch competition partner 500 Startups, Baltic-American Freedom Foundation (BAFF), The Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia (Norden), The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Latvia, Law firm SORAINEN, Israeli Embassy in Latvia, The LR Ministry of Economics, The LR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Content Partner RTU Riga Business School, Riga City Council, The USA Embassy in Latvia, SD Ventures, Httpool, Mailigen, Slush, Tribe, Latvian Startup Association and others.

Two day festival tickets are available through the festival website. You are welcome to follow the latest Digital Freedom Festival news via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts (#DFFestival).

The conference is organised by the Digital Freedom Festival team as well as the reputation management company Lejiņa & Šleiers and the NGO Nordic Reputation Hub.