The pulse of Latvian startup scene: Week #1

AirDog among Top 10 Northern European startups to follow in 2016 by ArcticStartup, Rubylight and iTech Capital recognized in TechStars investor list, Vortex Oil announces half a million investment and more. Relive Week #1 with us:

AirDog among Top 10 Northern European startups to follow in 2016 

Biggest startup and technology blog in Northern Europe ArcticStartup has compiled a list of Top 10 Northern European startups to follow in 2016. Among world's first computer as a service by Solu from Finland and lightning-speed internet aiming to displace Wi-Fi by Velmenni from Estonia, Latvia is represented by the best drone of CES2015 - AirDog.

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Latvian private investment funds recognized in TechStars investor list has published a map and a list of  300+ European seed, Series A and Series B investors created by Techstars. The document is available for comments live and estimates a total of about €15 billion worth of funds. 

The list excludes individuals, pre-seed investors, crowdfunding sites, and public sector programs. Latvia is represented by 2 private investors: hands-on B2C seed stage investor Rubylight and Series A and Series B investor iTechCapital.

Find out more here.

Vortex Oil announces over half a million investment

Latvian oil startup Vortex Oil, born in Siberia and developed in Commercialization Reactor, has announced a funding round "exceeding 500 thousand euros" with a Polish investor, Startup Hub Poland. The investment deal was signed on Dec 8, 2015. The official announcement came in an interview to Labs of Latvia this  week

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Latvian Chamber of Trade and Commerce may help you set up shop on Ebay and Amazon

Latvian Chamber of Trade and Commerce (LTRK) has revealed their intentions to help Latvian businesses set up online shops on two biggest e-commerce platforms - eBay and Amazon in Germany. The new project is aimed at strengthening Latvian product exports to German-speaking markets by setting up a representative office and warehouse in Germany. If LTRK receives sufficient interest from business owners, it will be going forth with the idea. 

Find out more here.

TechChill Baltics gets a new visual identity

Latvia's flagship startup event, TechChill Baltics conference, is celebrating 5 years this February. Among other interesting highlights, this year's event will run under a new visual identity. The cozy blue couch familiar to previous years' attendees has been tuned up with two rockets to depict the speedy startups rising throughout the Latvian startup scene.

The event is organized by Riga's oldest and biggest coworking space TechHub Riga. Find out more and join TechChill Baltics here.

LIAA reveals the new business incubation program, promises less bureaucracy

After the previous business incubation program, its pros and cons were actively discussed by entrepreneurs, investors and business incubator operators at a conference organized by Accelerace Life Latvia in May 2015. The resulting stakeholder suggestions were compiled and forwarded to relevant policy makers.

As the Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Economics Raimonds Aleksejenko revealed in an interview to Dienas Bizness this week, these suggestions were partially taken into account. The new business incubation program will be operated by LIAAsubsidiaries and will give money to entrepreneurs right away.

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Public venture capital program for 2014-2020 submitted for approval

Ministry of Economics announced today that it has developed and submitted for approval two EU-funded programs for the next planning period aimed at increasing the accessibility of venture capital in Latvia. The submitted plan foresees that venture capital will become available to Latvian companies from 2017. Meanwhile, the selection of fund managers will begin already in second quarter of 2016. The program will be operated by ALTUM

Find out more here.