What to expect from government startup initiatives in 2018

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The Ministry of Economics has outlines priorities for startup development in 2018, here's a look at what they're defined.

For the past two years, the country's government has taken steps to significantly support the startup environment in Latvia. The Ministry of Economics, lead by Arvils Aseradens, has released a statement identifying the previous milestones of the development of startup regulation, as well as their priorities for 2018. 

Here's what they have planned for 2018:

  • Representation in Silicon Valley
  • Facilitate entrepreneur participation in the acceleration process
  • Further develop regulation to support FinTech develpment
  • Facilitate co-operation between universities and businesses
  • Expand support for R&D
  • Alterations in the startup law to make it accessible to more businesses

Alterations in the startup law has been defined as an urgent priority, and the Ministry of Economics has stated that they hope to shortly hand in changes to the law for parliamentary consideration soon. 

Changes will include expanding the definition of an investor, to allow startups with business angel and accelerator fund investments to qualify for benefits emerging from the startup law. Additionally, the length of the period of support from the law will be elongated, allowing startups with investments of EUR150 000 to qualify for two periods of support, rather than just one.



During the past two years, several significant steps have been made in the development of the startup ecosystem. 

Highlights from 2017:

  • Residence permits for startup development are launched
  • Startin Latvia (The Latvian Starup Association) launches as website and several educational materials
  • Risk capital funding is made available - 15 million EUR are assigned to three new startup accelerators

Highlights from 2016:

  • The term "startup" is officially translated into Latvian, paving the way for it to be used in future legislation
  • The Latvian Startup Association is founded, the first such group where players in the startup ecosystem come together to define and defend their interests at a unified level
  • Leading B2B accelerator "Startup Wise Guys" organizes their first acceleration program in Latvia
  • Latvian Parliament passes the Startup Law

Currently there are 320 businesses that have identified themselves as startups, with 50 newly registered startups over the past year. Together, they have attracted financing of EUR210 million.