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Jul
24
2017

Winners of the 15 million eur accelerator fund are announced

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The long-awaited results are in - the financial institution ALTUM has announced their three selected partners who will be in charge of handling the acceleration fund, which is worth a total of 15 million euro. The three are: the BuildIt Accelerator from Estonia, Lattelecom Technology, and the Commercialization Reactor. 

The acceleration fund aministratiors will be the BuildIt Accelerator OU from Estonia, Lattlelecom Technology and a partnership of individuals made up of Peteris Marculans, Dmitrijs Saikovskis and David Ventzel, as well as another partnership of individuals representing the Commercialization Reactor made up of Nikolajs Adamovics, Lelde Stukle, Voldemars Brediks and Ella Kalnina.

The acceleration fund administrators are charged to invest in innovative and early development startups with growth potential. Financing will be granted in two stages – pre-seed and seed investments. The fund’s administrators will ensure mentors and offer the necessary consultations. ALTUM will allocated EUR 15 million worth of financing from the European Regional Development Fund to the administrators, 5 million euro to each fund.

 Juris Vaskans, ALTUM board member says: "I'm thrilled that Latvia is the first of the Baltic countries which through an international tender has chosen acceleration fund administrators. We received seven applications in total, which we evaluated by looking at their previous experience, fund administration or business plan, as well as their financial offers to ensure the successful work of the fund. The evaluation process of the candidates lasted for over two months, with much work invested in the careful selection of the best candidates. During this process, we received valuable consultations from risk capital specialists from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. I hope that we will be able to sign the contracts sometime during the second half of July, and the funds will be able to begin work with their new and promising idea owners. I wish for the young entrepreneurs to be active and make use of this financial support and business consultations which had never been available in Latvia until now."

The candidates were evaluated by ALTUM, experts from the Ministry of Economics and the Ministry of Finance, as well as risk capital specialists from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The purpose of the acceleration funds is to help those with promising business ideas to "take off". The acceleration funds fill a niche that was previously empty – state support in the idea commercialization stage. The new funds will be focused on this phase of the process, working together more specifically with innovative and IT companies.

Under the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA), creative incubators have been opened throughout Latvia. LIAA director Andris Ozols, asked whether there are enough ideas to sensibly divide the available financing, said the following: "Overall, the number of startups in Latvia is smaller than in other countries. This is sometimes explained that Latvian entrepreneurs lack spirit. However, I believe that the most important will be advertising and the promotion of this program, explaining that idea authors can benefit from it."