Latvian company brews up a storm in international competition

Beat the Storm and its wind tunnel attraction has won the national final of the Creative Business Cup 2023 international business idea competition, receiving a prize of EUR 3000 and the opportunity to represent Latvia at the Creative Business Cup Global in Copenhagen in June, reports Labs of Latvia.

Eight contestants competed in the final, presenting business ideas from different sectors, including an AI content creation tool, a verification system, an e-cigarette and battery deposit system. Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning, Director of the Creative Business Cup Global and a member of the international jury, said that the competition was extremely strong:

“Latvia has once again shown that unique and competitive ideas with international market potential can be found here. Beat the Storm appealed to us because it has both the potential to be a successful business and to raise awareness about climate change by offering an unusual experience.”

Ingus Augstkalns, founder of Beat the Storm, sees winning the competition as a great opportunity to showcase the company on the global stage. He is surprised by the win, as he heard several excellent ideas, and promises to represent Latvia at the international finals with a great degree of responsibility.

“Climate change is leading to more extreme weather events around the world, and severe storms are occurring in regions where they have never been seen before. Beat the Storm works with museums, science centres and other organisations to provide audiences with a unique, interactive experience while educating them about the powerful force of nature,” says Augstkalns.

The second prize went to Fat Cat Leaves – cat litter pellets made from fallen tree leaves. This idea also received a special prize of €1,000 from jury member Tiffany Norwood. The third prize went to Fungo, an augmented reality mobile game for teenagers with cancer.

The storm simulator allows people to experience a category 2 hurricane or up to 165 km/h. Augstkalns calls this a smart attraction with high engagement. While some attractions like roller coasters just entertain people, this one allows exploring something new – the power of a storm – and stimulates your thinking. “People are amazed by the insane power of the wind. In our region, such storms are rare, but due to climate change, storms are becoming more intense and more frequent in our latitudes too. But we are always indoors during them. This is an opportunity to experience the power of a storm in a safe environment. I guess empathy has no other way than to be able to actually feel something, in this case a storm,” he says.

The Storm attraction is currently available to enjoy at the Universe Science Park in Denmark, where it opened last May. The company is working to bring the experience to other science and theme parks in the near future.

10th year of competition in Latvia

The Creative Business Cup, organised by the Danish Creative Business Network, is a global initiative with the mission to strengthen entrepreneurship and innovation. It aims to support creative ideas and foster innovation by helping companies from all over the world to meet potential partners and reach global markets. The Creative Business Network’s national selections take place in more than 80 countries.

This is the 10th year that the Creative Business Cup has been held in Latvia. It is organised by the Creative Industries Incubator of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia. In the past, Latvia has been represented by Vividly, Connection Codes, Anatomy Next, Gigi Bloks, Gamechanger Audio, WinGo Deposit, Babbit and Friends, and Scent Camera. Latvia has so far won two second prizes in the international finals – Gigi Bloks in 2014 and Gamechanger Audio in 2018. In 2021, Scent Camera came third. 

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