Interview: Andris K. Berzins, entrepreneur and investor

LSM attended the World Latvian Economic and Innovations Forum November 21 in the northern city of Valmiera.

Taking place over two days, the event is available to watch live on the LSM Latvian-language service (the forum takes place in Latvian).

Andris K Berzins on investing in LatviaMike Collier/LSM

    Among the attendees was Andris K. Berzins, a stalwart of the Latvian startup and investment scene. A partner at Change Ventures, which recently announced the launch of its second Baltic-focused seed fund, Andris gave us his views on what makes Latvia attractive to potential investors and how best to first get the attention of potential partners and keep them on board for the long term.

    "The nature of startups is that everyone looks at them and says 'Oh my God, overnight success!' but what usually lies behind an overnight success is years of hard work... We've seen a number of companies that have done a lot of hard work until now and I think over the next few years we will see several Latvian companies that really do take off very big - and I'm hoping our fund is one of the investors in one of those companies," says Berzins.

    He is also convinced that a commitment to high quality education will be the decisive factor in the long-term prosperity of the country. 

    Listen to the full audio interview for his insights.

    The World Latvian Economics and Innovations Forum is organised by the World Federation of Free Latvians in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Municipality of Valmiera, the Valmiera Development Agency,  an NGO “Ar Pasaules pieredzi Latvijā”, “The Red Jackets” , and AmCham Latvia.

    This year's event is the sixth and brings together over 300 participants: representatives of the business community, the diaspora, educational institutions, non-governmental organisations, as well as of local and central government.

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