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TechChill festival showcases Baltic startup scene February 8-9

More than 2,000 participants gathered in Riga February 8 for the two-day TechChill festival which is generally regarded as the season opener for the whole Baltic Startup scene. Three stages are in operation throughout the festival with a varied agenda ranging from the deadly serious to the decidedly lighthearted.

LSM was among the crowds at the freshly renovated VEF Palace of Culture (even participating in the first panel discussion) and spoke to some of those in attendance.

Arvils Aseradens at TechChillMike Collier/LSM

Among the opening speakers was Economics Minister Arvils Ašeradens who insisted the fact that this is an election year will not mean his attention is elsewhere in coming months. Within government, the contribution that can be made from this particularly entrepreneurial sector was not established beyond doubt, he said. 

Economics Minister Arvils Ašeradens chats at TechChill

Proof that TechChill now has a more than regional reach came from Alexis Poulin of Paris-based EIT Digital, who signalled that EIT would be increasing the amount it invests in Latvia and the other Baltic states in coming months as part of the European Union's Horizon 2020 program. He also reflected on what different regions within the EU might be able to learn from each other. 

Alexis Poulin of EIT Digital at TechChill 2018

Alexis Poulin of EIT Digital on upcoming Latvian investmentsMike Collier/LSM

And no Latvian IT event would be complete without hearing from legendary tech journalist Juris Kaža who shared his take on TechChill with LSM, noting how it has grown rapidly from a minor date on the business calendar to a major deal in more ways than one, and how it serves a useful purpose in airing the major tech topics in public, whether that be Blockchain, Bitcoin or whatever the Next Big Thing is.

Juris Kaza on TechChill 2018Mike Collier/LSM

You can continue to follow the full TechChill agenda and live streams via the official website HERE.

A pitch in progress at TechChill 2018


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