TechChill will be hosting founders, investors and entrepreneurs in Riga at the annual event that traditionally launches the startup season.
The event, which started out as a small meetup with just a few people under the TechCrunch Baltics brand in 2012, is expecting 1,000 people to be in attendance, which is double the number of last year, with an impressive speaker lineup, two days of agenda and several side events.
"The focus, however, stays the same - to share global knowledge and help startups make the right connections to move them forward," say organizers.
This year's TechChill programme will be based on three main themes across two days and two stages. On February 9, The Building Blocks of Entrepreneurship on the main stage will focus on the practical side of creating a successful business, divided into three blocks - Starting-Up Strong will deal with the essentials of great beginnings, followed by the challenges of development and scaling at Growing a Thicker Skin, and the final element - Community Culture, discussing both the importance of the community and the challenges of creating a company culture.
Day 1 speakers include Startup Sesame CEO Ben Costantini, Wix.com VP Operations Nurit Reder, Zalando SE Head of Innovation Marc Lamik, and Pirate Summit founder Till Ohrmann.
The main day on 10 February will offer an agenda on two stages. The main theme on the Highway Stage will be The Human Side of Tech divided into three parts - Tech That Solves Issues, Founder stories, and Change and Challenge.
The first block will start out with Mike Butcher talking about his passion for the TechFugees initiative, ed-tech Edurio founder Ernest Jenavs and Stephanie Kaiser from the Berlin-based health-tech startup Clue, sharing their stories of tech impact.
The next block will host very different founders from different sides of the world, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly personal stories of entrepreneurship, including Peter Halacsy, co-founder of Prezi (Hungary), Bob Tinker, co-founder of MobileIron (US), Mai Medhat, co-founder of Eventtus (Egypt) and Hanna Aase, CEO of Wonderloop (Norway).
The main stage will follow up with stories on challenge, and a panel on the Baltic ecosystem with founders from the region, such as Karoli Hindriks, co-founder of Jobbatical.
The second stage, Underground, will focus on trending products and industries in the news, such as VR, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and hardware. A highlight of the day will be Startup Funeral, honest to the bone stories of startups that suffered majestic failure, from founders who lived to tell the tale.
Gleb Maltsev, an Estonian-based entrepreneur who is a pitch trainer, and co-founder of Fundwise, took part in last year's TechChill and told LSM:
"TechChill is a leaner, more intimate Slush for the Baltics. Teams raised further funding, Deekit and BranchTrack to name a few. If everything else fails, you can practice pitching investors in the sauna, at the after-party."
The official program will close with the final pitches of the StartupWiseGuys Pitch Academy startup teams, competing for the audience’s attention and several prizes, including an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley for pre-arranged meetings.
TechChill will also feature Startup Expo, an expo of ideas and products from the most promising Baltic startup companies, as well as pre-arranged startup meetings with investors.
Nor have the organizers forgotten to lay on some entertainment, saying: "On 9 February, a pre-party will help solidify new connections, and the week will close with a massive Afterparty, as per tradition, after the closing of the TechChill official programme on 10 Feb, with an open-air sauna straight from Helsinki."
For the full agenda and more about TechChill, click HERE.