Latvia: Regional commitment for worldwide success?

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esi: Who are you, what do you do and what makes you an expert on your start-upcountry?
Arturs: I am start-up enthusiast and co-founder of StartupLatvia, which is dedicated to boosting and supporting the local start-up community through our StartupLatvia Silicon Valley Missions, co-working space StartupLatvia Innovation and our Accelerator programme. I had the chance to work hand in hand with the best start-up community experts in Silicon Valley for more than a year, thus I gained unique skills and contacts that I can use to support Latvian companies.

esi: What is cool about your start-upcountry, what inspires you and keeps you thriving?
Arturs: We are a small and modest country where people are honest and humble. There are companies here making products used world-wide but people still stay simple and keep their love towards their home country. Also we are a growing community still experimenting with technology and different approaches, which gives us the freedom of mind that global start-up hubs are starting to lack over time.

esi: What makes you shake your head about your start-upcountry, what needs to be improved?
Arturs: There is still a lack of collaboration between young start-uppers and experienced business professionals.  Lack of experienced mentoring in many cases makes companies fail because of entrepreneurial inexperience of the team not because of the product. IT start-ups are glorified as face of the culture although many great products and success stories come from other, more scientific fields. Of course lack of experienced Angel investors and Venture Capitalists willing to take the risk of investing in start-ups are pushing companies to develop their business outside the country. Moreover our people are still underestimating the significance of failure. After one fail this person will never regain trust of his peers and investors again.

esi: What’s some cool fact we are likely not to know about your start-upcountry?
Arturs: Latvia has always been the place of origin of many global innovations you most likely never knew were developed here. For example Minox photo camera was developed and produced in Latvia.

esi: Thank you for the interview.

Arturs Zanderson StartupLatvia edited

About the interviewpartner: Bild: Arturs Zanderson StartupLatvia_edited.jpg
Arturs Zanderson is Co-founder of StartupLatvia, an IT- and high-tech-accelerator.