Riga SW and GSB

    Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Riga SW and GSB

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 5:00 pm

Riseba H2O 6
Udens iela 6
Riga, Latvia LV 1007

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Startup Weekend Riga 2015-2 – part of Global Startup Battle


Students - enjoy the discount: 50% OFF (limited amount!)
promotional code: STUDENT

All - enjoy 18% OFF Latvia Independence Day Discount
use promo code: INDEPENDENCE

275 Cities. Thousands of entrepreneurs. One battle. 

Founder teams in 200 cities are preparing for intense 54-hour Startup Weekend boot camps on the two weekends surrounding Global Entrepreneurship Week. Each team will work almost around the clock to turn promising concepts into new startups and compete against one another in a virtual Global Startup Battle

Powered by Startup Weekend's global facilitators and local organizers around the world, developers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts gather together for 54 hours to share ideas and launch new startups. Beginning with open pitches on Friday, attendees in dozens of cities will hone in on the most promising concepts with teams focusing on customer development, idea validation and creating a viable product. By Sunday evening, teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts–competing for prizes that help speed them to launch.

Roughly 200 cities around the world are expected to host Startup Weekend events during GEW.

Winners from each local event then compete in a virtual Global Startup Battle for various prizes. 

Go to startupweekend.org and get involved at an event near you during the weekends of November 13 - 15 or November 20 - 22.

If you can’t attend one, be sure to vote in the Global Startup Battle to help determine the winners.

[Startup Weekend] are weekend-long, hands-on experience where techs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable.

[Idea authors, developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups]

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.





Friday November 20th

5:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:30 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 21st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Jekaterina Zaiceva
Project Director at Labs of Latvia, Business development Manager at Aurum IT

Founder and Project Director of Labs of Latvia, startup community platform providing information from and about Latvian startup scene to the world. Business development Manager at Aurum IT, one of the leading Latvian IT companies. Co-organizer of Silicon Valley Comes to Baltics, 2015 in Riga. Previously has worked at Latvian Guarantee agency and Altum with designing Latvian startup ecosystem support programs and acceleration funds program funded by EU funds. She holds MBA diploma from SBS Swiss Business School and Master degree in International Finance and Banking from BA School of Business and Finance.
Passionate about finance, start-ups and talented people.

Event Judges

Janis Rancans
Co-founder and Chairman of the Board Latvian Business Angel Network (LatBAN)

Event Judge

Latvian Business Angel Network (LatBAN), Visma Latvia
FMS - Finacial Management Solutions, AS MicroLink, MicroLink Lietuva
Education :
Rīgas Ekonomikas augstskola - Stockholm School of Economics in Riga

The Latvian Business Angel Network (LatBAN) brings together highly experienced entrepreneurs - business angels - who are willing to invest their money in new and promising ventures.

Daniils Rulovs
Angel Investor and Startup Advisor

Event Judge

Daniils Rulovs is private investor, mentor to Latvian start-ups and management consultant with 15+ years prior experience in financial sector. He has experience in building and strengthening sales teams working with both Corporate (B2B) and Retail (B2C) segments. Over the last 5 years he served on the board positions and has been a member of credit committees at Swedbank, Hansa Leasing, Hipo Leasing, Swedbank Fleet Management and Hansa Insurance Broker. Daniils has been active supporter of start-up related initiatives “Commercialisation Reactor” and “Atsperiens”. He also served as adjunct associate professor at RISEBA in Entrepreneurship and International Finance. Currently he also serves as a member of the supervisory council at Balticovo

Egita Polanska
CEO, TechHub Riga

Event Judge

CEO of TechHub Riga, a co-working space for new technology startups that can meet, work, learn and collaborate. Also coordinating tech and startup conference Tech Chill Baltics in Riga. Before joining TechHub Riga worked at Techstars in Seattle and helped to run the accelerator program for 2 years. Prior Techstars Egita got experience with designing financial instrument support programs in Latvia funded by EU funds. She holds a Bachelor degree from Stockholm School of Economics in Riga.

Raimonds Kaže
Co-founder at Infogram

Event Judge

Raimonds Kaze is the co-founder and lead developer of infogr.am. Working closely with the other co-founder, Raimonds develops the application and also provides his knowledge of math and statistics.

Raimonds has been involved in web programming and Journalism for more than 10 years now.

Prior to infogr.am Raimonds worked for two years in DELFI - the biggest online news portal in Latvia, he has also worked as a web developer/designer for Dukascopy - a Forex trading company, and for Bolderaja - a chipboard producing factory.

Raimonds is fluent in Latvian, English, German and Russian and is currently learning French.

He is wildly enthusiastic about geocaching and likes to relax from programming by spending quality time outdoors.

Matiss Ansviesulis
Creator at Creamfinance.com

Event Judge

Matiss is co-founder and CEO of Creamfinance, providing personal finance products in 
emerging markets. After completing studies at Lancaster University’s Management School 
and working as a business analyst for JP Morgan in London, he and Davis joined forces to found Creamfinance in 2012 based on a vision to implement an innovative data-driven consumer finance company. Being visionary, persistent and precise, Matīss is responsible for 
business strategy development and implementation within Creamfinance.
"My mission", says Matis, " is to inspire people through entrepreneurship."
Check out more at: ansviesulis.com
For additional information about Creamfinance: creamfinance.com

Gunita Kulikovsky
Manager THE MILL Riga, Founder & CEO Go VR!

Event Judge

I am a strategic designer and curator of creative ideas and projects.Creative and rationally thinking person that knows how to get things done with continuous effect. I have worked with interdisciplinary project management in small and dynamic as well as big and strong organisations; having a global and intercultural experience. I am there when you need to kick off urban sports revolution in the city or you feel like some operations in your organisation doesent work as planned or there is projects that seems too sophisticated to even start.
My current passion is cross-disciplinary collaborations and new product development with high value added within creative industries and new technologies. The Mill Riga is one great place where both industries mingle

Janis Skutelis
Partner at FlyCap, VC Fund

Event Judge

Venture Capitalist
partner at FlyCap
Investment Fund, EUR 10+ million funding, investing in growth companies in Latvia, various industries.

Janis' Specialties: Business analysis, Valuation, Negotiations, Corporate Finance, Deal Execution, Business Development, Lecturing on start-ups and finance

Coaches and Mentors

Aigars Macins
Technical Evangelist | Microsoft Baltics

Coach on Microsoft Products  and Solutions for Startups.

Microsoft Technical evangelist for Baltics. Helping ISVs and startups to build and develop their products using Microsoft services and tehnologies, with focus on Microsoft Azure and Windows Universal (Windows 10) Apps.

Didzis Vilcans
Analytical Lead - Export @ Google

Coach on Digital Marketing

I believe that the Internet can help transform the world for better. By helping businesses and organizations to embrace the web on a daily basis, I see firsthand how Google is creating opportunities for economy, society and culture. This makes me excited to share my learnings and insights with others. Technology has changed my life for better and I want to unleash the full potential of the web to bring a positive transformative change to the world.

Uldis Apsitis
CEO at Fjord Software, Founder at Intelligent Insurance

Coach on Tech Business.

Experience with technology and business/people centric projects. Most of professional carrier spent as IT project manager that involved development team management, business requirement and IT alignment, managing business process changes arraising from IT system implementation. Last 10+ years IT projects related to insurance and finance sector, many projects with focus on financial product distribution.
Very interested in development of new ideas that brings together different industries using technology, building new distribution channels for finance products.

Aleksandrs Novozenovs
Serial Entrepreneur. Founder and CEO at AmberGames, CEO at RBK Games, COO at RBK Money

Coach on Monetization.
Leading the biggest online games company in the Baltics since 2006, managing over 100 employees in Latvia and Ukraine. Launched successful game projects, distributed in more than 21 countries. Received a Master's degree in IT with additional experience in finance field. Has in depth knowledge of international online marketing, sales, strategic business development, especially in Russian and CIS markets.

Alexey Buzdin
Mobile developer / Trainer at C.T.Co

Coach on Mobile UX/UI.

Passionate Java and Mobile developer.  Currently into JVM related languages, cross platform mobile solutions, as well as code best practices and automation testing.
Google Developers Group Riga organizer.

Anton Adamovitch
Hi-Technology Science-Based Venture Entrepreneur. CEO of Conelum, a Bio-tech startup.

Coach on Business Model Canvas. 

Chosen for TOP 100 for New Europe 100 project - a list of outstanding challengers and for Forbes Top 30 list of promising Entrepreneurs, who are under 30, Anton is a Hi-Technology Science-Based Venture Entrepreneur, who is building his own startups, focused on science and true innovations.

With his educational background of Infection Biology, which he received at the University of Glasgow, he is also an alumnus of the prestigious Skolkovo Startup Academy
With such an experience, it’s clear about him being passionate about Science-Based startups, which have currently raised over 0,5 mln Euros at different stages. 

Anton is a CEO at Conelum Biotech and is also co-founder of other Science-based startups, who is actively working his companies’ way to the top,

Raitis Linde
Lead UI/UX Designer at C.T.Co

Coach on UX/ UI

Raitis is an IT Product Designer who is passionate about creating products that are aesthetically pleasing, functional and useful. He has been designing web and mobile productivity tools for Fortune Global 500 enterprises and start-ups.

Thomas Schmit
Founder/Partner at Enixus and Accelerace Life

Coach on Pitching

Tom Schmit has been a problem solving consultant for international growth companies including technical oriented companies, IT top ten and call centers. Recently he has been part of an international team of mentors in the Accelerace Life life sciences business accelerators. Tom has developed >10 pipeline teams and coached university based and private high potential companies. He keeps teams focused on next steps and he constantly challenges his teams to test their assumptions by talking to customers.



Dennis Belajevs
VP Digital Marketing at www.bookinggroup.com Co-founder at StartupLatvia.eu

Coach on Business and Traffic

Dennis studied electrical engineering, IT and telecommunications at the Riga Technical University and have been working in Industry, Energy and ICT in the Nordics and Baltics for the last 20 years, first as Sales Engineer (1993), then as Department Manager (1995-2000), then as Director and Business Development Director and Product manager for various clients including himself.
Since 2012 Denis joined Latvian Tech Startup Ecosystem as entrepreneur, mentor, advisor and acceleration program tutor. 
2010 started new ventures.
2013 co-organized Commercialization Reactor events
2013 co-organized Latvian startup missions to Silicon Valley, USA
2014 co-organized 1st ever Startup Weekend in Riga
2014 Growth Hacker (VP Marketing) at Global Latvian car rental startup Booking Group economybookings.com eavtoprokat.ru global car rental Affiliate Partner Program coordinator

Peter Marculans
Global Program Manager, Startup Next at Techstars

Peter helps startups get prepared for accelerators and seed investors via Startup Next, a pre-acceleration program of Techstars. In his role Peter spent over a year in the US and gained invaluable insights into how startups are built and funded in the States. Currently he works with entrepreneurs and investors from all around the world, while having more experience and being more connected in Europe and the US.

Peter has a wide range of experience working with early stage startups and his specialties include Customer Development, Business Models and Fundraising.

Artis Kehris
Head of Advertising Sales at Ask.fm

Coach on Business Development and Monetization

Artis is a business and sales developer with extensive experience in monetizing publisher sites and apps on a global level via advertising. His expertise covers international programmatic ad sales, strategic business partnerships, connecting technologies, new product development and start-up environment. 
Since 2012 Artis leads the worldwide desktop and mobile ad sales in more than 100 countries for Ask.fm - a global Q&A social network with 165 million registered users and 150 million unique visitors per month.

Prior to joining Ask.fm Artis co-founded a rich media vendor company and participated in Europe’s leading start-up accelerator programmes in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. 
Has also worked for advertising agencies Bates and Ogilvy.

Davis Paipa

Davis is the Co- founder of Ovi Watch, and other projects well known internationally and locally. Winner of a multiple Startup Weekend events globally.  
Winner of Entrepreneurship award in East Africa  
Davis specializes in pitch performance and business models development.

Reinis Znotins
Operations Manager at Techstars

Operations Manager at Startup Next #1 pre-acceleration program in the World, a program of Techstars. 
Business development advisor at Exonicus. 
Two-time facilitator of Startup Weekend.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Riga SW and GSB team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.


Our Financial Partner, The Latvian Development Finance Institution


Contributing Sponsor

"Spread The Word" Partners

Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Riga is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Dennis
  • Reinis
  • Larisa
  • Girts


Anca Albu
Social Architect @ CEE Changers

Anca had a crucial role in the Startup Weekend core team since 2010, and as their Central and Eastern Europe Regional Manager, she was one of the most instrumental people in setting ablaze the startup revolution that engulfed the region. As the founder of CEE Changers, she is currently working on creating and growing the global startup community, focusing on post-communist countries and the way cross-sector collaboration and shared values can create a collective impact in the East-Central European region.


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