How we did in 2017?

‣ The festival was attended by 35% more participants than last year – 1367 (including 115 conference speakers, 165 startup businesses, 45 investors, 647 corporate representatives, 60 media representatives, 50 volunteers etc.) from 36 countries. 58% of festival attendees were men, 42% – women.

‣ The festival goal was to attract women for at least 50% of conference speakers. This year the festival came closer to this mark with women making up 35% of speakers.

‣ Among conference speakers there was 1 cyborg, 1 monk, the most popular Finnish Youtuber, who’s Youtube channel has more than 1.7 million followers and 300 million views. One conference presentation took place in virtual reality.

‣ The festival was held on 6 stages.

‣ The conference live broadcast was viewed more than 9000 times on the Shortcut website and application.

‣ Five startup competitions were held during the festival. In the competition organised by world leading startup accelerator 500 Startupsin cooperation with Microsoft Latvia the final winners were Latvian businesses DigiPulseandCENOS, who received an invitation to participate in the final round of talks for the next accelerator batch in Silicon Valley, and the opportunity to gain knowledge, funding and support tools valued at more than 100 000 USD. In turn Dutch accelerator Rockstart competition winners were Let’s Enhance from Estonia. During the festival the Latvian Business Angel Network(LatBAN), the European innovation initiative Climate- Kic and EstLat Accelerate also held startup competitions.

‣ The most popular attendee names were – Ieva and Jānis.

Speakers ’17


Shira Abel (USA)

CEO of Hunter & Bard


Shira Abel is the CEO of Hunter & Bard (H&B), a marketing and branding agency that works with fast growing, revenue generating SaaS companies on building their brand, awareness, lead generation and thought leadership.

Shira is also a sought after Corporate Speaker – and has spoken at AdRoll, Axa Tech, Allianz, eToro and more. A thought leader in the startup marketing space, Shira works with companies to build and implement smart marketing strategies and build online communities that grow companies.

Shira has experience speaking worldwide at conferences on marketing for startups, judging competitions, teaching marketing for startups, and mentoring at several startup accelerators.

She also works with companies to build the marketing into the product. MBA from Kellogg School of Management.


Stephanie Alys (UK)

Co-Founder at MysteryVibe


Stephanie is a Co-Founder and Chief Pleasure Officer (CPO) of MysteryVibe, an award-winning British pleasure brand. As CPO, Stephanie is focused on changing perceptions around pleasure in a positive and empowering way.

A strong advocate that pleasure is a beautiful part of the human experience, and fundamental to our happiness, Stephanie is MysteryVibe’s spokesperson on the role of technology within sex and relationships.

She has been featured in major publications such as the BBC, The Times, Guardian, Economist, CNBC, TechCrunch and WIRED and regularly appears as a keynote speaker on international stages.


Anna Andersone (LV)

Founder at Be-With, Board Member of Riga TechGirls


Anna Andersone started off her career in the advertising agency McCann-Erickson Riga after graduating Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. In 2008 she started a graphic design studio HungryLab and together with Sandijs they Co-founded a website engine berta.me that became a successful web builder internationally.

In 2012, the web design market had changed and partners decided to found FROONT, a web design tool for professional designers, to ease the process of communication between designers and developers and website building. FROONT went through acceleration in Startup Sauna, pitched twice on SLUSH and was one of the top 4 finalists pitching on the big stage in 2013. FROONT raised 3 rounds of investment and is currently a global company with most users in the US.

Anna is TechHub Riga board member since 2013. In 2014 Anna founded and ran THE MILL – co-working space for designers and developers in the heart of Riga – and in 2015 Anna initiated and is part of the core team at Riga TechGirls – an NGO focusing on inspiring and educating girls and women in the tech field.

Anna is devoting a significant amount of time and energy to sharing her experience and mentoring. She is guest lecturing at SSE Riga, active member of the Mentor Club and talking on her experience on multiple seminars, workshops and events for new business creators and students.


Peter Arvai (USA)

Co-Founder and CEO Prezi


Peter has spent the last 10 years building products that help people make better decisions. As CEO and co-founder of Prezi, a fast-growing startup based in San Francisco and Budapest with over 85 million users and 300 employees worldwide. Prezi’s community is challenging the status quo of how to be understood and remembered in a world that is increasingly crowded with data but lacking insight. Prezi’s platforms are specifically designed to help improve communication and understanding between a presenter and the audience.

Peter is also very involved with establishing organizations that promote entrepreneurship and diversity in Hungary and beyond. For example, Peter is the chairman and co-founder of Bridge Budapest, an organization that has shared 5 million stories of inspiration every year. The “We Are Open” initiative, co-founded by Peter, has built a community of nearly 1000 companies that are now committed to diversity and openness in the workplace.

Peter has won numerous awards since founding the company, including European Web Entrepreneur of the Year and the Europas European Tech Startups award for Best Startup Co-Founders. He was ranked number 11 on the 2016 OUTstanding & Financial Times Leading LGBT Executives List of 100.  

In his spare time, Peter enjoys prodding fellow colleagues to join him at yoga and meditation classes. Additionally, he’s the go-to cultural translator at Prezi, having lived and worked in Japan, Sweden, Hungary, Singapore and US.


Moojan Asghari (FRA)

Founder of Silk Road Startups, Co-Founder at Startup Sesame


Moojan is a Tech entrepreneur and community advocate. She is the Co-Founder of a Paris based company called Startup Sesame, which is a curated network of Tech conferences.

Passionate about everything that impacts societies to drive positive change, she is the initiator of Women in AI, a global network of women experts and influencers in Artificial Intelligence, for the goal of closing the gender gap in this field.

Originally from Iran, she is the founder of Silk Road Startup, which is the first international startup conference in Iran aiming at opening the Iranian Tech market to the world and solving local problems.


Arvils Ašeradens (LV)

Minister for Economics of the Republic of Latvia and the Deputy Prime Minister


Arvils Aseradens is the Minister for Economics of the Republic of Latvia and the Deputy Prime Minister since February 2016.

From 1990 to 2009, he worked as the Director of the leading Latvian daily newspaper Diena and the Chairman of the Board of Diena. He also was the Chairman of the Board of the leading Latvian business newspaper Dienas bizness. For 19 years, he worked as a Member and the Chairman of the Board, as well as the Vice President of Latvian Press Publishers Association. Arvils Aseradens also was a Board Member of World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. He entered politics in 2010.

In 2007, the 5th Class Order of Three Stars was awarded to Arvils Aseradens.


Krists Avots (LV)

Director of Business Development at Lattelecom


Director of Business Development; at Lattelecom Krists is working to bring new IoT services to the market as well as exploring synergies between telcos and startups. He is an active startup community member as an organizer, facilitator and mentor at Garage48 hackathons, various bootcamps and accelerator programs.


Adam Back (UK)

Ph.D, Co-Founder and CEO at Blockstream


Dr. Adam Back is the inventor of hashcash (used in Bitcoin mining) and Co-Founder and CEO of Blockstream. Adam has worked on e-cash protocols since 1995. He was an architect and cryptographer at Zero-Knowledge Systems, and a consultant to companies such as Nokia and VMware.
Adam holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Exeter.

Laura Belevica (USA)

Creative Entrepreneur


Laura Belevica is a Latvian artist, architect, illustrator, storyteller and creative entrepreneur, based in Los Angeles, California. She studied art, economics and business administration in Riga, Latvia, earned a Masters of Architecture in the US, with additional studies in Finland and Japan, and spent most of the past decade living and working as an architect in Shenzhen, China. 
She enjoys collaboration and her built work spans different scales – from commercial interiors and playground structures, to exhibit design at National Art Museum in Latvia and office buildings and large scale urban environments in China. It has been exhibited, published and awarded in the US, UK, EU, China and Japan.
Whether an illustration, set design in VR, installation, building or landscape, Laura approaches every creative project by first exploring the underlying essence that ties the work with deeper aspects of the human condition. She brings to bear a strong interdisciplinary and collaborative professional experience.
As a busy mother of three, she is a passionate advocate of work-life balance. Nature is a primary inspiration in her work. 

Līga Bernāte (LV)

Psychologist and Psychotherapist at Family Centre Līna


Liga gained her  work experience as psychologist working in governmental, nongovernmental and private sectors and now she works as clinical psychologist and psychotherapist at Family Centre Līna, where she passionately works with preschool and  elementary school age kids, families and adults. Therefore she is the most proficient in solving family and life balance issues.



Arvydas Bložė (LT)

Investment Manager at Practica Capital, CEO at Startup.lv


Arvydas is an investment manager at an early stage VC fund Practica Capital and CEO at accelerator Startup.lt. In addition to primary roles, involved in ecosystem building activities from policy, mentorship, advise and other initiatives. Overall experience encompasses 3 years working with VC and accelerator and 10 years in investment banking.
Arvydas has originated and executed 3 and and currently is monitoring 19 investments as investment manager with total capital deployed around 4m EUR.
Involved in 10 successful M&A transactions with an aggregate value of 500m EUR in the Baltic region.

Paul Bragiel (USA)

Founder of Bragiel Brothers


Paul Bragiel is a 3 time entrepreneur that is the Founder of Bragiel Brothers, an early stage fund in Silicon Valley. He also sits on the advisory board of the car-sharing service Uber.

Collectively he’s invested in the seed rounds of 200+ companies which includes holdings in other billion dollar companies like Unity & Zappos.

In addition to his work in US he has started regional funds in Africa (savannah fund) & Asia (golden gate ventures) and vertical funds in gaming (game founders) & VR (presence).

Outside of work, he skis for the Colombia National Cross-Country Ski Team where he just recently competed in the 2017 World Championships in Finland.


David Braun (DE)

CEO and Founder of DASHR


David Braun is an award-winning extreme-sports athlete, Entrepreneur, UI/UX Designer and Mentor.

His passion for running which started when he was a little boy growing up in Kenya, lead him to create DASHR, a sports app that connects runners.

The venture-backed startup was one of the winning teams to be selected for TechnoGym’s first cycle of its Wellness Accelerator.

Being at the fore-front of the sports tech world, he is also working with the grandsons of Adi Dassler on a new sports accelerator in Berlin.

Having a pay-it-forward mentality, David dedicates considerate amounts of his time towards helping, advising and mentoring other startups and aspiring entrepreneurs and is a mentor at LeAD Sports Accelerator and Startupbootcamp Digital Health.


Eamonn Carey (HK)

Venture Partner at Zeroth AI


Eamonn Carey an early stage investor, advisor and board member. Most recently, Eamonn was the MD at Techstars Connection in partnership with AB InBev program in New York, and is currently a board member and advisor at Lingvist and venture partner at Zeroth AI in Hong Kong.

Eamonn is a regular speaker at conferences around the world – including SXSW, Mobile World Congress, Slush, Pioneers, Tech Open Air, the Pirate Summit, Arabnet, GITEX, the Global Apps Summit, the Mobile Games Forum, National Digital Media Summit, CultureTech, Liverpool Sound City and many others.


Viesturs Celmiņš (LV)

Social Anthropologist


Viesturs Celmiņš is a social anthropologist who studies the relationship between infrastructure, public space and communities in cities.

During 2013/2014 he organised “The City Seminar” at Cambridge University. During 2015/2016 participated in the creation of the Baltic Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, and since 2016 is one of the architecture programme directors for the Riga Technical University International Summer School.

Viesturs was a Fulbright scholar at the New School University (NYC, 2005) and is currently a ESRC doctoral student at Cabridge University.


Scott Cohen (UK)

Co-Founder of the Cyborg Nest


Scott Cohen Co-Founded the Cyborg Nest with Liviu Babitz in early 2016.  On December 14, 2016, they became the first people to permanently attach the North Sense by inserting two titanium rods in their chests and attaching a circuit board, compass, vibrating mechanism and battery encased in water proof silicone.

Scott Cohen is the co-founder of digital distribution pioneer The Orchard.  The Orchard is the world’s leading distributor of music, film and video with operations in 30 global territories.  As a well-recognized public speaker and lecturer, Scott travels the world evangelizing new business models for the digital age.

Scott is a human rights activist and strict vegan.  No meat, fish, cheese, milk, honey, leather, wool or anything else derived from an animal.



Raph Crouan (UK)

Managing Director & Founder at Startupbootcamp IoT London


Raphael is a Senior Adviser, Investor (Undagrid / Beasts of Balance) & International Speaker with a background in Sales, Marketing & Strategic Business Development (Telecom, Apple).

He’s now the Founder & CEO of the Startupbootcamp IoT Program based in London.

He’s also a Founding Board Member & Chair for the SMEs in the AIOTI (Alliance for IoT Innovation) at the European Commission, an adviser to MakerWharf, a Founding Board Member of the French IoT Think Tank & a Founding & Advisory Board member of the UK French Tech Hub.


Flora Coleman (UK)

Government Relations at TransferWise


Experienced government relations specialist with a demonstrated history of working in technology and financial services.

Strong political communications professional skilled in crisis management, public affairs, elections, regulatory change and corporate social responsibility.

In addition, Flora has experience in UK politics, having worked as a political adviser in Parliament.


Andrii Degeler (NL)

Head of Brand and Community at Rockstart


Andrii Degeler is the head of brand and community at Rockstart and recovering journalist with ten years of experience in writing about technology, entrepreneurship, and internet business for local and international publications.

His stories appeared in The Next Web, Ars Technica, VentureVillage, the Kyiv Post, and many others. Andrii holds a master’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where he wrote a thesis about editorial structure of major online tech news websites.


Alix Fox (UK)

Journalist, broadcaster, sex educator


She jokes that she has more Slashes in her job description than there are at a Guns N’ Roses tribute band convention, yet manages to achieve her trademark “decent indecency” at everything she takes on. Fox presents The Guardian’s groundbreaking sex& relationships real-life storytelling podcast Close Encounters and is resident X-rated agony aunt on The Modern Mann.

Her writing and video work can be found in The Guardian, Stylist, Marie Claire, Grazia, Glamour, Fabulous, Cosmo, Vogue, Time Out, LOOK and more.

Shortlisted for Women of the Future 2017 in the Media category, Alix works as a sex& Relationships Expert for Durex; is a proud Ambassador for Brook, the sexual health advisory charity; and is a spokesperson for Japanese adult firm TENGA and UK high-street chemist Superdrug.

She frequently pops up on TV like a neon mushroom. A former editor of alternative culture magazine Bizarre for many years, she began by specialising in covering extreme fetishes, subcultures and body modification, but now works with many mainstream outlets too, discussing topics from the mild to the wild, always with compassion and a view to advancing understanding, acceptance and people’s positive interactions with one another and themselves.

She’s currently preparing her first novel with Penguin. 


Diana Gabrielyan (UK)

Investment Adviser for Baltics at Department for International Trade


Diana works as an investment advisor for Baltics at the UK Department for International Trade. Based in Tallinn at the British Embassy,  she works with companies of any size and from any sector all over the Baltics, helping them to expand and invest in the UK.


Jūlija Gifford (LV)

Co-Founder at Truesix


Julia Gifford is a Canadian-born tech enthusiast and Latvian startup advocate. She’s the editor of Labs of Latvia and runs her own content marketing agency, Truesix.

Paula Gould (IS)

Principal at Frumtak Ventures


Paula Gould is Principal at Frumtak Ventures in Reykjavik, Iceland, leading international growth, brand and marketing initiatives across the Frumtak Ventures portfolio.

She has extensive experience working with startup and growth companies from the US, Israel and Iceland on brand, business development, marketing and public relations strategies internationally.

Prior to joining Frumtak Ventures, Paula was CMO of Greenqloud, which was acquired by NetApp in 2017.

She served on the Board of Directors of Icelandic company CLARA when it was acquired by Jive Software in 2013. In addition to serving companies as a Board Director, CEO and CMO, Paulaowned PEG PR, a boutique PR firm at the intersection of IT and entertainment, where she advised and nurtured the growth of clients ranging from social media, video and gaming platforms to a fuel cell manufacturer and notable award-winning artists.


Evija Goluba (LV)

Assistant Political Officer at Embassy of Sweden in Riga


Political scientist, Assistant Political Officer at the Embassy of Sweden in Riga and Executive Director at Latvian Debate Association “QUO Tu domā?”.

For more than five years she has worked in private sector, but for more than ten in the field of non-governmental organisations. She holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Latvia. Additionally, she has studied at the Uppsala University, Sweden.

Evija has been in charge of national and international projects in organisations like the Transparency International – Latvia (Delna) and The Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation (LAPAS).


Olga Barreto-Goncalves (LV)

Chief Startup Instigator at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia


Olga holds BSc from Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and MSc from Norwegian School of Economics. She has also completed several MBA courses in Innovative Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Conflict Resolution at the Asian Institute of Management.

Her career started in investment banking and over time deviated towards developmental work, social entrepreneurship and startups. Olga lead Social Actions team at ASSIST Asia (Philippines) – an international NGO which works with Asian Development Bank and various UN agencies on projects related to renewable energy, digital technologies for development and youth leadership, among others.

She also co-managed a Singapore-based IIX Impact Accelerator programme for social startups in the Philippines. Olga helped pioneering design thinking approach at Microsoft Asia.

In late 2016, she returned to her home country and in May 2017 accepted a new challenge – Chief Startup Instigator at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia. In this capacity, she seeks to support Latvia-based startups, thus placing the country on the global startup map.


Jānis Graubiņš (LV)

Co-Founder and CEO at Notakey


Janis is Co-Founder and Head of Business Development at cybersecurity company Notakey. Prior to that Janis worked at London based multi-award winning Innovation Studio Unit9.

His clients included such brands as McLaren, Skanska and William Hill.


Toms Grēviņš (LV)

DJ and Content Manager at Radio 5


Since the beginning of the century Toms Grevins has been the leading and best known radio presenter in Latvia. Along with his work as a music journalist, Grevins has developed a distinct handwriting in DJing, being one of the few mash-up producers and DJs in Baltics. After numerous years hosting the hottest parties on festivals and the each and every club one can find you can now hear Grevins voice and his opinions each morning on his breakfast show on national Radio 5.
He is the main Producer of latvian version of “Serious Request” radio charity marathon which recently has been awarded with European Citizen’s prize by the European parliament.

Juris Gulbis (LV)

Chairman of Management Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lattelecom


Juris was appointed to the Board of Lattelecom on January 1, 2007, when he joined the company as Chief Financial Officer.

Juris Gulbis began his career in 1994 as a junior accountant at Coopers & Lybrand in Riga, Latvia and continued in London UK, where he obtained qualification of certified accountant. On return to Latvia he held several finance and management positions in various FMCG companies.

His first important executive appointment was in 2001 as a Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the largest bottler and distributor of alcoholic beverages in the Baltic States – Latvijas Balzams.

After that, Gulbis served as executive director of the S.P.I. Group SA, a producer and distributor of alcoholic beverages headquartered in Switzerland and Cyprus.

Gulbis holds degrees in Civil Engineering (Road, Bridge and Airport design and construction) and Production logistics management from the Riga Technical University. He has attended Advanced Executive Management Program at INSEAD in France and Singapore.

Gulbis is a member of Council of Employers’ Confederation of Latvia. He is also a board member of Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association. He also serves as a member of Advisory Panel of Riga Technical University and Riga Banking School. He is also a member of the National Economic Council and the Chairman of the Competitiveness Committee.


Gaute Hagerup (NO)

Global Manager at Smart Cities and Societies, Innovation Norway


Gaute is Innovation Norways global manager for smart city initiatives. He focuses on accelerating smart city initiatives in Norwegian cities, and assisting city leaders in creation of innovative eco-systems.

He is the Co-Founder of the Norwegian network of Smart Cities. Gaute has several years of experience in international business development. Prior to that he was recently the manager of Innovation Norways office in Madrid.

He holds a masters degree from Warwick Business School UK, and BI Busniess School Oslo.


Ernests Jeņavs (LV)

CEO and Co-Founder of Edurio


Ernests Jenavs is the Co-Founder of Edurio, an Edtech startup, helping over 600 schools globally improve their education quality.

Previously Ernest was a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company in London. He has also been an innovation expert for the European Commission and angel investor and advisor for a number of UK and Latvian startups.


Dean Johnson (UK)

Head of Innovation at Brandwidth


Dean is an accomplished design leader, writer, presenter and tech pundit and his team at Brandwidth is shaping the future for the Automotive, Publishing, Music, Film, Education and Leisure sectors.

Dean is a Fellow and the former VP of The Chartered Society of designers and a mentor for the fashion tech incubator Front Row I/O. Brandwidth has been responsible for designing and creating some of the world’s most dynamic mobile experiences, from ‘The Doors’, ‘Doctor Who Encyclopedia’ and ’Star Wars Scene Maker’ apps, to ‘Led Zeppelin: Sound and Fury’, ‘Saving Mr Banks’ and ‘Maleficent’ multi touch books. Mobile is also wearable and this provides the next interactive playground. With many of Brandwidth’s SmartWatch, VR and AR projects still behind closed doors, it’s time to unleash a few.

Dean was a finalist in the 2014 Shorty Awards, presents the ‘Gadgetarium’ on the Dadsaster podcast, is Inspector Gadget on Nikki Bedi’s BBC London 94.9 show, writes for Computer Arts, iCreate, Apps Magazine and his own blog www.activrightbrain.com and wrote the number 1 Multi-Touch book ‘Digital Publishing: The Next Steps’.


Tālis Juhna (LV)

Vice-rector at Riga Technical University


Talis Juhna is Vice-Rector for Research at Riga Technical University. He also holds PhD. in Water Technology from Luleå University of Technology. He is among the Top 10 Latvian researchers of 2013, as listed by “Ir” magazine.

Dr. Juhna’s research about the pathogenic microorganisms that can not be detected with cultivation methods but are still present alive in the drinking water supply networks is among the most read in the journals of the American Society for Microbiology.


Jevgeņijs Kazaņins (LV)

P2P Platform Lead at TWINO


Jevgenijs is responsible for the development of the investment platform at TWINO, the fastest growing marketplace lending platform in Europe.

Prior to joining TWINO, Jevgenijs served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Bondora, a cross-border marketplace lending platform for investing in European personal loans, where he led company’s efforts on the acquisition of new borrowers and lenders.

Jevgenijs graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga with the B.Sc. degree in Economics and Business Administration and worked in Tallinn, Moscow and New York throughout his career.


Agnese Kleina (LV)

Founder and Editor in Chief of bookazine Benji Knewman


Founder and Editor in Chief of first English-Latvian bookazine Benji Knewman and head of communications of Mukusala Art Salon and the forthcoming art center Zuzeum.
Believes that art has to be part of one’s daily life or it’s not fun.

Ainārs Kļaviņš (LV)

Founder of Overly


Ainars Klavins is Founder of Overly – first and only company in Baltics that is focusing on Augmetned reality and its development. As AR and VR are going very closely, company is also working on many VR solutions.


Manuel Koelman (DE)

Co-Founder at PIRATE.global


Manuel is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and chairman of Pirate.global. He is building companies since more than 14 years and has experienced the entrepreneurial rollercoaster first-hand.

Pirate.global connects the startup ecosystem and organizes e.g. the Pirate Summit, the “craziest startup conference in Europe”.

He is known for its curated, authentic and somewhat unusual startup events and parties. In 2016 Pirate.global organized more than 80 events globally with more than 10.000 attendees.

Because of his vast startup experience Manuel is a sought-after advisor to corporates. He helps them understand technological disruption and startup dna and supports them in preparing for digital transformation.Manuel also invests as an angel investor in startups. His main investment focus is in tech-focused very early stage companies in the AI space.


Karīna Kulberga (LV)

Head Of Private Banking at Swedbank Latvija


After graduating Stockholm School of Economics in Riga Karina spent her first 10 years of professional career in investment banks specializing in corporate finance & M&A area. She started as an analyst in LHV Investment bank and progressed to Associate Partner position at Icelandic Behrens boutique bank.

Karina has been the CEO of international Law school – the Riga Graduate School of Law for three years as well as the Council member of the Latvian Judicial Training centre.

Karina used the three months she spent living in San Francisko to complete an executive course at Stanford University. And finally after returning to Riga she has taken up the challange to lead the Private Banking team of As Swedbank Latvia.


Gunita Kuļikovska (LV)

Founder of Vividly


Gunita’s background lays in architecture, urbanism and urban strategies. She is a member of Forbes’ 30 under 30 and a TEDx speaker.

Archipreneur has also given her praise, as she was proclaimed one of seven most inspiring female entrepreneurs in field of architecture. Since 2016, she and her partners established startup company Vividly embracing VR as new medium for building better cities.

Vividly is well recognized on world XR map with expertise in real-time WebVR solutions. Company started in 2016 as a frontier in architecture and design industry empowering projects like NY Affordable Housing Challenge, Rail Baltica Riga Station and Expo Astana.

The eager to build global business on emerging technology lead to acceleration in Startup Sauna, Helsinki and Slush 100 companies list.


Risto Kuulasmaa (FIN)

CEO and Co-Founder of Tubecon


Risto Kuulasmaa is a prolific entrepreneur and executive in media and startups. He is the Co-Founder and CEO at Tubecon the leading influencer event organiser in Europe. The latest Tubecon event in Helsinki gathered 17 500 visitors. Tubecon network is currently active in Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain and extending to several new European markets in 2018.

In his keynote Risto shares his hands-on approach answering to the following questions: Why YouTubers and Influencers are the game changer in media and marketing? What it takes to master Influencer marketing? Why community matters?

Outside of work, Risto travels with his camera and serves as a board member at UNICEF Finland.


Uldis Leiterts (LV)

Co-Founder of Digital Freedom Festival and Infogr.am, Entrepreneur


Uldis is someone who doesn’t believe it until he’s seen it. A passionate photographer, Uldis has traveled to over 50 countries around the world, which included trekking across Iran (twice), and reaching the summit of Asia’s largest volcano the Damavand.

Uldis is an experienced and awarded entrepreneur, designer, and co-founder of distinguished startups such as Attitude.ai, a conversational interfaces for marketing automation, and Infogr.am, an interactive data visualization tool. He’s mentored startups in several regions as part of the Pirate Summit and Pioneer Festival.


Dagnija Lejiņa (LV)

Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Freedom Festival


Dagnija is a passionate communications professional with a special interest in technologies, startups and community engagement. In addition to creating the Digital Freedom Festival, she is a Co-Founder of the boutique reputation management company Lejiņa and Šleiers, and is a Co-Founder of Riga Venture Summit and the Latvian Startup Association.

In the past, Dagnija has led communications at the largest Nordic bank in Latvia – Nordea, also coordinating communications in Poland and the Baltic countries. She has gained experience in public affairs while serving as Press Secretary and Communications Advisor to the Latvian Foreign Minister.

Whether it’s hiking in the Himalayas or exploring the thick jungles of southeast Asia, Dagnija has never denied a challenge and aims to push herself to unknown horizons. At the same time she looks for ways that she can help others to achieve their goals by connecting people and building purpose driven communities.


Marvin Liao (US)

Partner at 500 Startups


Marvin is a Partner at Micro Venture Capital Fund 500 Startups, running the SF based accelerator program as well as investing in Seed stage start ups. He Invests in Digital Media, Enterprise SAAS, Marketplace, Mobile, AdTech/MarketingTech, Digital Health, Internet of Things & Fintech startups.

Formerly an experienced client-facing senior executive in the media and technology space in both large and start up growth companies, having managing large multifunctional teams across multiple countries.

He has P&L management experience and most recently responsible for 100% YoY revenue growth while running a business unit and building new sales channels in EMEA & the Emerging Markets regions for the last ~4 years at Yahoo!.

A 10.5 year veteran of Yahoo! Inc., Marvin has held roles in the various departments of Sales, Business Development, Ad Operations and Marketing. Most of his roles were regional or global management roles giving him extensive experience across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States in his career at the company.

Marvin presently serves on the boards/advisory boards of several internet advertising and ad technology companies across the globe.

A longtime fan, participant, and an observer of the digital revolution occurring for the last 15+ years across the world, he is interested in opportunities with top growth companies large and small with a focus on driving monetization and expanding into new international markets.


Bill Liao (IE)

General Partner at SOSV & Founder of Weforest


Australian entrepreneur, venture capital investor, diplomat, author and speaker with a distinguished record in the areas of business, development and community activism.

Bill is Co-Founder of the CoderDojo movement and Weforest. He is a general partner of SOSV a $300m international ​accelerator venture capital fund and a founder of their Bio-Tech practice Rebelbio.


Raitis Linde (LV)

UX Designer at Lattelecom


Raitis Linde is a seasoned digital experience designer who is passionate about creating products that are useful, usable and delightful. His background is in product design and systems analysis, and he applies co-creation and human-centered design approach as a means to exploring diverse ideas on solving messy and meaningful challenges.



Anna Joy Lowe (UK)

Co-Founder and Director of Partnerships at Smartify


Anna is CoFounder and Director of Partnerships at SMARTIFY CIC, described by New Scientist as ‘Shazam and Spotify for art’.

Previously, she managed education programmes at international museums such as Argentina’s National Gallery of Fine Art (MNBA) in Buenos Aires. Anna is a digital strategist and creative who has managed complex website design projects, communications, fundraising and event management for international arts organisations.

Anna’s focus is on understanding how the shifts taking place around immersive technologies (e.g. image recognition, Augmented Reality and AI) can provide value to visitors and staff at arts venues.

She holds an MA in Cultural and Creative Industry from King’s College London and was a Clore Emerging Leader in 2016.

She was selected as a Clore Emerging Leader in 2016, Pitch@Palace 7.0 finalist and winner of the inaugural EPFL Art Tech prize.


Merle Maigre (EE)

Director of NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence


Merle Maigre is Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. Prior to this post, Maigre worked as Security Policy Adviser to the President of Estonia 2012-2017. In this capacity she was the President’s chief advisor on domestic and international security issues, including also the developments and challenges of cyber defence.

From 2010 till 2012 she served as the Policy Adviser in the Policy Planning Unit in the Private Office of NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in Brussels.

Maigre has also worked as a researcher at the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS), where she focused primarily on Ukraine policy and development, including the security situation in Crimea. She has also served as the Deputy Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv and at the NATO Department in Estonia’s Ministry of Defence to support the country’s NATO accession. 


Pēteris Marculāns (LV)

Partner at Overkill Ventures


While still at the college, Peter co-founded Media Hint, which well surpassed a million downloads and was profitable from day 1. He also has built from scratch and managed several acceleration programs at Techstars and UP Global.

Now Peter is a Partner at Overkill Ventures – a brand new VC fund investing in pre-seed and seed stage startups across Europe.


Jean Mauris (LV)

Serial entrepreneur, CHOICE corporate innovation program founder


Worked as UI artist and art-director for ONE.LV, Delfi, Lattelecom Technologies, Mediaparks. Founded digital agency True Vision with €1M+ in revenues. Launched first startup accelerator in Latvia – Eegloo with 300K in private funding.

Co-founder and former VP product of EdTech company BranchTrack. Author and facilitator of ERGO FinTech Academy and ERGO Innovation Bootcamp.

In 2017 founded the first international corporate innovation program CHOICE.

Mentor, coach, jury member at many startup events (Garage 48, Startup Weekend, Tuusula Cityhack, sTARTUp, SSE Riga, etc.). A husband to a lovely wife and a father of 4.


Ville Miettinen (FIN)

Founder and CEO of Microtask


Ville Ilmari Miettinen is a Finnish serial entrepreneur and computer programmer. Miettinen was the Co-Founder and CTO of Hybrid Graphics, a graphics technology company acquired by NVIDIA in 2006.

Miettinen is a founding partner at Lots, one of the accelerators in the Finnish governmental Vigo Programme.

Miettinen is also the CEO and Co-Founder of the crowdsourcing technology company Microtask.


Yury Mitin (RU)

Managing Director at SKOLKOVO Business School


Yuri’s professional experience includes Executive Director at the MSU Business Incubator, he is the Co-Founder of “Mitin, Khomich and partners” LLC. He has been a radio and TV host,  as well as the author of business programs. Yuri was Head of the Education Department for the Science Park at Lomonosov Moscow State University and an Advisor to the President of Citibank, CIB, Citigroup, as well as an Account Manager at AIESEC.

He has worked in technology transfer, educational programs, business model development, the commercialisation of startups in IT, e-commerce, and BioTech. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Economy and Entrepreneurship, a Master’s degree in Innovative Economics and a Ph.D in Economics.


Milda Mitkutė (LT)

Co-Founder at Vinted


Milda Mitkutė is the Co-Founder at Vinted – the world’s largest pre-loved fashion marketplace. More than 16 million women around the world sell, buy, swap clothes they don’t wear anymore. Headquartered in Vilnius, Vinted employs 160 people. Founded as a hobby website in 2008, Vinted has raised over $60-million and is considered to be the most valuable start-up in the Baltics.


Sandris Muriņš (LV)

Blockchain strategist, ICO advisor, and Co-Founder at Iconiq Lab


Sandris is a blockchain strategist and serial entrepreneur with 7 years of business development experience.

He is a visiting lecturer in innovation and creativity at Rīgas Stradiņš University and University of Latvia Stockholm School of Economics, as well as PhD candidate in sociology.

Iconiq Lab is an Initial Coin Offer and Token Launch seed fund and accelerator. It funds, develops and accelerates the best crypto-currency, blockchain and technology startups to their own ICO.


Kathryn Myronuk (USA)

Founding Member of Singularity University at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley


Named by CNN as one of The Top 7 Tech Heroes to Watch in 2015, Kathryn Myronuk is a leading expert on exponentially growing technologies and the synthesis of the broad set of related fields of the Singularity movement.

As a founding staff member at Singularity University (SU) at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, Kathryn participated in the early formation of SU’s groundbreaking approach to experiential learning encouraging participants to shift from one field to another, sometimes on an hour-by-hour basis, creating connections to build solutions to solve global grand challenges.

She designed curriculum and worked closely with interdisciplinary and international participants and teams in all eight of SU’s 10-week programs and within SU’s many shorter programs.


Matīss Neimanis (LV)

Co-Owner at Buildit Latvia


Since 2006, he has been also managing Innovation center of University of Latvia . Together with his colleagues he has created an environment to foster technology transfer and cooperation between entrepreneurs and scientists, and has strengthened the role of University of Latvia as significant innovation partner for industry.

Since 2011, together with other enthusiasts he initiated the process to establish the Green technology incubator in Riga, that opened its doors on July 2014. It´s the only incubator with the focus on technology-intensive business ideas in Latvia.

Currently, most of his time has been spent to design accelerator Buildit Latvia,  where he is one of the Co-Founders. Buildit Latvia accelerator program will be launched on spring 2018.


Thomas Ohr (DE)

Founder and editor of EU-Startups.com


Thomas Ohr is the founder and editor of EU-Startups.com, one of Europe’s leading startup publications, which reaches more than 80,000 founders, startup enthusiasts and investors per month.

He also organizes the annual EU-Startups Summit, which will gather 750 startups and investors in Barcelona.

Before running EU-Startups (Menlo Media) as a business, Thomas worked in the German media industry for 10+ years. Till December of 2015 he served as Senior Brand Manager at one of Germany’s biggest magazine publishers.


Mikus Opelts (LV)

Co-Founder and CEO of Giraffe360


Started Giraffe Visual at age of 21 to make virtual tours a standard in real estate presentations, failed on that mission, but grew into one of the leading interactive technology providers in the Norther Europe, servicing real estate developers like NCC, YIT, CBRE and 5* Hotels like Hilton, Ritz London with cutting edge virtual reality, touch screen, 3D modeling, drone footage, virtual tour and 360 video solutions. A team of 16.

Co-founded Giraffe360 at 2015 to make virtual tours and virtual reality a standard for property sales and lettings. With spectacular engineering and programming team, they have built unique property recording camera that displays property in various digital forms, like virtual tours for VR headsets and wide angle photography.


John Paramai Dhanissaro (Supadulchai) (TH)

Theravada Buddhist monk


Monk John has received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Engineering and a PhD in Telematics. In 2005 he began designing, developing and coding a unique 42-day free self-development program. He created an online platform, which incorporates new technology to help people balance their busy lifestyle and digital behavior.

After completing his PhD, Monk John decided to become ordained as a Theravada Buddhist monk in Thailand, and was subsequently invited to join the Peace Revolution project as a meditation instructor. He has been teaching on an online meditation program and at Peace-On-Demand meditation sessions with over 5,000 people from 123 countries. He has taught in 20 Fellowship programs, as well as meditation workshops and retreats in Africa, America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean in 50 countries all together.


Daniels Pavļuts (LV)

Co-Founder of Latvian Startup Association, Trainer at Triviums


Daniels is manager and management consultant with experience in the governmental, non-governmental and business sectors, experienced in advocacy, lobbying and politics.

Obtained a Master in Public Administration (MPA) at Harvard Kennedy School in 2007. Currently, a visiting lecturer at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Board Member at ZENO Consulting and Managing Partner at Equity United Management.

Daniels has previously advised a number of foreign governments on economic development and policy, served as a Minister of Economy of Latvia, a State Secretary at a Ministry of Culture, the Head of Corporate Affairs at Swedbank Latvia, Board Member at the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and has held other senior positions.

Daniels is also a Board Member and Co-Founder of Latvian Startup Association. In parallel to his business activities Daniels was recently appointed Chairman of political party “Movement Pro!”.

Daniels has been collaborating with TRIVIUMS since 2007. He specializes in the fields of leadership, change management, negotiation and dispute resolution, organizational development and strategic planning.


Vasco Pedro (PT)

CEO and Co-Founder at Unbabel


Vasco Pedro is the co-founder and CEO of Unbabel. He has a PhD in Language Technologies from Carnegie Mellon and is passionate about creating extraordinary products with the help of talented individuals at Unbabel.

Previously he was co-founder and CEO of Bueda, co-founder of Dezine, and has served as a mentor at The Founder Institute and Beta-i, where he helps startups navigate the early stages of development, focusing on team building, technology challenges and building testable MVPs.

Vasco was also a Research Assistant Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon and an Invited Researcher and Research Assistant at the Carnegie Mellon University.


Sean Percival (USA)

Operating Partner at ‎Katapult Accelerator, ex Partner at 500 Startups


Sean is an American investor and entrepreneur from California. He has invested in over 120 startups and founded several of his own. Previously Sean was a Partner at 500 Startups, a venture fund and globally acclaimed accelerator program. He is also formerly the Founder and former CEO of Wittlebee, the kids clothing club, and Vice President of, Online Marketing atof Myspace. Sean is currently based in Oslo, Norway, but spends a fair amount of time in both Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.


Alex Petrov (LV)

CIO at Bitfury.co


Alex is Bitfury is the CIO at Bitfury.com – the leading full service Blockchain technology company.

Alex has 30+ year experience in IT as a System Analyst, optimization expert, Business stack auditor,  IT Security expert,  IT trainer, Network & communications security expert, crisis manager, risk manager, Fin-tech specialist, block-chain expert and analyst.


Maris Prii (EE)

Portfolio Manager/COO at Startup Wise Guys


Maris is taking care of corporate governance, operations, investments and legal side of portfolio management at Startup Wise Guys. I’ve been hands on involved with 6 acceleration programs for B2B SaaS startups in Tallinn, Estonia, and also in Latvia.
Proud member of Estonian startup ecosystem and Latitude59 conference team.

Stephan Reckie (USA)

Partner at Edge of Space, Inc.


Stephan is the Co-Founder of Edge of Space, a company focused on exciting space based projects including enabling STEM based access to space for students around the world. Stephan is also a member of EBAN Space’s Executive Committee, as well as the Executive Director of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Space.

He is the Co-founder and CEO of Angelus Funding, a trust- based global network of angel investors, who actively evaluate a wide range of innovative investment opportunities. Stephan serves on the board of directors of several companies and has personally made over 37 investments since 2012. Per his passion for space, he formed a key strategic partnership with CASIS in 2013, enabling the expansion of Newspace angel investments.

Prior to starting Angelus Funding, Stephan served in several international executive roles including: COO of DigiLink Software, a China-based embedded video solutions developer, and the Director of North American Sales at India-based Ittiam Systems. As the founding Director of EMEA Operations for Telogy Networks, his company was acquired for half a billion dollars by Texas Instruments.

Stephan holds Bachelor’s and Masters of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. A second generation Russian and a true native New Yorker, he is fluent in 5 languages. He enjoys travelling the world and has flown over 5.5 million miles, the equivalent of 11 moon missions. Stephan is a “professional” volunteer for several impactful organizations and an active community leader. He resides in Golden, Colorado with his family.


Mikko Revonniemi (FIN)

Co-Founder of Four Sigmatic


Mikko Revonniemi is a Co-Founder of arguably one of the trendiest superfood companies in the world today Four Sigmatic, and an adviser to various health & wellness startups in Asia, Europe & North America. He is a 3rd generation entrepreneur who learned smart working and unorthodox thinking at a very young age.

Four Sigmatic gained an enormous popularity after the legend himself Tim Ferriss endorsed it.

The past decade Mikko has lived in Asia where he founded a few businesses, competed in ultra-distance running, and joined non-profit projects in helping children with education and health.


Arnis Rītups (LV)

Philosopher, Publisher at Rīgas Laiks

Arnis Rītups (LV)


Arnis Rītups holds PhD in philosophy from KULeuven (Belgium), he specializes in Aristotle and his Greek commentators. He is also a Latvian translator of Descartes’ “Meditations on the First Philosophy”, a part-time lecturer at Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and Latvian Academy of Fine arts, publisher and editor of an intellectual magazine “Rīgas Laiks” and conversation partner of many interesting people around the world.


Stewart Rogers (UK)

Analyst-at-Large at VentureBeat


Stewart Rogers has over 25 years experience in sales, marketing, managing, and mentoring in the software and IT industries.

He is currently Analyst-at-Large at VentureBeat, where he analyzes and studies marketing technology, artificial intelligence, and virtual/mixed reality. He is also a journalist for VentureBeat, reporting the news on those same topics in addition to other emerging technologies, such as blockchain.

Prior to VentureBeat, Rogers ran a number of successful software companies and held global roles in sales and marketing for businesses in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K.

He has contributed to several sales and marketing publications and is regularly invited to speak at major tech events across the globe.


Laura Poča Rozenblūma (LV)

Head of Banking Latvia at Norvik Banka


Laura Poča Rozenblūma has more than 15 years of experience in the banking sector, has worked with both digital solutions and their creation (internet banking and the Business Network social media for entrepreneurs) and with Retail and Corporate segments and clients, as well as various business sector development, Operational Excellence projects, crisis management, and also creating a highly effective team.

Alise Semjonova (LV)

Co-Founder of Infogr.am


Alise Semjonova is the Co-Founder and Product Designer at Infogram, a data visualization platform with a mission to create and deliver tools for people to tell and understand the stories behind data.

Infogram is used by more than two million journalists, NGO activists, marketers, and educators worldwide. On May 2017 Infogram and Prezi, the visual presentation giant, joined forces to deliver most powerful tools for visual communications.

Alise has witnessed Infogram’s growth from day one while working on continuous improvements and studying overall user reaction, which spiked interest in technology acceptance and human digital product design.

Alise has background is in Graphic Design, but after her passion had grown in digital product development, she pursued attaining her Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction.

Alise’s passion for startups, entrepreneurship, technology and digital design led to co-initiating Riga TechGirls, the first community in Latvia dedicated to educating and inspiring women about technology.

Alise has been selected by Forbes as 30 Under 30 in Europe – Media (2017).


Dāvis Siksnāns (LV)

Co-Founder and CEO of Printful


Davis began his career working in IT and project management at Draugiem Group, one of Latvia’s pioneering tech companies. He’s now the CEO & Co-Founder of Printful.

Printful prints, stores, and ships t-shirts and other products for online merchants. It also offers tech solutions for merchants to automate order fulfillment, create designs, and publish new product listings. Founded in 2013 under Draugiem Group, Printful has grown exponentially every year. It currently has over 300,000 registered users, three fulfillment centers, and a team of over 300 people worldwide.

Davis’ obsession with tech began when he saved enough money to buy his first Macbook at age 13. He’s passionate about e-commerce and his ultimate goal is for Printful to become the first Latvian company to IPO on the US stock market.  


Helen Sildna (EE)

Founder of Tallinn Music Week


Helen Sildna, based in Estonia, has been a music promoter and events producer for 15 years. Having worked at Baltics’ biggest concert agency LiveNation as an international talent booker, she established her own music promotion company Musiccase in 2008, which has promoted Morrissey, Sigur Ros, Patti Smith, Feist and Regina Spektor to mention a few.

Helen is the Founder and Owner of Tallinn Music Week. Having started out as a music industry conference and showcase festival in 2009, TMW has broadened its concept further into an all-encompassing city festival, covering arts, design, technology, city space and food culture, and discussing various societal issues within its talks sessions, presentations and conference panels.

In 2016 Tallinn Music Week hosted over 1,000 conference delegates and 35,000 festival visitors, around 2000 of them international guests.

She is a board member of Music Estonia, previously also a member of former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ Think Tank.

In 2014 Helen was awarded with the Tampere Music Award at Music & Media Finland’s industry gala for Exceptional Achievements in Music Business, in 2015 she was nominated the Citizen of the Year by Estonian Ministry of Culture and in 2016 Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves awarded her the Order of White Star of IV Class for her contribution to Estonian music life and civil society.

Helen is an outspoken member of the creative community, vocal on equal rights, diversity and internationalization. In 2016 she was voted the most influential woman in Estonian culture.

Photo credit: Laura Kallasvee


James Shaw (UK)

Co-Founder and Partner at JAG Shaw Baker


James is a leading transactional venture capital lawyer, advising entrepreneurs, companies and investors through the funding life-cycle.

Since qualifying as a lawyer in 2000, James has helped entrepreneurs, high-growth technology based companies and investors navigate their way through multiple rounds of financing, growth, scale-up and ultimately exit/liquidity event.

Over the years, James has also been one of the most prolific University spin-out lawyers to life sciences companies and continues to advise on spin-out activity.

As a close adviser to many companies and investors, James is also General Counsel to the following companies like Bioven – an immuno-oncology business with a lead product in phase III trials; Mologic Limited – a point-of-care diagnostics spin-out from Alere; Grampian BioPartners – a specialist life science business angel syndicate, able to act as a micro-lead on specialist life-science deals.

James is a graduate of both St Andrews University (BSc Hons) and Edinburgh University (LLB), and, as a Scottish qualified lawyer, holds a committee position on the Society of Scottish Lawyers in London and is a Writer to Her Majesty’s Signet.

James is ranked as a recommended lawyer in the 2017 edition of Legal 500 for Venture Capital.


Tanya Soman (USA)

Venture Partner at 500 Startups


Tanya Soman is a native New Yorker and Venture Partner at 500 Startups.

She focuses on investment opportunities in the consumer space with an emphasis on retail, beauty, and fashion.

Tanya leads a beauty specialty track in 500’s Mountain View Accelerator and spends the rest of her time scouting companies globally.

Her startup experience includes operational marketing roles at AdTech startups in NYC before moving to Silicon Valley.

She holds a BS in business management from Babson College.


Elizabeth Stark (USA)

Co-Founder and CEO of Lightning


Elizabeth is CEO and Co-Founder of Lightning, a company building a programmable financial layer for the internet through instant, high volume blockchain transactions.

Further, she is an advisor to Comma.ai, a startup building autonomous driving technology using AI and machine learning, and a fellow at Coin Center, the leading digital currency policy organization. Stark previously taught at Stanford and Yale University about the internet’s impact on society, the economy, and the law, and was a visiting fellow at Yale’s Information Society Project.

Elizabeth has worked on tech policy issues for over a decade, and played an instrumental role in the Internet freedom effort that defeated SOPA/PIPA, engaging 18 million people worldwide.

Stark was a longtime researcher at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society, covering issues such as Internet censorship, digital copyright, and privacy. She also cofounded the Open Video Alliance, which promotes innovation and free expression in online video, and has collaborated with industry leaders such as Mozilla and Google.

Stark served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Stanford’s StartX and has advised numerous companies in the blockchain and decentralized technology space.

She holds a J.D from Harvard Law School.


Jia Li Tan (SG)

Market Developer at Golden Gate Ventures


Jia  enjoys and have worn multiple hats in her career; media planner, advertising sales account manager, recruiter, offshore shipbroker and executive assistant where the common denominator in her careers are: People, Connections and the Community.

Jia started to work at Golden Gate Ventures as Executive Assistant, currently her role as Market Developer for Golden Gate Ventures lets her  take on multiple hats in these few areas: Events, Partnerships and Collaborations, Marketing and Communications, Talent Sourcing for Key hires in portfolio companies and Support Business Development and Expansion into new markets.


Paulina Sygulska Tenner (UK)

Entrepreneur, angel investor, cabaret artist


Paulina is a serial entrepreneur, a TEDx speaker and a Founder of GrantTree and Treehouse. She is also a seed investor and startup mentor, often featured as women in fintech speaker and panelist. Paulina is particularly passionate about gender equality in financial services and transparency in business in general.

GrantTree started in 2010 with a purpose to help navigate – and automate – the complex world of government funding. In the last seven years the team grew organically from 2 to 35, and raised £60m for 600+ technology clients. GrantTree has also pioneered open salary scheme, and adopted holacracy.


Taavi Tammiste (EE)

Co-Founder and CEO at SIFR


Taavi is a a telecommunications engineer by education and has worked in large companies such as Ericsson and Tele2.

At Tele2 he worked with the innovation and new growth teams  where he saw his first machine learning projects and there has been no turning back since.

After that he spent two years as the Head of Data Science at an Estonian software development company called Mooncascade and is currently the CEO of SIFR, a Swedish/Estonian AI company.


Mārtiņš Vaivars (LV)

CEO of Toneboard and Co-Founder of QUO tu domā?


Martins Vaivars is the CEO of Toneboard (Techstars London ’17). Toneboard analyses human voice in phone calls to identify fraud attempts and decrease losses for financial institutions. The company can verify caller’s identity, notice a wide range of fraud risk factors as well as do credit scoring and debt collection scoring.
Before starting Toneboard, Martins was part of the team at Infogr.am (acquired by Prezi in 2017). He also used to work as a strategy consultant in the London office of L.E.K. Consulting.
Outside work, Martins is passionate about critical thinking and democracy. He has Co-Founded QUO tu domā, an NGO focused on providing argumentation, critical thinking and media literacy training for Latvian students and teachers, as well as strengthening the overall debate culture in the region.
Martins holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford.

Kaspars Vendelis (LV)

Co-Founder of biohacking.lv


Entrepreneur with health food background, who runs a project “how to live to 120”. Featured in many media outlets now is bringing together a panel – the future of foods.

Since people mainly care about food this means a discussion is – the future of us!


David Ventzel (DK)

Partner and Investment Director at Accelerace Management


David is passionate about tech startups. His journey started when he founded his first tech startup in 2006. The experience is filled with ups and downs – mistakes, loss of money, but also little victories. That’s why he decided to understand every aspect of startup business. How to build them. How to manage them. How to support them. How to invest in them. How to make money from them.

Currently, David does seed investments for Accelerace Invest in Copenhagen. He also sit on boards and do workshops and key notes, trying to learn as much as he possibly can, also putting everything down in his blog.


Raimonds Vējonis (LV)

President of Latvia



Tarmo Virki (EE)

Publisher of CoFounder Magazine


Tarmo is a publisher of CoFounder Magazine – do not forget to pick up your copy at DFF!
Storyteller, an experienced media professional. Publisher, editor, journalist, also communications manager and published author. Keen on the startup scene, fascinated by creating anything new.
The ex-Reuters European technology correspondent brings to the discussion 20+ years of experience in media industry – as a journalist and publisher, but also a startup entrepreneur seeking for publicity.

Lauri Vuohensilta (FI)

CEO at Hydraulic Press Chanel


Lauri is man behind popular Hydraulic press channel and Beyond the press Youtube channels, in total they have over 300 million views and 2.2 million subscribers on Youtube.
With his wife Anni they have created successful company whose main product is viral videos. Lauri has not only monetized his content but also his expertise around making viral videos and getting people’s attention and he is now one of the leading experts on making viral videos and optimizing content for Youtube.
Out side Youtube platform Lauri and Anni have managed to produce mobile game with 2.5 million downloads, running popular live show format with audiences up to 10 000 people and much more so they have really agile and talented team.

Mei Wen (SWE)

Venture Catalyst


Mei Wen is Venture Catalyst active in the Nordics, Silicon Valley and Greater China region.

Oxford educated Engineer turned Strategy Consultant turned Tech Entrepreneur and Impact Investor. Over a decade of experience, advising Fortune 500 companies, governments and startups.

Frequent speaker/panelist. Active community builder, adventurer and citizen of the world. Sponsored x-sport athlete.


Ryan Williams (USA)

Entrepreneur in Residence at 500 Startups


Ryan Williams has been fired up about what makes B2B sales work at startups for 9 years.

Ryan’s a speaker, trainer and thought leader, but he has also personally closed tens of millions in deals and as a sales leader he’s hired over 200 reps across the 5 different startups he’s been a part of (which include: AdRoll, LeadGenius and InVisionApp).

Ryan joined 500 Startups as an EIR & Sales Coach in 2017 with the goal to help our founders go to market quickly when they are selling to other businesses.

He’s a master of testing markets, building customer profiles, coaching deals and sales hiring.

When not at 500, he is working on his own startup, SalesCollider, to bring founders together with top tier sales leaders through events and advisory.


Pēteris Zilgalvis (BE)

Head of Unit for Startups and Innovation at DG CONNECT


He was the Visiting EU Fellow at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford for 2013-14, where is a Senior Member and Associate of the Political Economy of Financial Markets Programme.

Previously, he was Deputy Head of the Bioethics Department of the Council of Europe, in its Directorate General of Legal Affairs.  In addition, he has held various positions in the Latvian civil service (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment).

He was Senior Environmental Law Advisor to the World Bank/Russian Federation Environmental Management Project and was Regional Environmental Specialist for the Baltic Countries at the World Bank.

He has been a member of the California State Bar since 1991, completed his J.D. at the University of Southern California, his B.A. in Political ScienceCum Laude at UCLA, and the High Potentials Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

A recent publication of his is “The Need for an Innovation Principle in Regulatory Impact Assessment: The Case of Finance and Innovation in Europe” in Policy & Internet.

He has published over 30 publications on innovation law and policy, European and environmental law, economy and finance, and bioethics in English, Latvian, and French.


Giacomo Zucco (IT)

CEO at BlockchainLAB


In 2009 Giacomo Zuccon graduated theoretical physics at the University of Milan. He started working as a technology consultant for Accenture in 2008 while getting interested in Bitcoin, he found a clear path to unify his personal political ideas with his career.

In 2014 he started collaborating in many Bitcoin-related projects, and he became the head of sales of Greenaddress wallet.

In mid-2015 he founded BlockchainLab, an internationally-recognised applied consultancy centre in Milan specifically created for the study of Blockchain technology and its applications.

During the fall of 2016 BlockchainLab hosted the Scaling Bitcoin Conference in Milan, while making possible the so-called “Milan Protocol” BOLT in close collaboration with the main international Bitcoin & Lightning Network developers.

BlockchainLab was just the beginning, at the start of 2017 Zucco decided to pursue a more global perspective with the BHB Network project and founding of the BHB Network Foundation.