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BAFF Alumni Take Latvian Startups to Silicon Valley

In middle of February 2014 the third Latvian startup trade mission to Silicon Valley was concluded. 3
Participants of the mission were handpicked as most promising Latvian IT startups with highest potential for international markets. The companies were put through comprehensive training and individual mentoring session virtually while back in Latvia and in person after arrival in Sanfrancisco. This ten day bootcamp was organized by StartupLatvia – a non-profit established by former BAFF stipends Arturs Zandersons and Sanita Laivina with a goal of boosting Latvian startups in international markets and build the. Ridge to Silicon Valley. 

Six companies represented in this visit were:

– Forgamer – online game distribution platform;
– Branchtrack – drag&drop online training platform;
– Walmoo – one stop shop for creating online loyalty programs;
– Prime AVG – online social multiplatform quiz app;
– Bright field technologies – integrated housing heating management system;
– Riga regional incubator – startup incubator services.


 The program consists of four major parts: 

Training

Individual mentoring and workshops on Lean market entry and pitch trainings, conducted by US MAC experts and organizers from StartupLatvia. Legal workshops on incorporating in US & investor agreements provided by Wilmerhale experts and company valuation workshop by Startup to IPO valuation experts. 

5Investor pitching

After the training participants were given the chance to pitch and present their products to actual Silicon Valley angel and venture capital investors from Lumia Capital, Speed Invest, Galaxy Ventures, P&P Ventures & others. The program culminated with the Latvian Pitch event attended by local experts and investors.

Public Events

Over the program course Latvians had a chance to participate in a group of various public events, and the most noticeable was Startup Grind which is THE startup event of the year.

Company visits & networking

To share experience and opportunities we visited some of most significant startup accelerators such as Plug&Play Tech center, Rocketspace and Blackbox for info sessions and meetings with startupers participating in these programs. We also visited such iconic companies as Google and Nokia.

After the program companies all as one concluded that experience, contacts and partners made during this bootcamp are extremely valuable for their future development. Also most of them concluded that after they have done their homework they willl retur to Silicon Valley more prepared and more hungry for success!

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