Not everyone knows that Latvia is the birthplace of many ‘firsts’ from the first ‘spy camera’ used during the Second World War to the first drone with the “follow me” option. ✅
This Baltic country located between Estonia and Lithuania seems to have picked up its neighbours’ passions for innovation, pioneering ideas, and technology. Recently, its growing startup scene has been attracting more and more attention from entrepreneurs worldwide.
Latvia became a member of the EU in 2004 and also joined the Eurozone in 2014. Since then, the country has flourished with its well-educated and smart talent pool, vibrant startup ecosystem and low cost of doing business. 🚀
Before diving into what makes Latvia a great place for startups and entrepreneurs of any expertise, let’s have a look at the country’s startup ecosystem. 🕵️♀️
Introduction to Latvia’s startup ecosystem
Let’s rewind to 2008 when the economic crisis was shaking the whole world. Latvia is one of the rare countries which recovered from the crisis through entering the startup world.
🥁 Here are 7 facts about Latvia’s vibrant business environment:
✅ Riga, Latvia’s capital, hosts the majority of the country’s startups. Recently, it has become more popular on an international level as well.
✅ Jūrmala, which is one of the biggest city in the country, attracts startups too.
✅ Daugavpils, a city in southeastern Latvia, is popular in terms of coworking spaces and events.
✅ The Latvian startup infrastructure consists of 400+ registered startups.
✅ Who would not love a fast internet? Latvia ranked as the 10th country with the fastest internet worldwide. Moreover, you can find free wi-fi almost everywhere in the Riga city centre!
✅ Startup Latvia shares a very interesting insight about why Latvia is a great choice for startups which we will also mention in the following section: as the startup market is unsaturated, you don’t have to be a genius like in Silicon Valley… you just need to be very good.
✅ Deep tech, fintech, and SaaS products make up the majority of the Latvia-based products (for now!).
What makes Latvia a great country for startups?
Before starting this section, we assure you that this will not be a short one! There are many reasons why many startups have emerged in Latvia over the years and why its popularity is ever-growing .
👉 If you are a startup founder or planning to start one in the near future, you probably know how much it matters to have access to business incubation programmes and support from the government. Well, it seems Latvia has already nailed it!
In this Baltic country, if you are a startup owner, you can easily have access to one of the diverse range of modern co-working spaces along with many business incubators – which are supported by not only the government but also the academic and private sectors.
👉 One of the factors that makes Riga’s business scene even more vibrant is that the city hosts a high number of tech conferences such as TechChill, Digital Freedom Festival, iNovuss, and Deep Tech Atelier.
👉 So, what’s out there for citizens of non-EU countries? If you are one of them, start packing now – Latvia has thought of you too!
Did you know that a Startup Law has been passed and now, you and your spouse and children can officially apply for a Startup Visa? The goal is to make the country’s startup ecosystem more productive with the arrival of creative entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds and mindsets.
You can find more information about the Startup Visa from Startup Latvia!
Wondering about the Startup Law and the financial support for startups? Here is a couple of points that could encourage you to consider Latvia as your new country of residence:
➡️ Did you know that Latvia is one of the first countries in the world to pass a Startup Law? Well, now you do! This also indicates that the country has the mindset and openness that every entrepreneur is looking for these days.
The Law proposes a more entrepreneur-friendly taxation system for startups. So, instead of carrying a heavy tax burden on your shoulders, you can enjoy the advantages of the system in Latvia and put more focus on developing your business.
➡️ There are lots of financial opportunities for startups as well. For instance, Latvia’s Innovation Voucher programme offers up to €25K of financial support to startups. The goal is to facilitate the development of new technologies.
➡️ You think that’s it, right? But there’s more! The LIAA (the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia) has 15 incubators that support the startups as well as the ecosystem, offering mentor support, development grants and more.
“In the Latvian startup ecosystem, we can see the drive and energy to break through to international markets to be recognized as innovators. Lots of great deep tech, fintech, and SaaS products are built here. We are expecting to see larger investment rounds, exits, and accomplishments as the existing companies mature”.
Chairman of the Latvian Startup Association and CEO of Mailigen
5 Promising Latvian startups
In this section, we will get to know more about up and coming Latvian startups. 🎊
Founded in 2016, Nordigen offers free banking data and premium insights for banks, financial institutions and lenders. The company works with over 50 global banks and lenders, operating across 13 countries.
If your expertise is Finance, keep an eye on this promising company and their job openings on the MeetFrank app! 💰
Lokalise is a localisation and translation management system that was founded in 2016.
The company’s expertise ranges from content translation from websites to mobile apps and games. 📱
🎶 Founded in 2015, Gamechanger Audio produces pedals for musicians, which engineers would also love. In their own words, the company is founded by “four friends committed to exploring the uncharted territories of music electronics and creating devices that provide real value while stretching the imagination of both musicians and engineers.”
Sound like your kind of mindset? Mark their name on your potential-companies-to-apply-to list for 2021!
Vialet was founded in 2017 and is a comprehensive financial management tool.
The things you can do with Vialet are numerous, from opening an account to managing your finances anytime and transferring funds. 🤑
Founded in 2015, Atlas Dynamics UAVs is a highly innovative technology company that produces drones with an award-winning aerodynamic design. 💪
The design generates lift and enables increased endurance, speed and weather resistance. If you totally get what that means, you may be a good fit for Atlas Dynamics UAVs!
Last but not least
If you want to start and run your business in an EU country, are looking for efficiency and productivity along with a vibrant startup ecosystem, are fond of nature and experiencing 4 seasons, Latvia is waiting for you. 😊
Download the MeetFrank app today and have a look at the openings now!
Good luck in your job hunt! 🍀
Want to boost your company’s visibility in the Latvian job market?
To kickstart the community in Latvia, MeetFrank and Startin.LV have joined forces to boost the job market visibility of companies operating in Latvia.
Leave your contact details, and we’ll be in touch shortly. 👇