TechChill, the leading technology and startup event in the Baltics will take place for the 10th time from 7 - 21 May 2021. Adapting to the adjustments introduced by the global pandemic, the event will take place online.
In less than four months the annual Baltic startup and technology event TechChill will take place in Riga (Latvia) for the 10th time celebrating a decade of growth and bringing together over 2000 attendees, including fastest-growing startups, international speakers, most innovative corporations, investors, media representatives and talented tech enthusiasts from all over the world. Adjusted to the current day event set up in the post-pandemic world, this time the series of leading technology events in the Baltic region will be held virtually.
The main focus for TechChill 2021 season is the Point of No Return with a reworked framework for ‘the new normal’. Thus, instead of the usual two days, the main event will be moved to May with its agenda being spread into two weeks of dedicated online content accessible from anywhere in the world. Along with some of the most empowering industry speakers sharing their stories, this time on a virtual stage, there will also be many tailored side events taking place from matchmaking between startups and investors, job fair, accelerator demo days, Fifty Founders Battle pitches, masterclasses, seminars, roundtable discussions and hackathons to other networking activities. The two weeks of content will begin with a launch event in Vilnius and end with a grand finale in Riga, building bridges across borders on a brand new level.
“TechChill has dedicated its 10th anniversary year to new and greater heights. One of the main goals for this year is to expand starting with our neighboring country Lithuania in order to bring higher global visibility and help to shape Baltic state identity as an attractive region with skillful talent, great infrastructure, support from the government, and other factors that will bring more investments to the region. By attracting the right partners, the growth can be faster than ever, and last year has shown that even despite immense challenges everyone faced and with the everyday lifestyle-changing forever, the investments have still grown rapidly. Now it’s time we learn, move forward, and explore the unforeseen opportunities that will shape technology this year and beyond,” TechChill Chair of the Board, Marija Rucevska comments.
Why attend and what to expect (by Līva Pērkone, TechChill Board Member)
TechChill 2021 agenda will aim to take a closer look at the opportunities and issues that will shape technology this year and beyond. The core agenda topics for 2021 will be sustainability, knowledge for growth, digital transformation, diversity – and, as always, the role of the Baltics in the future of tech.
Green New World
Sustainability is one of the key opportunities for global innovation. The European Green Deal has set out an ambitious goal to make EU climate neutral by 2050, with extensive funding behind the sustainability push. And with reason – sustainability and eco-innovation industries have experienced growth that withstands even financial disruptions. On the flip side, more serious innovation in areas such as production, logistics, and building often require more significant investment that is available to startups and the move to sustainability for corporations is slow. Is sustainability the key ingredient for Europe to be a competitive force on a global scale? Can innovation and startups help move it forward? What is the best partnership model for governments, corporations, and innovators to make significant change happen?
Knowledge for Growth
Increasing the normality of long-term remote work, in addition to economic shifts, raises tough questions for many about the skills and accessibility of talent, and the necessary knowledge for growth. The skills and knowledge of the labour force, and the quality of education at all levels, starting with kindergarten STEM skills to accessibility of market-relevant knowledge for high-growth innovators will be the key that drives forward the economic transition. How big of a role should companies have in large-scale education initiatives? Has the regional fight for talent changed due to remote work? Will the shift to e-learning and online education be permanent even after the pandemic ends?
Many industries have been hit hard or even wiped out by the pandemic, while others – food delivery, remote work, and e-commerce – have experienced unexpected growth. The new normal has pushed digital transformation to accelerate by decades in just a few months while encouraging us to look beyond the pandemic to what’s in our future. The need to innovate has never been more urgent because today it can mean the difference between death and survival. How can corporations accelerate innovation to survive – and thrive – in the new normal? What role do startups play in the transformation? How should governments change their approach?
The Human Side of Tech
At the very core of TechChill, we have always believed our mission to bring to the forefront not just the good stories, but also the bad and the ugly challenges on the big stage. Building a rocketship is tough work, and there are incredible challenges founders and startups face. This year will not be an exception, and we’ll ask the tough questions. How has the lockdown affected our work-life balance? What effect has it had on our mental health and wellbeing, both for startups struggling to fundraise in the face of the pandemic and for the ones seeing unexpected growth? How can the Baltics deal with the need for talent, if their startups still lack diversity? Why is 90% of venture capital funding in Europe going to startups with male-only founders?
“According to the Not Optional campaign, run by Index Ventures, Latvia is currently the most startup-friendly country in the world. Our Baltic neighbors Estonia and Lithuania had previously topped the rankings, ahead of 22 other countries including the UK, France, and Germany, and the recent changes to the stock option policy in Latvia mean that we have moved up the list and can now compete with large corporates for talent and thus scale more globally. Not to mention that the Baltics have great founders with more hustle than many of their Western European peers,” Andris Berzins, Managing Partner at Change Ventures adds.
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