TechChill 2019: Cross border investing with the leading Baltic VC investors


A few weeks ago, TechChill took place in Riga (Latvia), celebrating the best of the Baltic startup community by bringing together 2000+ attendees, including the fastest growing startups, most innovative corporations, investors active in the region and talented tech enthusiasts. 

This year, for Practica Capital the event started with official side event – Fifty Founders Battle Bootcamp powered by Practica Capital - an exclusive bootcamp for the Fifty Founders Battle semi-finalists to help them polish their pitches before the big day. The selected international coaches, such as Chris Brown from 500 Startups, Oscar Kneppers from Rockstart, Lauma Gailite from Buildit, and our own Donatas Keras and Arvydas Bložė worked with founders on their pitches, consulted them on startup development process and other relevant topics.

On the first official day of the conference, our founding partner Donatas Keras attended the panel discussion on cross-border venture capital investing in the Baltic States, together with two of our colleagues from other co-investing VC funds in the Baltic region: Marili Merendi of Karma Ventures and Andris K. Berzins of Change Ventures. If you missed it, you can watch the panel discussion here:

The conference ended with the final of the Fifty Founders Battle. Seven finalists, chosen by the juries, took the stage to pitch in the final. From the fintech vertical – Hive Identity from Ukraine and Jeff App from Latvia, from software as a service – Ziticity from Lithuania and Kipwise from Estonia, from deep-tech vertical – Precision Navigation Systems from Estonia, from the impact vertical – Neuroflux from Finland, and from hardware and IoT – PowerUp Fuel Cells OÜ from Estonia.

The final jury included Marili Merendi from Karma VenturesAndris K.Berzins from Change VenturesIndrikis Liepa from CobaltChris Brown from 500 StartupsAlex Karevoll from TechStarsRaph Crouan from Startupbootcamp IoTGuntars Nemiro from Funderbeam SyndicateAnsis Spridzans from Funderbeam Syndicate, Sebastian Toupy from The Next Web and Donatas Keras from Practica Capital.

The winner of the Fifty Founders Battle – Precision Navigation Systems – received the main prize of 10 000 EUR with no strings attached from the TechChill Foundation, a tradition upheld for the second year in a row. The startup is developing software and hardware solutions for precise GPS positioning and navigation. ZITICITY received a “LatBAN award”, a soft commitment of 50 000 EUR by a syndicate of 22 LatBAN members. A soft commitment means that the syndicate will engage in the investment negotiations with the team, and if both parties agree on investment terms, the investment is made. In case if the required investment amount will exceed 50 000 EUR the parties may raise additional funds.

The winning startup will also compete against winners of regional competitions from all over the world on May 17, 2019 in San Francisco for a $1 million investment prize. In addition, all European Startup World Cup Finalists will get the opportunity to pitch at the European Continental Finale in Prague for a 500,000 Euro investment prize.

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