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Events to introduce Balkan countries to Latvian startup ecosystem

The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) is partnering with HackCodeX to host an event series in the Balkan countries to introduce the local startup ecosystem to business development and investment opportunities in Latvia.

The events will take place in Romania, Serbia and North Macedonia from 18 to 21 April to share Latvia’s experience in startup and innovation development and potential opportunities for cooperation. The events are open to representatives of the Balkan technology community, Latvian startups and companies already active in both the Baltic and Balkan markets. Latvian startups interested in working with these countries are also welcome to apply.

Events to take place in Bucharest, Belgrade and Skopje

The event series will start on 18 April in Bucharest in partnership with Creative Motion, a local startup community organisation. The event in Belgrade will take place on 20 April, together with the Digital Serbia Initiative, which promotes digital development in Serbia. And, on 21 April, the final event will take place in Skopje in cooperation with TestDevLab, a Latvian technology company with offices in both Latvia and North Macedonia. In each country, representatives from local and Latvian startups will provide insights into the latest innovations and explore new avenues for international cooperation.

Poļina Ivļeva, lead expert of the LIAA Startup Support Division, says that with the development of the startup ecosystem and available support mechanisms, Latvia has become an attractive destination for foreign entrepreneurs and investors. One of these instruments is the startup visa, which enables entrepreneurs from outside the European Union to obtain a residence permit and develop their business in Latvia.

“We see that the Balkan countries are experiencing the rapid development of startups, so we see the potential to attract talent, innovation and investment from this region to Latvia. The face-to-face events in Serbia, Romania and North Macedonia will allow getting better acquainted with the region’s technology trends, making useful contacts, as well as introducing startups to the opportunities offered by Latvia, thus building long-term development potential,” says Ivļeva.

LIAA is organising the events in collaboration with the HackCodeX hackathon taking place in June in Riga. The hackathon will bring together several hundred European programmers to find new solutions to the challenges posed by technology companies.

“When we look at startup organisations in the Balkan countries, we see that there are highly skilled professionals in the region who are interested in job opportunities in Latvia. Participating in a European hackathon in Latvia is an opportunity for tech talent from these countries to get to know the local tech community in a short period of time, as well as to challenge themselves by collaborating with Latvian tech companies. As last year’s experience shows, several foreign developers have found new jobs in Latvia after the hackathon, which is also a great benefit for companies looking for motivated specialists,” says Zane Grēta Grants, Head of HackCodeX.

The events are taking place with the support of the European Regional Development Fund.

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