Three new accelerators open for business ideas

Fifteen million euro are available in funding from three new acceleration funds selected in a public procurement by the Development Finance Institution in Latvia Altum. The three acceleration funds are BuildIt Latvia, Acceleration fund in co-operation with Lattelecom and Accelerace and Commercial Reactor fund. Entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, even at very early stages are invited to apply for accelerated funds to see if they qualify for the acceleration for the successful commercialization of their business ideas. Each of the three funds will receive EUR 5 million, financed from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Additionally, the newly-created accelerator funds will attract funds from private investors in the amount of 20% of the seed money fund, while early-stage pre-seed investments will be fully financed from public funds.

The acceleration funds are allocated for innovative start-up companies for the establishment and development of business ideas, companies and products, with the goal to promote their growth and competitiveness, especially in the areas of technological and industrial advancements. Currently, the acceleration funds are registering at The Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) and are beginning to organize the application and selection process.

If selected, the companies will receive support in two separate stages —  pre-seed and seed money investments:

  • Pre-seed money investments, i.e. up to EUR 50,000 per company, are intended for the establishment of companies, consultations and the development, assessment and approval of the product
  • Seed money investments, i.e. up to EUR 250,000 per company, are intended for projects that have successfully completed the acceleration stage, for the development of companies, products and economic activity models

Pre-seed and seed money investments can be made as investments in a company’s equity capital in the form of quasi-capital or a loan.

Juris Vaskāns, member of the board of directors of ALTUM, states: "Now is the time for people with new and promising ideas to visit acceleration funds and see if they qualify for accelerated services. In other words, it is time to get actively working on ideas and prepare them for presentation to acceleration funds. We estimate there will be about 120 ideas that will receive the funding from the accelerators. The essence of the acceleration process is to help those with promising high value-added ideas to launch. Additionally, these acceleration funds will fill a missing niche – state aid for the commercialization of ideas. The new funds are focused on this particular stage of entrepreneurship, and in particular on the ideas that has innovation element and on technology-intensive companies."

Accelerator BuildIt Latvia team consists of professionals from Latvia and Estonia – Matīss Neimanis, Rene Tonnisson and Aleksander Tonnisson. They have more than a decade of experience working with start-up companies, investing in technology-intensive companies , as well as commercialization of scientific articles. The practice-tested, intensive program offered by BuildIt Latvia is for teams that develop technology solutions for industry with potentially high international competitiveness. BuildItLatvia team has the experience and desire to work on high-quality ideas in the Baltic and Nordic, Central and Eastern European markets.

The accelerated fund, which operates in cooperation with telecommunication company Lattelecom and Accelerace, will make pre-seed investments of 40,000 euros and seed investment of up to 250,000 euros. The managers of this fund will primarily invest in emerging companies in Central and Eastern Europe that work in work environment efficiency and automation and have already gained initial market revenues. The team is comprised of Pēteris Marculāns, Dmitrijs Saikovskis and David Ventzel, all of who have extensive experience with start-ups. They have worked in setting up and selling their own businesses, managing and leading accelerated programs and new investment funds (Techstars and Accelerace) as well as buying and selling businesses.

The Commercialization Reactor (KR) Foundation also has a long-standing experience in accelerating new businesses. Over the seven years in operation, KR has implemented more than 10 programs, created more than 70 new companies that have been able to attract investments exceeding EUR 5 million. KR’s team is comprised of Nikolajs Adamovičs, Ella Kalniņa, Lelde Stukle and Voldemārs Brēdiķis.

The KR focuses on high technology and science start-ups in Latvia and the Baltics, as well as in Eastern Europe and other neighboring countries of the region. The KR is unique not only in its ability to select start-ups, but also in creating new teams bringing together scientists who have ideas with entrepreneurs who believe in the possibility of commercializing their ideas.

Source: Altum, Labs of Latvia