Highlights of the Latvian SmartUp Accelerator launch

Zinâtnes kafejnîca «Dzîvo tîri un zaïi vai mirsti!».
Zinâtnes kafejnîca «Dzîvo tîri un zaïi vai mirsti!».
Zinâtnes kafejnîca «Dzîvo tîri un zaïi vai mirsti!».

The Latvian SmartUp Accelerator launch took place in a Science cafe event with a provocative time: „Be green, clean or die! Don’t die, be Smart”! The event was held at University of Latvia 17th of May, 2018. Here we have collected some highlights of the presentations.

Innovations expert Matiss Neimanis (LV) highlighted that global warming, over-consumption of resources, waste increase and pollution need urgent solutions and new companies should be in the center of the change. “We need to act. A start-up can’t be innovative while ignoring environmental problems – it should be green in direct or indirect way. If a start-up does not meet the criteria of a green start-up, it can’t qualify for financial support from EU programs. Already at early development stage a new company has to understand – be green; or don’t exist at all!”

Sociologist Mikelis Grīvins (LV) – Post-Soviet society don’t think that individual’s actions can influence environmental problems but believe that governments and companies should act instead. The solutions of environmental problems are like a “patches” on a one large cloth that covers the surface but is very fragile. It is essential to take proactive and forward-looking action to make a one-piece “cloth” instead of many interconnected “patches”.

Solvita Kostjukova (LV) – co-owner of the start-up company Alina that manufactures
human health friendly clay mineral materials to replace toxic chemicals and heavy metals in building materials – “Investors don’t invest in a green start-up to solve environmental
problems – they invest to make money. Question is only about how complex is the investor’s business model and when investor sees profit opportunities.”

Consultant Filip Lundin (SWE) from Macklean illustrated how modern internet technologies help farmers improve their economic performance by indirectly solving environmental problems – “smart agricultural fertilizer machines measure the amount of mineral fertilizers needed for a particular plant in the field, so farmer saves on the consumption of mineral fertilizers by significantly reducing the amount of mineral fertilizers entering the environment.” Large volumes of data transmission and analysis leads to more precise planning of farmers’ activities and smarter choices of what and when to sow and harvest.

The blog post is written by a SmartUp Accelerator partner Sandra Strole from the University of Latvia. A video of the event can be found here.