Latvia and Estonia join forces to boost local startup scene

Are you ready for an exciting life of an entrepreneur? Apply for the pre-accelerator program, build your team, develop the idea and start a business! As simple as that with the new project ‘EstLat-Accelerate’ that is launched as a part of European Regional Development Fund program ‘Interreg Estonia – Latvia’. There are two partnering cities involved – Riga and Tartu. And five strong community partners have joined forces to boost startup scene of both countries. 

University of Tartu, Garage48 Foundation, Baltic Innovation Agency, TechHub Riga and Latvian Startup Association, has taken part in the project with the aim to create a pre-acceleration program for helping very early teams to get to the acceleration phase. The first pre-acceleration batch for early stage teams will run 8 weeks in October/November of 2017 culminating with graduation days in Tartu and Riga. Mentoring will comprise of series of individual meetings and joint events with highly experienced entrepreneurs and business coaches. The aim of these sessions is to help teams to build the successful business model as well as validate customers, their problems and the new product or service as a proposed solution.

Pre-acceleration will end with the graduation day where teams will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors. Organizing team expects ten new companies to be formed during the pre-acceleration program that should be ready to apply for the acceleration and pre-seed financing.

The pre-acceleration program enables to move forward with the development of the product with the most insight possible still without full commitment.

The application can be submitted online at The deadline for application is 3rd October.  

‘EstLat-Accelerate’ is pre-accelerator program for boosting Latvian and Estonian startups supported by ERDF programme ‘Interreg Estonia - Latvia 2014 – 2020’. The programme is implemented under the European territorial cooperation goal of the cohesion policy and it supports cross-border cooperation. The programme carries on the co-operation relationship between Estonia and Latvia, which started during implementation of the Estonia-Latvia-Russia INTERREG IIIA Priority within the Baltic Sea Region INTERREG III B Neighbourhood Programme in 2004 and Estonia - Latvia programme 2007 - 2013. It is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Latvia.

The University of Tartu is Estonia's leading center of research and training. It preserves the culture of the Estonian people and spearheads the country's reputation in research and provision of higher education. University belongs to the top 2% of world's best universities.

 ‘Garage48’ event series started in Estonia in April 2010 and have expanded to other countries in Northern Europe and Africa since then. All ‘Garage48’ events are held in English and have ~100 international participants. Participants have different skills, ranging from software development to design, marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship.

Baltic Innovation Agency provides innovation, clustering, and technology development related services to public, private and third sector organizations. Main competence areas include startup consulting, cluster management, strategic and business planning, technology transfer and commercialization, market research and analysis.

TechHub Riga is a community of new technology startups who can meet, work, learn and collaborate. It is a home for 20+ startups and a host of various events, such as Monthly Meetups and annual startup community get together ‘TechChill’. is an organization founded with the aim to develop the Latvian Startup ecosystem and to promote startup movement in Latvia, as well as facilitate respect and cooperation in the startup environment.

Additional information:

Marge Seppo, Project Manager at UT Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (+372 527 0173)