The main day of TechChill will be officially opened by our patron, the President of Latvia Mr Raimonds Vejonis, as well as the Minister of Economics, Mr Arvils Aseradens. The main stage programme The Human Side of Tech is also the key focus of TechChill this year, divided into three parts – Tech That Solves Issues, Founder stories, and Change and Challenge. The speakers will strive to give a deeper perspective on the turning points and crossroads of technology, entrepreneurship and personal growth.
Tech That Works: Innovation that solves real issues
The first block will start out with stories from startups and projects that are more than just business, and aim to solve important issues. Ernests Jenavs is the Co-founder of education tech startup Edurio, and he’ll share his story on “A startup’s road to impact”. Ernests is convinced that impact is a good motivator to do something, but it is a bad business driver. There are great charities and there are great businesses, that deliver social value, but building an impact-driven business is a risky deal, since it’s difficult to grow. If impact and business interests are misaligned, you’re on a road to disaster – so Ernests will share some ideas how to make sure those things are aligned.
Kayvan Nikjou, senior adviser at Ki Group and Bob Tinker, co-founder and board member of MobileIron will meet at fireside chat to talk about “The invisible power: what are the newest trends and the real impact of global influence hacking”.
Stephanie Kaiser from Berlin-based health tech application Clue will talk about how her company is using science and data to provide insights into female health, helping its users with better information using qualitative and quantitative data, assumptions and proof – and why it matters.
Mike Butcher, editor-at-large at TechCrunch will share the story of TechFugees project, coordinating the tech industry’s response to the refugee crisis. Moved by the plight of refugees in Europe, a number of technology industry people formed a voluntary team to create the series of non-profit events that bring together tech engineers, entrepreneurs and startups together with NGOs and other agencies in order to address the crisis and generate tech solutions that can help refugees.
The block will end with a discussion pannel on an important and often divisive topic – “Does the tech community have a responsibility to be agents of change?”, with the participation of all keynote speakers, Ernests Jenavs, Mike Butcher and Stephanie Kaiser. Should companies focus on business, first and foremost, or should they be involved on a deeper level? Panel will be moderated by Robin Wauters, the founding editor at Tech.eu, one of the leading news sources on European Tech.
Founder’s Stories: The good, the bad and the ugly side of entrepreneurship
For another perspective on the human side of tech, experienced founders will reveal personal stories on the glory and gloom of entrepreneurship. As someone who has witnessed his own company growing from 3 to 250 employees in 4 years, co-founder and CTO of Prezi, Péter Halácsy will share his learnings about life on the rocky road of startup highway. Péter be talking about how relationships between employees – including the founders – change over time, and how to make sure you have the right people around you in his talk “How can you grow with your company?”.
Bob Tinker is the co-founder and Member of the Board at MobileIron, one of the largest mobile security companies in the world that has grown from an idea to IPO – and Bob has seen it all. He will share his experiences of changing along with an expanding company, and how building a business differs from building a product during his talk “Letter to Myself: The 5 things I’d tell myself on my first day as a 1st time CEO”.
Egyptian entrepreneur Mai Medhat, CEO and co-founder of Eventtus is an inspiring example of global entrepreneurship, and just a few months ago took the stage together with Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. In her story “Startup Hack: Grow beyond your comfort zone” she will talk about hacks and tips from her own experience of growing and scaling a startup in the Middle East. She will be followed by Hanna Aase, founder and CEO at Wonderloop has been of the first to launch a social video app. On Day 2 Hanna will share her journey and her advice for building a consumer tech company.
The block rounds out with global panel with founders from three continents – Péter Halácsy, Bob Tinker and Mai Medhat will sit down with Monty Munford, journalist at The Economist and Forbes to discuss whether EU and ME are real challengers to Silicon Valley. The startup deals in Europe and the Middle East have been growing fast, but Silicon Valley is still the global mecca of tech. Almost every country now talks about building strong ecosystem, but what is real balance of power?
Change and Challenge: Looking for a new perspective
The startup community is known for constantly challenging and disrupting the in the name of innovation. Speakers of this block will discuss both the often challenging process of change as well as the impact of technology on a broader society and its
The future technology revolution is already here. VR, wearables, Artificial Intelligence, robots, neuroscience – many brands are trying to get their heads around how to effectively use these up and rising technologies to their advantage. They will undoubtedly open up a whole new world of data gathering, branding, and storytelling possibilities for brands, and affect us all. In this keynote, Kei Shimada, Global Director of Innovation at Dentsu will share how brands are engaging with these technologies and what you need to know about how future tech will impact yourself.
Dāvis Siksnāns, the o-founder and CEO at Latvian startup Printful in his keynote “Lessons from 4 years of growth” will reveal the rocky road of how a few Latvians went to Silicon Valley 4 years ago, and how they went from an idea 4 years ago to a leading print-on-demand company with 2 branches in the US and 300 employees worldwide – and the turns they had to make during the ride.
One of the final keynotes will give a new perspective currently on the top of our minds everywhere. David Troy will talk about “What can we learn from Brexit, Trump, and Fake News?”, sharing his illuminating research on how homophily (attraction of like with like) affects how we interact and form communities, and a local review of data he’s done – Twitter network data for Riga – as well as the challenges of such research involves, and why it’s important that we do so.
And last but not least topic in this block will focus on the importance of financing, which is one of the biggest challenges and opportunities in creating startup ecosystems. “Angel investing should be smart: How to make real tech angels?” fireside chat in which Tugce Ergul, Partner and Executive Director at Angel Labs, a global investor accelerator based in Silicon Valley, will meet with Hampuss Jakobosson, one of the Nordics most influential angel investors with over 60 investments and co-founded the angel group NordicMakers.
We’ll close up Day 2 on the Highway stage with the panel discussion dedicated to Baltics “In the Baltic Tiger’s Den: What’s cooking in the Baltic ecosystems?”. More about – here!