Hello Gunars! Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I’m the CEO and co-founder of IT House. By using technologies like Ruby on Rails, Elixir, and React Native, my team and I have helped crowdfunding projects, fintech projects, news portals, marketplace platforms, community networks, and e-commerce companies create custom sites and apps. I’ve also participated in two accelerator programs, StartupBootcamp and Ignite100.
As an original co-founder and board member of TechHub Riga, the first TechHub expansion from London, I cultivate collaborative spaces for emerging entrepreneurs and tech startups to come together to learn, share, and grow. I’m one of two people responsible for bringing Garage48, a 48-hour hackathon event, to Latvia. As a central figure in Latvia’s Ruby on Rails community, I organize regular meetups for like-minded tech enthusiasts. While I’m a curator at StartupDigest for Latvia, I’m also an active supporter of the burgeoning startup scene in the Baltic Rim and Nordic countries.
I enjoy running, hiking, rock climbing, traveling, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Why did you decide to start curating Startup Digest?
Around 2010, when I traveled in the U.S. for several months, I met Christopher McCann, one of the founders of StartupDigest. At that time Chris even made pancake breakfasts for friends and the local community in Silicon Valley. I liked the idea and the Startup Digest team, and I decided that it would be great to add Latvia to the list.
What is the value that Startup Digest brings both to your local community and to you personally?
Startup Digest helps people who are interested in Latvia learn what kind of events are happening in Latvia; either they follow us on a regular basis, or they want to attend some events and plan their journey accordingly. Or they visit Latvia for a few days, and Startup Digest helps them quickly find what’s going on and what kind of events they would like to attend.
Of course, the local community also benefits from Startup Digest—by meeting potential investors or similar thinking minds, or by finding events that match their interests.
I’m happy that more and more people and startups can make new connections, exchange knowledge, and make new deals, using Startup Digest
How have you seen the Latvian ecosystem develop over the years since you’ve started curating Startup Digest?
I believe that Startup Digest is a niche news source of information for people; and it’s one channel, together with Facebook and Twitter. Compared to Facebook and Twitter, the information on Startup Digest is topical, and the events are better structured, and therefore more accessible for anyone who doesn’t want to get lost in the noise of news, tweets, or posts. I’ve seen how Startup Digest has helped startups make new business and friend connections.