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reinventing the future
Icebreakers'21 is live! Join students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals to learn, share experience, get inspired, and network!
10'000 Grant Competition
Watch the live stream from the Icebreakers'21 Pitch Battle!
Thanks to patrons of UL Studend Business Incubator, young entrepreneurs can compete for 10'000 EUR prize for their business!
Universities participating in the Icebreakers'21
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3 reasons why you should attend
Icebreakers will bring together young entrepreneurs, academic staff members and researchers from Northern Europe to discuss their ideas and share their knowledge.
You will have a chance to attend keynotes, panel discussions, workshops and other exciting activities that will inspire you to start your own business and develop your entrepreneurial spirit.
The festival will allow you to broaden your knowledge on different topics, as well as learn more about the latest trends, innovations and future prospects in business.
North Pole Stage
South Pole Stage
Side Events
Expo Area
10:00 - 10:10 OPENING REMARKS
Speakers: Indriķis Muižnieks (University of Latvia),
Ieva Siliņa (Chancery of the President of Latvia)
10:10-10:30 Becoming an Entrepreneur - What Does it Really Mean?
Tips and tricks, ideas and insights from experienced experts and young entrepreneurs who have just made their first steps in the world of business.

Speakers: Gundars Bērziņš (University of Latvia),
Dāvids Svēte (Baltic Landlords),
Marija Ručevska (Helve).
Moderator: Līna Marta Sarma (Riga Tech Girls)
10:30-10:55 Leaders Wanted: Masters of Change at a Moment of Truth
According to the Accenture Technology Vision 2021, technology was a lifeline during the global pandemic – enabling new ways of working and doing business, creating new interactions and experiences, and improving health and safety. Technology forever changed expectations and behaviors and created entirely new realities across every industry. As companies shift from reacting to the crisis, to reinventing what comes next, the boldest, most visionary leaders – those who use technology to master change – will define the future, says the 21st annual report from Accenture predicting the key technology trends that will shape businesses and industries over the next three years.

Speaker: Stanislavs Hilcuks (Accenture)
10:55-11:20 From a Company of 10 to Teams of 10 - Career Growth at Startups
The career development path in established organizations is defined and clear. However, like everything else, it is not so straightforward at startups. How can you take most of your experience at a startup? How can you grow as a professional and reach new heights in the ever-changing environment? Meet Printify team members who will share their stories and also answer your questions.

Speakers: Lota Plezere (Printify), Nora Jonāse (Printify), Brian King (Printify).
Moderator: Hodhaifa Khadraoui (Printify)
11:20-11:30 BREAK
11:30-12:00 Let's Be Sustainable - The Time is Now
How can innovations contribute to a sustainable and green society and economy? A discussion about the need to emphasize sustainability and environmental issues in order to create a better quality of life for ourselves and future generations.

Speakers: Gatis Zamurs (Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia),
Mārtiņš Zemītis (European Commission Representation in Latvia),
Kristīne Nagle (Impact House)
Moderator: Dace Helmane (InCSR)
12:00-12:25 Biomimicry - Learning from the Genius of Nature
The lecture explores the new emerging practice of Biomimicry. Consulting and learning from living systems to find innovative and more sustainable solutions to our challenges. From broad natural principles to guide our decision-making process to successful case studies of bio-inspired products, biomimicry shows potential for boosting creativity and problem-solving skills. A tool that all professionals could embrace for improving competitiveness as well as the sustainability of their ideas.

Speaker: Alessandro Bianciardi (Planet s.a.s)
12:25-12:50 The Jungle of Communication - How not to Get Lost?
When you are starting a company, you have to manage everything. Communication is not an exception. You should post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok. The text is not enough. You have to make pictures and videos. Company profiles are not enough - you have to keep your personal profile up to date as well. And what about PR activities? You have to work with journalists, write blog posts. Or probably you don't have to do it. This discussion will help you understand what communication activities are really worth it in which company development stage.

Speakers: Jānis Palkavnieks (Draugiem Group),
Juris Jurāns (TVNET),
Angela Jafarova (Datorium).
Moderator: Ieva Treija (
12:50-13:00 BREAK
13:00-13:25 What is a Balanced Organization?
The one that changes – survives. How do you know what, when and how to change in an organization so that it survives instead of bringing surprises? Human based organizations like all of those you know and are part of yourselves are complex systems. Complex systems are uncertain and unpredictable the same way customer and market needs are. How to be effective in these conditions so that the organization survives?

Speaker: Ivo Peksens (Cognizant)
13:25-13:55 Give Us Money!
A panel discussion on venture capital, how to raise it and what the key strategies are to get funding.
Speakers: Sandra Golbreich (Baltic Sandbox),
Helmuts Lejnieks (LatBAN),
Liina Laas (The Better Fund).
Moderator: Marta Matisone (SmartLaws)
13:55-14:20 Low-Tech Ocean Plastic Recycling and Potential Applications to Boatbuilding
With some development of open-source finite elements simulation and die design, Low-tech ocean plastic recycling is on the verge of reaching new capabilities, one of them being boat building. It might drastically reduce carbon footprint and investment costs for small boats and small-volume production.
Speaker: Guillaume Pic-Rivière
14:20-14:30 BREAK
14:30-14:55 Future Scenarios and Innovations in the Digital Field
In the recent months, the world has become used to digital alternatives and solutions more than ever before. What is new in the digital field, and what innovations and surprises can we expect in the future?
Speaker: Vytautas Kubilius (Google Baltics)
Moderator: Pauls Siliņš (Riga TechGirls)
14:55-15:25 Coming Closer Together. The Hybrid Transformation of B2B Communities
Before the pandemic, communities were mainly meeting regularly via real life meetings and events, and had only limited digital contact during the time between meetings and the next event. Because of Covid-19, many organisations have had to switch their working formats to digital formats. It is expected that by 2023, most of the events will have returned, but the question is – what will happen to the digital channels? Will new platforms emerge or will the established players survive and transform? How can startups use this communication transformation process in order to establish something new? Is "hybrid" only a temporary and somewhat meaningless buzzword or something really fundamental and important?

Speakers: Tassilo Ott (Talque),
Kaspars Dancis (Whimsical)
Moderator: Adele Pužule
15:25-15:50 Investment opportunities in the securities market and how Latvians are taking advantage of them
A short introduction on the investment services that are available in the Latvian market and the comparison of Latvian customer investment experience with international trends. How do the Baltic household's investment habits compare with the EU, and what investments are most popular among Baltic investors?

Speaker: Jānis Bebris (Luminor)
15:50-16:00 BREAK
16:00-16:30 The Reality of Launching a Business: Startup Founder Stories
What skills does it take to become an entrepreneur? What are the first steps to be taken, and what are the most common challenges met by young entrepreneurs along the way? A discussion among three startup-founders on the truth behind launching a business.
Speakers: Jānis Volbergs (Zoomcharts),
Jānis Strods (Edurio),
Sigvards Krongorns (Cast Print)
Marina Petrakova (VREACH).
Moderator: Anna Andersone (Riga Tech Girls)
16:30-17:00 How Start-ups Can Facilitate Smart Sustainable City Development
During the discussion, a Riga City Council representative will explain what has been done in the pilot territory and how it differs from other territories in Riga. In addition, two startup representatives will tell more about their experience while piloting their business ideas in the Riga Pilot territory in the VEF district.

Speakers: Inese Andersone (Riga City Council), Kārlis Mendziņš (SimpleCharge), Keitija Litte (Velorūme).
Moderator: Viesturs Celmiņš (VEFRESH)
17:00-18:30 10K PITCH BATTLE
18:30-19:00 Improv Comedy Riga - Improvised Scenes About Everything
Expo Area
University of Latvia Student Business Incubator
Meet representatives during the whole festival day
European Commission Representation in Latvia
Meet representatives during the whole festival day
Riga Technical University
Meet representatives during the whole festival day
Transport and Telecommunication Institute
Meet representatives during the whole festival day
Meet representatives from SSE Riga at ROOM 301, 3rd FLOOR (UL House of Science)
Speaker: Kristiāns Lancmanis
Lancman Bags business started as a project in high school; however, hard work and a clear vision resulted in tremendous success. Currently, the company is a leading garment bag producer in Latvia. During the speech, the company's CEO will share his success story and some tips & tricks for entrepreneurs.

Speakers: SSE Riga professors
In the workshop, SSE Riga professors will share their knowledge on Lean Canvas, share their insights on its importance in entrepreneurship, and teach the audience some tips and tricks. Stockholm School of Economics in Riga is a leading business school in the Nordic region. Of Latvia's 100 biggest companies, 13 are led by SSE Riga alumni, and five are on the board of Latvia's TOP 10 businesses. Now, the professors are willing to share some knowledge with the audience of those interested in startups.
Register for the workshop here.

Speakers: Travelogram team
Travelogram is an app that uses AI technology to build routes based on users tastes. It allows you to plan, travel, and pay - all inside one ecosystem. Currently, the company has received funds from the Latvijas Universitātes incubators and has also prevailed in other events. During the event, the team will share their story and future plans with students interested in starting their own business.
10:30 - 10:55 Hobby and Business: The Potential of a New Entrepreneur
Students who want to start a business don't have to wait until after they graduate to get started. There are plenty of steps and opportunities aspiring entrepreneurs can take to prepare themselves for the real world while still in university. University can be a great place to start forming business as this environment offers many free resources that aren't typically available to those who aren't in university. Of course, almost everyone has to come across a business idea failure, but that's not the end of the business, it is possible to achieve success by acquiring new knowledge and of course working.
Speaker: Zane Gusta (Liepāja University)
10:55 - 11:25 Museums in the Digital Age
How have museums adapted to the digital age and introduced technology in their everyday work? What digital processes are involved, and how have they changed the possibilities and prospects in the specific field?
Speakers: Simona Grigaliuniene (Lithuanian Business University of Applied Sciences)
Elīna Vikmane (Latvian Academy of Culture)
Elīna Bērziņa (Latvian National Museum of Art)
Moderator: Alise Pokšāne
11:25 - 11:50 What Does it Take to Be a Successful Woman in Business?
Success means the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. But what does it take to be successful in business?
Speaker: Irina Senņikova (RISEBA University)
11:50 - 12:00 BREAK
12:00 - 12:30 Mentors vs Coaches: Who Can Add More Value to the Startup Journey?
It's easy to get confused about the differences between coaching and mentoring. When you're trying to make big strides in your business, the benefits of both mentorship and coaching may not always be obvious. We will explore the roles mentors and coaches can play to help startup succeed.
Speakers: Evija Vaščensko (Open Mind Management),
Zeev Strutsovski (Venture Faculty).
Moderator: Aija Brūvere (RISEBA University)
12:30 - 12:55 Succeed amid Digital Marketing Chaos - Scope of the Future
Be fast, build the trust and be authentic - these are the key words for success amid digital marketing chaos. Brand trust and loyalty are becoming more and more interconnected. On the other hand, if fast, then the main characteristic feature of trends - to meet people's needs more holistically and authentically. Trust - deliver what is promised, ensure transparent and reliable messaging. How to find the balance among trust, speed, and authenticity?
Let's try to find answers.
Speaker: Jolanta Derkevica-Pilskunga (Turība University)
12:55 - 13:25 The Future of AI and Jobs
A panel discussion on artificial intelligence, the opportunities it provides, and its impact on the jobs and workload in different industries.
Speakers: Aleksejs Vesjolijs (TSI),
Marloes Pomp (NL AI Coalition)
Moderator: Aldis Ērglis
13:25 - 13:35 BREAK
13:35 - 14:00 Team Voilà - Investing in Experiences
"Team Voilà" encourages everyone to feel the hype by creating fun routes to get to know different regions of Latvia. How did their business journey start? What help have they received from the LU Student Business Incubator? What have been the greatest challenges and biggest highlights of launching their business? Hear from the founder of the company, Daniela Studente. The audience is invited to be involved and ask questions during the presentation.
Speaker: Daniela Studente (Team Voilà)
14:00 - 14:30 Is Robotics Only for Engineers?
Robotics is a rapidly growing field with more companies and industries looking to automate. However, this is also a quite intimidatig field to get into - robotics involve the design, construction, operation, details of both hardware and software as well considering ethical and practical issues of the machine and many other aspects. Can somebody without an engineering degree handle it? In this discussion we will take a look at different roles and opportunities in this future mega trend industry.
Speakers: Roberts Kadiķis (Institute of Electronics and Computer Science),
Emmanuel Merchan (Transport and Telecommunication Institute)
Moderator: Anastasija Babarikina
14:30 - 14:55 Big Data - a Doctor's Assistant or a Threat to a Patient's Right to Privacy and Confidentiality?
How is data used in modern medicine? What risks and threats are there for Big Data's faster entry into medicine? What are the risks of more and more data entering the e-environment thinking directly about security and confidentiality? A panel discussion on Big Data in medicine and whether it is an advantage or a threat to the system.
Speakers: Karīna Palkova (Rīga Stradiņš University),
Maija Radziņa (Rīga Stradiņš University),
Signe Bāliņa (University of Latvia)
Moderator: Kristaps Zaļais (Rīga Stradiņš University)
14:55 - 15:05 BREAK
15:05 - 15:35 Why Critical Thinking Is Not Easy
No one is born critically and rationally thinking. It is a skill we can develop over the course of our lifetime. However, our psychology, social media and other factors make thinking critically difficult.
Speakers: Artis Svece (University of Latvia)
Jana Altenberga (Centre for Media Studies at Stockholm School of Economics in Riga)
Moderator: Mārtiņš Hiršs (SkeptiCafe)
15:35 - 16:00 Understanding Science-Based Business and the Ecosystem Around It
"Every business has its own challenges including those that have science-based applications at their core. What are the specific challenges? How to overcome them? What does the ecosystem around such businesses consist of and how can it help? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this presentation.
Speaker: Lauma Muižniece (Investment and Development Agency of Latvia)
16:00 - 16:30 Open innovations in Higher Education Institutions - How to Involve Students in Improving HEIs?
How can higher education institutions involve their students in improving the quality and environment of the institution? What is the role of open innovations in HEIs? A panel discussion among academic staff members and students of Baltic universities.
Speakers: Līga Peiseniece (BA School of Business and Finance),
Eva Ūbele (BA School of Business and Finance),
Märt Aro (EdTech Estonia)
Moderator: Vilhems Karlsons
16:30 - 17:00 Digital and Smart Ports
How can digitalisation help port development? What are the innovative solutions and challenges for the digital development of the port? Do ports plan to participate in the development and implementation of 5G? A panel discussion about the tendencies and future prospects of digital and smart ports.
Speaker: Deniss Bičkovs (Latvian Maritime Academy)
Moderator: Māris Krastiņš
Vytautas Kubilius
Google Country Manager for Baltics
Outside of Google he serves as a board member in a number of startups and organisations, is a co-founder of a startup accelerator and invests into startups as an angel investor. Before joining Google nearly a decade ago he worked for a global agency network operating in Baltics and a telecommunications operator in Latvia and Lithuania.
Liina Laas
Founding Partner at The Better Fund
Liina Laas is the Founding Partner at The Better Fund. Liina has been in the tech scene for nearly a decade and has been crucial in growing multiple fintech startups 10-100x. Liina is an activist for equality. The better fund invests in companies with diverse teams that bring a positive impact through technology.
Alessandro Bianciardi
Co-Founder of Planet S.A.S.
Dr. Alessandro Bianciardi is an environmental engineer with more than 25 years of experience in the identification and management of the environment and sustainable development projects at an international level. He has worked for and within international organizations such as UNDP and the European Commission as well as for NGOs and consulting companies. He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (on Biologically-Inspired Design approach for the industry) from the Politecnico di Milano; a Master in Biomimicry from the Arizona State University and has a certification for Education for Sustainability at the Schumacher College (UK). In 2013 he co-founded Planet s.a.s, a start-up dedicated to bio-inspired innovation, and in particular, he developed bio-inspired solar desalination technology for land regeneration, bio-inspired anti-bacterial surfaces, and bio-inspired filtration systems. He has conducted seminars, workshops, and courses on biologically inspired design methods for sustainable innovation at Universities and International Conferences. He also co-founded Biomimicry Italia, a network affiliated with the Biomimicry Institute (USA), with the aim of promoting biomimicry in Italy.
Sandra Golbreich
CEO and Co-Founder of Baltic Sandbox
Sandra is a CEO and co-founder of Baltic Sandbox – a startup accelerator and community, based in Vilnius, Lithuania. Additionally, Sandra runs "Business Angel School" – educational programs for the EU business angels. Starting from 2019, Baltic Sandbox and Business Angel School are addressing the diversity issues in tech industries. Sandra helps close the gap by running the annual "Women in Tech" acceleration and "Women investing in Tech" educational programs.
Jānis Volbergs
Co-Founder and CEO of ZoomCharts
Co-Founder and CEO of ZoomCharts, with 10+ years of business management and 20+ years of software engineering experience. He holds a degree in business management from the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE Riga) and has been working in the IT field since the age of 16, and has mastered programming since age of 12. Initially, ZoomCharts invited Janis to join as a co-founder with primary focus on e-commerce platform architecture's design and implementation. After the first seed round and initial results, Janis was promoted to CEO position. In Janis leadership, company now has grown to 30+ employees, onboarded 1000+ customers from 100+ countries and is working with profit.
Marloes Pomp
Program Officer for the blockchain and AI projects within the Dutch Government
Marloes Pomp is the Initiator and Program Officer for the blockchain and AI projects within the Dutch Government, including projects in the field of digital identities, logistics, healthcare, finance and food. She is also responsible for the international strategy and partnerships of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition and the National AI Coalition. Her professional interests focus on tech-innovation within governments. Prior to the blockchain and AI activities, Marloes worked in several roles like projectleader and researcher at governmental organizations, including the ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations and the city of Amsterdam. In addition, she serves as an advisory member for the SIDN Fund, the Dutch Court, The Blockchain and the Society Board of the University of Amsterdam (VU).
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