The Latvian startup community turns a new page – agrees on a new narrative
Communications specialists in the Latvian startup ecosystem have come together to develop a new narrative that they have agreed to communicate to the world. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on September 8 at the Startup Day event held by the Latvian Startup Association.
The purpose of the new narrative is to redefine the narrative that members of the Latvian startup community have internalized, and subsequently communicate to each other and to the world. It is driven by a desire to redefine the go-to narrative about Latvia as an environment for innovation, in favor of an open and honest narrative that reflects Latvia’s opportunities, values, and accomplishments.
The new narrative is as follows:
Latvians are many things – small, resourceful, and normāli. Small is beautiful, connected, and agile. Normāli means actually quite ok.
On the global scale:
We have an unusual amount of talented people.
Our startup policies are great
We are the heart of the Baltics – with the best internetWe are skilled. We are scrappy. We are successful. We just don’t like to scream about it (unless at a sports game).
The initiative was spearheaded and workshop moderated by Julia Gifford, CEO of Truesix and an editor at Labs of Latvia, who took the initiative to call together the communications professionals in the startup community to jointly refine the new narrative.
The necessity for the redefinition of a new narrative has been ever-present and growing, but reached a critical point during the Latvian Startup Association’s Startup Ecosystem Forum, when 35 of the ecosystem’s representatives came together to identify key priorities and obstacles to growth. One of those key obstacles was the narrative that we tell ourselves.
“All too often we hear standard expressions being repeated about the state of the business environment, which do not reflect reality. However these phrases are repeated out of habit, inertia, and are believed by those repeating them, despite their factual inaccuracies. The best way to fight back against these antiquated narratives is to come up with our own – and no one will do it for us. And who better to define and craft new messaging, than communications professionals?” – Julia Gifford, co-founder and CEO of Truesix
Communications professionals not only have the skills and experience in refining messaging, but are also in a strategically beneficial position to disseminate that new narrative through their organizations’ messaging, founders, press releases, and other communications efforts.
It is clear that no external organization or governmental institution will define this narrative for the startup community – it must come from the community itself in order to reflect reality and to be aligned with the ecosystem’s beliefs, values, and needs.
The workshop for defining the new narrative was publicly announced as an official Startup Day side event held on September 8, 2023 and presented to Startup Day attendees. It had the participation of major Latvian startup institutions, startups, and was open to anyone interested in participation.
The memorandum was developed and signed by the following participants:
- Julia Gifford, Truesix
- Olga Barreto Goncalves, Latvian Startup Association
- Nikola Matjusenko, Huntli.io
- Jānis Palkavnieks, Printful/Draugiem Group
- Kristīne Tarvida, Sunwise
- Ieva Treija, Labs of Latvia
- Anda Asere, Labs of Latvia
- Lelde Beņķe-Lungeviča, Labs of Latvia
- Aiva Streļča, Truesix
- Katrīna Krievāne, TechChill
- Maija Milbrete, Printify
- Māra Pērkuma-Masļakova, GoCardless
- Jānis Jēkabsons, Startup Latvia
- Elīna Lidere, LMT
- Kārlis Skuja, WindHackers
- Raimonds Jurgelis, Bruntor
- Biruta Elīza Auniņa-Kirmuška, Digital Accelerator of Latvia
- Andris Rubīns, Magic
- Anete Kiseļeva, RTU Science and Innovation Centre