Mid of May this year, the CapOne Research team had the pleasure of being invited to Latitude59 – the flagship startup and tech event of Estonia (World’s first digital society). Organised for the twelfth time, the 2-day technical conference brought together over 2500 attendees and 150 startups from 20 countries, making it one of the largest startup events in Eastern Europe (especially the Baltic, CEE and Nordic regions).
We were excited to be attending this event, based on a special invitation from The Embassy of India in Estonia and Finland – to be an active participant of the Indian Delegation.
We were looking forward to meeting lots of interesting people from the industry, getting feedback on our Fintech product and also discovering what everyone else was working on.
It was a busy 2-day event with loads of networking and lots of lessons learned. So in this post we want to share our experience from Latitude59 2019 with you.
Although officially it was a 2 day event, several side events were arranged to ensure a good run up to the main event.
Day 1: 14th May 2019
It was the ice-breaking session for startups delegates who had arrived from India, upon invitation by Startup Estonia at Pudel (Telliskivi 60a-5, 10412 Tallinn) together with EU-India Incubators network.
Day 2: 15th May 2019
This was more of a briefing session for both the European and Indian delegates – about the Estonian startup ecosystem and services and the EU-India Innovation Partnership. This event was held at Lift99 Co-working space.
The event gracefully concluded with startup pitches and networking lunches.
Towards the evening, the Indian delegates bonded informally over a Tallinn city tour. Overall it was a very fruitful day getting to know the best of Indian entrepreneurs and startups.
Day 3 and 4: 16th and 17th May 2019
This was the main event which was organized at Kultuurikatel. There were a host of startup stalls and VC exhibitions from the who’s who of Baltic and Nordic regions. The scale at which things were organized was mind blowing.
The event was very well organised, the organisers did a good job with their email communication with tips on when and where to pick up their badges and how to get to the venue — making sure everyone had a good experience. The ones who attended the side events were already equipped with their badges!
There was also a dedicated app (Talque) which facilitated more networking opportunities, you could see all attendees and send a message to them via the app.
Striking up a conversation was a breeze and everyone was approachable – including the organizers and the embassy officials. The great thing with Latitude59 Europe 2019 was the diversification of companies attending.
If you decide to have a stand at this event next year, we would recommend the following tips:
● If possible, choose a strategic location with lots of foot traffic. For example, we got our stand assigned, but luckily it was facing a very busy passage.
● Have some freebies available, but avoid hyped items that would override interest in your product
● Be proactive in approaching people, don’t wait for them to come to you
● Show interest in what the other person is working on too
● Have a presentation or video running in the background, great for drawing people to your stand
● Don’t forget your business cards, and have your phone ready to photograph the badge of those who forget theirs
● Make notes of every conversation that you have; you’ll be talking to lots of people and the risk of forgetting details is high
Estonia Startup Trends 2019
One of the main reasons to attend an industry event like Latitude59 Europe 2019 is to also keep your ear to the ground on developing trends. One of the key takeaways from Latitude59 Europe 2019 was where investors are currently focusing their attention.
Overall Latitude59 Tallinn 2019 was a blast and the atmosphere had a good vibe to it, which made it really easy to network with others. If you’re a young startup looking to establish base in Estonia or European Union in the larger context, Latitude59 is the event for you.
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