Looking beyond easy cash, many of the startups in Latvia’s ecosystem have nobler goals – and can make cool drones
While Latvia’s startup scene is young compared to other countries, its aims are ambitious. Looking beyond easy cash, many of the startups in Latvia’s ecosystem have nobler goals, such as helping educational institutions and nonprofits.
Without further ado, here are the five Latvian startups we think you should watch out for in 2016.
Infogr.am is a web-based infographic creator – a data visualization product that brings out the best in your data. From private projects to public articles, Infogr.am shows your information in an interactive, responsive, and engaging way. The simple tool offers both fremium and premium versions, letting you channel through various templates, add titles, quotes, images, and videos, and share it on social media.
Since its launch in 2012, they’ve attracted more than $2.8 million in venture capital and received various awards including ‘Best Startup Overall’ at TNW Amsterdam and ‘Top Innovator’ at Developer Week San Francisco. They recently acquired the Brazilian data visualization startup Visualoop and launched a nonprofit arm to improve data literacy around the world.
BranchTrack is the ‘Create-your-own-adventure’ tool for staff training in sales and customer care. By adding realistic customer simulations, the tool improves the online learning experience and stimulates staff’s ability to make actual decisions and apply their newfound knowledge in their job. An easy-to-use interface helps you create a simulation, add characters, their poses, and emotions, and embed dialogues in various authoring tools – the simulation is then ready to be sent to trainees.
AirDog is an auto-follow GoPro Video drone for adventure sports, taking filming to new heights. No matter if you surf, skate, bike, or ski, the motorized ‘dog’ follows you wherever you go. The drone is fully automatic from take-off to landing, GoPro ready, foldable, and easy controllable from a waterproof and wearable device, making you fully equipped to record every second of your journey.
The fast rising startup is also the most crowdfunded Latvian startup project on Kickstarter to date: It garnered more than $1.3 million, more than six times its $200,000 initial funding goal. AirDog also won the ‘Best Drone or Robot’ award at CES 2015. With plenty of improvements constantly added and tested, this drone is there to tell your most adventurous stories.
Edurio designs a toolkit to let schools and teachers receive valuable feedback from students and parents in an effort-free way. Kicking off its successful run with the win at TechChill Baltics’ 2015 pitch contest, Edurio has now attracted a €230,000 investment, tested and upgraded the product, and sketched new plans for development.
Edurio enables teachers to use pre-designed surveys or create their own to find out students’ views, including administering and analyzing surveys. The tool is available on computers, smartphones, and tablets, making it easy to use and available at any time.
Funderful is an online fundraising management platform for any university, adding a gamified giving experience, creative campaign content, and tools to manage both easily. An idea that started as a way for the Stockholm School of Economics to ‘beat Stanford,’ Funderful has become one of the most innovative startups in Latvia. Its clients include Dordt College and Wolfson College, a subsidiary college of the University of Cambridge in the UK.
The views expressed are of the author.
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