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Challenges for innovative small companies tackled in SIB Net project Final Conference

SIB Net Final Conferene under the title „HOW TO MAKE SMALL INNOVATIVE BUSINESSES  SUCCESSFUL" took place  in Tartu on May 17th, 2012. The conference presented the results achieved by SIB Net Project during the last 2 years and highlighted the main challenges Small Innovative Businesses are facing today in Estonia and Latvia.

Welcoming words for the participants of the conference were said by Managing Director of Tartu Science Park, Mr Toomas Noorem, and by Head of Project Division of Riga Planning Region, Agnese B─źdermane.

Main session of conference was opened by Valdis Avotins, SIB Net project manager, who presented the findings of the undertaken analysis and proposed set of measures which could be taken in Estonia and Latvia to improve  the situation.

When asked to briefly summarize SIB Net project's outcome, Valdis Avotins noted: "Experience of economic downturn forces us to change „growth paradigm" by making changes in business environment, education system, investment priorities to make economy to grow again on a bases of high value added not cheap labour force. The 'new high growth knowledge based economy' will not arrive overnight and will not be freely welcomed by stagnant players of „old economy" feeling pretty comfortably today.

SibNet Project outlined very practical ways to meet challenges and to implement measures for transformation of Project region's economy."

In following presentations Vaido Mikheim from Tartu Science Park and Martins Velde from Ventspils High Technology Park spoke about the role of pre-incubation for innovative start-ups while Aivars Timofejevs from Stockholm School of Economics in Riga focused on on the topic of entrepreneurial creativity for start-ups. Gundars Kulikovskis from FIDEA  touched the topic of high growth companies - Gazelles and the possible ways how to increase the number of Gazelles in Estonia and Latvia. Finally Mr. Sven Illing, a start-up entrepreneur and Tarvo Tamm from Connect Estonia explained the main challenges in finding the suitable capital and funding schemes for start-ups.

The presentations of the conference are available at project website http://www.sibnetwork.eu

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