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top 25 women in startup and vc latvia by vestbee
26 October 2022·16 min read

Aleksandra Wirth

Vestbee

Top 25 Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Latvia

We keep on exploring Central and Eastern European countries, looking for more inspiring female market players. So far we have discovered countries like Croatia, Slovenia, Czechia, Slovakia, and Estonia. Now, it is high time to take a closer look at Latvia.

Meet the Top 25  Women from the Latvian VC and Startup Ecosystem!

Gunita Kuļikovska

 Founder & CEO, Vividly

Gunita Kulikovska is an architect and urbanist by education but over time she has become an entrepreneur who is passionate about new technology and sustainability. She has over 10 years of experience in strategic management, business development, and project leadership positions. Gunita stretches her passion between entrepreneurship, academia, and fitness. At the moment she is also the director of the Sustainable construction department at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences. In the past, Gunita worked as an Advisor at RxEAL, a Lecturer at BA School of Business and Finance, and additionally was a Member of Good Technology Collective, a European forum for piloting and discussing the technology advances of the 21st century. Since 2016, when Gunita founded Vividly, a company developing meaningful metaverse solutions used in architecture, urban planning & education.

Baiba Rubesa & Dagnija Lejina

 Co-Founders, Novatore

Baiba Rubesa is aCo- Founder of Novatore, an online platform dedicated to women’s economic empowerment. She is an experienced Business Executive and Board Member. In the past, Baiba held the position of, among others, a Member Of The Supervisory Board at Gren, the Chair of the Supervisory Council at HansaMatrix, and a Member of the Supervisory Board at Citadele Banka.

Dagnija Lejina is an experienced founder and entrepreneur. During her career, she worked at, among others, the Latvian Transatlantic Organisation, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Nordea. Additionally, she held a CEO position at Digital Freedom Festival, Lejiņa & Partners, a company offering PR support. In 2018 Dagnija co-founded Oratore, an educational platform dedicated to women to help them develop and improve presentation and leadership skills. Additionally, in 2020 she co-founded Novatore, a women's entrepreneurship empowerment platform.

Sabine Pole

 Founder, Sorry as a Service, Angel Investor

Besides graduating from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Sabine Pole also finished the Paris School of Business, so it is not surprising that she has vast expertise in the financial industry. In the past, she worked as an Investment Analyst at ZGI Capital, a Financial Analyst at Prudential, and Managing Director at MAMMU. Now, Sabine is a Co-Founder of ROAR, a social media creative agency, and Sorry as a Service, an online platform for companies looking to raise their standard customer experience level, by sending personalized delights to unsatisfied clients. In addition, she is an Angel Investor at Fermentful. 

Diana Lāce

 Venture Partner, Superangel

Diana Lace has vast expertise in the venture capital sector and is constantly developing the ecosystem in Latvia and across Europe. From 2017 to 2020 she worked as an Investment and Operations Director at Overkill Ventures, an angel fund investing in startups from the B2B tech industry, and from 2020 to 2022 as a Lecturer at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. Additionally, Diana is a Venture Partner at Superangel, an early-stage investment fund focused on European tech startups, an Angel Investor at BADideas.fund, and an Operations Manager at Whimsical. Diana is also the Co-Founder of Global Shapers Riga Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum with an aim to create a community of young Latvian leaders to help further develop the region. 

Egija Gailuma

 Co-Founder, OX Drive

Ecija Gailuma graduated from the Riga Business School and Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. Soon after graduating, she began her professional career while working as a Branding Manager at FIBA, Head of Partnerships and Marketing at Lightspace Technologies, and Country Manager at CityBee, a car and bike-sharing platform. In addition, Egija assumed the position of Board Member at Latvijas Mobilitātes Asociācija, and in 2021 co-founded OX Drive, an app allowing easy Tesla car rental for short and long-term. It is also worth mentioning that Egija was included on the 30 under 30 Forbes list in the Leadership & Management category.

Liza Aizupiete

 Co- Founder & Managing Director, Fintelum

Liza Aizupiete is another impactful woman on our list. She has graduated from the University of Geneve and started her professional career as a Fund Manager Assistant at Symbiotics. What is more, Liza held the position of  Director General at NextPay and in 2015 co-founded Globitex- Global Bitcoin Exchange, where in 2018 Liza assumed the role of Member of the Supervisory Board. In the same year, she additionally co-founded Fintelum, a security crowdfunding platform for fungible tokenised assets in cryptocurrencies or euros.

Aija Perta

CEO and Partner, Rubylight

Talking about influential women from Latvian startup and VC ecosystem it is worth mentioning Aija Perta, current CEO and Partner at Rubylight, a tech investment fund, backing the fast-growing internet and mobile startups with a mission to scale globally.  After graduating from the Riga Business School, she began to work as a Head of the Planning and Control Department, at Amber Latvijas balzams. Additionally, she has assumed the role of Director at OK.RU and was a CFO and Management Board Member at Forticom, which used to be a network of social media platforms, including Nasza Klasa. 

Egita Polanska

 Cyber Program Partner & Managing Director, Startup Wise Guys

Another impactful woman on our list is Egita Polanska, who currently assumes the Cyber Program Partner and Managing Director role at Startup Wise Guys, a  mentorship-driven accelerator program for early-stage B2B SaaS, Fintech, Cyber, Sustainability, and XR startups. More than that, Egita has long-time professional experience, supporting the growth of the Latvian startup ecosystem. In the past, she worked as a Program Manager at Techstars and assumed the position of CEO at TechHub Riga, a network of entrepreneurs, and startups from the tech industry. Additionally, Egita was an Executive Director at the Latvian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and a Chair of the Board at the Latvian Startup Association. 

Kristine Berzina

Founding Partner, Livonia Partners 

Kristine Berzina has graduated from the Latvian University and from Michigan State University. She gained her professional experience while working as Head of Financial Advisory Services at PWC, Corporate Development Director at Lattelecom, a Board Member at Centile, and a Chairman of the Board of UAB Fima. Since 2013 she has been a Founding Partner of Livonia Partners, a pan-regional private equity fund, which focuses on buyouts and growth capital investments in companies across the Baltic region. Additionally, Kristine is a Chairman of the Board at the Latvian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, an association, which main mission is to promote further development of the venture capital sector in Latvia.

Linda Zaikovska Daukste

Co-Founder & CFO & COO, UXDA

Passionate about UX design Linda Zaikovska Daukste is a current Co-Founder and Chief Operating and Financial Officer of UXDA, a company developing the UX design solutions for the digital financial products. In the past, Linda was also connected with this sector as she used to work as a Team Lead & UX Architect at Valiant Vision. Besides that, Linda was a Project Leader at Digital Agency and Deputy Managing Director & Business Analyst at Arcana Global.

Līva Pērkone & Marija Rucevska 

Co- Founders, Helve

Līva Pērkone is another top woman on our list. She has been active on the Latvian business scene for over 15 years. During this time Līva held positions as a Communication Specialist at Nasdaq and an Account Executive at LEAD. Corporate Communications, a Communication Manager at SV2B, and the Member of the Board at TechChill and Latvian Startup Association. Currently, Līva is Member and Angel Investor at BADideas.fund, investing in early-stage CEE and CIS startups. Additionally, in 2016 together with Marija Rucevska, she Co-founded Helve, a platform connecting startups with corporates & state innovators.

Marija Rucevska is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Helve, which, together with Līva Pērkone, she invented with a mission to bring innovation to the corporate and public sectors. Other than that Marija worked at TechHub Riga, Kora Sustainability, and Included VC. Additionally, she is an Angel Investor at BADideas.fund, and one of the Co-Founders of TechChill, where currently Marija assumes the Chair of the Board position.

Anna Ramata-Stunda

Co-Founder & CEO, Alternative Plants

Anna Ramata-Stunda’s heart beats for sustainability and biotechnology, so it is not surprising that she is currently a CEO at Alternative Plants, a biotech start-up dedicated to the production of cosmetic ingredients from plant stem cells. In the past, she worked as a Head of the Cell Transplantation and Research Laboratory, a Researcher and Project Coordinator at the University of Latvia, and a Board Member at InCell.  

Elīna Ražena & Linda Sinka

Co- Founders, Learn IT

Elina Ražena together with Linda Sinka has co-founded Learn IT, an educational coding platform for children, where Elina additionally, holds the CEO position. In the past, she worked as a Legal Assistant at the Law office Kronis&Kronis, and as a Trainee at Sorainen, an international law business company. 

Linda Sinka is a Co-Founder at Learn It. Besides that, she gathered her professional experience while working at EY, and Project Assistant at a non-profit organization. Since 2022 Linda has been a Project Manager at Riga Business School. 

Ieva Treija & Anda Asere

Labs of Latvia

Ieva Treija is currently an Editor at Labs of Latvia, a Latvian media platform dedicated to startups, emerging technologies, and innovations. She has vast expertise in journalism, marketing, and sales sectors, as Ieva worked as a Freelance Writer at EU-Startups, a Head of the Marketing Department at Stokker, and a Sales Manager at Digital Freedom Festival. Also, since 2016 she holds the CEO position at Marketingfans. lv.

Anda Asere after graduating from the University of Latvia began working as a Journalist at Dienas Bizness. What is more, she held a Freelance Writer position at Forbes, and currently is a Journalist at Labs of Latvia, being called (together with Ieva Treija) a godmother of the Latvian startup ecosystem.

Santa Zarane

Managing Director, TechHub Riga

Santa Zarane has graduated from the University of Latvia with a faculty of Business, Management, and Economics. She gained her professional experience while working as a Science Teacher at PATNIS, Chairperson of the Students’ council of the University of Latvia, and Senior Expert Consumer Support at the Consumer Rights Protection Centre. Since the beginning of 2022 Santa has been holding the Managing Director position at TechHub Riga, a vast network of tech startups launched to support their development. 

Olga Barreto Goncalves & Agnese Veckalne & Liene Briede & Arta Abasina

 Latvian Startup Association Startin.LV

Olga Barreto Goncalves, Agnese Veckalne, Liene Briede, and Arta Abasina are currently Board Members at the Latvian Startup Association, Startin.LV, a non-profit organization, with a mission to develop the Latvian startup community. 

Olga Barreto Goncalves has more than 15 years of professional experience. At present, she is additionally a Founding Partner and Finance Director at FundLife International. In the past, she also assumed positions such as 

Head of the Startup Support Team at the ]Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, Business Analyst at Swedbank, and Social Actions Manager at ASSIST.

In the past, Agnese Veckalne worked, among others, as Vice Chairwoman of Startup Council at the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Head of Operations at Edurio, and currently is a COO at Longenesis. 

Besides holding the position of a Board Member at the Latvian Startup Association, Liene Briede is EIC Board Member at EISMEA, European Innovation Council, and SMEs Executive Agency. 

Arta Abasina is an active female entrepreneur. At present, she is not only a Board Member at the Latvian Startup Association, but also a Head Of Operations & Board Member at Nordigen, and additionally a Member of the Global Shapers Community. In the past Arta also assumed the role of Investment and Operations Director at Overkill Ventures. 

Annija Mezgaile & Lauma Sīle

 TechChill

Annija Mezgaile is currently the CEO of TechChill, an online community platform for tech startups. In the past, she worked as an Account Manager at Staris and Magic Agency. Additionally, Annija was an Account Director at Not Perfect Riga, and Managing Director at Latvian Art Directors Club. 

Lauma Sīle has a vast professional experience in the startup ecosystem. She worked, among others, at Partner & Content Support at CodeX, as Forward 2022 Coordinator at Rockstart, and Project Manager at the Latvian Startup Association. Lauma is a Founder of the Techie Foundation, and additionally, she holds a Startup Partnership Manager at httpool. 

Anna Andersone & Lina Marta Sarma

Riga TechGirls 

Anna Andersone and Lina Marta Sarma are connected to the Riga TechGirls, a company dedicated to educating women about technology, thanks to organized workshops and events. 

Lina Marta Sarma is a Co-Creator, and a Board Member at Riga TechGirls and additionally, she is a Board Member of TechHub Riga. In the past, Lina worked as a Field Operations Assistant at Google and a Department Student Coordinator at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Anna Andersone, is a Co-Creator, the Board Member, and Chief Empowerment Officer at Riga TechGirls. What is more, Anna is also a Partner at berta. me and the Founder of be-with, a fashion brand. 

Alise Dīrika

Co-Founder, Infogram

Alise Dīrika has a huge experience as a Designer. In the past, she held positions like Junior Art Director at DOMINO and Graphic Designer at Riga International Film Center. Additionally, she used to work as a Senior Product Manager at Prezi, a Director of Product at Vectornator by Linearity, and is one of the Founders of Infogram, a data visualization platform developed to help in creating graphics, charts, and reports. What is more, Alise is a Member of the Riga TechGirls and is responsible for management of projects. 

Evita Lune

 Partner, Pedersen & Partners

While mentioning influential women in Latvia it is worth mentioning Evita Lune, who is a  Partner and Global Head of the FinTech Practice Group at Pedersen & Partners, a global company offering executive search, leadership consulting and board services. Other than that she has over 15 years of experience in holding managerial and executive positions in the whole Baltic region. In the past, she used to work as a Strategy Analyst at Shell and as an Executive MBA Program Director at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. Additionally, Evita has been listed by Forbes as one of the top 25 most influential women in Latvia.

Evija Vascenko & Kaija Janson

 Co-Founders VeritaCell

Evija Vascenko together with Kaija Janson has co-founded VeritaCell, a provider of  advanced solutions for skin regeneration. In the past, she worked as a Genos International Regional Distributor at Open Mind Management and Venture Entrepreneurial Partner at Commercialization Reactor. 

Besides being a Co-Founder of VeritaCell, Kaija Janson is a Senior Intelligent Analytics Executive at NielsenIQ, an Advisor and Startup Evaluator at EIT Food, and a Founder of Eco-Buddy, a company, which mission is to raise awareness about sustainability both in children and in entrepreneurs. 

Karīna Caunīte-Orupe & Anastasija Oleinika

 TWINO

Karīna Caunīte-Orupe has graduated from the University of Latvia. She used to work as a Credit Risk Manager at 4finance, and as the Group COO at FINNO. Since 2014 Karina has been connected with TWINO, a global investment platform, where since 2022 she has been assuming the CEO role. 

Anastasija Oleinika used to hold the CEO position at TWINO till 2022. Since then she is the CFO at Printify, a tech platform, which allows its users o sell customized merchandise in an easy way. 

Santa Zalyalova

 Co-Founder & CEO, HealthTechPro

Santa Zalyalova has a vast experience in the  Digital Health and innovation industries. She used to work as a  Director Of Business Development at TeleMedicine.lv, Director Of Development at GX2 Telemed. Santa is also a Co-Founder of Digital Health Cluster Latvia, a non-profit organization supporting companies in developing digital health and innovative healthcare solutions. Since 2022 Santa is assuming the CEO position at HealthTechPro, a company providing solutions based on artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. 

Vita Stūre

Founder, Semantic Intelligence

Vita Stūre is a startup entrepreneur focusing on AI solutions. She used to work as a Web Channel Sales Manager at Lattelecom, a Business Development Executive at Citadele Banka, and the CEO of CUBE agency, a digital and interactive marketing agency. In 2017 she has co-founded Semantic Intelligence, a technology startup using AI to accelerate biopharma's digital transformation.

Lelde Stukle-Ojasalu

Member of Investment Comitee, Commercialization Reactor

Lelde Stukle-Ojasalu  is an experienced VC Investment Manager in pre-seed and seed-stage technology start-ups. She gained her experience while working as 

a Business Development Associate at Cleantech Open, an Investment Manager at Imprimatur Capital Fund Management, and a Jury Member at an EIC Accelerator. Since 2019 Lelde has been the COO of  Anatomy Next, a developer of teaching and learning tools. What is more, Lelde is a Member of the Investment Committee at Commercialization Reactor, an international platform for science commercialization, supporting tech startups. 

Kristine Tarvida

Managing Director, LatBAN

Kristine Tarvida is an experienced entrepreneur, currently assuming the Managing Director at LatBAN, a Latvian business angels network, and being the CEE Angel Committee Member at European Business Angels Network (EBAN). What is more, Kristine has vast experience in the PR and marketing sectors, as in the past she worked as a Communications Manager at NEWDOOR, a Public Relations & Digital Marketing Project Manager at Lejiņa & Šleiers, and as a freelancer taking care of Public Relations & Digital Marketing of several companies. 

Undoubtedly, the Latvian startup and VC ecosystem is powered by many inspiring and impactful women, that is why our list is definitely not closed, and we appreciate your involvement: Marija Kokare from 2AM, Inga Muižniece from SONIDO, Ksenia Moskalenko from Mission Space, Ieva Jansone-Buka & Ilona Skribiņa from ALTUM, Anita Matisone from LVCA, Marta Rautenschild from LCCI, Diana Pershtein-Lapkis & Olga Kotova & Maria Povilaite from NEWDOOR, Zane Bojāre from Startup Wise Guys, Madara Kalniņa-Kalnmale from RedFrog, Ilona Gulchak from Commercialization Reactor, Kristine Nagle from Your Impact House, Alina Dolmate from EIT Food, Aiga Kalbjonoka from Httpool Baltics & IAB Baltics, Kristine Vilnite from ThreeFold Foundation

*If you have any insights about the article, drop me a line! 

Related Posts: 

Top 50 Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Estonia (by Katarzyna Groszkowska, Editor, Vestbee)

Top Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Croatia (by Katarzyna Groszkowska, Editor, Vestbee)

Top 25 Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Slovenia (by Aleksandra Wirth, Vestbee)



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