The Innovation Academy, organized for the third year by Riga Business School as part of Riga Technical University, has trained 443 participants. During this time, 110 teams have been formed to develop different business ideas. The aim of this pre-acceleration program was to provide knowledge on innovative entrepreneurship, as well as to support ambitious ideas and early-stage projects to bridge the gap between market and investment readiness. The Innovation Academy has been held over the past three years in cooperation with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) and the EEA Norway Grants.

The Innovation Academy is based on the best early-stage idea support programs in the world, including Stanford University’s LEAN LaunchPad program. Participants used evidence-based approaches to test their early-stage solutions in a highly practical environment and heavily relying on team-building.

Over three years, 110 solutions were created, comprising 46 physical product solutions, 33 applications and 31 platforms, covering 23 industries including medical and health technology, education technology and green technology. These solutions were based on 10 different technologies, mainly artificial intelligence, IoT (Internet of Things) and new materials, and were developed in more than 4,400 mentoring sessions with more than 90 mentors.

Throughout the three years of the Innovation Academy program, many teams have proven their strength and competitiveness in both the local and international markets. They are now actively attracting investors and successfully growing their businesses. Some of these teams are:

Fluffy Unlimited – a green technology company that turns agricultural waste into valuable products. The company’s technology and business model enables the efficient use of all inputs and outputs, from the production process to wastewater. After graduating from the program, the idea was further developed with €100 000 funding from ESA (European Space Agency).

BRUNTOR – a new generation micro-mobility solution developing an electric cargo scooter. The team has won several local and international competitions.

Fungo – a digital solution that motivates paediatric oncology patients to move through an augmented reality game. The team continues to develop the idea and has won several startup competitions: 1st place in the JAL: HealthTech pre-acceleration program, 1st place in the Ideas Cup 2023, 3rd place in the Gen-E innovation category.

PeakSave – a virtual power station (platform) that offers electricity flexibility, capacity as a service to Grid Operators and electricity consumers. Industrial customers have the opportunity to earn smart by using their own electricity and thus participating in the balancing of the electricity grid. After graduating from the program, they continued to develop the idea and raised €50,000 in funding from a venture capital fund.

HONICS – a technology that uses a UV (Ultra Violet) source to produce hydrogen more cheaply and efficiently. The start-up’s sustainable technology has the potential to make hydrogen 5 times cheaper than what is currently available on the market.

Reocto, a portable bioreactor that will help biotechnologists study fermentations of micro-organisms faster and cheaper. It will facilitate the development and market introduction of new biological products.

“The Innovation Academy has proven its value by helping to bridge the investability gap in Latvia’s start-up ecosystem and fostering a healthy pipeline of early-stage deals. Teams of program alumni have already secured more than €750,000 in funding, and this number is growing all the time.”

Viesturs Sosārs
Innovation Academy Programme Director

This year, 50 teams graduated from the program and will meet at the Innovation Academy event on 17 April at TechChill 2024. At this event, the prototypes developed by the teams will be presented, divided into four verticals: physical products, hardware-related products, digital B2C solutions and digital B2B solutions.

“The three cycles of the Innovation Academy have created an excellent mechanism to support early-stage business ideas. It has improved every year and we will use this experience in the future in other LIAA support programs. Several Innovation Academy graduates have already founded promising companies, others have already managed to attract investments and win prestigious start-up competitions.”

Andrejs Berdņikovs
Head of the LIAA Technology Business Centre

More information about the Innovation Academy is available at: The Innovation Academy is implemented with the support of the LIAA Technology Business Centre and EEA and Norway Grants Latvia.

More information:

Viesturs Sosārs, Innovation Academy Program Director,

Jānis Altgauzens, Innovation Academy Program Manager,

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