Summary

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A few moments from CBC'15

About the conference

Entrepreneurship and the Economy

The third annual Cambridge Baltic Conference (CBC), co-organised by the university’s Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian societies, allows inspiring and high profile speakers from the Baltic States and the UK to share their expertise on a variety of topics.

This year’s topic is Entrepreneurship and the Economy. We will be bringing together the knowledge, creativity and experience of students, academics, politicians, as well as the business community, to examine important issues about the entrepreneurial environment of the Baltic countries.

We are proud of the success of our previous CBC events: the first of which discussed the past, present and the future of the Baltic States, while last year’s conference elicited a lively debate about education.

This year’s conference will begin with attending entrepreneurs and experts presenting their start-ups and sharing their experience in a discussion session. After the presentations, there will be a networking session allowing all present to mingle with the entrepreneurs and speakers. Following an opening speech, the panels will be discussing the competitive advantages of the Baltic States' entrepreneurial environment. Other panels will address technology transfer, policies affecting Baltic entrepreneurs, and the future of the financial sector. Lastly, dinner will grant one final opportunity for networking and dialogue before the end of the event.

Come to this year’s Cambridge Baltic Conference and join us as we discuss the future of entrepreneurism and economic policy with our expert speakers, as we attempt to play a part in shaping the future of the Baltic States!

Programme

Saturday 24th October - Conference Day

  • 09:00 - 10:00Registration

The Start-up Discussions

  • 10:00 - 11:30Discussion
  • 11:30 - 12:10Coffee break

The start-up discussions will gather together entrepreneurs and experts from various disciplines to discuss and share their initiatives and experience to both, the speakers and the audience. People from diverse disciplines such as technology, entertainment and design will not only present their ideas and stories but also motivate students to develop their own by joining the dynamic business environment.

  • 12:10 - 12:30Opening speech

Defining the competitive advantages of the Baltic States' entrepreneurial environment

  • 12:30 - 14:00Panel discussion

In the first large-scale panel discussion, we will examine the entrepreneurial environment of the Baltic States. The topics will include: What helped the appearance of many start-up companies in these countries: is it thanks to favourable legislation, the experience of early successful entrepreneurs like Skype, organisations like Garage48 and StartupWiseGuys, and/or other factors? What characterises the workforce involved: how are future entrepreneurs educated; and are there entrepreneurs moving from other countries to join Baltic businesses? Similarly, which countries invest in the Baltic States and what are the consequences? We will also consider the largest industries of the Baltic States – e.g. metallurgy, IT, pharma and transport, and discuss the goals and impact of large-scale projects such as Rail Baltica.

Establishing the academia-industry relationships for effective technology transfer in the Baltics

  • 12:30 - 14:00Panel discussion

This panel will address the reasons why most start-ups in the Baltic States are based on IT and financial services rather than scientific research. Is it because the government does not believe in science based economic growth? Or because funding scientific projects is costly, and the Baltic economies are unable to afford this risk? Also, does Baltic education give science students entrepreneurial skills? We will then consider possible ways to enhance tech transfer by discussing successful science based spinoffs; suggesting potential improvements in education; and considering less financially demanding science start-ups, making a comparison between biotech, chemical/pharmacological industry, etc.

  • 14:00 - 15:00Lunch

Policies and politics supporting entrepreneurial activities and success in Baltic States

  • 15:00 - 16:30Panel discussion

This panel’s topics will include tax policies: we will assess if and how they foster, do not foster or harm the entrepreneurs’ initiatives in the Baltic States. Shifting the focus to other policies, we will ask what the governments currently do to help new businesses. What is the accessibility and impact of venture capitals, seed investments, loans and investments for equity? Furthermore, we will discuss how joining the euro zone has affected the entrepreneurial environment: what can we learn from Estonia’s example, which joined in 2011, and what trends can we observe in Latvia and Lithuania, which joined later? Finally, we will consider what business promoting fiscal policies could be introduced in the future.

Future of the financial sector

  • 15:00 - 16:30Panel discussion

Contemplating the future of the Baltic States’ financial sector, we will assess the role of currently existing projects such as TransferWise, especially their impact on banking. What can banks do to overcome the losses produced by these projects? We will also consider virtual currencies (such as BitCoin), their impact on the financial sector including the risks they pose. Our discussion of the future of the Baltic States’ financial sector can benefit from discussing example financial developments from other parts of the world.

Closing session

  • 16:30 - 17:00Coffee break
  • 17:30 - 18:30Closing speech by HE Andris Teikmanis, the Ambassator of Latvia to the UK

Networking dinner

  • 19:30 - 23:00Dinner and networking reception*
  • * - Note that the number of available places will be limited.

Speakers

The Start-up Discussions

Linas Vastakas

CEO at Interlinear Books
Discussion participant

Rokas Peciulaitis

Inflation Trader at Merrill Lynch
Discussion participant

Jessica K Chen

Product Lead at TransferWise
Panel speaker

Defining the competitive advantages of the Baltic states' entrepreneurial environment

Milda Darguzaite

Head of Barclays Technology Centre Lithuania (BTCL)
Panel speaker

Dr Roberts Zile

Member of the European Parliament for Latvia
Panel speaker

James Oates

CEO of Cicera Capital
Panel speaker

Establishing the academia-industry relationships for effective technology transfer in the Baltics

Prof Andy Hopper

Head of the Computer Laboratory
Panel speaker

Andris K Berzins

Board Member, TechHub Riga
Panel speaker

David Clark

Former CEO of the Laser Diagnostic Instruments
Panel speaker

Policies and politics supporting entrepreneurial activities and success in Baltic States

Andris Ozols

Director of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA)
Panel speaker

Andris K Berzins

Board Member, TechHub Riga
Panel speaker

James Oates

CEO of Cicera Capital
Panel speaker

Future of the financial sector

Ilmars Rimsevics

President of the Bank of Latvia
Panel speaker

Jessica K Chen

Product Lead at TransferWise
Panel speaker

Violetta Senda

Senior Director for Digital Strategy and Digital Banking at Avanade
Panel speaker

Sponsors

Contact us if interested in supporting our efforts and looking for a sponsorship deal!

Partners & Supporters

Venues

Conference venue:
The Cambridge Union Society
9a Bridge Street, Cambridge, CB2 1UB
Dinner venue:
Corpus Christi College
Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RH

Organising Committee

About the organisers

Cambridge Baltic Conference 2015 is jointly organised by:

  • CUEST - Cambridge University Estonian Society;
  • CULA - Cambridge University Latvian Association;
  • CULS - Cambridge University Lithuanian Society;
  • OLS - Oxford Latvian Society.

The four aforementioned student societies have been established in 2011, 2013, 2008 and 2012 respectively. Their membership now exceeds one hundred exceptionally bright and active full-time students from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The members of the societies are working towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in various disciplines. Together we build a friendly environment for sharing ideas and experience.

Although relatively new, CULS, CUEST and CULA have already proven solid organisation, clear vision and long term goals. Our successful past and present projects have included the Lithuanian Students Forum, Lithuanian Ideas Forum 2011, interactive conference LINK2012, Cambridge Baltic Conference 2013, Cambridge Baltic Conference 2014, student mentorship project Academic Buddy, guest lectures by Prof Leonidas Donskis, Prof Ene Ergma, Prof Mart Ustav and classical music concerts by Algirdas Galdikas, Maksim Štšura and Rimantas Vingras. These events attracted hundreds of people and were extensively featured in the media.

Organising Committee for CBC 2015

    Board

  • Jānis Briška (Chair)
  • Kert Pütsepp
  • Kadi Liis Saar
  • Ingrida Kerušauskaitė
  • Alexey Morgunov
  • Vilius Bartnikas
  • Ekaterina Morgunova
  • Justina Gilevskaja
  • Edgaras Liberis
  • Vladimiras Oleinikovas
  • Linas Vaštakas
  • Justas Dauparas
  • Tiina Annus
  • Edgars Klētnieks
  • Design & web

  • Edgaras Liberis
  • Antanas Uršulis
  • Seva Karpauskaitė
  • Elvina Petrėnaitė