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Highlights from Latitude59

Jul 4 2022
Crypto Community
10 minutes
And… it's a wrap! The flagship startup and tech event of Estonia - Latitude59 has come to an end after successfully hosting 2,500 participants, 350+ investors, and 500+ startups from 55+ countries last week. Thank you for having us, it's been an enjoyable and insightful experience!

About Latitude59

Wonder what is Latitude59? If you have not yet heard of the Latitude59 conference, then we suggest you read our earlier article “Meet Gravity Team at Latitude59” which will also explain the agenda, speakers and what to expect during the event. 

In short, it’s a start-up and tech event aiming to bring together people from the Baltic, Nordic, and Northeastern Europe’s tech ecosystem. The conference provides a platform for entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders to meet and connect while also learning from the panel talks held.

Below you will find our highlights, starting with: 

  • Panel Talks & Keynotes;
  • Side Event Thinking in Billions;
  • Pitch Competition.

Latitude59 tweet about highlights

Picture Credits: Latitude59 Twitter

Panel Talks & Keynotes

Now, we will dive into a few panel talks and conversations that took place in Latitude59, starting with Gravity Team’s favorite topic: crypto. Afterward, we will explore other topics, such as: sustainability, inclusivity, and diversity. 

On crypto and Web3 we will cover:

  • Journey into Crypto Wealth Management;
  • Web3 & Crypto From Early Users to Global Adoption;
  • Can Web3 Be Inclusive and Sustainable?;
  • Metaverse – What’s Hype, What’s Real?;
  • Web3 and The Future of Startup Equity.

Also, we will explore:

  • Building a Global Unicorn;
  • From Deep Tech to Deep Purpose: What must Europe Focus on to Solve Global Challenges?;
  • Mental Health – An Often Overlooked Priority for Founders and Their Investors;
  • Diversity Struggles in the Tech & VC Industry.

People at the Latitude59 Conference

Picture Credits: Delfi arileht

Journey into Crypto Wealth Management

This conversation resembled a workshop as Christopher Diserens, COO at Swissborg, took the Terrace Hall to lay out his crypto wealth journey, and helped attendees better understand this industry. 

Christopher has a consolidated asset management and banking background, first entering SwissBorg in 2017 as Chief Business Development Officer. SwissBorg is a crypto exchange on which users can buy and sell cryptocurrency with 16 different fiat currencies. SwissBorg helps its 648,000+ verified users to manage over $0.88billion across 1,650 unique crypto-fiat asset pairs.

Web3 & Crypto from Early Users to Global Adoption

This discussion brought together a panel of experts:

The conversation gravitated around the future of finance and DeFi platforms, the most numerous types of platforms in Web3, but still with a lot of space to evolve and innovate. 

Moreover, panelists talked about Web3 and crypto market regulations. The latter is a hot topic as regulations can be fragmented to each country’s legal approach to crypto and very limiting to activity in that space.

Ethan Pierse, Martin Bruncko, Shefali Roy and Andres Sutt on the stage

Picture Credits: Martin Bruncko Linkedin

Can Web3 Be Inclusive and Sustainable?

The future Stage hosted a fireside chat with guest speakers:

Both Maria and David have vast experience in the tech world, and they sure do have an insightful take on how Web3 development can potentialize inclusivity. Ethan, on the other hand, performs as an excellent moderator given his background as a keynote speaker and panel moderator. 

Regarding sustainability, the topic is rather more complex, and crypto operations have obvious implications for the environment. However, there is a positive overview that more good than harm will come from this always evolving technology in the long run. 

Metaverse – What’s Hype, What’s Real?

The Future Stage welcomed:

The guest speakers explored all things metaverse. From its actual prediction developments to the most far-fetched expectations, the metaverse is still hard to define, so it’s expected that a lot of doubt and misinformation surrounds this concept. 

Covering all sides of the metaverse, with Rainer on the Gaming front, Petri in VC, and Greta leading a team of 30 specialists on Metaverse advertisement, the conversation was truly insightful and instructive!

Märt Lume, Great Pudan, Rainer Selvet and Petri Rajahalme on the stage

Picture Credits: Aiga Kalbjonoka LinkedIn

Web3 and The Future of Startup Equity

This fire chat had as panelists:

Besides talking about the current state of Web3 and sharing their personal opinions on its development, the three guest speakers also talked about start-up equity, something they know very well.

In Philip’s case, he is very aware of the start-up scene worldwide, as he is the founder of a think tank that aims at helping British entrepreneurs. Also, both Margarita and Krists are co-founders of tech companies thriving on the scene, so they couldn’t be more aware of the challenges and demands that will shape the future of start-up equity. 

Philip Salter, Margarita Sivakova and Krists Avots on the stage

Picture Credits: Margarita Sivakova LinkedIn

Fortunately, Latitude59 had several panel talks and conversations on other topics like business and management, some of which we will further elaborate on. 

Building a Global Unicorn

This one-on-one conversation between Patricia Gonzaga Travassos, Innovation specialist at CNN Brazil, and Carlos Paniagua, Co-founder, and CTO at Glia, tried to gather the main teachings Carlos learned throughout his career on building a unicorn. 

“Sometimes, because of our culture, we are excessively humble. We don’t talk much about what we can do and our successes. Living abroad has made it easier to understand that it doesn’t need to be this way,” says Carlos. He argues that it is good to leave the humble mentality behind and to be more fierce and ambitious in the way we position ourselves, according to Revista Pequenas Empresas & Grandes Negócios

During this talk, Carlos added that diversity is fundamental for a company’s success: “Having different backgrounds shapes you to look at problems from different perspectives and consider things you haven’t considered before. Having different ideas and perspectives is good for developing solutions and building company culture”. 

Carlos also defends that planning is a must when managing and scaling your project. Taking things gradually and step-by-step can help many companies scale and go global.

Patricia Gonzaga Travassos and Carlos Paniagua on the Latitude59 stage

Picture Credits: Revista Pequenas Empresas & Grandes Negócios

Besides crypto and business, the conference also included discussions on mental health, diversity, and inclusivity, according to this year’s Latitude59 general topic “Purpose and Inclusion”. 

From Deep Tech to Deep Purpose: What must Europe Focus on to Solve Global Challenges?

This conversation took place in the Future Stage and had Taavi Madiberk, CEO and Member of the Board at Skeleton Technologies, as a guest speaker. As the leading man at the global technology leader for high power energy storage, Taavi Madiberk has an excellent knowledge of how deep technology can serve as a positive force and help humans overcome global challenges. 

He believes Deep Tech can aid us in finding viable solutions for the climate crisis and avoid the worst downsides of global warming. But he doesn’t stop there! Even though the environment is one of the worst global challenges, there are many more not so talked about which we can be assisted by technology. 

According to Delfi Ärileh, Taavi Madiberk showed to be optimistic about the role of Europe in pushing technology forward. He defends that all the advancements made for the sake of science and academia should also be transformed into big commercial successes. 

“We have serious room for improvement in turning innovation into business success.”, Taavi Madiberk says. It is clear that he is a firm believer that business by itself can be a bigger driver of innovation than academia ever was.

Benjamin Bathke tweet

Picture Credits: Benjamin Bathke Twitter

Mental health – an often overlooked priority for founders and their investors

A bit out of the scope we have mentioned so far, but a very important topic is mental health. This conversation took place on Latitude59’s Founder Stage and had as guest speakers:

One of the best points made during the discussion was the current inability to measure a team’s mental health. At the same time, it is so straightforward to analyze a company’s performance through its data.  

It is of the utmost importance for an investor to protect and invest in the health of the leadership team because that is one of the most crucial points and guarantees the company’s success. 

On the company’s end, it is also essential that they take that into consideration when looking for an investor. It won’t be of much help to an investor that does not acknowledge the well-being of the leadership team. 

From a company’s perspective, it should be incentivized to build a culture that makes employees feel safe and secure. Where they feel they have the time to share their problems and challenges. 

At last, one final important takeaway of this fruitful conversation was that ultimately the responsibility for our health, particularly mental health, lies with us. Therefore, we should individually be looking for activities that empower us and contribute to our well-being, such as sleeping and eating well.

Priit Saluma, Bulëza Koci and Raja Skogland on the stage

Picture Credits: Priit Salumaa LinkedIn

Diversity Struggles in the Tech & VC Industry

This conversation had as panelists:

Another hot topic of today’s tech and the overall corporate scene is diversity. How can we aspire to have minorities included in the future tech developments when so many occupy top positions in that industry? 

The conversation touched on critical key points to enable that reality, and in fact, the panelists agreed that inclusion is an important factor in achieving the best outcome possible. The best talent and skills are defined by color nor sexual orientation, so that shouldn’t be a criteria when looking for them.

Invest in Estonia tweet

Picture Credits: Latitude59 Twitter

Side Event Thinking In Billions

This Latitude59 side event focused on public-private partnerships aiming to think in billions instead of millions. The event is sponsored by the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and organized with Accelerate Estonia and Latitude59.

There is a need to push public institutions to take risks and invest in different ideas that can represent the future. As you might expect, this is no easy job for public institutions that are traditionally extremely risk-averse.

Some questions approached in this event were:

  • What kind of risks is acceptable for public institutions to take?
  • What can the government actually do to overcome business challenges?
  • What are the private sector’s expectations for raising future unicorns in a risky public environment?

People at the Latitude59 Conference

Picture Credits: Delfi Ärileh

Latitude59 Pitch Competition

Latitude59 hosted the final of the Pitch Competition on the Purpose Stage on the last day of the event. In total, more than 230 start-ups applied for the competition, but only two reached the final.

According to Delfi Ärileh, Mait Sooaru, Member of the Management Board and CIO at EstBAN, explained, “The three best companies already have a decent monthly turnover, the companies are planning to conquer the US market, and in general we were a very international and ambitious company,”. Therefore, it is clear that the level of competition was particularly high this year.  

In terms of inclusivity, one of the topics of the conference, Liisi Org, CEO of Latitude59, said, “This time, instead of a 30-year-old white Estonian man, we were pleased to acknowledge the superiority of an Estonian, a Ukrainian, a Belarusian team and Latvians,”.

The winning companies were Vocal Image, receiving an investment of 250,000 euros, and Ender Turing, receiving an investment of 200,000 euros.

Vocal Image is an AI-based voice training app that focuses at providing daily 3 minute sessions to improve the sound of the user’s voice. It is particularly useful for professionals in sales, coaching, teaching, negotiating, and many other fields.

Ender Turing is a tech company that uses the speed of AI to identify top performers in calls, chats, and video meetings. It provides employees with feedback and the best practices of top performers for self-coaching and performance growth.

The two winning teams of Latitude59 conference with the prizes

Picture Credits: Delfi Ärileh

So much happened in just a few days!

Many thanks to the organizers for bringing everyone together, providing valuable networking opportunities and new connections!



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