Introducing Ieva — Ambassador of Latvia & Lithuania!

We would like to introduce our ambassadors of PIRATE Summit 2019 to you! Today you’ll get to know Ieva Upeniece, our ambassador of Latvia & Lithuania!

Who are you & where are you from?

I am a Pirate, ARRR!!!! And my name is Ieva and I am from and based in Riga, Latvia, but work in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Describe your current job in a few sentences.

Head of Partnerships at Baltic Sandbox, FinTech, SaaS and DeepTech Accelerator based in Vilnius, working with early-stage startups that are expanding in Europe from any location globally. In my job I mainly work with growing accelerator’s global investor community, also work with community partnerships, including mentor network, corporate partnerships and events. Previously have been involved in startup and tech event organising in Latvia, still active in startup ecosystem building in my home country :) PIRATE Summit ambassador for 2nd year and also Chapter Lead at Startup SAFARI Riga.

How often have you been to PIRATE Summit?

This will be my 5th PIRATE Summit in a row! So something to celebrate.

What was your best experience at PIRATE Summit that helped you personally or with your business?

The PIRATE network is insanely great, the best of the best you can get in the European startup scene. Being part of this network has helped me a lot to grow professionally. But more than that, it has turned in an event where to meet friends and family. And the openness and helpfulness of the people at PIRATES is the best part of the event and that has helped me to develop and learn so much, both personally and professionally. 
It has also been the event where I fell in love with the startup community and realised that this is the place and people I have been searching for. It has become like a family, always have a feeling like coming home when coming to PIRATE Summit — the place where you are surrounded with people you share the same values, people with whom you can discuss almost everything, people who think big, but act humble and will support you also when things go south. Well, as said, just like the family ❤

How would you describe the PIRATE Summit experience?

You don’t describe it, you live it, you enjoy it, you are the experience!
Also, no spoilers here for first-timers, as when I got to my first PIRATE Summit, I knew little about it, something like — they are cool and crazy people, they burn things, you will like it, based on that made my decision to come here, so I believe you need to be bit spontaneous to be a pirate. And that’s why I also try to keep it similarly mysterious for those I tell about the event, so they make their own PIRATE experience. To leave the room for unknown, for adventure, for wondering for everyone who will experience this for the first time.

Please tell us the funniest/weirdest/most memorable story or situation you experienced at PIRATE Summit.

Well, this is a tough one, as all event is fun, weird, memorable, legendary and crazy at the same time all the time :) 
But one of the highlights definitely is from last year, when our small group of 3 people grew to some 20 people standing on the stairs and singing improvised karaoke from someone’s phone screen. 
Oh, also year before, when in the morning we got in the taxi and some of us were in full pirate outfit, you should have seen the face of taxi driver, or by-passers when we were waiting for the car to arrive — nothing to see, just a regular morning in quiet suburb of Cologne :D 
Also, the moment when the day before the streets near Odonien was full of police and special forces — because — raid in the brothel. You know just some regular stories from yet another startup conference in Europe :D 
But as told before, no spoilers on some of the signature experiences at PIRATES.

If someone were to ask you “What makes PIRATE Summit worth to attend?” — what would your answer be?

Network. People. Pirates. Family. Tribe. 
Big ideas that are changing the future of humanity. Adventurers who are not afraid to travel seas less travelled. True pirates who are brave to not only dream big but work hard to make the dreams become the reality. 
And all that based on the values that are good to remind to all of us in this industry time to time, but at least once in the year as check to myself — am I still here for the right reasons, doing what is good not only for me, but also to community and also for humanity. 
And this to be said — when you attend, you are not just attending the event, you are becoming part of the tribe, thus, you also embrace the pirate principles and use them to navigate the stormy seas of entrepreneurship until next time you reach the Tortuga Bay again.

So, don’t come here to attend the event, come here to become part of the PIRATE Summit tribe!

PIRATE Summit is Europe’s largest invitation-/application-only conference for early-stage startups, investors and corporate executives. PIRATE Summit represents true grassroots entrepreneurship: authentic, crazy, and real. Learn more about PIRATE Summit here!