Written by: iiGrowth

Entrepreneurs face challenges each and every day. Often, as entrepreneurs, we tackle the hardest problems on our own. Of course, the stress of doing so can certainly be difficult. There are other means for approaching challenges such as delegating to someone else, calling on a friend or colleague, talking to a family member, calling up a business partner/supplier, or buying some service/solution. None of these choices are mutually exclusive.

Sometimes a change of venue, being able to speak with other entrepreneurs and business leaders can also be of great value. Recently, I spoke and met with Bill Dennis, who leads and facilitates entrepreneurs in such venues. The CEO Accelerator groups are not large, but they are intended to be meaningful in terms of content, relationships, and addressing problems faced by us as entrepreneurs.

Through the conversations we decided their are many topics of interest to entrepreneurs that we like to discuss and solve including the following examples:

  • What new business models does the new economic environment suggest?
  • Successful cross referral relationships with group members
  • Communication models: social networking: Linked-In vs. Twitter
  • Getting to electronic records as well as “Emotional Intelligence”
  • Creating extraordinary team members through dynamic leadership techniques
  • Group websites, forums, and blog development
  • Collaborative agreements between disciplines
  • Creating multiple brands- creating multiple revenue streams
  • Specialty marketing and networking strategies
  • HR solutions: conflict resolutions and motivation
  • Insurance and technology strategies
  • Collaborative and personalized and hybrid business models
  • Outcome-driven innovation

Finding the right type of support environment is important. You have many options to create such an environment, but maybe a CEO Accelerator is right for you. We are working to put together a group or two in 2013/2014. If you are interested in learning more, helping us frame the discussions important to you, please call me at 240-499-4938 or by email gplato@iigrowth.com. I would be very pleased to speak with you.

Written by: iiGrowth

RIX Technologies, the leading e-Government services provider in the Republic of Latvia, is now going global, and is entering the US Market. RIX Technologies was founded in 2001. RIX Technologies is a fast growing, woman-owned, small business. They have a staff of over 100 Information Technology (IT) solutions and development specialists.RIX Technologies focuses on IT innovations including: user driven design, enhanced customer experience, state of the art development methods that are CMM compliant, and the latest technology platforms. In order to ensure that this IT innovation is credible and repeatable, RIX Technologies applies proven software development practices and methods. They currently possess an ISO 9001:2008 quality certificate and will soon receive their ISO 27001 security certificate.
RIX also holds dozens of technology certifications in code development, application frameworks, and data base platforms which form the foundation for an innovation culture at RIX. RIX has leveraged this expertise to become partners with Global companies including Microsoft (Silver Certified Partner) and Oracle (Gold Partner).
RIX is committed to fully meeting customer expectations; 100% of its projects have been delivered on-time and within budget.
In 2011, RIX had net sales of $5.6M and is forecast to have sales of $7.4M in 2012 and growing to $20M by 2014.
RIX has turned to iiGrowth, an experienced business growth consultancy based in the Washington DC Metro area, to assist with RIX global expansion efforts. iiGrowth is now working with the RIX leadership team to evaluate opportunities to enter the US market. iiGrowth is pleased to be able to work with RIX to provide American market analysis, market strategy, alliance development, customer acquisition, and more local marketing.
iiGrowth is now conducting a survey of potential RIX customers and partners in the Washington DC metro region. RIX believes that they can leverage RIX innovation driven solutions, proven business methods for software development, and very attractive pricing to create very high value for US customers and channel partners.
For more about RIX, please contact Gustav Plato at iiGrowth or John Bryant.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth UK is pleased to announce that it has joined the British Business Club. The British Business Club is a powerful business networking tool for both British and international firms.  By allowing companies to build their networks and connect with business partners worldwide, it increases opportunities for businesses to meet and engage with potential partners during the unique atmosphere of the London 2012 Olympic Games themselves.

The British Business Club is an exciting new resource available to help everyone make the most of business networking activity around the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and other major sports events now and in the future.

The British Business Club is a partnership between UK Trade & Investment, London & Partners, London Business Network and BIS, on behalf of the UK-wide London 2012 Business network. 

Now that iiGrowth has joined the British Business Club, Marcis Liors Skadmanis, Managing Director, iiGrowth UK will be the iiGrowth lead contact at the Club. Marcis will coordinate efforts about meeting with iiGrowth at a British Business Club event.  Please contact us to learn how networking can help your business and be part of your business successful business growth strategy.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth today announced that it has appointed Marcis Liors Skadmanis, iiGrowth UK Managing Director, and member of the Leadership Team.  The appointment of Mr. Skadmanis, a leading global development executive, signifies the firm’s commitment towards building global services capabilities to accelerate our client’s needs and desires for accelerating business growth.

Marcis Liors Skadmanis, immediately steps into his appointed role as iiGrowth UK Managing Director. He said, “I am pleased to be able to help lead iiGrowth’s service expansion efforts globally and in the United Kingdom in particular.  We envision iiGrowth as a leading global business accelerator for Small and Medium sized Enterprises as well as Non-Governmental Organizations that can benefit from global networks and connectivity.”

Recently, Skadmanis has  been head of Skadmanis Group, a London based law firm specializing in business and commercial law.  Previously he worked as a lawyer in the Republic of Latvia.

iiGrowth CEO and founder, Gustav Plato said, “I am very pleased that Marcis has decided to join the iiGrowth team as iiGrowth UK Managing Director.  I initially met Marcis in his role as CEO and Founder of the Latvian British Chamber of Commerce.  His ability to recognize challenges faced by SMEs, NGOs, and Government and can do attitude to help solve these challenges adds great value to iiGrowth’s ability to accelerate business growth for our clients.”

Marcis Liors Skadmanis holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), a Master of International Laws (LL.M.) and Certificate of Business Administrations (IEVF TIN).

Written by: iiGrowth

Getting to North America was designed by the Riga Business School and High Impact to bring perspectives and insight in how North American finance and markets work. The event included market entry, banking, and venture finance specialists representing North American and Latvian markets.  The seminar was moderated by Aleksandrs Rozens, from Bloomberg.

RBS Seminar 01.17.2012

Aleks led the discussion and spoke about the American experience and his perspectives and then led the dialogue between the panel and the audience. The participants included the following:

Gustavs Plato; Gustav Plato is the CEO and founder of iiGrowth. He is a consultant and advisor to entrepreneurs and business leaders on driving business growth. Gustav guides iiGrowth clients in creating strategic change initiatives, accelerating execution through portfolio management, and identifying financing/resourcing alternatives. Gustav spoke about market entry to North American consumer, health, information technology, and financial markets. He participated remotely via video link from Washington, D.C.

In Riga, the panel was joined by Mārtiņš Rikšis – Managing Partner at Norda Aktivi Ltd. Previously he has held positions in Zaļās Gaismas Investīcijas, Riga City Council, and Riga Stock Exchange. His nearly 20 years includes screening more than 300 investment proposals. Through his investment vehicles he has made investments in technology, communications and media sectors.
Mrs Ieva Fatjanova, the Head of Corporate banking department at Swedbank also was on the panel. She was accompanied by representative from their Entrepreneurship Competence Centre.
The panel was rounded out by James Bowen.  He is a serial entrepreneur, professor at University of Ottawa and RTU Riga Business School, author and, most recently the co-founder of the internet accelerator hatchbrands. In addition to his insight into going global, James offered very practical knowledge regarding readying a company for financing.

Those who attended the session on January 17 will be able to have a private meeting with James when he is in Riga in March of this year.

Written by: iiGrowth

Klāvs Rudzītis is a web design, development and digital marketing professional from Riga, Latvia. He is at the forefront of iiGrowth’s efforts to build a new service vision with the Baltic region.

He has been working in Internet industry for over 6 years now, and currently serves as iiGrowth’s Manager of New Media Strategies.

Klāvs has expertise in working with private sector clients, not-for-profit clients, and has also led a technology startup. His skills include both server-side and client-side programming, SaaS (Software as a Service) development and graphical design. He has developed solutions for international clients such as the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas, American Latvian Association, IT companies, law firms, restaurants, construction companies, manufacturers, car dealerships, travel agencies, insurance brokers, as well as advertising and PR agencies.

Klāvs is a final year student studying Business Administration at School of Business Administration “Turiba” in Riga. He is fluent in English and Latvian.

Klāvs RudzītisIn 2011 Klāvs along with his partner developed a business idea as well as a business plan to develop an anti-plagiarism software for all higher and academic education institutions in Latvia. They participated in a business plan contest organized by “Latvijas Hipotēku un Zemes Banka”, and were one of the winners. Klāvs made contacts with many business consultants, deans of local universities, as well as government officials working at the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia.
Although government officials and board members of several universities were interested in the idea, the newly-established company has not yet attracted funding.  There is still hope to get things running in the future.

Another project Klāvs has lead in the past few years, is a legal case management application development. The users of the application are law firms who want to manage their work in a more efficient way, by using a project management tool for collaboration with partners and office workers. The system is now being used by several law offices in Riga, and is soon going to launch for a wider audience.

Every once in a while Klāvs travels to the United States to establish contacts with American IT and web design professionals and companies, and is going to participate in an industry conference this summer.

In the next few months Klāvs is going to participate in establishing iiGrowth’s subsidiary in Riga.

Written by: iiGrowth

IT House, is an agile software developer located in Riga, Latvia.  Riga is considered an innovation hub.

I suggest you view the following video to learn how Riga continues to evolve its innovation ecosystem.  People, creative spaces, companies, and academia come together.  Riga is different.  It is a place and set of values that promotes innovation through partnership.

IT House is a company worth knowing!

IT House was founded by Gunars Grundstoks and Valdis Pornieks.  Gunars and Valdis are sought out idea generators and innovators.  Their approach is to link technology to business goals.  Having started IT House they have also started Rent Mama (an innovative auto rental service offering low priced leasing options for the price conscious traveler and a Software as a Service (SaaS) portal for local & independent car rental companies to offer their services to consumers), numerous web based applications leveraging Ruby on Rails, and more recently were catalysts in forming Tech Hub Riga.
They have established a strong foundation in the Latvian market and have decided to offer their innovative software development services to a larger international client base.  They continue to grow their business base in Latvia and globally.
I interviewed Gunars Grundstoks, CEO of IT House, just prior to the holidays.  Gunars shares insights about 2012.

What sparked you to start IT House?  How is IT House different?

We have worked on different projects before starting IT House and we saw that we can give added value to our clients by leveraging IT (Information Technology), therefore starting our own company was the logic next step.

Since visiting the United States in 2010, what has IT House been doing?  What is new?

As we have grown out the Latvian market we set our focus on global projects. Since our visit to US, IT House has tripled the amount of international projects we are working on, and increased the development capacity to satisfy the increasing demand.

You recently co-founded TechHub Riga, how did that come about? What is the vision/expectations for Tech Hub Riga? How is that important for US market?

For us TechHub Riga is a social based responsibility to help local startup community, to build new business in global markets. TechHub Riga will gather the best startups in one place and those people who will “live” there will help each other. It will be also a great network opportunity between broader markets and countries.

What is the next big idea(s) in IT?  How will you/IT House participate in this?

We are very closely partnering with companies who are the best in the areas of electronics, design and mobile development, so that we can offer IT solutions that reach not only within the web but also connect to the real world. For example IT House has developed software and our partners the hardware for smart metering solutions for utility companies and end-users to provide usage statistics and services like leakage detection and location. This solution is already deployed in several cities in two countries and new deployments are coming every month.

What should businesses/your potential clients be doing this year to gain advantage from ITs Big Ideas?

NFC (Near Field Communications) is coming up. All Google phones are already NFC enabled, which allows the holder to interact with other electronic devices. This brings the world a big step closer to the ubiquitous network. The applications for this technology are countless. I.e. in education platforms where teachers can prepare tasks to be done outside the classroom and follow the progress of students without interfering or in working environments tracking of business related events will become viable due to reduced hardware costs as most users already have or will have an NFC enabled Smartphone.

Written by: iiGrowth

AKlase visited the United States in September to look at the potential for creating a global partnership with U.S. fitness clubs. Aklase’s CEO Iveta Valtenberga, and CMO, Māris Valtenbergs worked with iiGrowth to assess the US market in the DC metro region for their new venture Oxygen Training Systems (OTS). Following the assessment, the Aklase leadership team worked with iiGrowth to further refine their initial market entry strategy and visited with a number of DC based fitness clubs. Following the visit to the United States they are continuing to develop these newly established relationships. Fitness clubs with interest in oxygen training can contact iiGrowth for further information at gplato@iigrowth.com.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth LLC and Altitude Global Advisors (AGA), are partnering to help their global clients develop and implement their business and financial strategies. AGA is based in the Washington DC area and provides advisory services, investment opportunities and capital solutions for businesses, organizations and high net worth individuals across the globe. The company was established by its two Founding Partners, Jeff Hokenson and David Lereah.

Gustav Plato, CEO of iiGrowth, stated, “Speed is critical to market success. Together with AGA we can increase the speed of business using our collective global networks. We have been working with Jeff Hokenson for a number of years and are pleased to be able to further this relationship now with Altitude Global Advisors and David Lereah”.

The iiGrowth and AGA team provide a complete suite of advisory services and worldwide coverage to clients across the globe. The collective experience of the two firms will improve a client’s competitive position, enhance their revenue and growth opportunities, and lower the cost of execution.

Written by: iiGrowth

Bethesda, MD, October 5, 2011 – iiGrowth LLC, a global strategy and management consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Brigadier General Rudolfs (Rudi) Peksens, US Air Force (Ret) joins the company as Vice President of Strategy and Alliances.

Gustav Plato, iiGrowth’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are very fortunate to have an individual of Brigadier General Peksens experience join the company.  He has extensive practical knowledge of developing and implementing strategy and planning in the public and commercial sectors.  He has led large organizations and small teams in the United States as well as in Europe.  General Peksens has also forged wide networks and contacts and has the experience and ability to help clients and business partners form the right teams and right solutions to get the job done.  He is a catalyst for firms seeking to expand through organic growth as well as acquisitions or divestitures.  He is a seasoned, hands-on leader that can provide support in strategy, planning, business development, buy and sell transactions, and establishing operational excellence.”

General Peksens concluded his Air Force career commanding complex, operational units. He subsequently took positions as an Assistant Vice President with SAIC and later as a Director of Strategic Pursuits for Raytheon. He now leads iiGrowth’s strategy and alliance offering to clients as well as provides oversight for iiGrowth’s corporate strategy and alliances.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth has been engaged by Multiplast Systems Inc. to provide marketing support services to help Multiplast expand into new markets including Europe and the U.S. Federal Government.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth has been engaged by Information Spectrum Incorporated (ISI) to provide marketing and operational support services to help ISI grow its client services portfolio and capabilities.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth attended a Renewable Energy Workshop sponsored by The Ohio State University. The topics were very interesting:

• Building an energy efficient home
• Solar power
• Wind power
• Electric cars
• Biofuels
• Algae as the most promising biofuel
• Anaerobic digesters

Written by: iiGrowth

CNBC interviews the President of Latvia in regards to the Eurozone and the economic crisis.

CNBC Interview

Written by: iiGrowth

ClusterPoint has selected iiGrowth to assist in the development and implementation of a long-term business development and growth strategy in the United States. This adds to iiGrowth’s high tech portfolio of companies. It also represents a trend toward Latvian companies, like ClusterPoint, entering the lucrative US IT market. Both companies are excited about the opportunity to work together.

Written by: Gustav Plato

iiGrowth attended the European Council of the American Chambers of Commerce on Tuesday, October 20,2010 in Washington DC. As members of the European Chamber system (we are small business members in Latvia) it provided a great opportunity to meet with Chamber representatives from across Europe. This provided us an opportunity to speak with many of the 39 member countries (see http://www.amchamseurope.com/index.php?id=409) who attended the event.

We strongly encourage US companies entering the EU to join a local chamber. Many already do and one fact that was shared yesterday was that 60% of world’s GDP is represented by these countries and the US. If you need us to help you make connections just fill out the request on our Contacts page (http://iigrowth.com/contacts-2/). We look forward to seeing you at a future Chamber event.

Written by: Gustav Plato

Juris Lazdins, who has been a business advisor to iiGrowth for the last 3 years, has joined iiGrowth and will be the President of Government Services. Juris brings over 30 years of experience in contracts, finance, information technology, and international business development. Juris will guide the overall strategy and development of the Government services group which will provide services directly to the government and also advise and support companies serving the government market or seeking to break into the government market. Juris will oversee client as well as iiGrowth schedule strategy and development. This will include contract management services, as well as market planning, interactive marketing, and web design and development services.

Written by: iiGrowth

On May 25, 2010, the speaker of the Latvian Parliament, Gundars Daudze, was in Washington DC.  Speaker Daudze was here as part of an official visit of Nordic and Baltic Parliament speakers to the United States.  While in Washington the speaker visited with House leaders such as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi; the Foreign Affairs Committee chair, Howard L. Berman; as well as Bill Delahunt, who is a member of the subcommittee on Europe. READ MORE

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth will be attending the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) after hours program on April 14, 2010 in Rockville, Maryland. READ MORE

Written by: iiGrowth

On May 25, 2010, the speaker of the Latvian Parliament, Gundars Daudze, was in Washington DC.  Speaker Daudze was here as part of an official visit of Nordic and Baltic Parliament speakers to the United States.  While in Washington the speaker visited with House leaders such as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi; the Foreign Affairs Committee chair, Howard L. Berman; as well as Bill Delahunt, who is a member of the subcommittee on Europe.

On the evening of May 25, Speaker Daudze was a keynote speaker at the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia, where he addressed an audience of Latvian and US citizens on a variety of issues including cooperation in the Baltic- Nordic region in areas such as democratization and energy security, the upcoming elections in Latvia, as well as his desire to promote and strengthen trade between Latvia and the Baltic-Nordic region and the United States.

During the evening event Speaker Daudze took time to congratulate iiGrowth CEO Gustav Plato, for his role in founding the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas.  He presented Gustav with a special commemorative coin celebrating 20 years of renewed independence for the Republic of Latvia.  Also in attendance were Latvian Chamber CFO, Juris Lazdins; as well as honorary Latvian Chamber member, Latvia’s Ambassador to the United States and Mexico, Andrejs Pildegovics.

Gundars Daudze and Gustav Plato

Written by: iiGrowth

USA and UK based company iiGrowth LLC and the Sentio Ltd., based in Tallinn, form a strategic partnership to promote the Baltic region. Together, iiGrowth and Sentio will shorten the time to market for Estonian business entering US and UK markets.  In addition, we are working together to help firms enter the Baltic market.  iiGrowth, which has been working in Latvia, is now expanding its base of operations to also work with Estonian enterprises.  iiGrowth has been working with Mobile Now (whose U.S. leadership team is of Estonian heritage) for the last several years in the Washington DC region.  Sentio and iiGrowth believe that the timing is right to escalate cooperative efforts, as Estonia and Latvia have a number of cooperative agreements in place to partner on an international scale.

iiGrowth CEO Gustav Plato stated; “We are very pleased to accelerate our efforts to link with Estonian markets.  We believe the Baltic region offers attractive business partners and that Tallinn is certainly one of the leading Baltic Innovation Centers.  Sentio, which is based in Tallinn, offers a natural extension for iiGrowth.  We are already working with the Ventspils High Technology Park and Incubator, which also collaborates across the Baltic Region, and this also extends our base camp in the Baltic region. It was natural to have iiGrowth and Sentio form a strategic partnership. Having a strategic partnership with Sentio to promote the Baltic region will help business acceleration in both directions.”

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth will be attending the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) after hours program on April 14, 2010 in Rockville, Maryland. MCCC is considered the voice of business for Montgomery County, which is one of the wealthiest counties in the DC Metro region as well as the United States. For upcoming events visit:The Montgomery County Chamber

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth introduces US and EU clients to DC Metro region economic development opportunities. Business Over Breakfast™, is a government sector “just networking” breakfast event that is a superb networking event. iiGrowth will be at the Tyson’s Corners event at the Tower Club on April 14, 2010. For upcoming events visit: The American Small Business Council


Written by: iiGrowth

Yes you can!  Rockville based MobileNOW! is a sparkling example of how a business originating in the Baltic States can thrive in the US.  Their showcase pilot in the DC Metro area is an example of how this Baltic to US connection can work.  They made the right investments and commitment to learn about the local market and tailored their market entry strategy based on the local requirements.  This has not been an overnight effort, but rather several years of dedication to the market and its customers.
MobileNOW!’s pay-by-cell system ParkNOW! was selected for a 3 month pilot project in Montgomery County, Maryland. The pilot which began on January 4, is being conducted in downtown  Bethesda, in one of the city’s most well travelled locations, encompassing some 1250 parking spaces, including Garage 57, Lot 31, and on-street meters along Bethesda, Woodmont and Elm streets (note: a frequent destination for iiGrowth).  This pilot represents ParkNOW! ‘s largest U.S. installation to date. Says Krista Tassa, President of MobileNOW, “we were delighted to launch this project in Montgomery County since Bethesda is a vibrant community well suited to adoption of new technologies. Well over a thousand users have already registered for the service and experienced the convenience of not having to search for coins to pay for parking and being able to extend parking sessions remotely.

Rick Siebert, Chief of the Property Development and Planning Section of MCDOT, said “We conducted a full RFP process to select our vendor for the Pay By Cell Pilot program and we are happy to have selected Rockville-based MobileNOW!  We have been surprised by the buzz the Pilot has already created in the media, among so many civic groups and individual parkers.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth will be attending Ruby Nation this week. We are working with clients in EU with an interest in building lasting partnerships in the United States. iiGrowth works with companies in the EU and the United States to define new business opportunities. We leverage our vast network of contacts to build the strongest service delivery teams for end user clients. See you at Ruby Nation or contact us at iiGrowth.

Written by: iiGrowth

USA and UK based company iiGrowth and the Ventspils High Technology Park (VHTP) are partnering to bring international solutions to the Latvian market. Together, we are scanning the globe for world class business partners for Latvian enterprises. The purpose of this scan is to identify new business solutions in science and research, defense, and creating new innovation and competency centers in Latvia.

There are several near term opportunities for Latvian and international businesses to form cooperative agreements.

The ERDF is sponsoring science and research projects ranging from 70-492 thousands Lats (up to 1 million USD). These are co-financing funds and project proposals in cooperation with universities must be submitted by December 14, 2009.

The network of business incubators in Latvia supports high tech companies to start business operations in Latvia, by offering SMEs qualitative infrastructure on reduced tariffs and co-financing for research and new product development.

The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia is preparing to solicit ideas/projects regarding the development of competency centers in Latvia. For example, Space, is a competency that the VHTP has already been developing for several years.

These and other focal areas are just the beginning of the new business opportunities and investment climate in Latvia. The Baltic Tiger is coming back and VHTP and iiGrowth are working together to be part of this economic resurgence. If you have an idea or capability that you would like to further explore, please contact us for a confidential consultation.

For more information please contact Ivars Eglajs (email: ivars.eglajs@vhtp.lv phone:+371 29126249) or Gustavs Plato (email: gplato@iigrowth.com or phone: 240.499.4938)

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth’s Marketing and Communications Practice has been engaged by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA). iiGrowth is providing communications consulting services for the LIAA in the Information Technology and Electrical Engineering and Electronics industry sectors. We are very pleased to be able to support LIAA, which is considered one of the premier investment promotion intermediaries in the world.

In May 2009, the World Bank published its Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking report. The report compared over 200 of the world’s leading investment promotion organizations. In this competition, the LIAA has been identified as one of the top 10 performing national Investment Promotion Intermediaries (IPI’s) in the World. iiGrowth is excited to be working with LIAA.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth has been engaged to provide readability testing and translation/language services in EU. We are providing translation support in Latvian and English and conducting market research of patient information leaflets. This engagement is a hybrid of our Marketing and Communications (MarCom) Practice and Pharma vertical Practice area. Our team’s strong communication skills and vertical industry knowledge were critical skills needed by our world class client.

Written by: iiGrowth

On August 13, 2009, representatives from the American Latvian Association and the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas met with Ambassador Designate Judith Garber. The group included ALA President Dr. Juris Mežinskis, ALA Information Branch Chief, J

Written by: iiGrowth

In May, 2009, iiGrowth CEO, Gustav Plato addressed the participants of the US Baltic Foundation’s annual gala. During this presentation he focused on the role of the Chamber in growing the Baltic Brand with a vision to increase trade between the Americas and Latvia ten-fold.

Written by: iiGrowth

Recently, the Greater Washington Initiative (GWI) developed a series of videos entitled “Power Profiles”. We highlighted GWI as one of the organization’s that has extensive knowledge and insights into the Washington DC metropolitan area. GWI is is a “regional economic development, marketing and research organization that promotes the Greater Washington region as the premier business destination”.

One of the videos is by Matt Erskine, who is the Executive Director of the Greater Washington Initiative (GWI). Matt joined GWI in May of 2008. Matt and Gustav Plato, CEO, of iiGrowth LLC, worked together at Coopers & Lybrand Consulting (now IBM Consulting). After many years, their paths have crossed again with respect to mutual interests to promote the Washington DC metropolitan area as a location that must be considered when thinking about entry into the US market. In the video, Matt discusses his views on why the Washington region is strong, stable, resilient, diverse, and growing. Other videos are available for viewing at GWI’s News and Events Page.

Written by: iiGrowth

In addition to offering USA market entry and other expert consulting services, iiGrowth is increasingly expanding its focus to offer assistance to firms wishing to enter the UK market. We can help you with Market Readiness Analysis, Rapid Market Assessment, Entry Planning and Implementation Support.

The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) is the world’s sixth largest economy and the European Union’s third largest, following Germany and France. London is the world’s leading financial center with the greatest concentration of foreign bank branches on the planet. Most multinational corporations oversee their European operations from a headquarters in the UK. The domestic market in the UK is also of great interest to a foreign company considering expansion abroad. The economy is highly developed with vibrant and sophisticated commerce at all levels.

UK Trade and Investment lists many reasons why the United Kingdom is the leading investment destination for companies expanding their business. Setting up a business is a relatively rapid and straightforward process. Taxation is quite favorable – corporate tax is among the lowest in the industrialized world. The labor market is flexible, barriers to entrepreneurship are few and the UK is second only to the USA in terms of innovative research.

For more details, please see UK Trade & Investment.

For more information on how iiGrowth can help you with market entry into the UK please contact Eriks Rusis on +44 7983 484 836 or erusis@iigrowth.com.

Written by: iiGrowth

DC Metro Market Entry

ii Growth LLC is located in Bethesda, Maryland, is in the heart of the U.S.’s most vibrant economic sector, the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, which includes Washington D.C. Northern Virginia, and Suburban Maryland. For international companies looking to enter the US market, the Washington Metropolitan Area offers many advantages.

According to June 2009 study by the Greater Washington Initiative (GWI) the region led the nation in job growth over the last 10 years and is the 4th largest in terms of Gross Regional Product (GRP) and population. The region is also home to the largest IT cluster in the United States as well as large and growing biotech and aerospace industries.

The region has a number of attributes that make it attractive to international firms:

  • Access to markets
  • A productive labor force
  • University and R&D support
  • Ease of transportation
  • Assistance in meeting the right people
  • A desirable place to live

The area has tremendous reach. It is an international communications hub, with excellent air access internationally. Over 60% of the U.S. population lives within a one-day drive/2-hour flight of Washington D.C.

Because of its geographic location and size, economic strength, large number of knowledge workers (over 1 million), universities and educations systems, and proximity to the US Federal Government there is a well developed ecosystem for doing business. This breadth also supports and enables leveraging significant cross-market opportunities that allow for accelerated market growth. The government and technology markets are particularly attractive for US market entry and can leverage one another.

Federal, State, and Local Markets

The Federal Government is the largest buyer in the world. The U.S. federal government market has grown 250 percent from 2000 to 2008. It is projected that the government will buy more than $500 billion USD in 2009. The federal government will continue to be the largest single buyer of goods and services in the world. The Washington Metropolitan area is the largest buyer within the Federal market with California being a distant second.

In addition, the Metropolitan areas boasts strong regional and local governments including Anne Arundel, Frederick, Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties in Maryland, as well as Fairfax, Alexandria (city) Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon, and Prince William in Virginia. Many of the counties also are home for technology innovation centers and incubators.

Each of the regions is also home for international businesses. For example:

  • WGI reports over 700 foreign firms doing business in Washington Metro Area
  • Fairfax County reports it has over 360 foreign businesses.
  • Montgomery County reports it has over 100 foreign owned businesses (550 in the state of Maryland).

Technology Industry

According to the GWI June, 2009 report, “Greater Washington’s technology cluster has the country’s highest concentration of network and computer systems administrators, database administrators, and computer programmers. The region also has six times the national average of computer scientists and four times the national average of computer software engineers.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth LLC, an international strategy and management consulting firm, today announced that it has partnered with Leap Technologies, the leading provider of Rapid Lean Six Sigma (RLSS) consulting and training services. The partnership will bring a combined offering of world-class RLSS services and strategy driven program management consulting to corporations and enterprises in the Baltic Region. Through the strategic alliance, iiGrowth LLC will introduce its clients to Leap Technologies’ unique and innovative RLSS transformation model for enterprises.

iiGrowth CEO, Gustav Plato stated, “I have worked with Leap and their CEO Rick Tucci in the past.  They are results driven and collaborative and bring a fresh perspective to business transformation.  They engage leaders at all levels of the organization from the outset of a collaboration, which means that results are achieved faster and are sustainable. We are looking forward to working together again in the Baltic Region.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth LLC is exploring the meaning and value of something called the “Baltic Brand”.   Defining the Baltic Brand, begins with a probe into the meaning of what/who is a “Baltic

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth CEO, Gustav Plato, founded the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas in December 2008 to promote trade and investment between the Americas and Latvia. The Chamber is off to a strong start and this was reflected in the recent opening of the Chamber at the offices of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), which is a coalition of 14 locals governments in the commonwealth of Virginia. NVRC works regionally on issues including the international energy, the environment, human services and regional emergency preparedness.

LatCham founding member and Chairperson Gustav Plato praised Northern Virginia for its diversity and vibrant economy and expressed his interest in promoting mutually beneficial exchanges between Latvian businesses and businesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Mark Gibb, Executive Director of NVRC stated, “The co-location of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission is a mutually beneficial partnership with many opportunities for collaboration on local, regional and international issues. This is a big advantage for Northern Virginia.

Written by: iiGrowth

Building strong relationships requires creating common foundations and mutual interests. One such opportunity presented itself recently and iiGrowth CEO, Gustav Plato, also Director of the Board of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas became actively involved in this international relationship building opportunity through the medium of music. Last year, iiGrowth visited with the Riga Business School to begin to build what we hope is a long and last relationship with this Latvian B-School. The relationship moved forward as the Director of the Business School, Janis Grevins, contacted iiGrowth earlier in the year to share their vision of visiting the United States and Canada. The reaction of course, was, “Great Idea J

Written by: iiGrowth

Ventspils High Technology Park and iiGrowth LLC sign a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate investment and trade between the United States and Latvia

Ivars Eglajs, the Chairman of the Board of Ventspils High Technology Park said that iiGrowth LLC would deliver strategy and international marketing services to companies located in the technology park. iiGrowth LLC is a global strategy and management consulting business with representation in the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

Gustav Plato, Chief Executive Officer of iiGrowth LLC, stated, “I am pleased to announce that we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ventspils High Technology Park to help Latvian, US, and UK businesses enhance their opportunities for trade and growth. We view VHTP as a market leader and market maker and are excited about working with them and companies at the park. I believe that our joint mission has profound importance, particularly in light of the current economic climate. Together, we can forge new inroads in terms of introducing potential Latvian businesses who will look to the United States and United Kingdom for new business opportunities and to US and UK businesses who are doing business or planning to do business in Latvia.

Written by: iiGrowth

Ēriks Rūsis has joined the iiGrowth Business Advisory Council. Erik will leverage his startup experience in the EU market and guide iiGrowth in establishing its EU presence. Erik has over 20 years human resources management, general management and business development experience in multi-national, cross-border environments in Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Japan and the USA. He has extensive experience in helping Latvian firms establish or expand their presence in other countries.

As CEO, Eriks opened operations in Russia and Germany for a large Latvian construction group. Serving as Business Development Manager he established offices in Stockholm, Tokyo and Berlin for a leading Latvian bank. Most recently, Eriks served as a director of the integrated solutions provider Lattelecom. He is now based near London in the UK. Eriks earned an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.A. from the University of Washington.

Written by: iiGrowth

Gustav Plato, iiGrowth CEO, is the Business Program Chair for the 2009 Supply Chain Venture Forum. This year’s conference, held in Washington DC Metropolitan Area promises to be a very exciting and will have a great mix of emerging and established businesses as well as government ministries and government owned corporations.

What is the Forum?
The 2009 US Baltic Foundation’s Supply Chain Venture Forum is a must-attend event for innovative companies looking for new business opportunities in logistics, supply chain, and emerging technologies. iiGrowth LLC and the Latvian Chamber of Commerce are leading an international organizing committee from the United States, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Featured Speaker
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Republic of Estonia

Why Attend?

The benefits for attending the forum include:

* Increase sales in the Baltic and Nordic region
* How to reach clients in Europe, Russia, and Far East
* How to enter the US market
* Build reliable global and local supply chains
* Access the latest technologies to lower operating costs and make you more competitive
* How to finance your “Big Idea

Written by: iiGrowth

2009 is about new beginnings. One of the features we are rolling out this year is an expansion of our IIGrowth blog. IIGrowth operates in collaboration with a vast network of subject matter experts. We want to bring this knowledge and insight to you with the hope that this will provide you with the Ideas needed to begin the Innovation process in your business, and set you on the path of business Growth.

This week we will kick it off with federal contracting and why we believe you need to have a contract schedule as you mature your business and business model.

In the coming days and weeks we will be adding discussions on supply chain, logistics, technology, market entry, and financial management.

Written by: iiGrowth

It is now clear what a Rock Band goes through by playing in a new city every night. Our group was in four cities in four days. It was a whirlwind tour, but one that provided the seeds of great opportunity.

During the Baltic Tour, there were many highlights.  The Department of Commerce and the US State Department were outstanding in helping to arrange meetings, providing deep insights into each country visited, and just made the trip very pleasant.

The Baltic countries including the government ministries we visited (i.e. economics, foreign ministries, and transporation) were equally hospitable and insightful.  In addition, the private sector industry associations and firms we visited were open, very excited about the opportunities for cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic, and looking forward to accelerated collaboration in 2009.

Of the many highlights, one of them was the opportunity to meet with Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister of Economics, for the Republic of Latvia. It was special in that it was an opportunity to invite Minister Gerhards to join the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas.

ii Growth CEO Gustav Plato Present LatCham Honorary Membership to Latvian Economics Minister, Kaspars Gerhards

ii Growth CEO Gustav Plato Present LatCham Honorary Membership to Latvian Economics Minister, Kaspars Gerhards

Gustav sees LatCham as looking forward to a very active year in 2009. In particular, given the economic downturn across the globe, it is critical to focus on fundamentals. This requires breaking down economic sectors and sub-sectors and looking for areas of opportunity, building business alliances, and elevating internal business maturity.

iiGrowth’s recent trip to the Baltics (Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia) provided an opportunity to seek out and understand US opportunities in the Baltic markets and vice versa.  This trip proved very fruitful to the notion of strong economic growth opportunities between the US and the Baltics.

The transportation and Information Technology sectors were two areas of focus in the Baltic tour.  In summary, there are opportunities for economic development and fairly large infrastructure projects in aviation, highways, ports, and rail transportation.  Information technology and innovation also highlighted the high level of capability in Baltic IT firms.  The Baltic firms are ready for the US market and have a desire to seek out business partners in the United States.  More about each of the sectors in the coming week.

Written by: iiGrowth

Over the last 9 months I have had an opportunity to work with Mind and Media on a variety of cutting edge and transformative initiatives. I am very fortunate and thankful that Mind and Media has also helped me design and transform iiGrowth’s Web site. More changes are on the way to ensure that iiGrowth’s clients attain an improved customer experience.  It is very exciting.

However, the key take away from this post is to share with you that Mind and Media has continuously gone out of their way to be a great group of friends and business partners. All of this in a time when they are keenly involved in transformative communications including persuasive public information campaigns, customized training programs, and workforce recruitment strategies that are making a difference (take a look at www.hirevetsfirst.gov or www.collaborationproject.org).

Mind and Media is a premier media agency and they have achieved this by creating a unique place and space in Alexandria Virginia. When you have the opportunity to go to a place called Mind and Media, you will leave with a unique “customer experience”. Mind and Media has continued to pay attention to the details of the customer experience and makes changes/improvements to this continuously. This means that your next experience will be different than the last and as a result you will gain more value from haven taken the time to go to Mind and Media. I strongly encourage anyone who has not had the opportunity to visit with Mind and Media to do so.

Thank You Mind and Media for being there in a place and space in Alexandria. I look forward to my next visit and experience!

Written by: iiGrowth

The US Baltic Foundation (www.usbaltic.org) invited IIGrowth CEO, Gustav Plato, to lead the USBF’s 2009 Business Program.

The U.S.-Baltic Foundation is an educational resource for U.S. policy-makers and the public. A national organization that unites all American friends of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, USBF develops and implements programs to strengthen democracy and free markets in the Baltics. The Foundation also introduces the Baltics to new American audiences with a series of public affairs programs.

The 2009 business program will be conducted as part of the US Baltic Confluence, which includes a Business Forum, Baltic Exchange, and Gala. The theme for the 2009 program is “Economic Growth Through Social Responsibility”. The Baltics have a long tradition of respect for nature, the environment, and sustainable development. It is part of the fabric of the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian societies, and has its roots in over a 1000 years of Baltic traditions and practices.

Similar to the resurgance of the Baltic economies, there is a worldwide resurgance in sustainable development. Key Baltic industries including Transportation and Logistics, Information Technology, and Healthy Living will come together with US business leaders and financial investors to identify new collaborative business opportunities.

Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, Chairman of the U.S.- Baltic Foundation also announced that Valdis Zatlers, President of Latvia, will headline a three-day series of Baltic cultural and business development events on May 14-17 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC. Sponsored by The U.S.- Baltic Foundation (USBF), the 2009 gala weekend will feature a business conference, an exchange program summit, a silent auction and black-tie gala dinner to highlight the special and growing ties between the U.S. and the Baltic States.

New Media


Blog & News, News

Written by: iiGrowth

New Media.  Social Networks. Changing Demographics.  That is only part of the story.  IIGrowth is diving deep into the exciting world of human capital and organizational management strategy.  What else do we see.    New Network-Centric Business and Governance Models.  Workforce Lifecycles @ Wave 3.0. Leadership and Mastery of Collaborative Network Management.  Much More.

What do these things mean to you?  Be prepared to get engaged in the discussion.  We are working on a project with our partner Mind and Media that will address these challenges.  Together we are crafting a Future Vision for Managing the Federal Workforce with applicability to all industry sectors.

In support of this project we will be engaging you, posting questions, answering questions, facilitating discussions and creating a record of our work using all the tools at our disposal in the web 2.0 and coming 3.0 world.

Written by: iiGrowth

On Friday April 18th, 2008, the U.S. Baltic Foundation held the U.S.-Baltic Technology Forum, at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. Over 70 participants worked together to build upon last year’s successes, as the 2008 program provided Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and American companies the opportunity to assess current challenges and environments and explore exciting new opportunities in a range of technology innovation fields. Noted American and Baltic experts in economic and market development and technology particpated in panel discussions on cutting-edge subjects including cyber security, technology commercialization, and energy conservation and green technology.

IIGrowth LLC, CEO, Gustav Plato, worked with the USBF to design the program and led the Technology Commercialization workshops. In addition, Gustav led efforts and worked with the State of Delaware and the Maryland Estonian Exchange Council to design and implement the two-state trade mission.

Written by: iiGrowth

IIGrowth CEO, Gustav Plato, participated in the WEL workshop for entreprenurs in March in Riga Latvia. Gustav shared his experiences in leading market development efforts and engaged the audience in a discussion of using a rapid 90-120 deployment approach to market strategy development and implementation.

Written by: iiGrowth

IIGrowth LLC is partnering with MobileNow!, (www.mobilenowsolutions.com) which is a provider of digital permit and mobile payment solutions ,and providing advisory services to MobileNow! on its business, market, and alliance strategies.

Krista Tassa, Managing Member of MobileNow! stated, “We are the sole U.S. distributor for technology developed by NOW! Innovations.  MobileNOW! offers a convenient way to pay by cell phone for such daily events such as on-and-off-street parking; and tickets for public transportation, movies, museums, and sporting events”.  We believe that working with IIGrowth is timely and will aid us with our growth strategy

Written by: iiGrowth

We Entrepreneurs Latvia is leading and facilitating Latvia’s private sector efforts to create a sustainable entreprenurial class in Latvia.  WEL brings together entrepreneurs, investors, academia, and specialists in a variety of fields to generate ideas, innovate, and grow.  From our perspective at IIGrowth, we could not find a better group to spend our time with, the Latvian Entrepreneur.  So we are going to Latvia.  From March 07 through 20, IIGrowth will be in Latvia visiting with Latvian Entrepreneurs.  On March 13, 2008, we will be leading a WEL workshop at the Hipotēka Banka (Mortgage Bank) and discussing how Latvian Entrepreneurs can view the US market, come up with innovative ideas for market entry, and develop US market growth strategies.  If you are interested in a 1:1 meeting please contact us at gplato@iigrowth.com.  For information about the seminar please contact Sandra Ozola, WEL Executive Director, ozola.sandra@gmail.com.

Written by: iiGrowth

The talent pool of entrepreneurs and business people of Latvian heritage in the United States is significant relative to the size of Latvia and the Latvian economy.    In the current environment these individuals are organized through social networks.  Today’s economic environment; the power or technology; as well as the economic interests of these individuals, Latvia, and the United States provide an opportunity to create a Latvian business network to drive economic growth and development.

2008 is the year to create a Latvian Chamber of Commerce (LATCHAM) in the United States.  The LATCHAM will be a business federation that represent Latvian business people, businesses and associations and provide forums for government and private sector firms to meet, keep informed of one anothers activites, and promote business cooperation.

iiGrowth is leading the development of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the United States (LATCHAM).  In 2008, the LATCHAM will be formed, an initial operating structure established, and work will be started on building out the membership.  The full scope of services will evolve as the group grows in size and stature.

Please contact iiGrowth if you are interested in becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce at gplato@iigrowth.com.

Written by: iiGrowth

iiGrowth was in Latvia in January.  It was a Proof of Concept Tour for Market Spark.  Market Spark is an envisioned United States Baltic market accelerator that is being established to promote economic growth and trade in the United States and the Baltics.  iiGrowth visited with numerous innovation thought leaders in Latvia including Jerry Wirth and Līga Bertulsone of the American Chamber of Commerce.

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