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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
The efforts to lead an international team in developing the Supply Chain Ventures Forum to be held in Washington DC from May 13-17, 2009 are filled with adventure and excitement. More importantly the lessons learned to date, and the many more to come, have afforded us the knowledge base critical for developing international conferences and helping companies with market entry at a much lower cost threshold than they could get anywhere else.
The US Baltic Foundation asked iiGrowth to lead the development of the business program for 2009. We are very excited in how things are shaping up.
Leadership Team: We have had a great team with help from the Department of Commerce and the three Baltic Countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We have had active participation of Ministers and Ambassadors.
Customer Participation: We have been signing up some really great companies like Raytheon whose international experience in supply chain partnerships is world class. On the other end of the spectrum we are working with small startups, such as MobileNow!, which is a provider of mobile parking solutions. It is a very diverse group and this is what will really provide great value to this conference.
Alliance Partners: We have also received ideas from our friends at the Swedish Embassy and the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce who have been helping the Latvian Chamber of Commerce that iiGrowth co-founded.
Web 2.0 Technologies: In addition, the team is also leveraging web 2.0 technology to help promote the event through tools such as Facebook and Linked in, as well as signing up companies for matchmaking events.
The neat thing is that the team, the customers, the experience of our friends, and the use of technology has afforded us the insights and approach to develop a business model, where I believe we have taken the unnecessary non-value added costs of a typical international conference and matchmaking out of the picture. That is pretty good!
In today’s economy, there is no other way to do it.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.