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Latvia is a Northern European country that keeps welcoming you, no matter what you are after – culture, nature or business. It is also a place where coworking seems to be developing as a new work model for freelancers and startups, and the capital city Riga stands in the middle of it to ensure that everyone’s taste is satisfied. So, what is the profile of Riga? Let’s take a ride to find out the most interesting work spots in the city!

Guest article written by Inese Murniece, TechHub Riga, in collaboration with The Mill, DarbaVieta, and Coworking Riga:

In a search for a vivid lifestyle, challenges and opportunities, new work approaches appear, and this is where the coworking in Riga also steps in. More and more startups and freelancers in tech and creative industries see the positive results that follow such work model, including creativity, networking and eagerness to succeed. Add that to affordable living costs, entry ticket to a saturated cultural and social life, fast Internet and easy transport connections to the West, South, North and East, and this capital city becomes a good starting point for the coworkers. 

TechHub Riga

‘Co-locating gives opportunities for members to interact much more,’ the Chairman at TechHub Riga, Andris K. Berzins explains. ‘And while mentoring from more experienced community members is often requested, it is the advice and feedback from other startup teams that is just as important in helping a young startup team to succeed’. Therefore, TechHub Riga is designed as a coworking space for new technology startups that can meet, work, learn and collaborate. 

TechHub Riga was the first international branch of London’s TechHub and they are the first and biggest coworking space in the city, uniting developers, game designers and other tech specialists. They are already a home for 30+ startups and host many events, including monthly meetups and an annual technology conference TechChill Baltics that gathers tech-lovers, VC’s and game-changers from across Northern Europe. 

Having outgrown the original premises they started at in early 2012, TechHub Riga will move into even larger 800m2 premises in autumn of 2014. The new place will offer both open plan coworking space and dedicated team spaces,  located in the heart of the Old Town. Membership includes workspace with Internet connection, community, free Office Hours with various industry professionals, and access to both internal and external TechHub events.

The Mill

The Mill is our way of making the difference in our country,’ the Co-Founder of the coworking space The Mill, Anna Andersone, notes. ‘Cherishing the passion for meaningful design, we set ourselves a goal of building an accessible and enabling space for design and code talents – to engage, to interact and to create’. Located in the city centre with a beautiful urban view outside, the space unifies the like-minded aspiring minds under the flag of free spirit and creativity. 

The Mill is thus meant to become a place for coworking and co-thinking of many through events and workshops, lectures and conferences, pitch contests and many more. Their people are top designers and developers, creating leading technology and design products in Latvia, Europe and globally, and they are most likely to implant this hunger for success in every startup or freelancer who come across.  To promote their vision, they offer a space of 263 m2 that includes both resident and drop-in zones, meetup space, meeting rooms, kitchen and a ping-pong table.

DarbaVieta

‘A close sense of community creates a productive environment for sharing  ideas, knowledge and insights,’ one of the Co-creators of DarbaVieta, Kristine Zamurajeva, says. Operating as a coworking space for individual freelancers and small teams who work in different kinds of creative professions, ‘DarbaVieta’s main focus is on community building inside the working environment’. Founded less than 2 years ago as an inspiration from the Berlin based Betahaus, its main aim to fulfil the needs of newly emerging freelancers - to give a space and companionship of like-minded people – has paid off.

Located in two appartments in the very centre of Riga, DarbaVieta offers a coworking space for approximately 30 freelancers and is currently a community of freelance graphic designers, copywriters, marketing and PR people, urbanists, project managers, and photographers. DarbaVieta founder Janis Milzarajs intentionally brought ‘computer people’ together with arts and crafts makers to create an inspirational symbiosis between them, hence making it easy both for IT and tech startup professionals to establish networks and for those who sell their skills and knowledge. DarbaVieta has also been invited to become a part of a Copenhagen based Innovation Embassy which is globally bringing different knowledge freelance professionals together for new project launching.

Coworking Riga

Coworking Riga was founded to create a functional, motivating and sustainable environment for creative startups and freelancers,’  Roberts Kurpnieks, CEO and Co-founder of Coworking Riga states, ‘we believe that concept of coworking is the future of the workplace!’ Located in the city centre, they are at a walking distance from the Old Town and are easily accessible by both public transport and car.

The 600 m2 office space consists of a modern and comfortable shared work room, private offices and a conference hall. Coworking Riga also provides its members and other customers with a perfectly equipped 180 m2 photo studio. The space has two inner courtyards and a garden - perfect for unwinding after a good day’s work. Extra features: bike stand, two kitchens, three bathrooms, shower, recreation area with fireplace, high speed WIFI and other office facilities.

Due to its creative atmosphere, Coworking Riga has become the workplace of choice for graphic designers, architects, publishers, IT and PR professionals and photographers.

Riga makes the room for coworkers bigger, and freelancers and startups end up with great opportunities that expand not only their personal professional amplitude, but also ignite a creative working culture in general. It seems that the capital city of Latvia will not ever stop improving and turning better and more exciting, making it possible for coworkers to showcase their talent in the best way they can. 

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Startup Latvia and Birojnica are two other coworking spaces which you can find in Latvia's capital.

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