Digital Freedom Festival Searches For Top Startups with Leading Global Accelerators 500 Startups …

The 500 Startups Pitch Competition is open to seed-stage startups, which have developed and tested a product prototype. The top three to five will …

October 9, 2019

The following is a press release from Digital Freedom Festival:

The Digital Freedom Festival is continuing cooperation with leading global accelerator 500 Startups (USA) and international startup, investor and mentor union Rockstart (Netherlands) by inviting seed stage startups to apply to the Startup Pitch Competition. Applications are open through October 18th, with finalists announced on November 1st. The grand final will be held during the Digital Freedom Festival Investor Day on November 15th.

Digital Freedom Festival Co-founder and Latvian Startup Association Board Member Dagnija Lejina: “We’re very pleased to continue cooperation with our reliable partners at 500 Startups and Rockstart. Getting into 500 Startups is like jumping to the front of a very long line. It increases trust in the eyes of investors and offers invaluable personal experience and growth. I suggest you get rid of your doubts and participate in the competition, after all – you lose 100% of the shots you don’t take!”

The 500 Startups Pitch Competition is open to seed-stage startups, which have developed and tested a product prototype. The top three to five will advance to the next round, where they will have the opportunity to present their ideas to local and international investors, media and other festival attendees. The winner will receive a fast-track to the final interview round for the next accelerator batch in Silicon Valley. There they will fight for the opportunity to receive world-class mentoring, access to a USD 150 000 seed fund and participation in the 4-month accelerator programme.

500 Startups Partner Marvin Liao: “I am personally a big fan of the Digital Freedom Festival and would recommend it to anyone and everyone. This is also why 500 Startups has been involved with the event the last 3 years!”

The 500 Startups pitch application form is available here.

The Rockstart Pitch Competition is open to startups operating in the smart mobility, energy or artificial intelligence sectors. Applicants must have developed and tested a product prototype.

Competition winners will have the opportunity to take part in the final selection round for the Rockstart 6-month accelerator programme in the Netherlands. During the accelerator programme startups will have access to a EUR 20 000 euro cash prize, EUR 80 000 in indirect financing through office space rental and mentor support, as well as more than 50 various additional support tools valued at around EUR 100 000. The programme will also provide the opportunity to qualify for EUR 500 000 -1 million in further investment.

Rockstart Co-founder and CEO Rune Theill: “The Digital Freedom Festival is a well-organised event for changemakers, innovators, and creative thinkers. In beautiful surroundings, DFF is an intimate event optimised to create meaningful connections.”

The Rockstart pitch application form is available here.

Participation in the pitch competitions allows startups to develop their ideas and presentation skills, gain constructive criticism from industry representatives and experts, and gain access to world-class contacts and investors.

As previously reported, last year’s 500 Startups Pitch Competition winner was Latvian startup Asya. In turn, the winner of the Dutch accelerator’s Rockstart Pitch Competition was CostPocket from Estonia.

Asya CEO Evalds Urtans emphasises: “Participation in DFF gave us great media exposure, connections to top startup accelerator programs in the global arena and a lot of early beta users before the actual launch of the app.”

Publicity photos:

Additional Information:

Inga Taurina,

Digital Freedom Festival Press Secretary

Tel.: +371 26564629



About 500 Startups

500 Startups is a risk capital fund and startup accelerator located in Silicon Valley, where it organises various startup programmes. In 2018 it controlled a 450 million dollar investment portfolio through five main funds and 15 micro-funds. Since it was founded in 2010, the company has invested in more than 2200 startups from around the world. The company has recently launched a new investment programme in cooperation with the United Nations, which is geared towards financing projects that promote a positive impact on the environment and society. The 500 Startups portfolio included startups valued at over 100 million and 1 billion dollars, for example, Twilio, Canva, Udemy and many others including Printify from Latvia.

About Rockstart

Rockstart is the first multi-vertical startup accelerator in Europe. It was founded in 2011 in Amsterdam with the goal of offering startup entrepreneurs access to the market, knowledge and the startup community. Since its founding Rockstart has become an expert in creating ecosystems around various domains, such as digital health, smart energy and artificial intelligence. Rockstart actively builds crucial entrepreneurial infrastructure around the world with its accelerator verticals. Since inception Rockstart has invested in more than 200 startups, supporting them on the road to acquiring 89 million investments. Rockstart is an international alliance dedicated to supporting and empowering startups in becoming scalability and making the world a better place.

About the Digital Freedom Festival

The Digital Freedom Festival is a global technology, startup, policy and lifestyle festival, which will be held on November 14h and 15th in Riga. It will gather technology and startup entrepreneurs, experts, policymakers, investors, journalists and motivational speakers from all over the world to look for answers to how entrepreneurs, society and policymakers can better cooperate and make use of the benefits provided by technology.

In 2018 the Digital Freedom Festival gathered 1600 technology and startup entrepreneurs, experts, policymakers, investors, journalists and students from 30 countries. The conference livestream on Shortcut and the portal was viewed more than 15 000 times.

The conference is organised by the Digital Freedom Festival group, the DFF NGO, as well as Lejina&Šleiers reputation management agency. Festival startup pitch competition partners – 500 Startups, Rockstart, USA Embassy, Dutch Embassy, etc. Media partners – Delfi, LETA, Kapitals,,, The Baltic Times, LabsofLatvia,, etc.

Two-day tickets are available on the website:

For the latest news follow the Digital Freedom Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (#DFFestival).

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