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A Latvian port city on the Baltic Sea, Ventspils is split in 2 by the Venta River and has an ice-free port. Its old town is cloaked in cobblestone streets and 17th Century storehouses circle the Town Hall and the Market Squares. Sitting in the historical Courland region of Latvia, it has a population of 39,286 with its residents meandering the streets, chilling out in its ancient squares watching the passing parade or bunkered down in coworking venues getting some work done. A shipbuilding hub where 44 warships and 79 trading ships were built, it was from here that ships set sail to colonize Gambia and Tobago. Ventspils is a history buff's wet panty moment, as there is a 13th Century castle that is now a museum to gawk at and the Ventspils Water Park is a haven for little kids or big kids that have forgotten to grow up.
The city's economy is centered on its port where oil and other mineral resources from Russia are loaded on ships with the revenue raised making Ventspils the wealthiest city in Latvia. There is an international airport in the city plus the Ventspils High Technology Park providing infrastructure and services to IT and electronic companies. A city known for its "cow" sculptures that literally "litter" its streets in all shapes and forms from a cow on swings to a cow that is dressed as a seafarer, tourism is another contributor to its economy.
Latvia's small capital of Riga is where you will find the majority of the country's 300 startups, but most cities appear to have their own dynamic entrepreneurial communities happening. The government has instigated initiatives to attract businesses and it's the first county in the area to have special laws for startups. High tech companies are now playing a bigger role with many companies focusing on tech in the green energy and chemical markets. Latvia has a young tech scene with an ecosystem very much in its early stages. In spite of this, it's united and collaborative with potential to grow in the future. Coworking venues are providing its creative souls the space to mingle, collaborate and where they can get some work done before heading off to slurp on some beetroot soup.
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