15. Marija Ručevska
25, Co-founder at Helve & TechChill Foundation
At just 25, Marija Ručevska has already left an indelible handprint on the local and regional startup scene in Latvia and the Baltics. She is the force of nature behind the Latvian tech conference TechChill and has been instrumental in driving the growth of the gathering to reach 2,000 participants in 2018. As co-founder, board member and former chief executive of TechChill, Ručevska ensured that her passion as an evangelist for Latvia as a startup-friendly location was translated into concrete policy. TechChill is now the leading forum in the Baltic for matching startup entrepreneurs, disruptors, investors, and others with an interest in the sector.
Ručevska is also emblematic of female millennial entrepreneurs, who are better represented in the corporate and startup world than their older sisters. As an alumnus of Techhub Riga, the oldest community supporting Latvian startups, she is one of the 53% of women in Latvia who occupy leadership positions in industry.