Why Lithuania

Mayor of Klaipeda takes a selfie during the final pitches in Hacker Games: Klaipėda

Lithuania is a business friendly country not only for young entrepreneurs and skilled professionals but is also trusted by such high calibre companies as IBM, Barclays, Western Union, AIG, Nasdaq, Thermo Fisher Scientific and many others. This country, full of young people, ambition, energy, skill, and talent, equipped with Europe’s fastest internet connection and rapidly growing startup ecosystem, is the place to be for any startup.

With several high volume A and B series investments into young startups Vinted, Trafi and YPlan during the latest years, the startups ecosystem is finally maturing in Lithuania. Additionally, one of the largest startup and gamedev centers in the Baltics will be opened in 2016 next to the historic old town of Vilnius. Vilnius Tech Park will fill 8,000 sq.m. with startup offices, co-working spaces, cafeterias, hostel and recreational areas. Come and see for yourself! Having in mind that Vilnius has been named the lowest cost European city break destination by Independent, it should not burn a hole in your pocket.

Vilnius Tech Park will be located in Sapiega Park - a run down 19th century hospital 

STARTUP LITHUANIA 2015

It’s time to wrap up the year 2015 for #LTstartups. First of all, Lithuania climbs to the top by global ranking of Entrepreneurship! Moreover, Lithuanian Startup Community is expanding and is more and more visible on the global map. Facts and figures prove this: LOGIN Startup Fair was larger than ever with 30 VC funds and accelerators and 65 startups from the region and International Startup Day was celebrated for the second year in a row with participants not only from Europe, but from Japan, USA and Vietnam as well. In terms of investment, 2015 might be the record year for #LTstartups. Vinted, Trafi, Vittamed and TransferGo raised EUR 42M, not to mention several modest injections of up to EUR 0,5M into other companies.

The ecosystem witnessed new players and innitiatives:

A moment from Hacker Games: Klaipeda, a new series of hackathons in Lithuania

Read all the highlights HERE.

 

STARTUP LITHUANIA 2014

Click below for the bigger picture

 


STARTUP LITHUANIA 2013

2013 can be considered as a breakthrough year for Lithuanian startups. Over the course of the year, startups managed to achieve half the amount raised over the previous six years (2007-2012).

According to Enterprise Lithuania data, 19 investments totaling EUR 16M reached Lithuanian startups in 2013, while investments in 2007-2012 amounted to EUR 34M, of which EUR 31.5M had been invested into GetJar.

42 startups created 224 jobs in Lithuania. The majority of the companies surveyed also intended to expand in the future: over the course of 2014, startups planned to double the number of employees.

The state investments in startups administered by Enterprise Lithuania amounted to EUR 0.35M in 2013, and said startups paid more than EUR 0.5M into the budget in taxes.

Average age of startup founders is 29. The youngest startup founder participating in the survey was 17, and the oldest was 46.

Full overview of Startup Lithuania 2013 is HERE.


STARTUP LITHUANIA 2012

  • Thriving Lithuanian Startups Ecosystem

Lithuanian startup ecosystem had been expanding exponentially during past years. Startup Lithuania had worked with more than 120 startups directly on different levels. Such expansion was seen horizontally across all the stages of startup development starting from participation in the events to team formation and launch of the actual products and companies flowed by attributable investments.

Top 17 Lithuanian startups - participant of the first Startup Roadshow in 2013

  • 100+ startup events in 2012

In 2012, Enterprise Lithuania organized 25 events. In total 100 events were organized, if included other external initiatives. The biggest event organized by Startup Lithuania was Silicon Valley comes to the Baltic’s with more than 1500 participants. Periodically, Startup Lithuania also had hackathons including - App Camps with 500 participants and 60 teams formed, Startup Weekend with 150 people and 20 teams formed which was held in the highest building in the region – Television tower, 150 meters above the ground level. The ecosystem also had numerous niche sector events such as GameJam (100 people, 25 games created).

A Moment from BarCamp, monthly startup event in Vilnius

Going further through our ecosystem, in 2012 there had been rising international interest in the region. Oxygen accelerator from London and Rockstart accelerator from Amsterdam, both held events on the same day and discussed potential expansion opportunities in Vilnius. Locally, there had been StartupHighway accelerator which had had a track record of 10 teams accelerated and added more in May 2013.

From the investment side, with the European JEREMIE initiative help Lithuanian Startup ecosystem have had 4 funds operating in Lithuania alone. These include Practica Capital (21.7M), Mes Invest – Business Angel Fund 1 (27.6M), BaltCap (20M) and LitCapital (25M) with a total capitalization of almost EUR 100M to be invested by 2015. Practica Capital which had operated seed fund of 6M Eur, had made 5 investments locally and made a declaration to do 1 investment per month up to 200k Eur with further 12 investments in the pipeline through 2013. As a result, more funding had been pouring into Lithuanian Startup ecosystem when Baltic Investment Fund had been launched with 200M Eur total capitalization divided across three countries. In addition, other Mega venture capital funds including Acell Partners had made investments in Lithuanian based startups – like GetJar.

  • Links to Silicon Valley, London and other startup communities

What is more, Enterprise Lithuania had also bounded bridges with Silicon Valley as well as other international key startup destinations to attract further investment and exchange of ideas. In 2013, April 18-19 during biggest tech conference in the region – LOGIN, the Startup Fair was organized for the first time. Best regional startups had an opportunity to pitch to Silicon Valley and European investors.  Also, later in 2013 Startup Lithuania did a 3 stop – Roadshow, where best 20 Lithuanian startups had been visiting Stockholm, London and Tel Aviv to present their companies to international investors, entrepreneurs, business angels and Venture capital funds.

To sum up, IT sector expansion facilitated not only creation of new businesses and workplaces but also increased awareness of Lithuanian IT potential since Lithuanian startups were seen scaling up globally. Startup Lithuania believe that Lithuania has a perfect setting for IT sector to continue exponential expansion. Once you consider Lithuaniana competitive advantages including: location between east and west, highly qualified IT talent pool, operating cost advantages, as well as expanding and supportive ecosystem, Lithuania has been acting as hotspot not only for local but also regional startups.

Organizers and volunteers of LOGIN Startup Fair 2014

  • Familiar culture

Since the dawn of time Lithuania has been on the crossroad s and was open to different cultures. For instance, in XIV century Grand duke of Lithuania Gediminas wrote a circular letter of invitation to Germans and Jews to the principal Hansa towns in 1325, offering free access into his domains to men of every order and profession.  Today Lithuania has become an inseparable part of the global scene, EU, NATO, World Trade Organization. Lithuanians love to travel, networkand and get into business ventures.

Trakai Island Castle built in 14th century

 

  • Strategic location - Proximity to key markets (Scandinavia, WE, Russia and CIS)

Lithuania is located on the very crossroads of 3 huge markets, and is a largest market out of all Baltic Countries.

 

  • Reach of Markets within three hours or less by flight from Lithuania:

Scandinavia and Baltic Countries – 110M consumers

  • Lithuania – 2,89M
  • Latvia – 1,97M
  • Estonia – 1,31 M

CIS Market – 250M consumers

  • Belarus – 9,8M

West Europe – 340M consumers

  • Competitive start in EU

If you choose to start business or find partners in EU, It is crucial to mention that Lithuania has a large pool of well-qualified talent available for highly competitive prices EU-wide. The minimum monthly wage in Lithuania is currently 350 EUR, and the minimum hourly wage is 2.12 EUR.

  • EU Legislations

As a member state of the European Union, Lithuania has to ensure that legal acts, adopted by the EU institutions, are properly implemented in Lithuania.

  • Large talent pool

Multinational companies consistently identify the high quality of staff as the most positive aspect of their experience in Lithuania, allowing them to reach critical production levels much faster than expected.

  • Facts

• Official name: The Republic of Lithuania.
• Area: 65 300 km2.
• Population: 2,890 million (in 2016).
• Population density: 45 people/km2 (cf. 72,5 people/km2 in Europe).
• Political system: parliamentary democracy. Head of State – President,
• Executive Power – Government, Legislative Power – The Seimas.
• President: Dalia Grybauskaitė (until 2019).
• The Republic of Lithuania is a member of the EU and NATO.
• Joined the Schengen area in 2007.
• Time zone: GTM + 2 hours.
• Capital: Vilnius. Population: 542,664 (in 2016).
• Major cities: Kaunas (population: 299,466), Klaipėda (population: 157,350), Šiauliai (population: 107 875), Panevėžys (population: 95,218) (in 2016).
• Official language: Lithuanian (Indo-European language group). The majority of citizens also speak English, Russian.
• Currency: Euro (EUR).
• Neighbouring states: Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Russia (Kaliningrad).
• Cell phone code: +370...
• GSM service providers: “Omnitel”, “Bitė”, “Tele2”.
• Internet: 78% of population uses the Internet. High-speed wireless Internet connection is available at most supermarkets, cafes, main streets and hotels of larger cities (usually free of charge).
• Information number: +370 700 55 118.
• Emergency number: 112 or 911.
• Ethnic groups (in 2016): 84% Lithuanian, 6,6% Polish, 5,8% Russian, 1,2%, Belarusian, 2,3% other (Ukrainian, Hebrew, Latvian, Tartar etc.).
• Religion: 79% Roman Catholics.
• Climate: maritime/continental.  Average temperature in July is – +16,7°C, January – -5,1°C.