- Thriving Lithuanian Startups Ecosystem
Lithuanian IT startup ecosystem is expanding exponentially during recent years. We work with more than 120 startups directly on different levels; however, this number would increase two fold if we would count them all. Such expansion is 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.
- 100+ startup events in 2012
During last year alone we had 25 events organized by Enterprise Lithuania, and 100 total if we include other external initiatives. The biggest events organized by our organization were Silicon Valley comes to the Baltic’s with more than 1500 participants. Periodically we also had hackathons including - App camps with 500 participants and 60 teams formed, Startup weekend with 150 people and 20 teams formed. What is interesting about the former event is that it was held in the highest building in the region – Television tower, 150 meters above the ground level. We also have numerous niche sector events such as GameJam (100 people, 25 games created).
- Great opportunities to accelerate
Going further through our ecosystem, there is rising international interest in the region. Recently we had Oxygen accelerator from London and Rockstart accelerator from Amsterdam, both doing events on the same day and discussion potential expansion opportunities in Vilnius. Locally we have StartupHighway accelerator, which already has a track record of 10 teams accelerated and added more in May 2013. International Business School at Vilnius University is due to launch its internal accelerator of ~1mln EUR as well.
- 100M EUR in venture and seed funds
From the investment side, with the European JEREMIE initiative help we already have 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 100M to be invested by 2015. Practica Capital which operated seed fund of 6M Eur already 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. Therefore, we will see more funding pouring in Lithuanian ecosystem once Baltic Investment Fund will be launched with 200M Eur total capitalization divided across three countries as well as other Mega venture capital funds including Acell Partners who already made investments in Lithuanian based startups – like GetJar.
- Links to Silicon Valley, London and other startup communities
What is more, Enterprise Lithuania is also trying to bind the bridges with Silicon Valley as well as other international key startup destinations to attract further investment and change of ideas. This year, 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 panel. Also, later this year we will be doing a 3 stop – Road show, where best 20 Lithuanian startups will visit 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 facilitates not only creation of new businesses and workplaces but also increases awareness of Lithuanian IT potential since we see these Lithuanian startups scaling up globally. We believe we have a perfect setting for IT sector to continue exponential expansion. Once you consider our competitive advantages including: location between east and west, highly qualified IT talent pool, operating cost advantages, as well as expanding and supportive ecosystem, we will act as hotspot not only for local but also regional startups.
- 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. We love to travel network new contacts and get into business ventures.
- 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 – 2,99M
- Latvia – 2,07M
- Estonia – 1,29 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 stands out as a business factor, available for highly competitive prices EU-wide. The minimum monthly wage in Lithuania is currently 289 EUR, and the minimum hourly wage is 1.76 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.
- Great beer. Everywhere. Just like Internet.
We bet you’ve heard about Lithuanian beauties, and of course you must have heard legends about Lithuanian beer. Oh… first time hearing about that? Once you’re at the place, just ask for one of our locals and you always get it cold, and always ready to be served in myriads of pubs, bars restaurants, take-out houses, specialty shops and beer pit-stops . We are pretty much sure this is probably one of the best ways to wind up your busy day running promising startups. Everyone knows that best deals are struck over a beer. Fact.
• Official name: The Republic of Lithuania.
• Area: 65 300 km2.
• Population: 2,988 million (in 2012).
• Population density: 45,8 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 2013).
• 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: 523 050 (in 2012).
• Major cities: Kaunas (population: 311 148), Klaipėda (population: 160 361), Šiauliai (population: 107 875), Panevėžys (population: 98 612) (in 2012).
• Official language: Lithuanian (the Baltic languages group). The majority of citizens also speak Russian, English.
• Currency: Lithuanian litas (LTL); (1 EUR = 3,4528 Lt).
• Neighbouring states: Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Russia (Kaliningrad).
• Cell phone code: +370...
• GSM service providers: “Omnitel”, “Bitė”, “Tele2”, “Eurocom”.
• Internet: 69% 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 2012): 83,7% Lithuanian, 6,6% Polish, 5,3% Russian, 1,3%, Belarusian, 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.