2020 10 27

Smart, fast, and flexible: startup ecosystem’s injections stimulate the economy

While launching a startup is not easy, those, who successfully overcome the challenges often become a transforming factor for entire industries. Often technologies and ideas created by a handful of people – from banking (Revolut) to transportation (Uber) or leisure (Netflix) – change the lifestyles of millions of people in just a few years. According to research and global experience, startups usually win the competitive battle by applying highly advanced technologies, opening up new markets, or unrecognizably replacing old ones, with their ability to generate a higher return on invested capital.

Such transforming startups are recognized by the experts as having a significant impact on the whole economy, both nationally and globally. By investing in research and development of new products, they bring new technologies and, through their clever application, encourage traditional companies to operate more efficiently and apply innovation.

Lithuanian startups become increasingly visible in the world

The Lithuanian startup ecosystem has already gained a prominent place in the global context and it replicates global economic trends. Its strengthening is significantly influenced by the establishment of business angels, acceleration and venture capital funds, changes in the legal and regulatory environment aimed at improving the startup environment. In addition, an easier migration program was launched to help attract foreign startups to Lithuania.

“A few years ago, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation set a very ambitious goal – to expand the Lithuanian startup ecosystem to a 1,000. Today, this number has already exceeded 1,000. We have the first unicorn – the first fintech startup has entered the stock market. It is wonderful that the rapidly growing and ambitious startup community in Lithuania is becoming more and more visible in the world, attracting more and more investments and creating more and more well-paid jobs. Another ambitious goal is to increase the number of unicorns and create an even more favorable environment for attracting, creating, and developing startups in Lithuania. To achieve this goal, the Innovation Fund is being established, and a network of incubators and accelerators is being developed,” Jekaterina Rojaka, Deputy Minister of Economics and Innovation, says.

Attention to the startup ecosystem in Kaunas

It is estimated that Kaunas is the second-largest startup hub in the country. Most startups work here in software development, health, computer game development, marketing, education, and fintech.

“When the teams developing innovative ideas are asked what it takes to create a startup or set it up in a particular city, they mention the availability of talent, the conditions and costs of startup development, as well as the availability of capital and the quality of the local startup system. Therefore, when creating an attractive environment for business in Kaunas, we pay a lot of attention to solving the problems relevant to startups as well. We see successful examples and believe in the further, positive impact of start-up businesses on the city’s economic development, as well as their synergy with other Kaunas businesses and universities,” Andrius Veršinskas, Head of Kaunas IN Business Department, says. Kaunas IN has been organizing a program dedicated to Kaunas startups – currently known under the name Kaunastic Startups – for six years.

“Obviously, COVID-19 has an impact on the national startup ecosystem agenda, but will there be a startup that affects COVID-19 itself?” Linas Vaitulevičius, the Head of Business Development at Rubedo sistemos, asks rhetorically. According to him, one of the startups’ strengths is the ability to look at emerging crises flexibly, quickly, and in an original way and turn them into opportunities, and this pandemic is no exception.

“Every crisis causes a certain disruption in the established socio-economic processes and habits. The COVID-19 crisis is no exception, and its disruption is deep and global. If such disruptions pose an existential threat to the old-timers of the market, then they are a real gift to startups because they open or expand the previously unheard-of business niches in which they automatically gain an advantage in decision-making speed over corporations with all their almost limitless monetary and other resources. Startups have nothing to lose, and in case of success, the reward can be a significant market share,” L. Vaitulevičius says.

The startups in Kaunas will be invited to training and contact-making week

The startup ecosystem, its impact on the economy, and Lithuania’s digital transformation will be reviewed at the Kaunastic Startup Week, which will take place on November 9-13. The participants will attend live meetings, discussions, seminars, and experience-sharing nights that will help assess the value of your startup idea and gain inspiration for new work. All events are free of charge, most of them will take place remotely.

You can find detailed Kaunastic Startup Week’s program here.

The organizer of the Cooperation Week: Public institution Kaunas IN

Kaunas IN business department information and photo.

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