Kaunas is the rising star among startup ecosystems. It is the only municipality in Lithuania offering pre-acceleration programme and a series of networking events to startups free of charge. Kaunas IN has officially launched the 2019 Kaunas Startups programme today, which aims to help startups and entrepreneurial individuals develop new businesses. This year the programme focuses on early-stage ventures.
“Support for startups in Lithuania is growing, but it is crucially important to support early-stage companies. Professional consultations and experts’ advice help entrepreneurs build scalable products and create global companies from day one”, says Tadas Stankevicus, the Head of the Business Division at Kaunas IN, the organisation behind Kaunas Startups programme.
A unique programme to develop business skills
Fresh and upgraded Kaunas Startups programme will kicking-off at the end of August. The programme is aimed both at startups that are already seeing traction in their businesses as well as beginning entrepreneurs. Kaunas Startups will help participants avoid the most common mistakes that lead young companies to failure and will equip with the required skills to build successful businesses. Based on their priorities and time availability, teams can choose to either attend a number of training and networking events or join an 8 week long pre-acceleration programme, where they will receive professional mentorship.
The pre-accelerator’s teams will have access to more than 40 mentors with international experience, such as Wallace Green, who has more than ten years of experience in helping strategic projects grow, also Patrick Collins, the head of Prospect Labs, leading sales services provider for startups, and others.
Registration to Kaunas Startups pre-acceleration programme is open until the 22nd of September. Afterwards, in the beginning of October, 25 teams will be selected by a team of startups ecosystem stakeholders and invited to the selection bootcamp. There startups will improve their pitches and present their ideas to an experienced jury who will select startups to an 8 week long pre-acceleration programme. Even though the priority is to support Kaunas startups, teams from all over Lithuania and abroad are welcome to apply and participate in the programme.
The startup oasis
Kaunas is becoming internationally recognized as an attractive destination for startups. Among the city’s advantages is the developed infrastructure, available coworking spaces, a talent pool of students with a tech background able to answer nowadays technological challenges and offer innovative solutions. Coupled with the support available to startups, these conditions create a huge potential for the growth of Kaunas ecosystem.
This is the fifth year that Kaunas city municipality is providing support to the startup ecosystem. Noticeably it was one of the driving factors behind Kaunas taking an 114th place from 1028 cities from all over the world in StartupBlink’s Global 2019, the global startup city ecosystem ranking.
Last year’s achievements
Kaunas city municipality’s entity Kaunas IN responsible for tourism, business promotion and marketing projects, hosted the first acceleration activities programme for the local startups in 2018. In 8 weeks, 11 teams received over a 100 hours of mentorship by an international team of experts. The alumni of the accelerator have already received over 60 thousand euros of investments. The initial success of the last four years of the programme has led to its continuation in 2019.
Kaunas will be hosting more than 15 open events during the Kaunas Startups programme and more information can be found by following this link: http://kaunasin.lt/kaunas-start-ups/.