Startups to compete for a EUR 100 000 investment at Startup Fair. Growth event

2018-05-16
Startups to compete for a EUR 100 000 investment at Startup Fair. Growth event

Over 6 years, Startup Fair, the main event for Lithuanian startups, has grown into a leading startup event in the Central and Eastern Europe and is becoming a key gathering point not only for startups, but also for the region’s most active investors. This week, May 16-17, Vilnius will provide Lithuanian startups with an extraordinary opportunity to gain growth momentum as they are in for not only many inspiring success stories and tips, but also a EUR 100 000 investment for the best business ideas.

“The development of the Lithuanian strtup ecosystem over the last few years can be described by paraphrasing a popular expression: ‘the unicorn hunting season has opened’. Lithuania has already become a pasture land for more than one unicorns from abroad: Uber and Unity Revoliut. We do not have a Lithuanian unicorn yet, but together with the startup community, we are designing a plan to enable the Lithuanian startup ecosystem to accommodate not only 1000 new innovative enterprises but also to make it sufficiently spacious for a unicorn to grow,” said Virginijus Sinkevičius, Minister of Economy, kicking off Startup Fair, a key startup event.

It is not by chance that this year, Startup Fair, one of the most important events for the startup community, has been given the code name of “Growth”. “Startups can grow by attracting venture capital investments, expanding their product to other markets, and recruiting talents. This year, highlighting the importance of growth, Startup Fair aims to provide knowledge about all aspects of this growth to both already operating startups and to those who only intend to set up a startup,” says Roberta Rudokienė, Head of Startup Lithuania, Enterprise Lithuania’s startup ecosystem promotion division.

According to her, the first conference day of Startup Fair will be focused on the topics of grown and venture capital attraction, while the second will cover fintech, blockchains, and cryptocurrency public distribution. Also, during the startup pitch contest Pitch Battle, startups will seek to win a EUR 100 000 investment from the Lithuanian business angels network LitBAN and the venture capital co-investment fund Koinvesticinis Fondas as well as to find investors and partners in other countries at B2B meetings. We expect good results because now investors are quite active in the market, while Lithuanian startups are not short of highly innovative business ideas,” notes Roberta Rudokienė.

Algirdas Stonys, the founder and CEO of TeleSoftas, one of the first Lithuanian startups that has successfully grown into an international smart and innovative IT service company, emphasises the importance of entrepreneurship as a possibility to fulfil one’s dreams.

“Lithuanians want to be happy, significant, influential, and well-known throughout the world, while the successful development of startups is one of the possible ways to reach these goals. In order to achieve success and grow, enthusiasm and valuable ideas that address real problems are important for both a startup and a long-standing business. TeleSoftas has long ceased to be a startup as we do business for more than fourteen years already. In 2017, Deloitte listed TeleSoftas in Technology Fast 50 among the fastest growing Central European technology companies. With such experience, we encourage startups and contribute to building a smart Lithuania because we can achieve considerably more in business through cooperation rather than competition,” says Algirdas Stonys, the founder and CEO of TeleSoftas, who is an active member of the startup ecosystem and a mentor for beginners.

Gytenis Galkis, the Director of the Lithuanian business angels network LitBAN, points out that the activity of investors on the market has increased, so now the startups’ potential to attract investment is really large. LitBAN alone unites more than 60 business angel investors from different areas of activity, which are longing to share their knowledge and invest in the most promising early-stage startups. Once a month, LitBAN members invite pre-selected entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas at a closed presentation session. Therefore, the best, most investor-favoured startups participating in Startup Fair will also receive an opportunity to continue negotiations with investors,” says Gytenis Galkis. According to him, this Pitch Battle contest will give an opportunity to attract attention quickly and effectively.

This year, business ideas will be pitched at the startup pitch contest Pitch Battle by 58 startups, of which 31 come from foreign countries.

The solid programme of Startup Fair. Growth includes four topics: Growth, Venture Capital, Fintech, and Blockchain and Initial Coin Offering (ICO). These topics will be covered at the event by 20 international speakers. This year’s Startup Fair. Growth, which will be held already for the 6th time, will take place in Vilnius Tech Park on May 16–17. For more information, please visit: www.startupfair.lt

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