As one of the leading cities to create hospitable conditions for starting a business, Vilnius puts all efforts into ensuring a startup-friendly environment. The city opened the Startup Museum last year, and now honours the most prominent businesses in a virtual awards ceremony and an online exhibition.
December 11, 2020. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, opened the world’s first Startup Museum last year to appreciate the innovations brought to the industries. This year, the one-year anniversary of the Museum was celebrated by hosting an online Startup Museum Awards ceremony together with a virtual exhibition opened specifically for the occasion.
The success of the most notorious startup companies was awarded with statuettes that symbolize a man watching others work. The prize represents the attitude Vilnius shows towards its startups - they are seen and appreciated.
6 winners were chosen for the virtual awards ceremony:
“As a global company, Mambu focuses on introducing new financial service capabilities to its customers. Vilnius is considered one of the leading financial technology hubs in Europe, and it has a perfect environment for talents to grow, ”Andrius Bagdonavičius, CEO at Mambu, says.
Ligence was voted the Newcomer of the Year for ground-breaking innovations in the health sector. This health-tech startup develops machine algorithms that use ultrasound images for automatically detecting a heart’s functional and anatomical features. The entire team is composed of medical professionals which makes it rather unusual for a business venture.
“We are the first startup in Lithuania to have formed an all-medical team. Although the idea for the business was not entirely new, we thought of a much needed novelty - full protocol with automated measurements. We have started with cardiology and now we are considering exploring new areas such as oncology, musculoskeletal system diagnostics,” Dovydas Matuliauskas, CFO at Ligence, shares the experience.
Tesonet was voted Community Influencer for making an extraordinary impact on the startup community in Vilnius. The company, which started small, has become a creator and investor of over 30 global next-generation digital products and employs over 1200 experts.
Mindletic (former Act on Crisis) is an app which allows people to talk with certified mental health professionals and improve their self-care practices. The startup also won 2nd place in the online hackathon “Hack the Crisis”.
“The idea for the app was born out of my personal encounters with anxiety which occured when the pandemic hit us. Our team managed to develop the prototype that allowed consultations with psychologists in just two weeks. We partnered with the Lithuanian Psychological Association and received support from 8 psychologists on the very first weekend of the launch of the app. The initiative took off and now we have 14 psychologists. The interest in the app confirmed that the product is very much needed,” says Ieva Vaitkevičiūtė, Founder of Mindletic.
In 2019 Vilnius was the first city in Europe to have an artificial intelligence store opened by Pixevia, which received the award of Emerging Technology Startup. The company is planning to expand the business throughout Europe.
The Startup of the Year, Qoorio, formerly known as HumansApp, offers a unique way of sharing the knowledge - the app connects a network of people willing to share knowledge and experience through one-on-one discussions, and allows engaging in conversations with more than 2 000 individuals.
The capital city has achieved a lot in creating a startup-friendly environment. In 2019 Vilnius was ranked as the leading city to have attracted the most greenfield Foreign Direct Investment projects of tech startups. The established startup ecosystem in the city does not show any signs of slowing down - it has been reported that in 2019 Vilnius’ startup scene was valued at approximately €140 million.
“Vilnius is known for being a growing tech hub, and its strengths lie in a regulatory environment, the abundance of technology talents, and favourable work-life balance conditions - all of which help all newcomers integrate into the markets with ease. Startups take full advantage of the city’s efforts to implement life-changing ideas,” says Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius.
Strategic actions are taken by the city and Lithuania in general to offer the startups the much-needed support: creation of innovation hubs and accelerators, favourable bank conditions, organisation of conferences such as “Startup Fair”, “Fintech Inn”, “Login”, etc. As a result, out of 190 global economies that create the most favourable conditions for starting a business, the World Bank placed Vilnius in the 14th position.
The virtual Startup Museum exhibition is set to shine light on both new and already-established startups that refresh Vilnius’ economic scenery with widely accepted innovations. The city is proud to be included among fast-growing tech hubs and has already attracted many up-and-coming startups.