What Is Making Vilnius The Start-Up Hub Of Eastern Europe
Published June 30,2017 2 years ago Posted By Justinas DanisReading Time: 3 minutes
While London and Berlin continue to be the most preferred destination for big tech players, Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, has gained prominence as a hotspot for startups over the past few years owing to the great advantages it offers. The city has taken huge leaps towards becoming the EU’s leading technological hotspot, offering a range of advantages due to government support, advanced IT infrastructure, low taxes for startups, business-friendly regulations and favorable relocation conditions. Easy availability of resources like funding, incubation space and talent add to the growth and expansion of the network of startups.
The country has been already ranked as the 3rd best country in Europe & Central Asia for doing business by World Bank, in 2015. Vilnius, the capital of the Baltic country is home to startups like Vinted, Pixelmator, Planner 5D, Trafi, Mobofree, Deallink and many more. The city, however, is not known for its startups alone; some big names like Skype, IBM, Air BNB, Bored Panda, Barclays, AIG, Western Union and the likes are operating in the city.
Here are the most important reasons that make Vilnius an attractive business destinationin eastern Europe:
The business friendly policies of the government can’t work unless implemented by the local bodies. Vilnius city municipality has extended full support to the startups by inviting the new ones and supporting those who have relocated to the city, by way of various initiatives. Facilitating fast and free public wi-fi, establishing Vilnius TechPark, and encouraging the startups to use the soil of the city to roll out new ventures are the glowing examples of the remarkable work the government body has done to create and nurture the local tech ecosystem.
Non-EU businesses can move to Vilnius with their families to setup their startups and work towards the growth and expansion of the business without having to worry about the duration of their stay with the Startup Visa Program that allows temporary legal residency. Any entrepreneur with an original and innovative business idea can move to the city and take advantage of the excellent support system in place.
Big Talent Pool
People of Vilnius are a tech savvy lot. They are using the latest technologies in their day-to-day lives. The population here has strong IT skills and possesses analytical bend of mind. The city offers a pool of talented and hardworking professionals, a major requirement for the success of any startup. Guidance and legal advice is freely available for the startups looking to setup their business in the city through institutions like Invest Lithuania and Enterprise Lithuania, Open Coffee Club Vilnius, the Startup Division at Civitta and others.
The investors are swarming Vilnius, in search of new lucrative investment opportunities. Some well known names are Intel Capital, BaltCap, LitCapita, Accel Partners, Nextury Ventures, and many more.
Lithuania is at the junction point of three biggest markets of Europe — Russia, Scandinavia, WE and CIS. With social, economical and political situation that is conducive to the growth and development of favorable business environment, the status of Lithuania as the largest market among the Baltic countries is strengthened. It is not a surprise that the best professionals from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Game Insight setup its headquarters in Vilnius in 2009 and Google opened its branch in the Lithuanian capital in 2015.
Well-connected to European cities
Cheap airlines make it possible to fly to the important European destinations like Berlin and London and other cities of importance. Ryanair and Wizz Air are two airlines that offer low cost flights. This eases mobility, making it possible for both entrepreneurs to seek investment from neighboring countries.