Lithuanian investment development agency Invest Lithuania received a Partnership of the Year award together with venture capital fund IMI and start-up accelerator Startup Highway at last Thursday’s annual review of the start-up scene by Enterprise Lithuania. The review gives awards to the teams who achieved the most in 2014.
Cooperation between the private and public sector was instrumental in the substantial development of the games industry and the attraction of game development companies to Lithuania in 2014. And Justinas Pagirys, Director of the Investment Development Department at Invest Lithuania, believes closer cooperation between the state sector and businesses will yield further success. “As representatives of the public sector, we value partnership with businesses very much. The benefits of public-private cooperation are especially noticeable in the close-knit communities of the start-up and creative IT sectors. Without close cooperation between start-ups and businesses already in the Lithuanian market, as well as other representatives of the public sector such as Enterprise Lithuania, funds and start-up accelerators, it would be difficult to communicate Lithuania’s advantages. We are proud of our partners and hope that this recognition will help in attracting the attention of business as well as the public sector: close cooperation between the private and the public sector is vital if we are to get results”, noted Mr Pagirys,
[quote text=”Last year was a record year for entrepreneurs creating innovative products in Lithuania, according to data from Enterprise Lithuania. The fifty-two start-ups surveyed last year attracted 46 million euros in investment.” name_surname=”” description=””]
Other award winners include Plague, which was recognised as the best start-up of the year. Created at the end of last year, the new social network amassed 50 000 users within 3 weeks. More than 200 articles and commentaries about the company have appeared on various media globally in recent months.
Users of the 3D customisation and printing platform Toyze of gaming characters, developed almost six months ago, have already created more than a million 3D models. As a result, this start-up won in the breakthrough of the year nomination.
Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) was rated as the most enthusiastic start-up community of the year. In 2014, KTU showed huge enthusiasm for developing the start-up scene in Lithuania, bringing together large numbers of students, scientists and businesspeople.
Another award, Technological Solution of the Year, went to Integrated Optics, which creates lasers. Launched a couple of years ago, the start-up became world famous for their small, immensely powerful lasers, which are suitable for a wide number of applications. As a result, last year Integrated Optics attracted 1.2 million euros in investments.
The Investment of the Year award was given for the 20 million euros USA venture capital fund Insight Venture Partners pledged to clothing exchange platform Vinted. This investment brought total investments in this start-up to 25 million euros. Practica Capital venture capital fund, which made 15 investments in Lithuanian start-ups last year, with a combined value exceeding 6.5 million euros, walked away with the Investor of the Year award.
Last year was a record year for entrepreneurs creating innovative products in Lithuania, according to data from Enterprise Lithuania. The fifty-two start-ups surveyed last year attracted 46 million euros in investment, employing 405 people in total and creating more than 130 new jobs over the year. In 2014, they paid more than 2 million euros in taxes to the state budget. By comparison, in 2013, 34 million euros were invested in start-ups, who employed over 200 people and paid almost half a million euros into the state budget in taxes.
The winners in each category were selected by the board of advisers of Startup Lithuania, a community organised with the support of Enterprise Lithuania. The board is comprised of the following members: Mindaugas Glodas, a co-founder of the Nextury Ventures venture capital fund; Donatas Keras, a co-founder of the Practica Capital venture capital fund; Darius Žakaitis, a co-founder of the start-up accelerator Startup Highway; Arvydas Strumskis, a partner of the Business Angels Fund I; Artūras Jonkus, a public relations specialist and founder of several start-ups; entrepreneur Vladas Lašas; Justas Janauskas, a co-founder of the Vinted start-up; and Dovydas Varkulevičius, Director of the Entrepreneurship Department at Enterprise Lithuania.
The survey results can be found here.
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