Today (February 22) for the first time in Lithuania was launched an international entrepreneurship incentive project „Futurepreneurs“. The desire to participate and create an environmentally friendly, the greatest problems of the mankind solving startups brought more than 600 young people from all over Lithuania.
The programme organized by Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park (“Saulėtekio slėnio mokslo ir technologijų parkas”) together with science, business and other partners is open to young people up to 29 years. There were more than 600 applications, from which 200 most motivated applicants were selected to participate. Approximately 60 percent of the registered are boys, mostly – still studying in universities.
„Startups have already become an important part of our country’s economy and culture. So we have an ambition for Lithuania to become a paradise for Eastern European startups. In order to do so, we have initiated some plans in developing the ecosystem, creating a favourable business environment for startups and improving their access to financial sources and possible funding, “- says the patron of the programme Minister of Economy Mindaugas Sinkevičius.
Participants of the programme will be mentored by experienced professionals in order to create and develop startups in key categories, such as information & communication technologies (ICT), fintech, cleantech, logistics & transportation, security & defence.
ICT and fintech appear to be mostly interesting for young people – more than half of applicants would like to create business in these fields. Fewer applicants chose clean technology field.
„The financial services sector is going through enormous changes provided by technologies. Our companies develop advanced financial technologies, no matter if we speak about instant payments or other innovative solutions“, – while motivating young people to dare to implement their decisions said Tomas Vitkus, Managing Director at „Tieto Lietuva” and President of „Infobalt”.
„Tieto Lietuva“ is sponsoring the financial technology category of the programme and T. Vitkus will be personally helping participants who want to create business in this field. „Tieto Lietuva“ have also established 1000 EUR prize for the best idea in the fintech category.
The mentors of „Lietuvos energija“ – sponsor of clean technology category – will be sharing their knowledge with participants who want to create business in cleantech. The winner of cleantech category will be awarded with a 1000 EUR prize.
“Energy is entering into a new phase of change, which will make it substantially different. Technologies help to create a cleaner, more efficient, more customer-oriented energy. Therefore, innovation is the driving force for the energy sector. It‘s great that young people from Lithuania get involved in this process and want to search for innovative solutions “, – Dalius Misiūnas, the Chairman of the Board and CEO at „Lietuvos Energija“ said in the opening.
The prospects for the startups in Lithuania was presented by Arvydas Bložė, Head of startup accelerator„Startup.lt”. Impact driven entrepreneurs, the guests from the Netherlands – Bram Van Schijndel and Coen Faber – explained the need to know in advance what impact on environment the startups will have. Only businesses based on sustainable development will have a long-term perspective.
Security and defence sector – one of the most difficult categories – is the least competitive. This category is sponsored by „Lithuanian Defence and Security Industry Association“ that provides 1000 EUR prize for the best idea in this field.
The best participants of the programme will be also awarded with other prizes: „LinkMenų fabrikas“ set up a prize for the best prototype – 3 months membership at „LinkMenų fabrikas. Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park will award one team with a 6 months membership at a new co-working space. „AsstrA“ – sponsor of the logistics and transport category – will invite the authors of the best ideas in the field of transport and logistics to participate in international trainings.
„The biggest advantage of this programme is that the participants can feel what it is to create your business in practice. They will be guided by experienced and professional mentors. In order to facilitate the process of the concrete business idea, participants will be presented with the particular problems that business is facing. We expect the participants to find innovative solutions to them“, – said the director of Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park Laima Kaušpadienė.
The programme will finish on the 3rd of May with a presentation of the generated ideas to the potential investors. All participants will also be awarded with the certificates of the programme.