Election of the best Lithuanian startups of the year: the first nominees announced
For the fifth year in a row, the leaders, businesses and high-tech companies with the most significant contribution to the growth of the startup ecosystem in Lithuania will be honored at the Vilnius TechFusion Startup Awards on 11 January 2024. The first 25 nominees, representing 5 ecosystem growth areas, have been announced.
The Awards aim to recognise and present to the public the startups that create the most value, to thank them for promoting Vilnius and contributing to the growth of the Lithuanian economy. This year, the team of Go Vilnius, the organiser of the Awards, has been joined by the Lithuanian Startups Association Unicorns Lithuania and the Sunrise Tech Park. Valdas Benkunskas, Mayor of Vilnius, says that the annual event, organised for the startup community, not only helps to reveal the true significance of high-tech to the city, but also brings the business community closer together.
“Vilnius has many promising and entrepreneurial minds who are able to offer relevant products to the world, thus creating new jobs in our country and paying taxes here. This is why it is so important to continue to develop initiatives such as the Startup Awards, which help our ecosystem stay united and achieve even better results. Last year’s winners include companies that have established themselves in the global marketplace and have millions of customers. I believe that the winners of the Awards categories this year will be no exception and that we will soon see many more unicorns born in Vilnius,” comments Mr Benkunskas.
The organisers announce the first 5 nominations:
Newcomer of the Year. The newcomers in the ecosystem who have achieved excellent results both in Lithuania and internationally will be awarded. Nominees:
- Hoperfy, a corporate travel management company.
- Monavate, a payment solutions company.
- Deep Scientific, Deep Scientific, a start-up developing molecular sensors.
- Payhawk, a business financial solutions and cost management company
- PlugAndPlay, the Lithuanian branch of the US Startup Accelerator.
Rising star. The startups with high growth potential, rapid growth or significant expansion will be awarded. Nominees:
- Ovoko, a platform for selling used car parts.
- Atrandi Bioscience, a biotechnology company.
- Turing College, a company that trains high-tech employees.
- Heavy Finance, a crowdfunding platform.
- myTU, a digital banking platform.
Highlight of the Year. An event or phenomenon that grows the startup ecosystem of Lithuania and encourages it to become the best place for unicorns. Nominees:
- Opening of the Cyber City area in Naujamiestis.
- Organisation of a direct flight to the Web Summit and related events.
- Launch of the Tech Zity Vilnius project for startups.
- The first public IT exam in Lithuania.
- The Lithuanian startup ecosystem is the second fastest growing in Central and Eastern Europe. The value of the Lithuanian startup ecosystem has grown 17 times in 5 years.
Tech for Good. The nominees are the cleantech startups who are using technology to protect our planet:
- Viezo, creators of a generator that converts vibrations into electricity.
- Inbalance grid, developers of electric vehicle solutions and a network of charging stations
- Inion, a developer of solar monitoring and analysis tools,
- PVcase, a startup developing tools to organise solar power plants.
- Dancer, a company offering electric public transport solutions.
Ecosystem Hero. These are startups, individuals or organisations that have successfully increased communication between communities and engaged their members in pursuing common goals. Nominees:
- Darius Žakaitis, CEO of Tech Zity.
- Tomas Okmanas and Eimantas Sabaliauskas, Managers of Tesonet.
- Women Go Tech, an organisation that helps women pursue careers in IT.
- Lithuanian Junior Achievement, a non-governmental organisation.
- Vladas Lašas, an entrepreneur and investor.
Ecosystem growth is inseparable from cooperation
According to Inga Langaitė, CEO of Unicorns Lithuania, sharing experiences and connections both within the ecosystem and abroad is one of the prerequisites for the startup growth.
“By building a startup community, we share experiences and insights, provide a platform to help startups grow faster and solve various issues together. The Awards are not only about finding out who deserves to win, but also about encouraging the creation of the future of Lithuania – a successful modern country based on a high added value economy. We aim to have a startup ecosystem where startups become an important driver of Lithuania’s economic growth,” says Ms Langaitė.
Vilnius Mayor Mr Benkunskas points out that it is the community of startups and high-tech companies that makes Vilnius highly visible on the global map of business, investors and talent. This helps the city to receive highly significant awards in various international competitions. The best examples of this are the Europe’s Top City of the Future by fDi Intelligence, a branch of Financial Times, or the Business-Friendly City Perception Index by Emerging Europe, where Vilnius, which is celebrating its 700th anniversary this year, has been recognised as the most business-friendly city in emerging Europe.
Last year’s Awards winners celebrate their recognition
Omnisend won the “Startup of the Year” title at the Vilnius TechFusion Startup Awards last year. According to Rytis Laurinavičius, CEO of the company having more than 100 000 clients in 130 countries, winning such an award helps to understand that the company is moving in the right direction.
“Like every award, it gave me a lot of joy and motivation. I thought there were other strong candidates and I didn’t consider us favourites. When you work, you see yourself from all sides – the underdog and the overachiever, so it’s important to see yourself from a winning perspective. It means a lot. These awards, together with the work we, Vilnius TechFusion, Unicorns LT or other startups, have done, mean that other businesses no longer look down on us. They appreciate our efforts and results. The ongoing Startup Awards help us to appreciate, understand and feel part of the community. Such initiatives connect and strengthen the community,” notes Mr Laurinavičius.
Moments from the Vilnius TechFusion Startup Awards 2022 in the photo gallery of photographer Lukas Kazakevicius: