Starting your own business has become more and more of a motto in the Baltic region. With startup events now a regular occurrence and accelerator funds emerging and looking to invest in innovative ventures, entrepreneurs have a solid ground to found their business on. And the results don’t go unnoticed. This year’s Europas noted the achievements of two startups from the region. Estonian TransferWise was chosen as the best startup of “less than three years and/or with less than 2 million euros in funding,” and Infogr.am from Latvia was highly commended in two different categories.Although no startup from neighbouring Lithuania was shortlisted, entrepreneurship there is on the rise.
For the third time in less than two years, Vilnius-based accelerator Startup Highway, is accepting applications, as it is looking to fund up to 10 entrepreneurial teams. Through its 13-week programme, the accelerator offers startups funding in the maximum amount of 14.000 euros each, as well as business advice and some initial resources to start up, in exchange for 10%equity. The accelerator accepts applications from outside the CEE region, too.
During 2011 and 2012, Startup Highway has accelerated a total of 10 entrepreneurial teams. Several of those have gone past the 13-week boost and onto expanding their own business. The platform for self-publishers Sellfy emerged from the accelerator’s first batch, and has since secured an angel investment from Skype co-founder –not exclusively – Toivo Annus. Another team, discovered during the second class, used the opportunity to develop its website Kurgyvenu.lt, which provides information on the quality of various real estates in Lithuania.
The deadline for this round of applications is March 31. The acceleration programme is scheduled to start at the beginning of May in Vilnius.