5 core partners to occupy almost half of Vilnius Tech Park and supply key startup services
Sapiegos tech park in Vilnius has officially signed agreements with its five core partners. These are the startup accelerator Startup Highway, the venture capital fund IMI.VC, Teo and Omnitel, the biggest telecommunications services provider in the region, DNB bank and the game development studio Game Insight. Combined, these core members will occupy almost half of the 9,000+ square meter tech park, situated in parkland adjacent to Vilnius city centre.
As Darius Žakaitis, Managing Director of Sapiegos tech park explains, each of these core partners was selected based on the added value they will bring to the park’s community. “We see Sapiegos tech park as a flat structure,” says Mr Žakaitis, “where every member of the community can add its own skills and resources to achieve joint success. Therefore, we were looking for core partners who are international leaders that can lead and support the startups in our community.”
Contributing world-class WiFi and an innovation hub
One of the broadest partnerships Sapiegos tech park has secured is with Teo and Omnitel, the leading IT and telco services providers. Thanks to Teo and Omnitel, guests and members of Vilnius Tech Park will have access to one of the two state of art WiFi networks to be established in the Park. FTTH WiFi by Teo will ensure 2 Gb/s speed (1 Gp/s for international use), and will cover all of the park’s buildings, plus its outside terraces. Teo have also paid great attention to the stability and security of this network, with a business class firewall, FortiGate solutions and two separate optic leads. And the company says it is proud to have a separate team dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of the park community.
What’s more, Teo and Omnitel will also host a hub coworking space dedicated to entrepreneurs in different fields that will be located in Vilnius Tech Park. The space will have around roughly 100 working places, of which 8 will be dedicated to Teo and Omnitel themselves. The others are available at €79 per month for an all-inclusive flexible working place and €159 per month for a fixed working space. “Some of our team members and even some entrepreneurs that we support are excited to try these working places at least for a day, and I have no doubt that the vibrant environment it will have can bring about new ideas and projects”, Kęstutis Šliužas, CEO of Teo and Omnitel explains. He is convinced that Sapiegos tech park in Vilnius is an ambitious project that will gather leading ecosystem players under one roof. “As part of Telia Company, our goal is to expand the experience of the digital world, and we are working closely with startups to achieve this, from providing the services that digital businesses need through to joint projects and even discussions regarding investment at a group level. Therefore, from its inception, it was essential for us to become a part of Sapiegos tech park in Vilnius.”
A gamer’s playground
Another hub that will be established in Vilnius Tech Park, which will be coordinated by Game Insight, could easily be described as a gamer’s playground. Game Insight, innovator of mobile and social games, creating exceptional gameplay experiences across casual to hardcore titles sees their spot at Sapiegos tech park in Vilnius as a perfect platform for game development related mentoring, events and creative collaborations.
According to Anatolijs Ropotovs, CEO of Game Insight, the company was already looking for a dedicated place in Vilnius to have an office together with tech gurus and startups. “It is great that such place is opening and we are able to be one of the companies that will be working here. We are looking forward to being a part of this ecosystem, and sharing our global experience and networks to game developers ready to make the next big step”.
A number of financing and mentorship opportunities
Park is also joined by startup accelerator Startup Highway, with its promise to support entrepreneurs of all levels. One of the first accelerators in Lithuania, Startup Highway has recently announced an international open call offering not only mentorship, access to its wide network and seed investment, but also the possibility to have an office in Sapiegos. Martynas Matekonis, Chief Portfolio Manager at Startup Highway, is convinced that Vilnius Tech Park will become a game changer for startuppers. “The possibility to work in our headquarters at Sapiegos will be a huge advantage for startups as they will be able to get all the support they need at any point not only from us, but from a pool of innovators and industry leaders,” says Mr Matekonis. “They will also be able to look for additional funding, plus it will stimulate healthy competition with their fellow startups just across the table. As an accelerator, we seek to support the best teams in the region and being in Sapiegos tech park in Vilnius is essential for this.”
Another way to get supported at Sapiegos is through IMI.VC, an international venture capital fund that is establishing its HQ in the park. According to Andrew Ustyugov, Investment Director of IMI.VC, the fund believes Sapiegos tech park in Vilnius will take the Lithuanian tech scene to the next level. “In the last few years we have dedicated a lot of effort to developing the local startup ecosystem and investing in infrastructure,” states Mr Ustyugov. “So being a part of this project is a natural step to the next level. As IMI.VC invests globally, we are looking at the possibility of relocating some of our foreign startups to Sapiegos tech park in Vilnius, as we see it as the best place to be in the region.”
DNB bank has become a financial partner of Sapiegos tech park in Vilnius and recently confirmed a €3 million credit line for the development and renovation of the park and its historic buildings, to be completed this summer. As Tadas Sudnius, Head of IT and Operation unit at DNB explains, supporting innovation and young businesses is a core element of DNB’s approach. “DNB strongly supports innovative and ambitious startup companies,” explains Mr Sudnius. “We constantly seek new ways to encourage young businesses and strive to craft solutions to help them grow. Therefore, we are proud to be able to support the development of startup infrastructure. And I am convinced that our partnership will not end here. We are crafting even more initiatives and solutions that could support Sapiegos community members in their path to success, as well as seeking to make our digital banking solutions even better for our clients.”
Darius Žakaitis believes that with these partnerships, a strong core for the tech park is being built. And his team is striving to develop even more ways to support startups in the park community. As the park is to be opened this summer, more community members will be announced in the near future.