The best start-up of the year was elected during the Startup Fair. Change 2019
Even 44 innovative companies competed for the name of the best start-up during the Lithuanian start-up conference “Startup Fair. Change 2019” that was held on 31-31 May. After a tense contest, “Eddy Travels”, a start-up created by Lithuanians, that develops an artificial intelligence-based travel assistant was announced the winner of the competition.
According to the developers of “Eddy Travels”, an individual checks on average 38 different websites to plan a journey. A smart artificial intelligence-based chatbot in chat apps “Eddy Travels” was developed to solve this issue. The start-up became operational in November 2018 and has already attracted more than 6500 users. The headquarters of the start-up is currently located in Canada.
“We spent a lot of time to prepare for the “Startup Fair. Change 2019” start-up competition. We benefited greatly from “Techstars” accelerator in which we participated since February – the participation in it helped to purify the strengths of a start-up, an offer of value. We are going to improve digital assistant language processing in the future, also to integrate new travel services and partners. We are also planning to look for investment, especially in Canada and USA, which would help us expand even further”, – says Adomas Baltagalvis, co-founder of a start-up “Eddy Travels”.
The Lithuanian start-up “Dear Dear” that develops a new eyeglass buying standard on the e-platform for obtaining custom-made glasses won the second prize in the competition. The Ukrainian start-up “Solar Gaps” was announced the winner of the third place in the start-up competition “Pitch Battle”. This start-up has developed the first smart solar blinds that allow households and commercial buildings to use the window area designed for organic energy production and reduce electricity costs and CO2 emissions.
The start-ups were evaluated by the international commission consisting of investors, representatives of accelerators and other experts of the start-up ecosystem. According to Roberta Rudokienė, the Head of the start-up ecosystem development unit “Startup Lithuania“ of Entrepreneurship Promotion Agency Enterprise Lithuania, this year is a record year – even 118 innovative companies from 25 countries of the world applied for participation in the start-up competition.
“We are delighted that this year twice as many start-ups as last year expressed their desire to contest for the best name and attention of investors in the competition “Pitch Battle”. 44 start-ups with the greatest potential were selected for the competition, and the dominant areas of activity of the start-ups are as follows: financial technologies, life sciences, cyber security, cloud computing, as well as innovations in agriculture. To develop their activities, many start-ups use such technologies as artificial intelligence, automatic learning, block chains”, – says the Head of “Startup Lithuania”.
Lithuanian start-ups are increasingly noticed by foreign investors
A large number of foreign investors, who arrived to make themselves familiar with the prospects of Lithuanian start-ups and look for investment opportunities, was the fact that distinguished the start-up event “Startup Fair. Change 2019” of this year from the previous events.
“We notice that an increasing number of investors from new markets start showing interest in Lithuania, our start-ups and their founders. Lithuania has become visible and known on the international start-up map. This year, investors from 11 countries of the world (Finland, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Holland, UK, USA, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark and Lithuania) participated at the conference“, – tells R. Rudokienė.
During the event, investors also had an opportunity to get better acquainted with potential start-ups in the special B2B zones. This year, a record number of meetings was held – even 316 meetings.
“A meeting space B2B is one of the most important components of such event. We are glad that start-ups took full advantage of the opportunity of communicating directly with investors. On one day alone we had around 12 meetings. We are glad that everyone who came to get acquainted with start-ups was well prepared: they all knew what information they need and asked very specific questions. I think that an opportunity to introduce yourself to the representatives of practically all investors and funds operating in Lithuania, as well as to foreign investors in two days is priceless”, – said Daiva Jankauskaitė, the Head of the Lithuanian Business Angel Network (LitBAN).
Global trends are forcing even the largest start-ups to change
During the discussion that was held at the event, Lithuanian start-up stars “Oberlo“, “Transfergo“, “Tesonet“, “Trafi“ shared their experience concerning the impact of the changes in the ecosystem on the start-ups that they develop, technologies and team, how this alters their current strategies.
During the event, Anders Lentell, Swedish investor and founder of technology start-up DynaByte, also spoke about changes in the start-up ecosystem. He asserts that a unicorn label in today‘s start-up ecosystem should not be an aspiration. According to the speaker, it is much more important for a start-up to focus on the issues of sustainable business. “If a unicorn will be the main goal of your start-up, you will probably soon become bankrupt”, – says Anders Lentell.
According to Anders Lentell, sustainable business, is a company model that ensures financial stability or initiatives that originate from eco-sustainability, which, according to the speaker, are no longer a sign of luxury for an enterprise seeking for an exclusive confidence among its customers.
“In my opinion, if your company is not financially stable at the end of the day, then you simply do not exist. I often notice that young start-ups tend to think that attracted funding is their biggest goal. However, it is important to understand that funding is an investment, and a certain person will want to get their money back in the future. So it is important to properly choose the company’s financial strategy which would allow the start-up to grow without additional financial injections,“ – says A. Lentell.
“Startup Lithuania“ has been organizing an international start-up conference “Startup Fair. Change” for 7 years in Vilnius. The conference was held on 30-31 May in Vilnius. Even 54 foreign and Lithuanian speakers shared at the conference valuable advices on how to properly create a strategy of business development into new markets, how to find a start-up audience and to sell own idea, why it is important for start-ups to have the members of the Board, how to protect own intellectual property, etc. The speakers also told about global start-up trends, such as Fintech, Cyber Security, discussed Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain technologies.
Startup Fair sponsors: Swedbank, Triniti, Karma.VC, TeleSoftas, Lithuanian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Tesonet, Koinvesticinis fondas, Startup Wise Guys, Cloudvisor, Power Hit Radio, Tv3.lt, TVPlay, Verslo Žinios, Practica Capital, TransferGo, Startup Division, Ondato.
Our friends: Lithuanian Business Angels Network, Vilnius Tech Park, 70 Ventures, Kaunas In, Zen PR, Klaipėda Science and Technology Park, Go Vilnius, Invest Lithuania, Bolt.