Startup Guide, a free business pre-acceleration program for startups, is being launched
As shown by ruthless global trends, 9 out of 10 start-ups fail in an early stage. Lack of business development competencies is one of the main reasons of that. To address these problems, “Startup Lithuania“, together with start-up ecosystem experts, has developed a free and accessible to all business pre-acceleration program “Startup Guide“ which is designed for early stage start-ups and potential developers of innovative businesses. Find pre-accelerator here.
“We have been organizing for many years various educational events, we consult early-stage or potential start-ups, and have noticed several fundamental problems. First, Lithuanian educational institutions devote too little attention and resources to educating young professionals about development of innovative businesses with high development potential, how different is that from traditional business. The educational system lacks practical training available to all about starting a business, the relevance of the problem, creating the value proposition, venture capital, other opportunities of adapting the investment.
Second, we can see that there is a lack of interdisciplinary cooperation in the educational system, for example, online technologies, for life science professionals, there is a particular lack of basic knowledge, business development competencies. For this reason, we have developed a program which, we hope, will address these gaps and will help start-up developers to easier commercialize high value-added products and to attract investment,“ – says Roberta Rudokienė, the Head of the start-up ecosystem development unit “Startup Lithuania“ of the Public Institution Enterprise Lithuania.
In a virtual training program accessible to all the participants will learn how to refine the existing idea and to create a value proposition for it, how to choose the right business model, select the markets for which the product is intended. Start-ups and their potential developers will also learn methods to test the product being developed with prospective customers and partners, how to attract investment and expand business into other markets. The participants in this program will have to solve over 100 tasks in total, which cover different business development topics. Upon completion of the program, its participants will be awarded certificates attesting to their competence.
According to Gytenis Galkis, who is the partner of the acceleration program “70Ventures“, this program may help the authors of future start-ups to check ideas with potential customers before starting to develop technological solutions.
“A great initiative for developers of young business in order they could handle and figure out the whole situation in the start-up ecosystem and acquire the necessary knowledge for an effective start. Our acceleration program, which is designed for more mature start-ups, receives about 500-650 applications annually, from which we select 20-30 companies we work with. This, of course, does not mean that all other companies are premature. However, the vast majority of companies have refined neither the value proposition for customers not their pricing, or the teams are not strong enough for us to start working with them. Pre-accelerator can help such companies to navigate the situation, to test opportunities for commercialization of ideas and abandon non-commercialized projects“, – says Gytenis Galkis.
Daiva Jankauskaitė, the Managing Director at Lithuanian Business Angel Network, supports his words, and says that the pre-acceleration program will facilitate the work of theirs and of start-ups because representatives of innovative business often turn to business angels in search of investment, although often they themselves do not know what amount of investment they can ask for.
“Young start-ups having not yet accumulated basic knowledge about the process of attracting investment and the challenges that arise during it often apply to the Lithuanian Association of Business Angels, and such a case is very common. The founders don’t know where to start, where to go, whom to turn for assistance, nor do they often realize what amount of investment they should or could attract at the current stage. Since we ourselves are not always able to educate start-ups that turn to “LitBAN”, I am glad that “Startup Lithuania” has initiated the development of such a training program. I sincerely hope that the founders of start-ups will see the value of this program, will take the time and will carefully get acquainted with the content of the program. I am convinced that such a program creates great value and opens up opportunities for open-minded young people, and makes work easier for all – both for start-ups themselves and for investors looking for attractive investment offers,“ – assures Daiva Jankauskaitė.
About Lithuanian start-up ecosystem:
Currently, there are more than 1,000 start-ups in Lithuania. In 2019, the country’s innovative businesses attracted over EUR 170 million of investments from local and foreign investors, the first unicorn – the second-hand clothes sales platform “Vinted” – appeared. According to the information provided by unicorns.lt, in 2019, Lithuanian start-ups with legal status paid EUR 87 million in taxes to the state, and the average salary in start-ups amounted to EUR 2,4 thousand.