Startup Survey Results Presented by Donatas Smailys
Dec 14

photo by Judita Grigelytė, "Verslo žinios“

Another year passed and it’s time to see what we achieved in 2017. Last week we had Wrap Up of the Year 2017 event, where we reviewed what was achieved in startup ecosystem, you can find the summary of the event here.

Donatas Smailys from Association Lithuanian Startups has introduced startup survey results which we helped to collect. We asked him to tell us more about the survey. Read our interview below!

Why did you decided to do this research?

Donatas: We thought it’s necessary to have a fresh general overview of Lithuanian startups. There were a few myths about founder age, how are they planning to fundraise etc. We needed a fresh overview.

How did you do the research? What challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

Donatas: It wasn’t an easy process. People aren’t huge fans of surveys. So you can imagine it wasn’t an easy process. To our surprise – it went really well and people were responsive to it. The questionnaire was prepared by the board of the association. Executed by me and 3 interns. Who made calls, wrote e-mails etc. Personally, I made a lot of direct contact with the founders or those that are close to them.

How many startups did you asked?

Donatas: 104 startups participated in the survey.

What are the tendencies you noticed while doing this survey? Do Lithuanian startups actively take part in these researches and shares their opinions/experiences?

Donatas: I was very surprised with the response rate. Startups took it seriously and some feedback was surprisingly generous. It feels like startups really care about this ecosystem and want the best for it. The survey was anonymous tho.

Was there anything that surprised you when you saw the results of the survey?

Donatas: The most surprising answer was the main age segment of startup founders. It’s 30-40. I’m not discriminating younger people, only there is a myth, that startup founders are students and youth. They are a part of it and it’s great. But to our surprise – the main age segment seems to be mature and experienced. Also – more than half of startups aren’t based in startup communities (like TechPark, Rise Vilnius etc).

What are the main things in ecosystem that LT startups would like to change, improve?

Donatas: Fewer taxes, less regulatory burden, more funding opportunities.

How was this survey useful?

Donatas: We have a general overview of Lithuanians startups and their founders. The results are public so we hope they will be used by the ecosystem. We are planning to repeat the survey next year.

Please share your other insights regarding the survey results

Donatas: The results speak for themselves. The contrast between male and female founders is shocking. We can see that 60% of startups are doing it for the first time, so our ecosystem is maturing. A lot of startups will be looking for venture capital investment next year, it was named as a main source for planning to raise funding. There are many different sources of information about opportunities for startups, that can be also misleading, we notice a lack information gatekeeper. For example – more than half of startups don’t know what Lithuanian university technology transfer (TTO) offices can offer them to develop their technologies. Half of the respondents feel neutral about Lithuanian government, that’s promising because it’s not negative. Let’s hope startups are a priority to our government.

You can find slides by Donatas Smailys from the wrap up event here.