Vilnius: the Place to be for Blockchain Startups

Soft Landing visits Vilnius to help blockchain startups scale

Five reasons why Lithuania believes it’s best for blockchain:

Soft-Landing is calling blockchain scaleups from all over Europe to discover the vibrant Lithuanian startup ecosystem. The aim of this deep-dive program is to foster your success — and they’ll fund your placement. Participation is paid for thanks to Startup Europe.

The crypto craze:

Driving the price explosion of cryptocurrencies over the past few years has been the potentially transformative financial transaction technology blockchain. From Bitcoin to Etheruem the value of cryptocurrencies has ballooned by thousands of percent over the last 12 months. With this increase, we’ve also seen a rise in crypto millionaires — on paper at least.

It now seems that tech startups everywhere who need to raise funds are increasingly thinking that instead of taking on debt, giving away equity or entering into a convertible loan agreement (CLA) an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) or digital token sale is the way to go. And Lithuania believes it has all the right resources blockchain founders need to foster success. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Lithuania is the EU’s only hub for the digital ledger:

Startup leaders in Vilnius believe their city is the gateway for the global blockchain industry largely because at the moment Lithuania is the EU’s only hub for the digital ledger.

2. LT’s got funds:

Official statistics for 2017 also show that crypto is trendy in LT. During 2017, the country recorded 35 Initial Coin Offerings ranging from $3m-$151m (USD) raising an overall total of $500m in value. Lithuania believes this is currently the highest rate of ICOs per capita in the world.

3. Lithuania’s regulation provides a ‘sandbox for success’:

Lithuania is a leader in regulation for blockchain startups and the country believes this means that it’s providing a ‘sandbox for success’. As I wrote about in my Medium article “Asia Owns Most Elite 2018 ICOs — And Other Findings From The Top 10 Deals”, analysis of successful ICOs shows that the best ones have been able to build credibility for their business beforehand and this is largely done by mastering legal and regulatory frameworks.

4. Vilnius holds the first center in Europe for blockchain:

The country’s capital city has recently opened Blockchain Centre Vilnius — the first international center in Europe for education and development of decentralized technologies.

5. Infrastructure that enables successful business:

Business development officials in Vilnius explain their city has:
* lightening-fast internet
* an intelligent and talented workforce
* low taxes for business
* government support available
* favorable environment for blockchain
* one of the most innovative economies in the world making Vilnius' startup scene a vibrant place to build businesses.

Apply for Soft Landing Vilnius:

So if you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering what is in it for your startup. There’s more than one upcoming mission, however, the main goal of the program taking place from 11–15 June 2018 is to provide tangible practical support for entering the Lithuanian market or benefiting from access to it. Here’s a snapshot of how your startup can benefit from a placement:

  • Workshops on specific topics, e.g. overview of Lithuanian business culture, legal matters, etc.
  • Light business support from the Startup Division team
  • Individually assigned, specific mentors
  • Experience sharing with the receiving hubs representatives, as well as between Soft-Landers
  • Exciting site visits, events and conferences with free or discounted passes

Participating startups can stay in Vilnius for up to one month longer, with the placement still receiving funding, to continue benefiting from Soft Landing’s mentoring and support. You’ll need to request this extension as part of your application.

Soft-Landing.eu holds more information about the programs as well as a link to F6S, the world’s largest platform for founders, where all participant applications are processed. Apply by May 7, 2018 to attend the first Soft Landing Vilnius mission for scaleups happening in June. If you’ve missed this application deadline, don’t worry. Soft Landing Vilnius will host a few more missions over the next two years. Check Soft Landing’s website for upcoming details.

If you’d like to learn more about the next Soft Landing Berlin scaleup mission, my Medium article “Deep-Diving in Berlin’s Startup Scene with Soft Landing” holds all the details.

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