Lithuania is making waves in the global innovation scene as it attracts the renowned US-based company, Plug and Play. With an impressive legacy of over 20 years as a startup accelerator and a footprint spanning four continents, from Silicon Valley to Tokyo, Plug and Play is set to collaborate with innovative startups in Lithuania. This landmark collaboration entails an investment of EUR 5.9 million to nurture a minimum of 45 startups over the span of three years.
“We are creating additional opportunities for our startups, aiming to foster their growth and facilitate product exports to foreign markets. The involvement of a US company will aid entrepreneurs in forming precise connections with foreign investors and prominent global corporations. As a result, we anticipate accelerating the expansion of our startup ecosystem, which has seen its value surge more than 17-fold in recent years. Our objective is to expedite this growth, potentially giving rise to multiple unicorns,” explained Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of Economy and Innovation.
Plug and Play boasts an extraordinary track record, having propelled more than 30 unicorns and over 150 companies valued at over EUR 100 million into the market. Additionally, it has facilitated substantial funding rounds, with more than 100 unicorns and over 100 companies raising over USD 100 million.
The innovative collaboration was initiated through a procurement process, valued at EUR 9.4 million, and will be overseen by the Innovation Agency. The partnership outlines the execution of five acceleration cycles by Plug and Play, each accommodating 10 to 15 carefully selected startups, with the goal of nurturing a minimum of 60 businesses by March 2026.
Roberta Rudokienė, Head of the Innovation Agency’s Startup Lithuania department, expresses the vision behind this collaboration, stating, “We believe that the international accelerator will not only create significant added value for the Lithuanian startup ecosystem by growing the competences of Lithuanian businesses and attracting international investment but will also increase the global visibility of the Lithuanian startup ecosystem and attract innovative startups from neighboring countries with high potential for development to Lithuania.”
During each 12-week acceleration cycle, participants will embark on a transformative journey, culminating in an international Demo Day. This grand event provides a platform for startups to showcase their innovative products or services to a global audience of investors, including business angels and venture capitalists.
A formal contract between Plug and Play in the US and Lithuanian stakeholders is expected to be signed in the near future. This collaboration not only promises to invigorate Lithuania’s startup landscape but also to amplify the country’s stature in the global innovation arena.