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Five years of “Rockit”: growing startup value and regional expansion

We enter a new phase as it completes our fifth year of operations. The centre, which was established in Vilnius and unites regional and international startups, is gaining ground in other Lithuanian cities, encouraging local startups to set up technology businesses, according to a press release.

According to Lina Žemaitytė-Kirkman, CEO of “Rockit”, in the five years that the centre has been operating, the Lithuanian fintech ecosystem has grown considerably, with the number of fintech companies approaching 300. This, she says, is due to a strong partnership between businesses and a local government.


“In addition, the fact that international accelerators such as “Plug and Play” are coming to the country, bringing their international circle of mentors, investors and speakers, shows Lithuania's attractiveness for the creation and development of fast-growing technology businesses. It is therefore natural that the next step is to strengthen the country's entire startup ecosystem, with a greater focus on other regions,” says L. Žemaitytė-Kirkman.


The value of Lithuania's startup ecosystem has grown more than 7 times in five years, from €1.9 billion in 2018 to €13.7 billion last year, according to “Dealroom’s” data.


“The number of startups creating sustainable innovations has grown by a tenth in the last year alone, and among all members of the “Rockit” community, nearly a third of them. We are therefore delighted to develop our cooperation with “Rockit”, the centre for sustainable innovation, to promote the creation and fostering of a sustainable society,” says Remy Salters, Head of the Finance Division at “Swedbank”.


Together with “Swedbank”, the Centre for Financial Technology and Innovation “Rockit” organises the “Sustainability Forum”, which brings together startups developing sustainability technologies. The event, which has been held for two consecutive years, is also under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania.


The activity and strength of the community are demonstrated by the annual “Lithuanian Fintech Awards”, which recognise and reward the sector and its achievements. This year's fourth edition of the Awards featured the only one of its kind so far - the Lithuanian Fintech Map. It divides all 277 fintech companies in the country into 10 different categories - payments, digital banking, savings and investments, lending, etc.

Encourage the development of startups in the regions

Although based in Vilnius, “Rockit” has been helping startups in other Lithuanian cities to enter broader business markets since spring this year. According to the CEO of the centre L. Žemaitytė-Kirkman, creating favourable conditions for startups in Central and Western Lithuania and encouraging the development of product ideas will also help to reduce the regional divide.


“Our mission is to build a stronger and more vibrant regional startup ecosystem and to empower entrepreneurial people to reach their full potential. With Rockit's international experience, extensive network of contacts, mentors and companies, we are ready to accelerate every startup's journey towards success,” says the CEO of “Rockit”.


The “Startup Acceleration and Incubation Programme 2024-2026” has been launched to encourage technology centres to take action to create the right conditions for startups and to promote the development of their product ideas. It is being implemented by Rockit with funding from the Innovation Agency.


The “Startup Acceleration and Incubation Programme 2024-2026” has a number of key objectives, including the organisation of different stages of startup programme cycles, from the earliest stage through to the readiness to raise capital. Business and science intensives will also be organised to commercialise scientific solutions and promote the creation of science-intensive businesses.


As foreseen in the project strategy, “Rockit’s” offices will open in Kaunas and Klaipėda shortly. Each of them will be equipped with spaces for incubating startups: about 20 workplaces, event spaces, etc. These co-working spaces will allow young and startup technology companies to gain knowledge and experience not only from Lithuanian but also from foreign experts, and to put it into practice.


The centres in Kaunas and Klaipėda will also provide incubation and acceleration services for young technology companies in the region. At least 60 new startups are expected to emerge in Western and Central Lithuania over the three years of the program.



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