President V. Adamkus at Seed Forum

President V. Adamkus at Seed Forum: brainpower rather manpower is what Lithuania should aim at.

On the 17th of October, 2013 more than 80 representatives took part in the international investor forum where 8 companies from Lithuania, Latvia and Finland presented their projects. The audience was warmly greeted by His Excellency President Valdas Adamkus and key-notes were given by the Ambassador of Norway, HE Leif-Arne Ulland, by the Head of Swedbank in Lithuania, Mrs. Dovile Grigiene, by Mr. Erik Tønnesen of Skagerak Venture in Norway and by the head of Innovation Norway in Lithuania, Rita Boguzaite.

The 8th Seed Forum was kindly hosted by Swedbank, Vilnius. In the period of 4 years more than 50 Lithuanian companies have been trained and educated in fast growth by Seed Forum and at least 10 Lithuanian companies have been presenting their business concepts to investors outside Lithuania.

President Valdas Adamkus said:

I believe, we need to increase those numbers many times and show the world, how innovative and successful in business Lithuania can be!

Before companies’ presentations and networking lunch, President gave his point of view about investment culture in Lithuania and rounded up his speech with some very important notes and meaningful suggestions:

There have been a lot of discussions in society and amongst responsible Lithuanian institutions and even political parties on measures to boost entrepreneurship and promote new companies development in Lithuania. Along with the global tendencies, the so-called start-up culture in Lithuania has received some additional public funding and a number of business incubators and technology parks have been established. Also, the Government has allocated additional funding in several venture capital funds and early stage financial instruments and has asked for partnership with private financial investors.

All these good and necessary initiatives are oriented towards a very important part of the future Lithuanian economy – the economy, where the technologically advanced and innovative companies will be taking the leading role. Not manpower, but brainpower is what Lithuania should aim at in the future to be able to successfully compete at the global scale and the contribution of new and technologically advanced companies to the environment appropriated for fast growth in Lithuania as well as in international markets and arenas is what we should aim at in the near future!

Recently conducted studies of financial markets and more specifically - those on the effectiveness of public funding - have surfaced a fact that even if there is infrastructure in place, where a business entity is created from “0” to “1” (like business incubators, where companies are founded and receive their very first assisted and guided business promotion); even if there is venture capital provided in a form of public, private or combined funded venture capital, the investors tend to stay as safe as possible in their investment policies and barely invest in early stage companies with not yet proven concepts of substantial cash flows or large identified international markets. To sum up – it is equally important to provide such financial market places, where money meets with great investment projects.

And there are organizations just as Seed Forum. Business accelerators, who educate and train new and fast growing companies, organizations and institutions, which open up world for fast growing companies and take them to the largest financial markets in the world. Those, who put our Lithuanian companies in co-operation with similar industries and smart money entrepreneurs in Lithuania as well as in foreign countries.

I suggest that the current policy-makers should not only talk about innovation, but also include it in the state budget so that state agencies as well as private initiatives like Seed Forum and other accelerators, helping education of  innovative Lithuanian companies in investment process, could find financial investors and grow faster across borders. They should be supported by state funding as well as helped by the administrative capacity just as in other countries, where governments already promote and support private initiatives like Seed Forum…   

Seed Forum Vilnius Investor conference is a match-making event for financial investors (private investors and venture capital funds) and perspective growth companies from Lithuania and neighboring countries, who have participated in Seed Forum Process, have been educated, trained and acknowledged suitable subsequent to a selection process by the Seed Forum Selection Panel and now are looking for financial investors to further develop their business concepts. This time in Seed Forum Vilnius both experienced companies and start-ups presented their projects:

Būtenta (Lithuania), Sekasoft (Lithuania), 4BEE SIA (Latvia), Dizva (Lithuania), Alkava(Lithuania), Inloga (Lithuania), Sankarimedia (Finland), LITRECORDS (Lithuania). In fact LITRECORDS presented the second project of the company. It’s owner Algirdas Stonys was proud to say, the first project has already got investment. In 2009 Seed Forum in Vilnius a project Click On was presented and the company was given attention and could soon enjoy investment from Switzerland of up to 0,6 mln Litas.

Seed Forum is a global network of national not-for-profit foundations and national representatives in more than 40 countries. Seed Forum investor conferences are closed events for presenting companies, investors and relevant parties only.  Those investors who would be interested to participate at the conferences and the companies who would be interested to present the investment project should contact Mrs. Aida Balnienė, Seed Forum representative in Lithuania at +370 670 50809 or aida@seedforum.org

Calendar of upcoming Seed Forums are present here: http://www.seedforum.org/calendar

 

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