The hub will continue to foster fintech and tech-inspired innovations and contribute to Lithuania’s aim to become an important regional fintech center in Europe. To support that, Swedbank has also announced several new opportunities - opening partnerships with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and continued collaboration with Startup Wise Guys on a 3rd fintech accelerator program.
„Fintech industry is gaining momentum, with the new brand, fresh partnerships and our support we hope to encourage Lithuanian startups and developers to innovate, grow and scale at an even faster pace. We want Vilnius to rock it and be heard across the fintech World“, says Dovilė Grigienė, CEO of Swedbank Lithuania.
Early stage support for startups from EBRD
Swedbank has agreed with EBRD to provide prominent startups with access to early stage investments and superior mentoring network as well as provide support for the operation and development of new initiatives.
“We are excited to work with our partners to connect startups with clients across the EBRD’s wide region of operations. As one of the main goals of the new hub is to position it as a regional fintech center, we will leverage our strengths to support ROCKIT in attracting teams and ideas from our region,” says Valdas Vitkauskas, EBRD Associate Director, Financial Institutions Fintech Coordination.
EBRD has been investing and fostering change in different countries for almost 30 years now. Since 1991 EBRD has invested €877 million in 90 projects in Lithuania. Strengthening the global competitiveness of the country’s economy through engagement in advanced technologies as well as developing capital markets and the green economy are the EBRD’s priorities in the country.
Accelerator program from Startup Wise Guys
Swedbank and ROCKIT will also cooperate with the leading B2B accelerator in Europe Startup Wise Guys in its new fintech accelerator program „Wise Guys Fintech 3“, which will foster development of fintech solutions by providing prominent startups with seed capital, workplaces, and growth guidance.
„ Having already worked with Swedbank group on 2 Fintech accelerator programs, we are very much looking forward to extending our collaboration in Lithuania and adding a bit of Wise Guys vibe to the amazing ROCKIT community. By the way, we are scouting for startups for the new program to start in October“, – says Cristobal Alonso, Global CEO at Startup Wise Guys.
Wise Guys Fintech accelerator consists of on-site intensive mentoring program. Selected startups are also eligible to initial investment of 30K or 50K EUR depending on their stage, with follow-on investment possibility. With mentors specialized in financial service industries, the program curriculum focuses on idea shaping and validation, business development, sales and fundraising.
Thanks to Wise Guys’ cooperation with Google, the startups enlisted in the program will also gain access to Google Developers Launchpad benefits – world class mentors, contact network, technologies, Google Cloud and Google Firebase credits. Some of accelerator program’s workshops and sessions will also be open to the wider startup community.
The new brand
„The new bold brand represents ROCKIT’s ambitious goals. It has already earned its reputation as a key fintech hub in Lithuania, but it’s only the beginning. The new brand marks the inspiration and opportunities, that ROCKIT brings not only for its hub members, but for the whole startup and developers’ community. IT is creative, bold and daring, like startups, which are changing the existing market rules“, says the head of ROCKIT Ms Šarūnė Smalakytė
ROCKIT, located in Gynėjų str., currently unites 64 members and is a home for 34 companies. This space is not just a physical workplace, but also a place for quality events and mentoring sessions, a hub for fintech innovations.