A year has passed since Imaguru startup hub officially opened in Lithuania. After 8 years of building a startup ecosystem in Belarus, developing the community and educating entrepreneurs about innovations, Imaguru was shut down by the Belarusian regime and found its home in Vilnius on October 13, 2021. In Lithuania, Imaguru has become another strong player, growing the local startup ecosystem, creating new jobs, and maintaining an exceptional knowledge sharing platform where international entrepreneurs, investors, and tech talent can come together and thrive.
Imaguru CEO and co-founder Tania Marinich remarked: “After we had to leave Belarus, Mrs. Ausrine Armonaite invited us to Lithuania for relocation. And a year later, I can say that our investment in the Lithuanian market was a perfect decision. Lithuania has a friendly and collaborative environment and startup ecosystem, the country is strong across a broad range of tech industries, especially fintech
. Considering Vilnius is the fastest growing city in the region and financial center of the Baltics States, I see the potential of creating a deep tech community here. And Imaguru will certainly contribute to this.” Over the year, Imaguru hosted more than 60 events, provided 300 people with coworking spaces, helped 50 Belarusian companies relocate to Lithuania, and grew the local community to 1,000 people.
During this time, Imaguru team was actively engaged in the entrepreneurs education
- 20 startups from Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine have completed the pre-acceleration program Imaguru Startup Lab, where they studied how to start, run and finance a startup company. Most of the accelerated startups are setting up their business in Lithuania, growing and creating new jobs. Half of them represent deep tech business models.
- 100+ people got the opportunity to visit a series of master classes from Googlers on goals settings, artificial intelligence, marketing and development, and sponsorship as a part of Google Month.
- Imaguru has organized an entrepreneurial program for EHU students who passed through a 6 month educational and acceleration course with mentors to enhance students with knowledge and skills setting their own businesses.
Within a year Imaguru contributed to the creation of 42 new technical teams in Lithuania
which resulted from 4 hackathons bringing together technology and civil initiatives.
Standing up together with all those who fight for freedom, dignity, and human rights, Imaguru launched the Solidarity Program
, which was originally focused on Belarusian businesses in exile, and now works for Ukrainian refugees as well. Around 30 initiatives helping victims of violence, people who have lost their jobs and startups suspended their work, used Imaguru for running their programs for civil society.
Tania Marinich notices: “During this year, we have witnessed several waves of business relocation from both Belarus and Ukraine to Lithuania. On this difficult path, Imaguru helped startups with consulting, networking and documentation. Many founders have accommodated their teams, got mentors and professional support, passed through educational programs and events. ”
In addition, Imaguru was selected for EIT Health Drive Training Programs
together with other best EU ecosystem builders. As a result of strengthening and development, Lithuanian team got Head of Imaguru Vilnius
— Augustė Užpelkytė. She mentioned that choosing Vilnius as one of primary locations across Europe shows that Lithuania is an attractive destination for both local and international startups.
Next year, Imaguru is going to contribute even more to the Lithuanian startup ecosystem. That is why the Imaguru team included Lithuania in a global movement called Global Entrepreneurship Week
. It is a massive campaign driven by local event organizers that encourages and empowers entrepreneurs in every country and community around the world within November 14-20, 2022.