One of the biggest VC funds in Lithuania, Practica Capital, has officially announced that it is joining Sapiegos Tech Park in Vilnius together with their startup accelerator Startup.lt. The fund and accelerator, with 38 successful investments since 2011, will move its headquarters to one of the main buildings in the park.
Taking talent attraction to a new level
According to Donatas Keras, Co-founder and Partner of Practica Capital, the company sees Sapiegos Tech Park as the ultimate spot for talent attraction, and believes the park will create a strong base for innovation in Lithuania. “Every ICT hub needs three main pillars,” explains Mr Keras, “human resources, infrastructure and a driving culture. This attracts capital investment, and encourages positive changes in the legal base. All these developments are taking place in Vilnius, but I am convinced that Sapiegos has the potential to take these developments to the next level. Its potential to attract talent, its ability to provide top class infrastructure and its aim to develop an entrepreneurial culture all provide the opportunity for the Lithuanian startup ecosystem to grow on a regional level.”
He also sees the project as a strong driver in the rise of the creative class in Lithuania. “As a venture capital fund and startup accelerator we hope that Sapiegos Tech Park in Vilnius will become a centre for young, innovative and high-growth businesses from the Baltics and the wider region. Also, we see that it is already attracting a lot of interest from local and international business angels, VC funds, and consulting services providers. This sense of entrepreneurial spirit will no doubt boost the rise of the creative class domestically, not only businesswise, but also through attracting scientists, designers, and artists. With Sapiegos Tech Park, Vilnius has becomes an ideal location for them.”
A range of reasons for joining
Mr Keras is also open about the practical reasons for joining Sapiegos Tech Park. “For us, it’s very much about the innovative and entrepreneurial environment. But another very important reason for joining was practical and simple; the fact that Sapiegos Tech Park offers spacious top class offices in the city centre.”
Currently the 9000+ square meters of historic buildings, set in picturesque parkland, are being renovated to create ideal working spaces with a touch of history, and a show office is already open for viewing. This week, the Sapiegos Tech Park team are shuttling participants of the Login Startup Fair to the park, giving them a taste of just how inspiring their future working life could be. Construction work on the site is due to be finished this summer, prior to the official opening of the park in early autumn.
Practica Capital and Startup.lt aim to continue their successful work in supporting high growth companies while being a part of the Sapiegos Tech Park community. “The real strength of Lithuania is its talented people. We need to provide them with encouraging conditions in which to create and excel. By investing into these businesses and providing top level acceleration support, Practica Capital and Startup.lt are putting a lot of effort into creating these conditions,” Mr Keras comments.
Mr Keras’ involvement in the Sapiegos Tech Park community goes beyond his role with Practica. He is also a member of the Sapiegos Selection Committee, where, together with other professionals from the startup ecosystem, he takes part in deciding which applicants will be joining the park community.
Gathering the biggest players in the industry
Founded in 2011 and run by investment professionals and entrepreneurs who moved from a number of other businesses, Practica Capital manages the €8 million Practica Seed Capital fund and the €16 million Practica Venture Capital fund. Both of these were launched in mid-2012 under the JEREMIE initiative in Lithuania. To date, Practica Capital has already made 38 successful investments, making it the biggest venture capital fund in Lithuania.
For Darius Zakaitis, Managing Director of Sapiegos Tech Park in Vilnius, the presence of VCs like Practica is fundamental to the success of the project. “The primary goal of Sapiegos Tech Park in Vilnius is to bring leaders of the ecosystem – VC funds, accelerators, advisors – together with the most promising young entrepreneurs, so that startups have all the tools and support they could possibly need to grow and develop. I am proud to welcome Practica Capital and Startup.lt to our community. As they are one of the biggest players in the Lithuanian startup ecosystem, this partnership is of the utmost importance to us,’ says Mr Zakaitis.
This is Sapiegos Tech Park’s first officially announced strategic partnership, and Mr Zakaitis is also keen to stress that more local and international strategic partnerships are in the pipeline and will be officially announced soon.
About Practica Capital and Startup.lt
Practica Capital is a venture capital and private equity firm investing in Baltic startups and high-growth businesses, which target national markets or have an ambition to become regional, international or global players. The company offers a full range of VC financing, from pre-seed to late seed/start-up, co-investment in round A, and investment in high-growth SME‘s expansion and growth. Practica Capital also runs the business accelerator Startup.lt, which helps young businesses achieve their full growth potential. Founded in 2011 and run by investment professionals and entrepreneurs who moved from a number of other businesses, Practica manages the €8 million Practica Seed Capital fund and the €16 million Practica Venture Capital fund, both of which were launched in mid-2012 under the JEREMIE initiative in Lithuania. This initiative is administered by the European Investment Fund (EIF), and the Lithuanian Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Finance, and is financed from EU Structural Funds under the 2007-2013 Economic Growth Operational Programme of Lithuania. To date, Practica Capital has made 38 investments. For more information visit http://practica.vc and http://startup.lt.
About Vilnius Tech Park
The region‘s most complex and integrated ICT hub, Vilnius Tech Park aims to attract and unite innovative talent from game development, big data, cyber security, smart solutions, fintech and digital design. 9000+ sq. m of working space, located in renovated XIX century buildings will hold 700+ working places for entrepreneurs and professionals, unmatched business development infrastructure with VC funds, accelerators, consulting and legal services on site, and a conference centre for local and international tech events. Vilnius Tech Park is about to be officially opened in Vilnius this September.