by Jurgita Laurinėnaitė-Šimelevičienė
In 2019, global industry leaders, tech-savvy innovators, fintech experts, and decision makers will gather in Lithuania for five international events.
In 2019, Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, will become a platform for some of the largest and the most exciting innovation events in the Baltic Sea region. Five international innovation and technology forums will convene the brightest minds from many countries not only to share progressive ideas and experience on innovation, social entrepreneurship, startup ecosystem and fintech but also to project how our society will look like in 10 years.
Vilnius has become a natural place to spread forward-thinking attitude and bring together global tech experts since Lithuania has emerged as one of Europe’s most thriving innovation and fintech hubs over the past few years.
In 2018, Lithuania claimed the second spot in Europe in terms of licensed electronic money institutions, second only to the United Kingdom. Lithuania’s central bank has already issued more than 110 licences to fintech companies. A hundred more are expected to apply in 2019, estimates national bank.
What exactly drives Lithuania’s fintech market? Fast e-money or payment licensing procedure in only three months, a gateway to the European market, ease of doing business, high-quality talent availability and a possibility to test innovative financial products in Lithuania’s bank regulatory sandbox before delivering them to customers are among the key aspects.
As all those factors and many more will be covered in numerous events this year, here’s the list of the top innovation and technology conferences in Lithuania for those who want to stay ahead of fast-changing technologies and emerging trends in the industry:
1.Social Enterprise Summit, April 17-18
On April 17-18, the annual Social Enterprise Summit, the main social entrepreneurship eco-system event in Lithuania, will be organised for the sixth time.
Social entrepreneurs, national and regional government representatives, academic community, NGOs from Lithuania and other European countries will come together in Vilnius to explore the best social innovations, main trends, opportunities and more efficient public and social services. The Social Enterprise Summit is also a place to learn about the best practice in Europe.
2. Startup Fair. Change 2019, May 30-31
Startup Fair. Change 2019 is a major international startup event in Lithuania. On May 30-31, over 40 speakers on two different stages will walk attendees through the most important phases of startup’s life cycle: from clarifying the idea and searching for the investment to digital marketing tools and the adaptation to business changes.
During this event, startup founders will have a unique opportunity to present their ideas to local and international investors at pre-scheduled B2B meetings.
As part of the programme, founders of the most promising startups will join on the stage to compete in the Pitch Battle. Entrepreneurs will present their ideas in front of the audience as well as the jury of investors and startup ecosystem experts.
3. Vilnius innovation forum Innovation Drift 2019, June 13-14
Vilnius innovation forum Innovation Drift 2019 is one of the largest global innovation forums in the Baltic Sea region. This year, the forum will discuss how the world is going to change in 10 years. However, the event will focus on the practical applications of scientific knowledge instead of futuristic speculations.
The fourth Vilnius innovation forum will explore the future industry and society as well as space technologies, disruptive innovations and future challenges. One of the largest innovation events in the Baltic Sea region brings together more than 1 600 participants, including CEOs, innovators, technology experts, investors, and academic community.
This year Vilnius innovation forum will feature more than 50 global speakers. The speakers include Andrea Peiro, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who co-founded multiple successful startups; Martin Bonde Jensen, a co-founder of a Danish medtech startup Particle3D, which aims to use 3D printing to make patient-fitted bone implants for facial reconstruction; Teddy Nehmad, a leading figure in the Israeli international startup community; Heba Bevan, the CEO and founder of UtterBerry Ltd., the patented smallest and lightest wireless intelligent sensors in the world which works on extremely low power.
The forum also includes Lithuanian innovators’ exhibition, networking meet-ups, workshops, and visits to high-tech companies.
4. Login, June 6-7
The event that began in 2007 as a bloggers’ gathering has quickly grown into the largest innovation conference in the Baltics, which now attracts over 6 000 attendees. This year, Login will focus not only on innovation and tech but also on sustainability and wellness.
Seven stages will host more than a hundred local and international speakers. Keynote speakers of this year’s Login include Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the former President of the Republic of Estonia; Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower in the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal; Dhiraj Mukherjee, the entrepreneur and co-founder of Shazam Entertainment, the world’s first mobile phone-based music recognition service; Justas Pikelis, the co-founder of Monetha, the most successful ICO in Baltic States.
Also, this large-scale event’s agenda features Lithuanian Internet Awards that bring to the spotlight the best internet projects of the previous year. Much-awaited by the Lithuania’s digital community, these awards will reveal the winners in many categories, such as The Best Startup, The Best Innovation, The Best Tech Event, Women in Tech, and many more.
5. The FinTech Inn Conference, November 27-28
As Lithuania has become one of the hottest European fintech destinations, Lithuanians naturally have a thing or two to say about the fintech market. On November 19, Vilnius will host The FinTech Inn Conference, the biggest fintech event in the Baltics.
For the fourth time Lithuanian and international financial experts, industry leaders and policymakers will gather to discuss the challenges to fintech industry, the market’s environment and regulation, the benefit for the society, as well as to highlight trending creative solutions delivered by fintech innovators. The conference that brings together more than 1 300 participants is also marked by a series of networking sessions.