The international start-up accelerator “Katalista Ventures” and a co-working space developer for startups “Tech Zity” has joined forces for a new initiative aimed at startups from Belarus who have fled to Europe and support them to integrate into the local startup ecosystem. “BYpassing Borders” project aims to ensure that impact-driven founders get the necessary support for the development of their startups in Europe.
From 2020, Belarusian founders have received a lot of support in the European countries to scale their solutions, however, since the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine, even the relocated startups that have shown resistance in the past, have faced high barriers to integrate into local ecosystems.
Currently, an application process has been opened, with the aim of selecting 25 Belarusian-founded startups from all over Europe, from which 10 startups with the greatest positive impact on society and environment will be selected. For example, some of the startups are developing innovative solutions contributing to speech therapy for children, improvement of mental health, monitoring of men’s health and others.
“If we – Lithuanians, Europeans – can incorporate these startups into the local ecosystems, help them develop their businesses, we will all win. We will show an example to others who do not agree with a dictatorial regime – when the ideas are cultivated in the open Europe it makes growing business much easier. We believe that this project will contribute to the growth of these startups and will allow the scaling of innovations that will have a significant impact on the international business community”, says Greta Monstavičė, head of “Katalista Ventures”.
“Tech Zity” director Dariaus Žakaitis says that, although the startup ecosystem in Lithuania has been growing strongly over the last few years, there is still a lack of technological talent. For that, we could use the representatives of neighboring countries, who expressed their disapproval of the ruling regime with their clear actions”, says D. Žakaitis.
The participants of the “BYpassing Borders” project – 10 selected startups – will go through a thorough inspection of ties with Russia and Belarus, and then – an intensive startup accelerator program. This program, created in Lithuania and running all over Europe, will provide various unique business support opportunities, knowledge exchange, training and networking opportunities.
The program is intended for startups in the early stages, which have a product with a significant, positive impact on the environment or society as well as want to grow it in a global context.
The “BYpassing Borders” project is a programme funded by the EU and implemented within EBRD Advice for Small Businesses Programme’.
Open application form for the accelerator may be found here.