Swedbank launches new hub for Lithuanian start-ups

Swedbank Lithuania, together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), has launched Rockit, a new hub that will foster innovative solutions in the country and in the entire region.

Rockit will promote fintech and tech-centric innovation and contribute to Lithuania’s goal of becoming a leading regional fintech centre in Europe.

“The fintech industry is gaining momentum. With the new brand, fresh partnerships and our support we hope to encourage Lithuanian start-ups and developers to innovate, grow and scale at an even faster pace,” said Dovilė Grigienė, CEO of Swedbank Lithuania. “We want Vilnius to rock it and be heard across the fintech world.”

Rockit’s predecessor was Rise Vilnius, established in 2016 by Barclays Operations Centre in Lithuania (BOCL). Through this acquisition, Swedbank aims to strengthen its contribution to the start-up sector.

The EBRD’s role is to facilitate access to operational facilities, to provide early-stage funding and a superior mentoring network.

Startup Wise Guys, a leading Estonia-based business-to-business accelerator in Europe, is also partnering with Swedbank to support the newly relaunched hub. They will seek to foster development by providing seed capital, office space and growth guidance.

“Fintech today is among the top three verticals of venture capital investment in Europe, and open data regulation in the EU is creating new opportunities for collaboration between financial institutions and startups,” commented Cristobal Alonso, Global CEO at Startup Wise Guys. “If we look at Lithuania, support mechanisms like the special-purpose banking license, start-up visa, and regulation makes it a very appealing place for foreign fintech start-ups to accelerate in.”

Thanks to Wise Guys’ cooperation with Google, the start-ups enlisted in the programme will also gain access to Google Developers Launchpad benefits: world-class mentors, contact network, technologies, Google Cloud and Google Firebase credits.