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VILNIUS – The Startup Visa program to attract talents to Lithuania from outside the European Union (EU) is gaining momentum, however, the results are not yet stunning, say players of the risk capital. Before the end of 2017, Startup Lithuania received and processed applications from 117 foreigners willing to start business in Lithuania, with six companies already founded, Verslo Zinios business daily said.
"We would want the number to be 50, not five or six, however, what we want is different from what is possible. The Startup Visa initiative is a good one, the question is whether it is enough for the competitive battle that is currently in progress," said Darius Zakaitis, CEO of the startup complex Vilnius Tech Park and partner at Contrarian Ventures risk capital fund.
Roberta Rudokiene, the head of Startup Lithuania, the startup ecosystem development branch of Enterprise Lithuania, cited lack of innovation as one of the reasons behind rejection of some of the applications.
"Our goal is to attract innovative businesses creating high added value, therefore, process applications in a responsible manner, with a focus on not only the business idea but also the possibilities to implement it," said Rudokiene.
In her words, application approval does not necessarily mean that the company will be founded in Lithuania. According to information available to Verslo Zinios, foreigners face a number of additional bureaucratic challenges.