Lithuania plans to build Europe’s largest startup campus in the capital, Vilnius, to attract the next tech talent.
Lithuanian co-working company Tech Zity is investing EUR 100 million in the new campus, which will provide private workspace for around 5,000 technicians when it is completed in 2024.
The hub will also house co-working and co-living spaces, event spaces, meeting rooms and no fewer than 10 restaurants. The location will be open 24/7 to accommodate an “increasing number of hybrid workers.”
The center has a footprint the equivalent of ten football pitches, making it two-thirds larger than what is currently Europe’s largest startup campus – Paris. Station F.
A 3D rendering of “Europe’s largest technology hub” planned for an old industrial site in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. Credit: Tech Zity/DO ARCHITECTS
Between 2017 and 2022, Lithuania increased its digital economy by 16.8 times annually – with the ecosystem now worth over 9.5 billion euros.
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The country demonstrated resilience in tech finance in 2022, posting its second-best year ever in terms of VC finance despite a turbulent year for the global tech sector.
“When I started investing in Vilnius’ tech ecosystem in 2009, you could fit the entire tech ecosystem in one room,” said Darius Žakaitis, Founder of Tech Zity. “The city is now home to some of Europe’s most well-known technology companies.”
Vilnius is the fastest growing tech ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe – home to a myriad of unicorns, including cybersecurity company Nord Security (NordVPN) and second-hand clothing market Vinted.
Darius hopes the new center will cater to this growing ecosystem and appeal to tech firms at all levels – “from pre-seed startups to companies like Google, everyone can call Vilnius home,” he said.
Tech Zity will renovate a number of old sewing factories in Vilnius New Town to create the new campus. Much of the old-school aesthetic is retained, but with some modern touches. The developer said it wanted to “protect the history and identity of the building” while creating workspaces that workers “look forward to returning to after the pandemic”.
This old sewing workshop will form the basis of the new technology center. Photo credit: Tech Zity
Around 70% of the construction work is based on renovations, with only 30% of the campus area being built from scratch. By reusing much of the existing building, the project could save over 500 million tons of carbon throughout the construction process.
Tech Zity already manages three technology campuses in Vilnius, including Tech Park, Tech Loft and Tech Spa, which are home to companies like Google, Bored Panda and Kilo Health. The most ambitious project to date, the new Tech Mega Campus, will be funded in part by Tech Zity’s existing activities – with the support of Mantas Mikuckas, Vinted’s COO and founder. The developer continues to be in discussions with a number of investment banks, family offices and institutional investors for additional funding.