Comparison

Three hot hubs in Eastern Europe

Krakow, Vilnius and Moscow have become centres for dynamic starts. What do they offer?

These three cities are among the hottest start-up hubs in Central and Eastern Europe, according to Ink magazine, a leading US tech publication. Among the success stories born in these ecosystems are Brainly, Vinted and Yandex. What are their strengths and what are the most promising start-ups?

Krakow

Vilnius

Moscow

What they do for entrepreneurs

According to Daria Tataj, Founder of Tataj Innovation and an EU advisor, this Polish city plays an important role through its Krakow Program for Supporting Entrepreneurship. Some examples:

  • Organising or sponsoring various events, promoting local start-ups in its promotional materials and funding acceleration programs
  • Offering low rents for office space
  • Helping people from Ukraine and Belarus open businesses in the Polish city

The capital of Lithuania has introduced a series of start-up-friendly policies, such as a “start-up visa” program:

  • Low commercial rents
  • Low taxation levels
  • Investors can reduce their taxable profits by up to 50%
  • Expenses incurred for R&D can be deducted three times in the tax period in which they are incurred.

Small and medium-sized businesses are developing much faster in Moscow than in other regions of Russia, thanks to the city’s policies:

  • Low taxes
  • Subsidies for industrial companies purchasing Russian-made equipment
  • Material assistance while taking part in Russian and international congresses, exhibitions and fairs
  • Free educational courses with financial and information support
  • Co-working centres with up to three free workstations each

Main sectors

  • ICT
  • Fintech
  • Big data
  • New processes, materials and technology
  • Health technologies and biotech
  • ICT
  • ICT
  • Oil and gas
  • Cleantech

Start-ups you should know

  • SalesManago (marketing automation)
  • Brainly (social learning network, now based in New York)
  • Codewise (AI-powered advertising technology)
  • Trafi (car sharing and mobility app)
  • Vinted (fashion marketplace app provider)
  • Bankera (bank based on blockchain applications, offering loans and deposits)
  • Yandex (internet search engine)
  • Coub (platform for looped videos)
  • NtechLab (facial recognition)

What they do for entrepreneurs

Krakow

According to Daria Tataj, Founder of Tataj Innovation and an EU advisor, this Polish city plays an important role through its Krakow Program for Supporting Entrepreneurship. Some examples:

  • Organising or sponsoring various events, promoting local start-ups in its promotional materials and funding acceleration programs
  • Offering low rents for office space
  • Helping people from Ukraine and Belarus open businesses in the Polish city

Vilnius

The capital of Lithuania has introduced a series of start-up-friendly policies, such as a “start-up visa” program:

  • Low commercial rents
  • Low taxation levels
  • Investors can reduce their taxable profits by up to 50%
  • Expenses incurred for R&D can be deducted three times in the tax period in which they are incurred.

Moscow

Small and medium-sized businesses are developing much faster in Moscow than in other regions of Russia, thanks to the city’s policies:

  • Low taxes
  • Subsidies for industrial companies purchasing Russian-made equipment
  • Material assistance while taking part in Russian and international congresses, exhibitions and fairs
  • Free educational courses with financial and information support
  • Co-working centres with up to three free workstations each

Main sectors

Krakow

  • ICT
  • Fintech
  • Big data

Vilnius

  • New processes, materials and technology
  • Health technologies and biotech
  • ICT

Moscow

  • ICT
  • Oil and gas
  • Cleantech

Start-ups you should know

Krakow

  • SalesManago (marketing automation)
  • Brainly (social learning network, now based in New York)
  • Codewise (AI-powered advertising technology)

Vilnius

  • Trafi (car sharing and mobility app)
  • Vinted (fashion marketplace app provider)
  • Bankera (bank based on blockchain applications, offering loans and deposits)

Moscow

  • Yandex (internet search engine)
  • Coub (platform for looped videos)
  • NtechLab (facial recognition)

Daria Tataj (Founder of Tataj Innovation and Chair of High-level Advisors to EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation), Inc., tech.eu, Forbes, Silicon Republic, Wired, Tech Tour