We sat down with Simon Litvinov, CEO of our startup ‘Precision Navigation Systems OÜ‘ to get a preview of some of the advice he’ll share about scaling up in the Baltics, at at our Tech-Chill side-event ‘Scaling your startup in Europe‘!
How did you find out about Startup Lighthouse?
I don’t quite remember where I found the first Startup Lighthouse opportunity. The application period for the Deep Dive Berlin IoT started around 6 months back. I stumbled upon this opportunity somewhere in the internet and decided to apply no matter what.
Where (which country) did your startup begin, and how did being in this environment allow you to thrive?
We have been developing our technology since more than 4 years back in Siberia. We launched the project HIVE back in Omsk, Russia helping land surveyors to get their job done using GPS-equipment and high precision satellite measurements.
Despite a decent success in Russia with a course of time we understood that the local market is not growing fast enough and in addition Russian M&A and funding markets are not so developed especially in SpaceTech area.
So we started to look abroad looking for opportunities. And finally 1 year back at TechChill 2018 we started our European story by taking part in the “50 founders battle” competition.
After the battle we got invited to be a part of the Startup Wise Guys accelerator. We went for it and set up a company in Estonia. And the rest of the 2018 was like a roller coaster: lots of conferences, hundreds of new friends, awards from European GNSS Agency and Galileo Masters. 2019 we start as a member of European Space Agency Businesss Incubation Centre in Estonia.
We are looking forward to 2019, as the things are moving fast in Europe there are a lot of opportunities and Startup Lighthouse opens doors to many of them.
What aspects make the Baltics the ideal place to scale up your business?
Baltics is an awesome place to be for a couple of good reasons. The ecosystem here is thriving and some sort of competition that exists within Baltic countries forces the development. It’s always good to be move forward and grow along with the ecosystem. Lower costs of living and operations are also a big advantage.
Do you have any words of wisdom about scaling up in another European country, for other startups?
Lower your burn rate as much as you can and be careful with investors money, think and experiment before building, and do things that don’t scale first as Reid Hoffman advised in his podcast. These are the most critical points for us, as we came to Europe with the existing technology but always kept in mind that the market here is different and we have to do a profound research before making any bold and costly move. After spending some time on that we got to know that we’ll have to pivot in order to succeed.
When attending TechChill, what will be your main objective (investment, finding new partners, etc)?
We will be looking for potential customers and new use cases of GPS navigation and positioning and strategic investors. It’s very exciting to see how many new spacetech applications are appearing because the hardware is getting cheaper and cheaper: autonomous delivery robots, drones and even e-scooters!
Finding the right investor for us is an another important task, because we would rather work with a strategic investor from the industry or a corporate investor who knows how the tech is working and have an idea about its applications rather than an angel.
If you’d like to hear more from Simon about his journey scaling up in the Baltics, save your spot for our event ‘Scaling your startup in Europe’!
- ‘Scaling your startup in Europe’
- Time: 10AM – 12PM, Friday 22 January
- Location: Teikums co-working space
Gustava Zemgala Gatve 78, Riga
2 mins walk from TechChill