Lithuanian Coast: A New Hub for Tech Enthusiasts, From Australia to Klaipėda

Klaipėda old town Shutterstock photo

While the Lithuanian coast was once only synonymous with holidays and the port business, it has recently witnessed a surge in tech companies initiating operations or setting up offices. Tech professionals are increasingly recognizing Klaipėda as a viable long-term or seasonal workplace, given the expanding tech community and rising demand for skilled workers. Remote and hybrid work models are also gaining traction, providing employees with greater flexibility and mobility.

Artūras Lazejevas, CTO of Whatagraph, a marketing analytics start-up, relocated to Klaipėda from Šiauliai with his family at the onset of the pandemic and believes the move was well-planned and successful. He highlights that the IT sector allows for global work flexibility, which makes other aspects crucial in his decision-making process.

“Considering various options for relocation, my wife and I explored numerous countries and could have chosen to live outside Lithuania, but ultimately, Klaipėda was our top pick. It’s a well-rounded city with numerous post-work activities, easy access to the sea, and opportunities to unwind in nature. Activities like theatres, concerts, festivals, and events are aplenty, comparable to other major cities, providing a vibrant summer and a serene winter,” shares Lazejevas.

Artūras Lazejevas, CTO of Whatagraph

A Home for Both Locals and Internationals

Since moving to Klaipėda, Artūras has become an active member of the local tech community, Commit Klaipėda, participating in meetings, interviewing guests, and helping organize events. He believes that the engaged community and the presence of like-minded individuals enhance the city’s potential, making it appealing to both Lithuanians and global professionals.

“Many cities can be overwhelming with their noise, vast distances, and the necessity to drive to natural retreats. We know of several individuals who relocated to Klaipėda from Australia and other countries. In Lithuania, the city becomes significant only if you need to be physically present at the office. When the emphasis is on the talents rather than their location, new possibilities emerge,” explains Lazejevas.

Kilo Health, a prominent employer in Lithuania and one of Central Europe’s rapidly growing tech firms has also observed this trend. Ilona Bernotaitė, Chief People Officer at Kilo Health, notes that several co-founders are originally from Klaipėda. Although the headquarters is in Vilnius, they have established an office in Klaipėda, accommodating many employees, particularly during the warmer months.

“Klaipėda is an excellent option for remote work. We notice a growing trend of top-notch professionals choosing Klaipėda as their permanent residence. The city offers a complete package: the sea, sunshine, Palanga Airport, seamless connections to other major cities, the calmness of a resort town, and the facilities and conveniences of a big city,” Bernotaitė remarks.

Ilona Bernotaitė, Chief People Officer at Kilo Health

A Community That Learns Together

Commit Klaipėda, reinvigorated two years ago, gathers tech professionals and individuals from related sectors. Regular informal meetings feature guest speakers sharing their experiences. Kristina Postornak, interim director of Klaipėda ID, the city’s investment and business development agency, notes that the discussions often extend, and the community itself is admired even by professionals in the capital.

“We receive requests from specialists in Vilnius or Kaunas to livestream the meetings. However, we strive to foster casual, direct interactions. All speakers participate voluntarily, and individuals from other cities are keen to attend and understand the format,” Postornak explains.

Kristina Postornak, interim director of Klaipėda ID

She adds that future plans encompass larger events, such as a hackathon to address one of Klaipėda’s challenges, underlining the significant potential for community growth.

A Growing Demand for Tech in the City

Klaipėda is actively working to attract tech talents, start-ups, and established companies. Virginija Ketlerienė, Regulatory Affairs Project Manager at Klaipėda ID, highlights that the port city is a key logistics hub (comprising a seaport, railway junction, and highways), with numerous manufacturing companies that will soon require innovative and advanced tech solutions.

“An offshore wind farm is currently being planned, which will draw numerous ancillary businesses. The market is not saturated yet; there is ongoing discussion about the digitalization and robotization of manufacturing and other sectors. Hence, there is a current and future demand for highly skilled professionals,” Ketlerienė emphasizes.

She also notes that the Klaipėda City Municipality offers various financial incentives for professionals relocating to the city, including office space, and has witnessed growing interest from both Lithuania and abroad in recent years.

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