ChangeMakers’ON: The Next Generation Brings Different Business Trends
It’s usually to think that social ideas are based the only on volunteering and have no relation to generate any profit. But with good skills of sales, marketing and business development, even non-profit businesses can grow fast and that’s why can bring impact in society much more faster. With these expectations, social innovators and experts from all over the world gathered to the Manor of Babtynas for the international ChangeMakers’ON BoostCamp.
Found important contacts which were needed
According to the main visionair and organizer of this “BoostCamp2019” Simona Šimulytė, this year more than two hundred people contributed to the creation of significant changes in environment. “I am very glad that everyone in the camp was really active. It just proves that it’s important very important for people where they live in. They want a quality education system, a clean environment, friendly and tolerant neighbors, and an innovative health system. And they want to be the flag bearers of these changes, ”says S. Simulytė.
This year ten selected teams were eligible for free consultings and advices in the camp. They also participated in strategic workshops, improved their business plans, and held open sessions with experts in sales, law, social innovation, marketing and more.
“Before we came here to the BoostCamp, we didn’t know how to glue our business model and make it much more visible and accessible to our target audience. However, this camp gave us much more valuable advices than we expected before coming here. We met many strong experts who helped us with law, business development, export and other fields. We even found contacts we needed in the past”, said the “Doctor for Call” team. They have also established valuable contacts with private clinics in Lithuania.
Changes should start from yourself
All social innovators had the opportunity to meet special guests of the evening: a global awards-winning businessman and business angel Vladas Lašas, International Sales Manager Tomas Krikščiūnas and members of Tajik community in Lithuania. Each of them shared valuable personal advice and Vladas Lašas even gave six business books to the most active startups. Mindaugas Šventoraitis, the patron of the camp and landlord of the Babtyn manor, shared his story about the freedom to live a dream life.
“You really don’t need a lot of money to feel happy. Everybody can see that there in many poor countries happiness rate is significantly higher than in economically advanced countries. Everything is in our head. So, first of all changes should start by ourselves, ”- says M. Šventoraitis. According to him, freedom is the greatest value. The only free person can fully realize himself and create meaningful changes around him. He notes that the new generation is much more curious: youth speaks loudly about social problems and looking for solutions for it. That‘s the reason why M. Šventoraitis decided to invite social innovators to develop tech4impact startups in the Manor of Babtynas. He also shared his advices with participants of this camp.
Innovative ideas improve the quality of life
This year one of selected teams was Turkish startup „Snack Haus“, which uses NASA’s innovative technology to freeze fruits and vegetables, and maintaining their original texture and flavor. This idea not the only contributes to the promotion of organic nutrition, but also solves the problem of food wasting. All unused fruits and vegetables are collected from local farmers.
Latvian start-up KK Original design also offers an equally impressive innovation. The author of this startup Valters Kretainis, has created an assistive device for children with paralysis to help them move more easily. It promotes the autonomy of the disabled person and enhances the reflection of the body. This social innovation won special prize of Inventship for its meaningfulness: it‘s the Solving Mill program of teamwork. Two other Lithuanian teams won the same prize: IT startup „codum“ and the „i-CAN“ which created the smart wand for the blind people with innovation in remote sensing. Significant innovations at the camp were made by food industry innovators „Spoon Voyage“, „Mama, I Made“ It and „Velina“, as well as „Chatiz“, who make portable solar panels. All these innovations address specific societal challenges and contribute to people’s well-being.
Business companies also support the idea of Boostcamp
This year one of the main supporters of the camp became the Lithuanian food industry giant AB “Krekenavos Agrofirma”. The marketing manager of this company Marius Jofė is glad that the camp that creates great value for the society is organizing in Lithuania. “Krekenavos Agrofirma” has already crossed the threshold of social innovation too: they invested in solar panels and intends to produce up to thirty percent of its energy needs in the coming years. According to M. Jofe, this is a big step to conservation of nature.
AB “Krekenavos Agrofirma” also applies innovations in developing and launching new products. “If we want to achieve our business goals, first of all , we need to understand our consumers, what they live for, what they like, what they expect. Just as the whole meat market in Lithuania is changing and moving. Therefore, not only do we carry out consumer surveys to improve our products and bring news to the market, but we also follow global trends and make appropriate decisions. For meat lovers, we have also created separate healthier product lines, such as “ Be konservantų” and product line that destroys the myths in society, “Mėsingos,” says M.Jofe.
Among the companies that support social innovation and business ChangeMakers’ON are well-known names such as Kaunas grūdai, Wolf Engelman Non-alcoholic, Coffee Loft, Aconitum, AUGA, City bee , Bolt, Rokiskio pienas and many more.
This is the third international ChangeMakers’ON camp in Lithuania. Currently, ChangeMakers’ON is actively creating a community of social innovators who, through innovation, seek to create change in specific areas of society.