The Central and Eastern European (CEE) region’s position in the ranking of attractive locations for startups has been increasing for some time.
The region’s largest economy is the Republic of Poland. Its large internal market and government policy focused on innovation make the country’s ecosystem attractive for tech founders looking to expand their business overseas.
Government-backed initiatives such as the Poland Prize Space3ac accelerator focus on bringing foreign companies to Poland.
With 40 million people, the fastest GDP growth in the EU and a strong B2B sector with a high demand for innovation (about 70% of Polish startups are selling to firms), Poland’s internal market alone is a great environment for business development.
Poland also boasts low operational costs and top-quality IT talent. It is therefore not surprising that the country is the CEE’s leading destination for VC investment – accounting for 45% of the regional VC sector. Tech giants such as Intel, Google, Siemens, Boeing and Amazon also have a presence in Poland and profit from the country’s top IT talent at affordable costs.
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Innovation hubs in Poland are closer than one might think. It only takes two hours to get from London to Gdansk.
This polish city is one of the most active and well-equipped for new businesses. Its top-notch infrastructure, such as the brand-new Olivia Business Center with O4 Coworking creates a great environment to work in.
It also presents attractive networking opportunities due to the presence of corporations like Amazon, Bayer, Thyssen Krupp and Ricoh as well as investors such as Black Pearls VC.
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Expanding or relocating overseas entails both risk and a huge organizational undertaking, which can typically be identified as barriers. But, supportive programs such as the Polish government-backed Space3ac startup accelerator, will make the transition easier and painless.
The accelerator is on a mission to bring as many as 20 startups to Gdańsk. The aim is to support their growth with cash, a soft landing services package, mentoring and direct connection to industry clients.
“Though so far, we’ve been focused on the Polish market, we had a few successful startups from abroad joining our accelerator,” says Wojciech Drewczyński, Space3ac’s CEO.
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“The fourth edition is one hundred percent international. We are set out to prepare an easy landing for companies in Gdansk ecosystem, reduce the risks with financial support and, what’s most important, provide them with large industry clients to collaborate.”
There are many reasons why founders should consider the Space3ac program. We have up to 45000€ equity-free cash support and up to 12500€ worth in expert services available for each team. Potential investors like Black Pearls VC are also nearby.
The Space3ac accelerator is looking for PropTech, data science and transport/logistics focused startup projects.
The model of acceleration in the Space3ac program requires startups to answer specific technological challenges presented by industry partners.
Each team will be tasked with building up its traction by solving a large enterprise challenge and thus, acquiring a foothold in the Polish market.
Space3ac has five industry partners, each of them holding a leading position in their industry:
LPP is a Polish clothing company operating in 20 countries across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. LPP owns five clothing brands, sells 170 million clothing items each year and employs 25000 people.
Olivia Business Centre is the biggest – and still growing – business park in Northern Poland with over 10000 people working for 200 companies.
Pekabex is a leading manufacturer of prefabricated structures in Poland, producing traditional reinforced elements as well as modern prestressed elements used in enclosed structures.
PZU LAB is a company of the PZU Group (the largest financial institution in Poland and CEE region). The company focuses on commercial consulting in the field of risk industry assessment and optimization.
The Port of Gdansk Authority manages the Port in Gdansk, a major international transportation hub situated in the central part of the southern Baltic coast. The Port of Gdansk plays a significant role as a key link in the Trans-European Transport Corridor No. 1 connecting the Nordic countries with Southern and Eastern Europe.
The program will be split into two cohorts, each aiming to bring on 10 startups for the acceleration process.
The deadline for applications for the first cohort is the 30th of November 2018.
The program is scheduled to start in February 2019.
Space3ac organisers will provide soft landing services package (support in registering the company in Poland, training in Polish business law, accommodation and dedicated VISA track for non-EU citizens).
Startups that complete the acceleration program will have the opportunity to present their solutions during the Demo Day at infoShare 2019, the biggest technology conference in CEE gathering investors, VC funds and corporate representatives from all over the world.
How to Apply?
- Visit the polandprize.space3.ac website and our social media channels @Space3ac to find out more
- Check the list of technical challenges and find out which one suits you and your startup best
- Apply through our website
- For any questions, please contact email@example.com
Space3ac is an acceleration program bringing together large business and tech startups which provide innovative solutions. Three editions of the accelerator have already been carried out over the past three years, with 30 startups finishing the program.
The current, fourth edition is financed by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development Poland Prize program.
Its goal is to make Poland’s leading position in the CEE region the best place to develop startup business.
The accelerator is organised by Blue Dot Solutions company together with infoShare, O4 Coworking, Black Pearls VC, Trigonum.
More information available at:
Space3ac website: www.polandprize.space3.ac
Social media: @Space3ac
Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (about Poland Prize): http://en.parp.gov.pl/poland-prize
Organizers & Collaborators: