The Tap2Pay team participated in the Huge Thing acceleration program in Poland for 4 months. It was a great 4 months of working with Polish partners, clients, mentors, investors. Now we want to share our experience and comments of industry experts about the Polish startup ecosystem.
Poland is the 4th most startup-friendly country in Europe
Startups actively collaborate with corporations, 1 IN 3 Polish startups work with corporations. During the acceleration program, the Tap2Pay team worked with partners: Santander Bank and Procter & Gamble.
Public organizations and VC Funds in Poland
Poland Prize is the first Polish program aimed to attract foreign startups. Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) works with operators – equity-free accelerators who have experience in cooperation with foreign startups:
- Huge Thing with a program aimed at startups from the fin-tech and mar-tech industries;
- Space3ac Enterprise;
- The Prize – acceleration program of StartUp HUB Poland foundation;
- Gdańsk Entrepreneurship Foundation;
- AD Ventures with accelerator Entrepreneurial Poland Intermarium Accelerator;
- Brinc Limited with the Brinc project dedicated to startups in the connected hardware industry.
24% of Polish startups that received funding, did so with the help from accelerators
What makes Poland so attractive for startups?
We’re aiming to help first-time entrepreneurs from anywhere in Europe launch their first startup and closing with a seed round of financing. With the incoming buckets of PFR money for Poland-based companies, the latter seems more achievable than ever before. Polish seed-stage venture capital and angel funds have approximately 360 Million EUR to spend for pre-revenue startups. It’s probably an order of magnitude more than what has been invested in Polish startups over the same time period in the past. It’s also way more than needed if you take into account only the needs of the local entrepreneurs. It’s a chance for you, European startups!
Other Polish accelerators:
- Founder Institute of Warsaw
- AIP Preinkubacja
- Starter Rocket in Gdansk
- Warsaw Startup Hub Accelerator
- UpStart Accelerator
PRF Polish Development Fund also works with VC funds. In Poland prevails public capital.
The percentage share of capital in VC firms (capital weighted) in Poland:
52% – Public capital roughly €1,352M
40% – Private Polish capital around €130M
4% – Private foreign capital
4% – GPs investment
79% of the venture investment in Poland in startups on seed rounds.
In Poland 130 VC firms in total – Polish VC’s database. The most popular are:
- SpeedUp Group
- Smok Ventures
- Innovation NEST
- Xplorer Fund
- Next Road Ventures
Besides venture funds, there is a popular Polish equity crowdfunding fund Beesfund with €5.2M total funds raised.
Other public organizations in Poland:
- PAIH Polish investment and trade Agency
- KNF Polish financial supervisory committee
- THE HEART
- STARTUP POLAND
Biggest startup events Tap2Pay team participated:
How do international conferences help build an ecosystem in Poland?
The international conference is the key to building an ecosystem. Companies have time in the calendar where they can plan their visit and meet all important people in one place. It’s very efficient and saves a lot of time. Especially if the conference uses the matchmaking formula, that helps attendees to see who is coming for the conference and schedule meetings in advance.
Conferences and meetups are a great place for learning and exchange knowledge exchange. Startups can meet investors and clients and receive valuable feedback first hand. They can listen to more experienced colleagues and analyze case studies.
If worked well, conferences are a great way for learning, lead generation, and networking. People like to meet face to face and with all available online connections, they still enjoy the human factor of being together in one place.
45 of business events like OpenReactor, STARTUP GRIND WARSAW, etc. are happening in Warsaw everyday.
Coworking places and startup hubs in Poland
>100 coworking places in Warsaw
The most popular:
Brand & Marketing Manager at HubHub
How coworking can help with the development of the ecosystem?
Poland is becoming a to-go place to go for the international startup players launching new offices or local branches. If you will look among the members of HubHub or other Polish coworking space, you can see the growing number of international SaaS, FinTech or e-commerce startups that are already operating in Poland – many of them are considering even moving their offices from countries like Germany or UK.
Coworking centers like HubHub play a huge role in the development of the startup ecosystem by creating an added value to the memberships offered to startups, SME’s and bigger companies by connecting them by various projects and networking events.
In our case, thanks to the cooperation with VC’s and organizations like Geek Girls Carrots, Startup Poland and Venture Café Warsaw we are able to create a melting pot, that connects people from different environments and help them grow and expand their operations even further.
A lot of startup activities take place in Google Campus Warsaw – the hub, where startups can learn, connect, and build companies.
If you have any questions and would like to know more about the Polish startup ecosystem, please contact us at [email protected].