OMGKRK Academy #8: Ecosystem Summit Recap
On the evening when USA celebrated the Independence Day, in Kraków we met with over 50 people to learn how different startup ecosystems work. The three speakers sharing their knowledge about strengthening partnership and increasing collaboration among innovation ecosystem in our region were: Marta Diana Koziarska from Warsaw (CEO, co-founder at ReaktorX), Nataly Veremeeva from Kyiv (CEO at Kyiv IT Cluster) and Adam Formanek from Berlin (Head of project LOOKOUT – SIBB). The event took place in the same bar as OMGKRK Academy #8 in Hevre in the heart of Kazimierz. Spacious, loft-style, upstair bar. People were chatting around with each other in casual atmosphere.
Around 6:30 Paweł Kulon, Head of Operations in OMGKRK took the microphone to gather everyone to join the talks.
We started with presentation from Marta Diana Koziarska. She pointed out structure of location of startups in Poland and the discovery that 25% are located in Warsaw. Looking up closely to her speech and hearing what is Warsaw doing for them isn’t shocking at all, that it became the centre of startups in Poland.
Warsaw created two incubators: Centre of Entrepreneurship Smolna and Center of Creativity in Targowa. For me the idea behind Grow with Greater Warsaw is most compelling. The programme for startups who want to export outside Poland. They help internationalizing startups by teaching them how to create attractive offer for business partners and make connections with clients outside the border.
It all started with Willa in Żoliboż as a co-working space, Marta said. OpenReaktor meetings with beer, pizza and great speakers providing the knowledge, etc. Now 7 years later they combined: co-working, OpenReaktor events, office hours and community to built ReaktorX.
What it is? In the simplest way: it’s pre-acceleration programme for first-time founders. It means that anyone with a great idea and execution of it could apply, though they’re especially for three types of people: professionals (already succeeding but looking out to build something bigger, better), programmers (with passion and creativity) and students with great ideas.
RektorX is built from mentors who during the program and after will help, give advice and work with startups. They give some of the tools and abilities to find a technical co-founder in the earliest stages of startup. They train entrepreneurs to succeed in their fields.
Second on stage was Nataly Veremeeva. She in details presented us with data about Ukraine companies, achievements, product and startup ecosystem in Kyiv. Which was very on point taking into consideration that data science is one of fastest growing areas of interest in Ukraine in 2018.
We learned that $265M were invested in 2017 in startups and 44 new investment deals were found. In the midst of biggest were Grammarly and BitFury. Looking up closely to different spheres in Ukraine there is a great potential. More than 28 thousand of graduates with technical degrees. Expected number of IT professionals in 2025 is 242 000. Why Ukraine? Among strengths of IT in Ukraine are not only that it is a cheap location with lowest operating costs in Europe, but no-visa regime, highly educated population, ease of recruiting and laying-off employees in the absence of strong legal restrictions and more.
The main goal is to: unite, educate, strengthen and inspire. They say about themselves that they are platform for the cooperation and uniting for reaching common goals. ITcluster is supporting education, internationalization and increasing exports by working with authorities, creating technological parks, making discounting programs etc.
Last but not least, presenting was Adam Formanek. Starting with saying that over 75% of all German startups are created in Berlin with 500 new each year and every fifth generating a turnover of over €1m. Since 2008 every 8th job was created in the digital economy. As he said startup is fifth largest employer in Berlin.
He talked about availability of Venture Capital, saying that with a plus of almost 200%, the investment volume of VC in Berlin rose, in just one year, to almost 3 billion euros. This means that now Berlin is just behind London.
It’s an association, that hold numerous events to promote exchange of ideas, cooperation, know-how transfer and business networking. They organise regular events, networks, workshops, conventions and trade shows. SIBB main focus is to remain on connecting business from different sectors. Project LOOKOUT is the network for cooperation of the IT industry in Berlin with the biggest Polish IT regions. Great opportunity for poles is next Polish Tech Night #4 Edition in Berlin on 27th of September 2018.
Not to overload you with information, what we’ve learnt during discussion will be in next post. There are going to be answers to questions: How to get over a failure? How to start a startup? What is the government role in a startup? and more. Stay tuned!