11.02.2019 PGNiG and Startup Hub Poland Foundation invite international startups to Poland

Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) and Startup Hub Poland Foundation joined forces to transfer the most innovative business ideas to Poland. Selected early-stage technological entities will have a chance to receive a grant from the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP). Current recruitment process for the project ends on February 28th.

As a part of the governmental project called Poland Prize, by the end of 2019 Startup Hub Poland Foundation plans to establish 24 businesses, which will operate in Poland on most innovative projects in the area of energy and information and communications technology (ICT). Support given by the Foundation, governmental institution and PGNiG allows young entrepreneurs to acquire knowledge and tools which are essential for doing a successful business in Poland.

Startup Hub Poland Foundation is responsible for startup scouting and recruiting as well as coordinating the acceleration program. The Foundation is also one of six organizations chosen by PARP which is entitled to distribute around PLN 5 million in non-equity grants to startups selected for the program. Startup Hub Poland Foundation focuses on finding solutions from the energy and ICT field which have not yet been commercialized, as well as existing startups that have already implemented innovative projects abroad but would like to develop them also in Poland.

PGNiG is a strategic partner of the project. “By engaging in Poland Prize with Startup Hub Poland, such well-known partner in startup environment, we want to find the most effective solutions which meet the technological challenges of the PGNiG.” commented Łukasz Kroplewski, Vice-President of the PGNiG Management Board for Development. “This is another area where we start cooperating with startups – after launching our own InnVento startup center and engaging in acceleration program which was a part of ScaleUp governmental project. We want to take advantage of all our previous experiences from running InnVento while engaging ourselves in Poland Prize project, including our experts support, an access to the infrastructure for project pilotage, and a possibility to work in our startup center,” added Łukasz Kroplewski.

The best international projects will receive a grant of EUK 50 000 in non-equity cash from public sources. Such financial support, however, should only be a preview to future success. While participating in Startup Hub: Poland Prize acceleration program, startups will also gain the opportunity to cooperate with corporate partners. Selected entities will be able to implement pilotage of their project in cooperation with PGNiG. Moreover, startups will actively look for VC investment opportunities as well as grant possibilities offered for research and technological development in Poland.

“In the first call for projects round, we analyzed hundreds of applications. Out of 400 applications from 63 countries we chose 8 which have the most advanced technology. Thanks to the great support of corporate partners, founders are able to come to Poland and from the very beginning be involved in creating solutions for energy and ICT sectors defined by PGNiG – the strategic partner of acceleration program,” summarized Maciej Sadowski, the President of Startup Hub Poland Foundation. “Our organization has been building the image of Poland as an open and innovative country for seven years. Thanks to our international team, the involvement of the VCs’ leaders as well as corporate partners, startup, for example from Estonia, is choosing Poland, not Germany, France, or the Netherlands, for the next stage of their business development,” added Maciej Sadowski.

“Poland Prize has the potential to become a complementary program which, next to ScaleUp, will increase the competitiveness of the Polish economy. We have been supporting polish entrepreneurship for a long time and now it is time to bring technology from abroad and encourage the most disruptive startups to expand their business in Poland. Poland Prize is a program dedicated to international startups modeled on programs run in France and Chile. Its core advantage is a soft-landing program which eases internationals to transfer their technology to Poland,” emphasized Maryla Wojcieszek, Acceleration Program Expert from the PARP Startup Development Department.

Startup Hub: Poland Prize consists of three acceleration rounds. For each of them 8 startups will be selected which will be invited to Poland for approximately 5-months acceleration. All participants will receive not only financial support but also mentors’ expertise, dedicated workshops, and office space in Business Link Astoria.