Surprisingly and for someone probably a bit unexpectedly, in the last years Poland has been outstanding among other European countries for its numerous startup breakthroughs in the field of software and hardware engineering. Another meeting of all the national startuppers at the yearly Bitspiration Festival in Warsaw gave a better idea of what the current Polish startup ecosystem looks like.
According to the statistics, most of the strongest and successful startups originate from two cities: Warsaw and Krakow. However, active development is carried out all over the country. For example, one of the most famous Tech & New Media conferences in CEE Region Inforshare.pl is usually held in Gdansk. Also, Wroclaw has recently come up with a brilliant idea of creating the rental services dealing with electric cars, which has all the potential to become an international revolution in the city traffic.
Meanwhile, despite the seeming competition between Warsaw and Krakow for attracting more investors, the local entrepreneurs claim to put all the efforts in future projects for the sake of the whole Polish startup ecosystem, no matter which city does better. For now, Krakow, as a historical city of student life and tourism attraction, is also the hotspot of headquarters of many international companies and the place of interest for numerous venture capitalists. As startups have always been associated with young talents, strong initiatives and taken risks, Warsaw turns out to have a weaker startup ecosystem and rather be the city of commerce and serious business. At the same time, Google recently chose Warsaw to be the right space for its entrepreneurship campus which is planned to be launched by the end of 2015.
It is not news for those following all the latest startups that Poland is the country of origin for such successful startup projects as the Witcher games series, several projects introducing beacons, educational and healthcare platforms Brainly and DocPlanner respectively, and many others. These success stories allow us to see a great potential in the Eastern European startup ecosystems.
However, there are still some obstacles that most of the Eastern European entrepreneurship communities have to overcome. Poland, as the startup leader of the region, is dealing with the lack of local funds to invest in the new projects. Unfortunately, most of the investments come from EU financial programs. This, on the one hand, gives huge support to entrepreneurs building large companies, but, on the other hand, makes local business dependent on temporary aid from EU. Let us hope to find more local funds in Eastern Europe with the motivation to invest in the creation of promising business companies fighting for the leadership in the market.
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