Start-Up Nation Central Goes to Poland

As part of Start-Up Nation Central’s endeavors to identify potential collaboration between innovation sectors in different countries, the Israeli NGO has recently begun working with Poland.  The goal is to generate interest and expose the Polish innovation sector, government, market leaders, investors and entrepreneurs, to what the Israeli start-up scene has to offer and form new collaboration opportunities.

Poland’s economy has been through somewhat of a transformation, showing great potential. According to the CIA world factbook, Poland is Europe’s 6th largest economy, with a GDP growth rate of 3.1% from 2015 to 2016. Since joining the EU in 2004, an injection of almost 150 Billion Euros has contributed to the development of basic infrastructure, industrial centers, and R&D facilities.

Recent investments in Poland have specifically targeted the innovation sector, making it a great match to the Israeli start-up scene. Programs like ScaleUp and the establishment of a fund of funds, are helping create and develop an innovation ecosystem in Poland, and are a great sign of the government’s commitment to the development of the start-up scene.

While Poland’s start-up ecosystem is still in its early stages, Israel has a strong footing when it comes to launching and developing start-ups, plenty of experienced entrepreneurs and mentors, and the adequate mindset.

Collaboration between Israel and Poland can greatly benefit both countries involved. Poland has a strong infrastructure, funding opportunities, knowledge of the European market and quality tech talent. Israel has one of the most developed innovation ecosystems in the world, best practices in entrepreneurial environment, and global orientation frameworks.  When looking at Israel and Polish entrepreneurs, they are both tech-oriented founders, which serves as a common ground.

Several events have taken place recently as part of the Israel-Poland collaboration. Here are some highlights of the events:

  • Start-Up Nation Central officially landed in Poland this past March, partnering with the “Wolves Summit,” a local ecosystem conference. The conference is a large and incredibly active innovation event, where Start-Up Nation Central showcased Start-up Nation Finder, a tool that allowed Polish entrepreneurs, investors, and government officials to explore the Israeli innovation scene, find out what it has to offer, and learn how to connect with relevant innovators.
  • Prof. Eugene Kandel, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central, opened the first session of the “Young & Innovative Forum” in Warsaw, a conference focused exclusively on Polish-Israeli collaboration, showcasing a number of players in the Israeli innovation scene, such as entrepreneurs Matan Scharf and Gilad Shahar. The event served as a platform for knowledge sharing and the offering of concrete programs for collaboration between the two countries.
  • On May 10th, Start-Up Nation Central joined the 9th European Economic Congress in Katowice, a three-day conference that attracted around 9000 participants, and brought together leading government officials, corporate leaders and decision makers, to discuss key topics for the region. Israel was featured on the main stage when Prof. Eugene Kandel gave a keynote about the 4th industrial revolution. This opportunity was the first time in which Israel received a focused session during the European Economic Congress.
  • Later the same day, the Israel session, planned by Start-Up Nation Central in conjunction with the Israeli embassy in Warsaw, showcased a wide range of Israeli speakers who gave different perspectives on the cyber threats to critical infrastructure and touched the value of cross-border collaboration and knowledge sharing. The Israel session began with Parliament member Mr. Pawel Pudlowski interviewing Prof. Eugene Kandel about the Israeli innovation ecosystem, comparing the countries and discussing the potential.
  • The 9th European Economic Congress Start-up Days were a leading innovation event, attracting over 2500 participants, devoted completely to innovation and start-ups. The highlight of the event was an inspirational keynote by Guy Hilton, CMO of Start-Up Nation Central, sharing best practices and lessons learned from the Israeli ecosystem. Throughout the day there were five start-up competitions focused on different sectors. Daniela Kandel, Strategic Countries Director of Start-Up Nation Central, was one of the two leading judges in the competitions.

Now that Israel has become a country of interest regarding innovation in the eyes of Poland, Start-Up Nation Central will use the opportunity to create value for Israeli entrepreneurs looking to expand into Poland and utilize the infrastructure and funding that is available. Start-Up Nation Central will continue to work hard to create a highway between the innovation sectors in Israel and Poland in the coming years.

If you are interested in learning more about SNC and our ongoing work with the Polish start-up ecosystem, please email us at

KIG, Young & Innovative 2017 - 062

Source: Polish Chamber of Commerce

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