Warsaw opens Hub for startups from Europe

The Warsaw-based non-for-profit foundation StartUp Hub Poland (SHP) along with the Polish National Center for Research and Development (PCR&D) and Giza Polish Ventures Venture Capital Fund (GPV) announced today the opening of the first innovation…

The Warsaw-based non-for-profit foundation StartUp Hub Poland (SHP) along with the Polish National Center for Research and Development (PCR&D) and Giza Polish Ventures Venture Capital Fund (GPV) announced today the opening of the first innovation hub dedicated to inventors from Central, South and Eastern Europe. SHP mission is to help the innovators and entrepreneurs from the region to start-up hightech companies and strengthen innovation in the region.

Startup Hub Poland has gathered its first seed fund of more than $3million and has just announced first call for applications from innovators. Poland’s economy is the European growth champion since 1989.

It’s GDP more than doubled during that period. The recent report by The Economist along with the OECD Survey of Poland present Poland as an open, prosperous and business-oriented economy ready to undertake global challenges together with its closest neighbors. Marcin Pikowski, World Bank Senior Economist and the author of the World Bank report on Poland’s New Golden Ageargues that Poland has a big potential to become the global springboard for innovative startups from the CEE region.

There is a great deal of creativity to be unleashed in the non-EU countries. StartUp Hub Poland is a unique place for inventors and business pioneers to prove their concepts, work with experienced mentors and make use of grants amounting to up to € 400.000 for the best teams – said Marek Borzestowski, a founder of Wirtualna Polska, one of the largest Internet portals in Poland and a seasoned venture capitalist, who came up with the idea of creating SHP. Apart from money and career opportunities, the support and local expertise is crucial while moving to a new environment. SHP will help inventors with getting a EU visa and provide all necessary logistical support. The SHP staff is multinational and multilingual, speaking English, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and Albanian.

Teams from different countries, carrying different experiences and competences should have a common space to work. The SHP will allow talented engineers and inventors from the all over South-Eastern Europe to mix, collaborate and create new ideas and inventions. This kind of cooperation is warmly welcomed by Polish authorities.

At the beginning of the free-market transformation Poland enjoyed important support from the U.S. America successfully promote entrepreneurship in Poland and today Poland wants to support its Region based on those experiences says the Minister Advisor of the President of Poland, prof. Roman. The President of Poland strengthened his support for startup environment in CEE region by announcing recently a start of a $100M fund for SMEs in Ukraine.

Warsaw, the host city of the SHP, becomes an increasingly important player on the European start-up landscape. Our city is ready to be a start-up capital not only for Poland, but also for business pioneers from Ukraine and other neighboring countries. Warsaw is smart, hospitable and welcoming for people who come here says Micha Olszewski, Deputy Mayor of the city of Warsaw. Warsaw is very active in supporting regional sturtup environment. It is our city that has been chosen by Google to found the first Google Campus in the CEE says Olszewski.

Initiatives like Warsaw-based HUB will facilitate actual integration between the non-EU and EU markets in a new way. Not by providing inexpensive and well-trained labor but through well-organized innovative startups building the reputation of our Region and ready to compete on a global scale. The first call for project submission will end 14.12.2014.