Polish startup scene, without a doubt, has been attracting more and more attention both from the media and investors. Personally, as a Pole who left the country years ago in a totally different climate, I can only be amazed at how much the economy has changed.
One of the main reasons why I moved out, first to Norway and then to the United Kingdom years ago, was that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and Poland back then wasn’t the best place for young and brave startups. Yet the Polish startup scene has evolved over the years, nearly matching London or Tel-Aviv, at least when comes to possibilities.
Why Poland then? Why, out of all largely similar countries in this geographic location, it’s Poland that made it?
High level of education
Without a doubt, one of the strongest catalysts for the Polish startup scene is the unbeatable level of education in the region. According to Pearson (“The learning curve”), Poland ranks 14 in 50 countries surveyed when comes to education. 83.51% of pupils make it through secondary schools and as many as 55.38% of pupils graduate from universities. In this report, Poland beats Germany, Belgium, USA, Hungary, Slovakia and Russia. Higher education without a doubt acts as a catalyst for the Polish startup scene.
One of the barriers when comes to startups is the level of English when comes to their owners. In the past 20 years, the knowledge of English has seen a dramatic increase in Poland. EF Education First ranked Poland on the 8th place, before Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Owing to good level of English, the Polish startup scene can communicate with foreign investors and acquire foreign clients.
Access to funding
Without a doubt, the Polish startup scene has benefitted from access to EU funding for innovation, as well as regional development funds. With easier access to funding for students and graduates as well as the self-employed, Poland has enabled many of its startups to reach for the necessary funding capital.
History of inventions
Believe it or not, Poland has a history of inventors and inventions. From Copernicus to Marie Skłodowska-Curie, Poland has always been a nation of imaginative go-getters.
Personally, I’m convinced that one of the reasons for this boom on the Polish startup scene is the fact that for years creativity, invention and entrepreneurship have been thwarted by the communist rule. Now, the first generation born in the independent Poland is free from the limiting mindset and strict provisions, finally ready to compensate for years of censorship and thought police.
Economics of location
Of course, it’s also worth pointing out that Poland still is a relatively cheaper economy than for example Germany, UK or the US. Polish startup scene can benefit from lower production and labour costs with higher revenue from selling abroad.
What do you think? What are the reasons for the Polish startup scene booming?
Polish startup scene: they can, they will
Have you ever seen a Polish startup? Take a look at some of the best-known companies on the Polish startup scene below.
- Ecologic: Ecologic helps drivers, fleet managers and organizations to be green, ecological and safer on roads. This innovative tool can motivate drivers to change habits that can lead to huge savings on gas over time.
- MySpiroo: The MySpiroo is a spirometer, a device which helps to control asthma, reduces the number of exacerbations and protects from life-threatening attacks, linked to a smartphone.
- Harimata: Harimata are change makers, creating products that redefine care for child behavior and emotional development. We move aside complex, unreliable legacy care and make it “child’s play” in ease-of-use and in practice.
- Selly: A tool for creating commercial offers and analyzing the efficiency of your sales department.
- Social WiFi: Turn your free WiFi into a modern marketing tool. Take care of your customers and learn about their needs, use the power of social media and increase sales.
- BoxOfAds: Discover what your competition doesn’t want you to know.
Other articles about the Polish startup scene in English…
- A talent for tech: Poland’s booming startup scene
- More than good vodka: the Polish startup scene
- How a community is born: The rise of Polish startups