An audience of over 60 entrepreneurs came to hear how they can scale up their businesses and go global, with a focus on internationalising through the UK.
The event, held at the city's Plus Jeden ('Plus one') co-working space, focused on the incentives on offer for local entrepreneurs. Agata Ocieczek, from the Entrepreneurial Support Unit at the City Hall of Poznań, explained how the city is supporting start-ups from their very outset.
Magdalena Kwoska from PwC explained how its accelerator, Start-up Collider, functions, supporting entrepreneurs from across the CEE region through all phases of growth. Bartosz Koziński from DIT set out the advantages of the scaling up via the UK, showing the various incentives on offer for start-ups from around the world that want to grow rapidly. He highlighted the fact that the UK is the world's fifth-most innovative economy, and open to. The message was reinforced by the BPCC's chief advisor, Michael Dembinski, who said that for start-ups whose solutions are globally applicable, the UK's scale-up ecosystem with business angels, venture capitalists, easy access to mentors and universities eager to commercialise ideas, works very well.
A panel discussion followed, during which several start-up entrepreneurs discussed key issues concerning business growth. The panel consisted of Jarosław Dohnal, Entrepreneurial Support Unit at the City Hall of Poznań, Paweł Wasilewski from Apzumi Spatial, a company using augmented reality to support training workers in manufacturing industry; Tomasz Kalinowski from IC Solutions, Jakub Filipowski from Netguru; Wojciech Wencel of Summ-IT; Paweł Mes, founder and CEO of OneMoneyMail (Sami Swoi) – a UK-based fintech business now employing over 70 people and serving 300,000 customers, Wojciech Ławniczak, of Very Human Services, a firm that works with start-ups, offering mentoring and investment matching, and Bartosz Koziński from the British Embassy.
The discussion covered many topics of interest to the start-up community – cooperation with Polish universities (could do a lot better, again, the UK an example of how academics could commercialise their inventions by working with business); the value of non-disclosure agreements in protecting one's intellectual property; the importance – and indeed, effectiveness – of tax incentives; and why tasting failure is considered a good thing – but should be done in a controlled way. Such was the interest in the panel discussion that it continued for much longer than envisaged in the agenda, but there was still ample time for one-to-one networking, during which there was much interaction between start-up owners and corporate investors or companies looking for innovative partners.