From research labs to startup community by MIT Enterprise Forum Poland

By November 4, 2016NEWS
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Only one month left to apply for the second round of MIT Enterprise Forum Poland acceleration program, together with new specialized tracks and brand new programs for the Polish startups.

There is a huge hype around startups and as a result the fast-growing rate of acceleration programs around them. Startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of “exit.” The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth.

The most important question is, What enables a startup to grow fast? MIT Enterprise Forum was established in 1978 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three years before the grandfather of Internet, ARPANET was expanded in 1981. For long, MIT EF was focusing on the main element of growth, “Idea” and with the power of their highly skilled mentors, they would equip entrepreneurs so that they can solve problems more quickly.

On 2015, MIT Enterprise Forum Poland, started its activity in Warsaw, Poland by accelerating not startups but ideas. They mainly focusing on birthplace of scientific ideas meaning laboratories, universities and research centers and transform scientists into “Disciplined Entrepreneurs” by 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, written by Bill Aulet the Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT. Having directly raised more than $100 million in funding for his companies and led the creation of hundreds of millions of dollars in market value in those companies, Bill proved that his methodology is based on practical steps that match with the scientist’s mindset and teaches them how to be a disciplined entrepreneur and bring the speech into their business, make real startups from them.

This round of their acceleration program is going to be under the honorary patronage of the Ministry of Development, Ministry of Science and Higher Education and Ministry of Energy. As in the previous year, PKO Bank Polski is going to be the main partner of the acceleration program at their Fintech track called “Let’s Fintech with PKO Bank Polski!”. Other partners: PGNiG with Energy track, KGHM Cuprum Research, and Development Center with the Raw Materials sector and Adamed Group will be in charge of the Health track. Other honorable partners include Visa Europe, Intel Polska, Campus Warsaw. They will support the acceleration program with their know-how, presence, and great global network. The Foundation for Polish Science, the Polish Business, and Innovation Centers Association and Cybersecurity Foundation also support this round of acceleration program.

Applications to the next acceleration program are accepted online until November 30th, 2016. Startups can apply by visiting mitefpoland.org/applications. An expert jury composed of international investors and mentors will choose the most promising 25 startups. The program will get underway in Warsaw, early next year. Top five graduates of the acceleration program, will have the opportunity to be a part of a bootcamp at Boston, Massachusetts to visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and have the opportunity to showcase their startup to international investors and participate at some extensive workshops and seminars.

mitef-research-lifecycleTo know more about them, they have a routine series of free events called #InfoDays to meet with scientists, researchers and people with intriguing ideas from all over Poland. Events are mainly at universities, research centers all around the country. To know more about #InfoDay, visit mitefpoland.org/infoday.

“The great success of the first round, with 25 Polish startups, proved to us that we should immediately up the ante and make the many opportunities of empowering other amazing startups with more specialized tracks, and with the support of the biggest players in the market as our partners. I am convinced that unique acceleration methodology at MIT Enterprise Forum and our excellent partner’s support will play an even bigger role in the success of the next round of the acceleration program” says Pawel Bochniarz, CEO, and co-founder of the MIT Enterprise Forum Poland. “More and more business founders are coming to us with new ideas. With the next round of our acceleration program, we wish to provide them with a fast and efficient opportunity to improve their business plan with the help of our international experts in specified tracks, and to advance these projects in the market. We offer potential access to a vast customer base and extensive contacts in the related industry as the courtesy of our partners and MIT Enterprise Forum’s global network that startups barely receive elsewhere.”

Startups at all maturity levels and from all over the world can apply, as long as they can register their startups in Poland and have at least one Polish founder at their team. Neither their legal structure nor the age of the team members is relevant to the application as long as they received less than 2 million PLN of funding and their startup would be less than four years old. What is important is that a team is available and can work for the duration of the three-month program in Warsaw from the end of January.

To get more information, you can visit MIT Enterprise Forum Poland’s social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube) or contact Karolina możejko, the program manager of the acceleration program at k.mozejko@fpt.org.pl.