10 incredibly innovative young technological companies and 7 days in Boston. Numerous lectures, workshops and networking meetings, hundreds of people and thousands of possible opportunities. And all this in the shadow of one of the world’s best technology universities — the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We asked the participating startups about the impressions from this year’s Bootcamp.
Łukasz Raczkowski, Solutions 4 Tomorrow
A trip to the United States is in itself a dream for many people, and we also had the opportunity to visit unusual places and meet people unavailable to ordinary tourists. It was an intensive week that brought a lot of new experiences to each of us. First of all, we got to know the look at the businesses of people on the other side of the Atlantic and we realized that it is not the same as the one represented in Poland. Personally, I liked the most meeting with Poles who achieved business success in the USA. It is great to see that on such a demanding market “our people” have succeeded, and additionally they have the willingness to build a Polish community. Cooperation with a local mentor was also important, and it contributed a lot to our perspective on the development of business on a global scale. What surprised us the most was the approach to building entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — accessibility of infrastructure, openness of people and their approach — frivolous on one hand, and critical on the other. After this trip, we are certainly more aware of our shortcomings, and at the same time we have become convinced that we can afford to succeed. This mixture of emotions and impressions has allowed us to become even better entrepreneurs.
Ewa Rutczyńska-Jamróz, Lifetone
Our participation in the Bootcamp was very important to us — in particular its location in Boston, which is a leading medical and business center in the field of new technologies from the BioMedTech sector. It was a unique opportunity for us to get to know the ecosystem, visit accelerators, talk to entrepreneurs and scientists specifically from our industry, which makes the knowledge, experience and relationships gained even more valuable to us. Meetings with people who decided to run their businesses in the United States, as well as people who are actively involved in the organization of the start-up support ecosystem in the BioMedTech area in Boston were of special importance to us. We were surprised by the openness of the people we met with. They listened with interest about our business and wondered with whom they could contact us, who from their environment could potentially contribute something to the development of our business. This resulted in setting up further meetings, which filled the agenda to the limits of what is possible and allowed us to review, in a short span of time, our thinking about the steps we should take in terms of expansion to the United States. The goal that we set for ourselves in connection with our trip to the Bootcamp was not related to looking for financing. We wanted to understand the Boston ecosystem and establish relationships. Thanks to the involvement of the organizer, i.e. MIT Enterprise Forum Poland, we managed to achieve this goal, for which we are very grateful.
Konrad Krajewski, Genomtec
The most important benefits of participating in the Bootcamp in Boston are the opportunity to meet interesting people, feedback from investors and information about the functioning of business in the USA. This market has to be seen as the European Union — each state in the USA has to be seen as an individual country. People in different states differ in customs and approach to business, states have their own individual laws, so in the USA it is very important to analyze the possibility of creating a business in a particular state, and not in the whole country. We liked the openness of Americans and their approach to business. The people we met openly shared their contacts with us and helped us arrange meetings, while expecting nothing in return. The most important thing was to get to know the mentality of local investors and people, which is different from the approach and mentality of Poles. Business practitioners and entrepreneurs with whom we met, openly share with us their experiences and thoughts on Polish projects. In Poland, people do not function this way, because they are afraid that someone could steal their ideas or contacts from them. We are far from the state of mind and mentality of American business, so we will be slow to develop further. “You go faster by yourself, but in a group you’ll go farther”. The Americans understand this, Poles — not at all. We realized that in order to do business in the U.S., you need to be there, have global patents, understand the U.S. market and have the best validated product. In addition, in the USA the customer who buys the product/service and the business model are the most important. Technological advantages and price do not matter if the customer is not interested in them.