Recruitment for the first edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE accelerator targeting start-ups from Poland and fourteen countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Georgia, Hungary, Romania, Estonia and Ukraine begins on January 15th this year. The program is organized by the Foundation for Technology Entrepreneurship, which has successfully completed five editions of the MIT Enterprise Forum Poland program to date. The project is affiliated with the best university of technology in the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is also supported by leading Polish enterprises and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, which awarded a grant for the implementation of the program in the amount of PLN 15 million.
The aim of the program is to support the most innovative science and technology start-ups from Poland plus Central and Eastern Europe by combining their potential with knowledge and resources of large enterprises from the financial, insurance, energy and life science sectors, along with the experience of mentors who have achieved spectacular successes in international business. Each start-up from CEE countries will be supported by a team that will help them develop their business in Poland. For three months, young entrepreneurs will refine their business models, gain access to unique know-how, technical and technological facilities of program partners, as well as co-financing for business development up to PLN 200,000.
Start-ups from CEE on top
The MIT Enterprise Forum CEE program is a part of the global MIT Enterprise Forum network, which has branches throughout the United States, Greece, Spain, Israel, Turkey, Mexico, Pakistan and the Pan Arab region. By now, Poland has been the only country in Central and Eastern Europe where acceleration of start-ups under the MIT Enterprise Forum brand is carried out. From January 15th, another fourteen countries will join this group: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
“The countries of Central and Eastern Europe are very active when it comes to the development of technology start-ups and the creation of innovative solutions for various industries. Due to historical conditions and large socio-economic diversification, the development of the start-up ecosystem in this area started later than in other parts of the world. CEE countries are catching up fast, however, and now we can observe the dynamic development of unique projects with huge potential for commercialization in national markets,” says Antoinette Mathews, the executive director of MIT Enterprise Forum Global. “Excellent examples include the more than 100 start-ups that have been accelerated in the MIT Enterprise Forum Poland program. This assured us that it is worth opening the program to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.”
Bring the best technologies to Poland
MIT Enterprise Forum CEE acceleration will be implemented in five themes. The partners of the program include market giants like Adamed, PZU, Nationale-Nederlanden. Start-ups that qualify for the project will not only have a chance to work with them and undergo acceleration according to the 24 steps of disciplined entrepreneurship model developed by William Aulet, professor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but also the possibility of global networking, consulting with lawyers, patent attorneys and sales coaches, as well as establishing business relations with potential US partners and investors.
“We invite technological start-ups from Poland and CEE countries that have innovative solutions, preferably verified by the market. Our goal is to accelerate the development of companies that want to develop international markets, primarily in the United States, where MIT Enterprise Forum Poland has a large network of business connections. When it comes to start-ups from the CEE region, we want to involve them in developing businesses in Poland, so that their unique technologies are used by native entrepreneurs,” says Łukasz Owczarek, Head of Acceleration in Foundation for Technology Entrepreneurship, which is the organizer of the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE program.
The program’s partners are Adamed, a company operating in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries that was established on the basis of Polish scientific achievements of its founders and their own patents; and MCX, the core of a major group of highly specialized companies, active, among others, in markets dedicated to IT and renewable energy.
Supporting partners are Nationale-Nederlanden, MDI Energia SA, Sollers Consulting and PZU. Substantive partners are Autoryzowane Centrum Szkoleniowe Sandler Training – Twarowski & Posmyk, Crido, EU Patent, Extended Tools, Novismo, TaxLab oraz Hasik Rheims & Partners. Organizations who support acceleration are CMS Law.Tax, Foundation for Polish Science and the Association of Organizers of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centers in Poland (SOOIPP).
The implementation of the program is supported by a grant awarded to the Foundation for Technology Entrepreneurship by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development within 2.5 POIR Acceleration Programs action.
About MIT Enterprise Forum Central and Eastern Europe
MIT Enterprise Forum Central and Eastern Europe (MITEF CEE) is part of a global network of chapters dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. We inform, connect, and coach early-stage technology entrepreneurs—enabling them to rapidly transform ideas into world-changing companies. Founded in 2015 with the goal of promoting and enriching the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe, we aim to celebrate and support all potential start-ups and entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe through our programs.