The MIT Enterprise Forum Poland program started in 2015 as an accelerator for technology startups from Poland. From the very beginning, the acceleration carried out under the patronage of the most prestigious and famous for its cooperation with startups research centre in the world – Massachusetts Institute of Technology caught inventors’ and their innovative companies’ interest. Among them were not only startups from Poland, but also other parts of Europe or the world. For the four years of the program, over 2,500 startups have registered for the accelerator. To date, more than 100 startups from Poland have been accelerated as part of five completed rounds of acceleration. This year, the program formula has changed, opening up to cooperation with startups from the entire Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Therefore, to emphasise the change, the name of the accelerator, previously known as MIT Enterprise Forum Poland, has become MIT Enterprise Forum CEE.

CEE is the right direction

Due to the great interest in the new version of the accelerator, whose first edition started in January this year, MIT Enterprise Forum CEE opened the recruitment for the second edition of the program in spring 2019.

– Over 200 participants applied for the 2nd edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE. Applications came not only from Poland or other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, but even from both Americas. Selecting the final 13 was not an easy task – says Łukasz Owczarek, Head of Acceleration MIT Enterprise Forum CEE. The great interest in the program confirms that there is huge potential in innovators from this part of Europe. The decision to launch the next round of acceleration was right, no doubt about it – adds Owczarek.

In this edition, MIT Enterprise Forum CEE offers a huge dose of knowledge from world-class experts specializing in creating and refining business strategies and models, business scaling and communication. There will also be support in the areas of law and intellectual property.

The 13 startups that finally qualified for the project are just beginning acceleration according to the 24 steps of disciplined entrepreneurship model developed by Bill Aulet, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Over the next few months, young entrepreneurs will gain access to unique know-how as well as technical and technological facilities of the program partners under the guidance of Polish and international mentors. The best startups will receive up to PLN 200,000 in funding for business development and piloting. In addition, after the program is completed, each startup will receive the help of a team of specialists supporting it in developing its operations on the Polish market.

– Apart from the substantive aspect, we put great emphasis on business practice during the acceleration – says Łukasz Owczarek from MIT Enterprise Forum CEE. All teams selected to participate in the program will have the chance to meet and establish long-lasting business relationships with representatives of Polish and international companies and corporations as well as investors, including those from the USA. At MIT Enterprise Forum CEE, we open doors to a really big business. We not only provide support and tools to help startups develop their businesses, but we also help them during their first sales. The potential for business development and scaling is therefore huge – adds Owczarek.

The 2nd edition of the Accelerator has already started

The first workshops and mentoring sessions are over. Last weekend, in the HubHub coworking space, startups took advantage of the mentoring provided by the Kingmakers team and experts in building and developing innovative products and services from MIT Enterprise Forum CEE. Under the watchful eye of Romeo Grzębowski, entrepreneurs from the CEE region discussed effective practices to build and strengthen the commitment of their employees. There were also tips and successstories in the area of brand marketing. And this is just the beginning.

The upcoming weeks will provide entrepreneurs selected to participate in the program with more knowledge and practice. Participants will also get to know Linda Plano personally – an MIT associate for almost 20 years and a global expert in the field of effective business presentations. She has cooperated with hundreds of startups from around the world and helped to raise over 1 billion dollars in total. The agenda of the program also includes consultations with lawyers, patent attorneys and sales coaches. There will also be opportunities to build business relationships with representatives of Polish and international companies and corporations as well as investors.

In January 2020, the first stage of acceleration will culminate in a special event – Warsaw Demo Day featuring investors and potential clients, during which startups will present products, services and technologies developed during the program. The most promising startups will fly to Boston, where they will try to do their best in front of representatives of the local business.

Partners

The main partner of the program is Adamed – a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, which was founded on the basis of Polish scientific thought and own patents. Another partner of MIT Enterprise Forum CEE is MCX – the core of a strong group of specialized companies, including, among others, companies in the field of ICT solutions and renewable energy. The portfolio of companies supporting the Accelerator also includes companies in the area of ICT solutions and renewable energy. Supporting partners include LINK4, Nationale-Nederlanden, MDI Energia SA, Sollers Consulting, HubHub, PZU and Vetasi. The substantive partners include the Authorized Training Center of Sandler Training – Twarowski & Posmyk, CRIDO, EUPATENT.PL patent office, Extended Tools, Novismo, TaxLab, Kingmakers and Hasik Rheims & Partners. Organizations supporting acceleration include CMS Law and Tax, Foundation for Polish Science, Polish Business and Innovation Centers Association in Poland (PBICA). The implementation of the program is supported by a grant awarded to Foundation for Technology Entrepreneurship by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development under Measure of the 2.5 SGOP Acceleration Programs.

13 startups from the Central and Eastern Europe are participating in the second edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE accelerator. Who is the world going to hear about soon?

Chatbotize – an innovative platform supporting activities in the field of conversational marketing. The solution allows almost anyone, even people without any programming knowledge, to create a dedicated chatbot, facilitating interaction with the customer and shortening the shopping path.

Digital Engineering Solutions – a pioneer in the construction industry, whose solution combines AI technologies and advanced image analysis with the capabilities of smartphones, using them in the area of Asset management in order to reduce costs.

GlucoActive – the company offers the world’s first completely non-invasive blood glucose meter for people with diabetes.

LULU – a system that allows measuring and reducing stress in patients during dental procedures.

Mobility Lab – software that meets the needs of business customers in the field of electromobility, facilitating the management of car fleet, necessary infrastructure, energy consumption and billing related to the use of electric vehicles.

Raccoon.World – a rehabilitation tool based on solutions in the area of BIG DATA, Machine Learning and video games, supporting the process of rehabilitation of patients after injuries and neurological diseases.

Saventic – a platform (SARAH) using artificial intelligence to process bioinformatic data, enabling early detection of diseases that are very difficult to diagnose.

SmartVent– project management software that allows energy efficiency optimization of commercial properties. The solution provides up to 40% savings in energy consumption.

Tap2Pay – a system for optimizing online payments, targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises, ensuring high conversion in all sales channels.

TeleNeuroforma – a system for rehabilitation at home, supporting patients suffering from chronic diseases with interactive exercises in the form of games and remote care.

Wellify – an application whose operation is aimed at improving well-being, developing the emotional intelligence of employees through the use of various tools, including gamification.

Vaxican – proprietary platform for the production of new generation immunological drugs – dedicated to patients with cancer.

Visadb.io – offers a tool to discover countries where we can travel without a visa. The app monitors over 200 countries for visa changes, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, disease epidemics and political events, supporting travellers in planning their foreign travel.