Hello readers, this is the second edition of K’Sup the Official English Blog of the Krakow Start-up Community. Hope you had a nice week. Last Thursday 18.07.2013, I attended the 16th Krakow Open Coffee at the Google offices on Pasaz 13 on the main market square of Krakow. Open Coffee (OC) is a breakfast event organized by the Hive53 Start-up Collective. They are the same ones who organized the Summer Swarm last Tuesday. OC is usually run by; Richard Lucas, the business Angel; Aliaksei Kubei, a Belarusian Programmer; and Marta Rylko, a student at AGH. The meeting is usually catered with good tea, coffee and sometimes muffins. The participants are usually entrepreneurs running a start-up, business leaders looking for a project to support or people with ideas looking to collaborate with like-minded people. It is held every other Thursday at 8:00. Participation is free. You just have to bring an open mind or an interesting idea.
For the first hour, participants are allowed to make a pitch for their projects, ideas or companies. Everyone who would like to make a pitch or give a status update is allowed about two minutes for their presentation. Then the second hour, the participants network to start some collaborations.
These companies made their pitches this meeting:
Equationmap.com: An educational service
Sigmapoint: Mobile developers
Crossweb : Website for start-up events
Ultrafluent: Language learning service
Notatek: Service selling university lecture notes
HackKRK.com: An organizer for programmers
I talked to Piotr Nedzyski, who works at Base a startup dealing with CRM. He is one of the organizers of HackKRK.com. This is an event where programmers get into teams and try to solve a challenge using different coding languages. The next meeting will pit Python vs. Ruby on Rails. The event is organized every two months and it is free. They call it Web-tech for fun. There are some nice prizes but the most important prize is bragging rights. The next one is on 25th of July, 2013 at 6pm. He encourages everyone who has an interest to sign up. I wasn’t able to get a more clear picture of what kinds of challenges and an example of how some team were able to solve the problem. Hope he will share some of the results later.
I also talked to Nich Holden, a games industry entrepreneur and creative director from the UK. He is currently involved with a startup called Game Advocates. They are a group of volunteers offering „micro-BPO” services to small and creative companies. They will deal with sales, marketing and bureaucracy aspects of the business so the creative types can focus on what they do best. At the moment they are still in the incubating stage. They are hoping to go live soon. They are looking for developers of B2B and social network services.
I have been attending OC for a few months now. I believe this is a nice idea. Although it is not the only business-related breakfast meeting around, what sets this one apart from the others is the casualness of the atmosphere. They made me feel welcome from the first meeting. You did not have to be some big-shot, you just have to want to get involved. My only criticism is that other than one or two physical product pitches, most of the presenters are people connected with the IT or the BPO sectors. I would like to see a more diversified portfolio of participants. I believe that with more diversity, there mighht be some possibility of rather unconventional solutions to many problems. If you know any young business people of any sector, looking for help or partners or just a job, please encourage them to attend the OC.