Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Deutsche Telekom Forming Partnerships with Startups in Krakow

By Paul Chen

As a major telecom, what do you do when you would like to cut cost in research and development,  but still stay among the leaders of innovation?  In Deutsche Telekom’s case the created Hub: Raum.  Hub:Raum is a collection of three incubators and accelerators in Berlin, Krakow and Tel Aviv.  Their goal is to find startups that are developing products and services that will complement Deutsche Telekom’s existing line of products and services.  In both Berlin and Krakow they provide incubation and accelerator mentoring and investment.  In Tel Aviv, they are providing consulting services to help enterprises expand their business to Israel and Europe. 

I sat down with Cosmin Ochisor, a liaison manager of the Krakow branch of Hub:Raum in a chat about his impressions of the Krakjow Startup scene.

Why did Deutsche Telekom start Hub:Raum?

DT still runs the T-Lab, the R&D centers, in Berlin, San Francisco, and Tel Aviv.  However, we felt that it wasn’t enough.  We needed  to look externally for more innovation and openess.  We started in the spring of 2012 and decided to expand to Krakow and Tel Aviv with a possible expansion to London and the rest of CEE region.

Why did you choose Krakow?

Poland has a solid economy in the CEE region so it was an obvious choice.  Krakow has a nice base of good startups.  It is an emerging market where we feel that we can have a good position on the ground floor of their development.  The central geography is advantageous to expand eastwards as well as westwards and southwards.  There is an international atmosphere and R&D presence.  It is a university city so there are lots of fresh and hungry talent.  We also like the fact that there is a nice group of investors already in the city. 

Who are you looking for?

We are looking for startups that can: provide different telecom products and services; app developers; cloud computing services; smart home applications; mobile payment services; and machine to machine communication products.

What do you think about the Krakow Startup Ecosystem?

I am happy with the amount of technical knowledge present on the local market.  We like the amount of investment capital here and that people are open-minded.  We are, however, concerned by the business acumen of the people here.    We don’t think it will be a big obstacle.  We can provide the training to overcome it.  However, there is an amazing amount of potential in Krakow.  

What type of trainings is Hub:raum providing?

We are offering a 1 week intensive acceleration program where startups will be trained on the following topics:

  • Effective pitching
  • Customer development
  • Product development
  • Legal and accounting knowledge
  • Effective communication to the target market
  • Financing and connections to later stage VC's
  • Access to a well equipped co-working space  

Who will be providing these trainings?

We have a team of world class mentors with relevant industry experience ready to share their wisdom.

What happens after this program?

As part of the deal, Deutsche Telekom will form a partnership with the startup where the product or service will add value to our existing line.  The startup will have access to our customer base of over 200 million world wide.  

Thank you very much for your time, any last comments?

Come to Krakow, we are looking for new ideas.  We will help you grow!

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