Thursday, August 27, 2015

Goldman Sachs to launch technology center in Poland

Paul Chen




For several months, there was heavy recruitment for specialists for more than 20 tech specialists in the job ads.  As a result of strategic decisions, the bank decided to enlarge the scale of its operations in Warsaw - said Sisani Adib, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs region of Central and Eastern Europe. - 

These offices that will ultimately employ several hundred workers which will be implemented in stages over three years. Most employees will be in the department of technology and operations - added Sisani.

According to our information, that Goldman wants to hire at least 200 people, but probably not more than 500.



The current head of Goldman's offices in Warsaw Artur Tomala will continue to lead the existing team of investment bankers. The enlarged department of technology and operations and will have a new boss.

The bank's technology department develops its systems, including those supporting key areas of its business, eg. automated market trading and risk management. Department of operations in its turn provides support for Goldman's services in banking, brokering, trading and asset management.

Financial Services in Poland




By expanding its Warsaw office, Goldman Sachs is following in the footsteps of many other financial institutions, who launched its service centers in Poland.

In 2007, State Street opened an office in Krakow for accounting services for investment funds. At the moment they employ over 2 thousand. people. At the end of July, they announced that next year they will open another office in Gdansk. They will likely employ a thousand finance specialists there.

BPOs in the financial sector are becoming increasingly important in the Polish business services industry. ABSL estimates that the banking services, insurance and investment is already 13 percent of the workforce. 

The whole industry is already employing 150 thousand. people. This means that over the past several months, investors have created another 22 thousand high-quality jobs. Since the beginning of 2014, as many as 60 new centers have been established in the country.




The service sector has become the largest employer for young and educated residents of large cities. According to ABSL, centers with foreign capital employ over 33 thousand people in Krakow, over 21 thous. in Wrocław,  and more than 12 thousand employees in Gdansk and Lodz. Cities receive not only jobs, but also the tax revenues and the influx of expertise.

Business services industry also stimulates the development of academic centers and provide contracts for local vendors.

Among 150 thousand. workers in Poland, the largest group consists of IT professionals. These types of services are provided by one in three people employed on the market. In second place are accountants and financial specialists, who constitute 22 percent.  Nine out of ten centers supports clients from Western Europe and 45 percent from North America.




Employees of service centers located in Poland are employed by Fortune 500's largest corporations. Among them are Shell, Samsung, GE, HP, Citigroup, P & G, Sony, Google, Intel and Cisco. Among the investors who from the beginning of 2014, decided to open their centers in Poland are General Motors, FedEx, Mars,Toyota, and UPS.

The main reasons for the growing interest in developing business service centers in Poland are: relatively low cost, qualified staff, including managers middle and senior managers, as well as logistically convenient location. Prospects for the development of this industry are also positive. As a country, we are building a sustainable competitive advantage and specialization in this area, which should encourage more investors to consider Poland as a business location.

Thank you for reading another one of my posts done just for you!  If you liked what you read please share it by using one of the buttons up top and check out other posts in this blog.  I don’t want you to miss out on future posts so please follow me on Twitter @Eurodude23.  If you haven’t done it already, please like my Facebook fan page by clicking here!  And if you like the content you have read, and are looking for a content writer for your team please go to www.contentfarm.org for details. See you next time!

The information from this post is from a translation based on an article found on rp.pl.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A survey to voice your concerns as an European Startup


The German Startups Association is currently initiating the European Startup Monitor, a European benchmark on startups to promote transparency for the European startup environment to be published in 2016. The survey is now available to all founders and c-level employees of European & Israeli startups. At the end of the survey you will have the chance to win an exhibition stand at CeBIT for one full week to represent your startup, one of two tickets to Pioneers Festival Vienna and one of five tickets to Startup Camp Berlin, including flights and accommodation (for Berlin). 

The goals of the project are to understand European founders as well as to identify and compare country specific and common challenges that the startup ecosystems face within Europe. The study can further be a way to foster communication between European entrepreneurs.

The study is initiated by the German Startups Association and conducted with engagement and support of European & Israeli associations such as the European Young Innovators Forum and academic partners such as the Berlin School of Economics and Law. All countries are supposed to be represented by a national academic Chair for Entrepreneurship and national associations. For this, one Chair for Entrepreneurship per country will be selected. The data for the study is generated by national startup associations and network partners, using their well established networks to circulate the online survey within the national startup ecosystem to create meaningful data. The study aims to be published starting in 2016 on an annual basis.



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Google Campus in Warsaw Welcomes their new Boss

Mary Grove, Director, Google for Entrepreneurs

Construction is in full swing on Campus Warsaw, our space for Polish entrepreneurs. As we prepare Campus for launch, we've been designing the space (in the historic Centrum Praskie Koneser), planning innovative programs, and hiring a strong local team. We’re almost ready to open our doors and would like to introduce you to an exceptional entrepreneur, the newest member of the Google Poland team, and the Head of Campus Warsaw, Rafal Plutecki.

Rafal knows all aspects of the startup ecosystem intimately- he has worked in nearly every capacity of the entrepreneur’s journey. He was the successful founder and CEO of Internet Technologies, a Polish ISP acquired by GTS in 2000, served as the Managing Partner of Innofund, an early-stage and seed venture fund, and has been an active angel investor. This week, I sat down with Rafal to learn a bit more about him and get his perspective on the startup ecosystem.



Where did you grow up?

I was born in a port-city of Szczecin and grew up in Warsaw. My father travelled around the world on commercial ships before I was born, and I think I liked his stories so much, that later decided to study and live in Germany, France, and the United States.

How did you get involved in the startup community in Poland?

I was studying at the University of Delaware in 1993 when I got my first dial-up email account from America Online. I was fascinated by the unlimited possibilities the Internet could offer and decided instantly that would be my future. Upon returning to Poland I founded Internet Technologies, one of the first Internet Service Providers, and successfully sold the company to GTS (now a part of T-Mobile). Since then I have evolved to be a mentor, angel investor, and manager for several startups. I am looking forward to continue to give back to the community that supported me.


What do you think makes the Polish startup community unique?

Poland has a great mix of talent, aspirations, and funding. We have always enjoyed a high level of engineering education and our programmers frequently win coding competitions. There are a growing number of startups that successfully operate internationally like Livechat, Brainly, Estimote, and City Interactive- we want to create a community that builds more of these great companies at Campus.

What can the local community expect from your first month at Campus?

We have tons of things in store for the community. We’ll be bringing some of the best programs from across our global network like our Campus for Moms program, Campus Exchange, Industry Connect, Mentoring, as well as innovative events and opportunities to help founders build strong international businesses. I’m excited to hear from the community how Campus can serve them.


What do you do when you’re not working?

I enjoy biking, kayaking, climbing, culinary trips, and traveling, especially in Africa and Asia.

Welcome aboard, Rafal!

Thank you for reading another one of my posts done just for you!  If you liked what you read please share it by using one of the buttons up top and check out other posts in this blog.  I don’t want you to miss out on future posts so please follow me on Twitter @Eurodude23.  If you haven’t done it already, please like my Facebook fan page by clicking here!  And if you like the content you have read, and are looking for a content writer for your team please go to www.contentfarm.org for details. See you next time!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Why Adblocking software is killing Ad revenue in Poland

Paul Chen



There have been many articles in different publications about ad-blocking software and extensions. These software are killing revenue streams for advertisers as well as sites like Facebook and Google. Part of the reason that makes Google and Facebook so valuable is that fact that they have a broad reach. As a result, many businesses would like to use this reach to advertise their products and services. So you advertise on websites to get more customers.

However, in the past there were pay per click, then there is pay per view. You have pop-ups and banners as well as other hidden ways to get info about users. The Ad-tech is a very complicated game and the variations of ways to monetize it is mind boggling.



Then steps in the ad-blockers. With adverts that track your moves and capitalizing on your clicks and covering up valuable content, viewers can become frustrated. As a result, ad-blockers takes away this pain point. However, it takes money away from the publishing websites. Although adblocking is used by a small percent of internet users at around 181 million, but it will cost publishers close to $22 billion. That is huge. Many of those articles have pointed at Poland for the penetration of ad-blocking software and extensions into the internet market. In Poland over 35% of internet users have installed ad-blocking software. And the trend is showing a steady positive slope.  So why has Poland been so rampant with the installation of ad-blocking software?



In the past, adverts on popular Polish websites were out of control. Website visitors were overwhelmed by tons of pop-ups and sliders. And every white space on the website were just painted with adverts. It was just annoying. These websites have calmed down with their adverts and now the websites looks at least respectable. Some of the ad-blocking were used to counter the superfluous use of pop-ups and sliders.



Between 2007 and 2012 amount of ad spending went from 180K Euros to 520k Euros. One of the most popular ways the Poles use internet is for streaming music and video. Video is very popular in Poland. Between 2007 to 2012 the number of streaming video users went from 1.4 million to 14.6 million which represents a 1,000 percent rise. Poles are big fans of international hits like Mad Men, Sherlock, and Game of Thrones. There aren’t many quality streaming services like Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix on the Polish market. So where do they go, the illegal streaming sites. And like your favorite free porn site, they are also filled with trackers and pop-ups as well as ads that hide the window closing (X). As a result, the ad-blockers are very useful here. However, as in many wars, there are innocent victims. People tend to keep their ad-blockers running so innocent websites like Google and other publishers become casualties in this ad-war. This would be a good argument for services like Amazon and Netflix to get onto the Polish market.



As with other markets in the world, pirating content has cost the music and movie industry billions of dollars. The CEE region is no different. People in countries like Poland and Czech Republic pretty much know that the way you get music and movies online is through pirating. In fact back in 2012 there were massive anti-ACTA and anti-SOPA protestsin Poland. That said, there are still lots of users who get their content the legal way. Music streaming is also very popular and on the rise. According to early 2014 numbers legal streaming services recorded a 61 percent year-on-year increase of subscriptions in that period. In terms of value, sales through streaming grew by 61.3 percent and amounted to 6.8 million zloty (1.6 million euro). Another growing segment was advertising on music sites, which amounted to 8.5 million zloty (2 million euro) in H1 2014, 21.7 percent more than a year before. However, unlike video, graphic and text based content, you have to sit through the adverts on these sites, unless you can somehow “Tivo” these commercials.

Thank you for reading another one of my posts done just for you!  If you liked what you read please share it by using one of the buttons up top and check out other posts in this blog.  I don’t want you to miss out on future posts so please follow me on Twitter @Eurodude23.  If you haven’t done it already, please like my Facebook fan page by clicking here!  And if you like the content you have read, and are looking for a content writer for your team please go to www.contentfarm.org for details. See you next time!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Poland, land of ‘IT’ girls, home of 'she-geeks'

Natali Lekka



More than 40% of Generation Yers intend to set up a company within the next three years, the result of a rigid and suffocating marketplace that has rendered 14% of Poles unemployed. And it doesn’t stop there. Within the staggering youth unemployment rate (26%), the numbers are a lot more unforgiving (30%) for young women under 25

With almost one out of three young women out of work, there have been several initiatives to promote female entrepreneurship at a young age, with special focus being given to a traditionally male-dominated field: technology.



One such initiative is Geek Girls Carrots (GGC), a community for women that aims to bring together female app architects, IT managers, developers, designers and anyone with an XX chromosome who fits the description of the term ‘geek’ and loves all things technology. ‘Geeks and long-lasting coding are usually associated with pizza and junk food,’ says Kamila Sidor, the heart and soul of the initiative. ‘With carrots we wanted to make sure our community was associated with a healthy lifestyle.’

Polish ‘girl power’ in technology


Sidor discovered the need to create Geek Girls Carrots when she co-organised the first Startup Weekend in Poland in May 2011, when she was working for a venture capital company. ‘Some 120 people showed up, out of whom only ten were women,' she explains. 'At this point, I knew I had to do something about women. We have some very good technological schools in Poland, so where were they all?’ Kamila paired up withMagdalena Wójcik, who worked for a blog called Geek Girls. The first GGC meeting took place just two months later. ‘Today, we hold meetings in eight Polish cities,’ adds Sidor.

During the 17th Geek Girls Carrots meeting in Warsaw, held in a super fancy CoLab workspace near Warsaw university of technology, Karolina Wiercigroch is talking about her love for food, food blogging and her recent appointment as community manager for Yelp in Warsaw. That’s the kind of woman Kamila Sidor looks out for: ‘We always try to invite inspirational female speakers to talk about their successful tech stories to motivate our audience to run their own projects,’ she says. In May, the group will be organising their second Django Carrots workshop, a three-day workshop which aims to teach participants how to code a quiz in django and integrate it with Facebook.


Coding business

Klementyna Giezynska has not missed a GGC meeting since she first attended last summer. ‘I come here to network,’ says the former medievalist, who now runs her own private management company, in a flawless American accent. ‘There are so many young women with brilliant ideas. GGC is the perfect place to meet the right people, put teams together and promote start-ups.’ 

Kamila Sidor explains how Baby Carrott, an app that recommends recipes to first-time parents, came to life: ‘It is just one result of the women who come here to find jobs, make long-lasting friendships, or build their own working teams. In Warsaw, such meet-ups may not be a rare thing but in smaller Polish cities, GGC is the only IT meet-up available, so much so that even men like to attend.’ Geek Girls Carrots is also working on a number of exciting projects that could take it outside Poland. Kamila Stępniowska, one of the GGC organisers, visited Japan last month and the team is now in discussions to organise similar events in Tokyo.



In the past few years, more and more young Polish women have opted for an IT career, rather than a traditional female career as a teacher or stay-at-home mum. Ola Sitarskawas only fifteen when she launched her first company, Fashion Style. Recently listed as one of 100 women in tech in Europe, the 20-year-old likes to organise networking events for entrepreneurs and the best hackathons in Warsaw. She is also one of the main organizers for djangocon Europe 2013, which takes place in Warsaw between 15-17 May.Ola Jaroszkiewicz is another woman who made headlines for co-winning first place at the Polish startup awards 2012 with Fun In Design. The website allows Polish fashionistas to create their own line of dream shoes, choosing from an assortment of over 200 shoe models and 100 materials. 

Country-wide trend

Lukasz Haluch is co-founder of Brainly, which won 'best startup of the year' at the Polish startup awards 2013. Over a pollo and gorgonzola salad in an Italian restaurant, Haluch explains that he set up office in Krakow, since ‘it has more IT graduates than Warsaw.’ Brainly is a group of educational social networks for students, which allows its users to study, exchange experience and knowledge, as well as meet new people.


The first seeds were planted in 2009; today, Brainly reaches out to 8.5 million unique users in over seventeen countries, through its seven educational social websites. ‘We have partnered up with educators to show it’s possible for young people to explore their talents on the internet. Redefining education is our main goal.’ Brainly, which collaborates with Google Poland, organised Code: Girls 2012, a contest aimed to encourage middle and high school girls to try their hand at coding. Anna Szybalska, a 17-year-old who came second in the competition, was offered an internship with Brainly.



Ela Sadel, a marketing specialist for Brainly, fell in love with coding during a three-day hospital stint. ‘I had to do something during those days to not go crazy,’ she remembers. ‘I went onto codeacademy.com and started coding. I told our human resources specialist how awesome it was and she loved it too. We both applied for the rails girls workshop in Krakow and they accepted us.’ As Haluch says, ‘Success only comes if you can find where your true talents lie.’

*According to a recent survey by the Polish agency for enterprise development (PARP)

Thank you for reading another one of my posts done just for you!  If you liked what you read please share it by using one of the buttons up top and check out other posts in this blog.  I don’t want you to miss out on future posts so please follow me on Twitter @Eurodude23.  If you haven’t done it already, please like my Facebook fan page by clicking here!  And if you like the content you have read, and are looking for a content writer for your team please go to www.contentfarm.org for details. See you next time!

This is a repost of an article that appeared on http://www.cafebabel.co.uk/ on May 16, 2013

TechStars descends upon Krakow

Paul Chen

With a mentorship list that included Brad Feld of Foundry Group, Fred Wilson of Union Ventures and Dick Costolo, ex-CEO of Twitter,Techstars is a giant among global startup accelerators. They just launched a program in Berlin earlier this summer. The managing director of Techstars Berlin, Jens Lapinski, paid Krakow a visit at the invitation of local start-ups. He was hosted by coworking space COLAB. He helped out by providing a whole day of mentoring and an evening of pitching and networking


“Because we had heard so many great things about the Krakow start-up community, we were very happy to come here and take a look on the invite of some of the local talents. Based on my day of mentoring some of the start-ups, I was not disappointed. There are some really great talents here. We at TechStars are happy to begin a relationship with the Krakow start-up community.” - That was one of the first things that Jens Lapinski, managing director of TechStars Berlin, told me when I talked to him before the pitching event at COLAB.
Thank you for reading another one of my posts done just for you!  If you liked what you read please share it by using one of the buttons up top and check out other posts in this blog.  I don’t want you to miss out on future posts so please follow me on Twitter @Eurodude23.  If you haven’t done it already, please like my Facebook fan page by clicking here!  And if you like the content you have read, and are looking for a content writer for your team please go to www.contentfarm.org for details. See you next time!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Target Launches Beacon Test In 50 Stores, Will Expand Nationwide Later This Year

Sarah Perez



Target, the second largest general merchandise retailer in the U.S., announced this morning that it will start testing beacon technology in 50 of its stores nationwide. With beacon technology, the company says it will be able to send information about deals as well as recommendations directly to consumers’ smartphones, provided they opt in to receive these alerts.
Initially, the beacon technology will work with those users who have the latest version of the Target iPhone app installed on their phones and have Bluetooth turned on.
The app will then prompt customers to “opt in” to share their location with the retailer while in the store, and allow it to send push notifications to their phones. The company says that it will limit these notifications, so as not to overwhelm customers with alerts. There will only be two push notifications sent per shopping trip.
The recommendations, meanwhile, may appear both as push alerts as well as in-app updates on the Target app’s “Target Run” page, which is designed like a social media news feed offering deals, product picks, top-pinned items from Pinterest, and more.
Target is initially testing the technology in 50 stores, in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. The stores were chosen because they represented a good cross-section of stores in various markets, Target tells us. It will then continue to adapt and enhance the service based on consumer feedback and other data, and roll it out “broadly” to other stores later in the year, Target says.
We’re hearing that will be a nationwide roll-out by Christmas.
Android support is also in the works.

A number of businesses in the retail industry have already begun to test beacon technology, which uses Bluetooth to connect with shoppers’ phones in close proximity, in their locations. For example, real estate developer Simon said last fall it would outfit nearly 240 malls and shopping centers with beacons. Macy’s in September also rolled out a sizable beacon installation involving 4,000 devices. GameStop said it would pilotboth geo-fencing and beacons in 36 stores in Q2, and Lord & Taylor stores rolled out beacons last year.
Beacons allow retailers the opportunity for targeted marketing, waking up the apps installed on consumers’ phones in order to send them personalized messages. Consumers, so far, have been somewhat accepting of the technology, likely because they’re in better control of it – they can choose whether to opt in, or can simply switch off their Bluetooth to disable the alerts.
According to a November 2014 study by marketing platform provider Swirl, 73 percent of consumers even indicated that beacon campaigns increased the likelihood of purchase during their visit.

In Target’s case, the company says that the technology will be used not only to trigger deal alerts like new offers from Cartwheel (its mobile couponing service), but also provide information and recommendations to shoppers, like an alert about what nearby apparel items are trending on Pinterest, for instance.
In a future release, Target will introduce other beacon-powered features, like the ability to re-sort your shopping list as you move through the store – similar to how mapping applications re-route you when you take a different direction. Another upcoming feature will allow shoppers to request help from Target staff right from their phones.
Target says that it does collect data from the mobile app to understand shopping trends and preferences, but the beacon data is specific to in-store location and will be used to enhance the shopping experience.
While there are several beacon hardware providers on the market today, including Estimote, BlueCats, Bluesense, Gimbal by Qualcomm, Gelo and others, TechCrunch understands that Target is working with Estimote for its installations. Target wouldn’t confirm this, saying it’s working with a “handful” of vendors. Technically, that’s true, because the full rollout includes others, like Point Inside for the mapping, but Estimote is the hardware beacon provider.
Estimote also published its own blog post later on Wednesday about the state of the beacon market. Though it didn’t identify itself as the hardware provider for Target (it’s under NDA), it did reference Target’s new rollout as an example of how the beacon stack is now enterprise-ready.
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This is a repost of an article that appeared on techcrunch.com on August 6, 2015.

Kontakt.io Premiers: their Admin App for Android!


The long-awaited app is live! Our brand new Kontakt.io Admin App for Android enables you to easily update and manage your beacons—both iBeacons and Eddystones. Big kudos to our Android Development Team!
Once you test it out, please feel free to give us your feedback! Drop us a line at kontakt@kontakt.iowith any suggestions or notes you’d like us to know.
Thank you for reading another one of my posts done just for you!  If you liked what you read please share it by using one of the buttons up top and check out other posts in this blog.  I don’t want you to miss out on future posts so please follow me on Twitter @Eurodude23.  If you haven’t done it already, please like my Facebook fan page by clicking here!  And if you like the content you have read, and are looking for a content writer for your team please go to www.contentfarm.org for details. See you next time!
This is a repost of a blog post that appeared on Kontakt.io

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wroclaw may be the First Polish city to implement rentable municipal Electric Vehicles

Paul Chen



These days you will see bike rental racks placed strategically throughout the city of popular tourism destinations. However, the municipality of Wroclaw, a city in southwestern Poland has thought about something even more disruptive.

They are in the process of exploring the idea of having electric vehicles for hire inside the city. While this idea may carry high risks as most rental bikes get damaged and are vandalized. Some bicycles don’t even get returned. However, the city is hoping that this solution will keep the city center free from traffic congestion as well as keeping the city free from automotive pollution.

This is seen as a viable and economical solution for urban residents to do most of their short distance travel.



How will it work

A car could be kept in a small garage and your smart device could be used to unlock the door. Or you could have a user account card with RFID chip, much like the Oyster card in the London transport system, which will unlock the door and verify your identity and take care of the payment and billing. The driver could be billed per unit of travel like per minute or per kilometer. I am sure you may have to put down a hefty deposit or have a more detailed screening process before you are granted an account.

So you will just unplug the vehicle from the charging station and get into the car, then off you go!



Wow! So when?

The project is still in the exploratory phase. Wroclaw administrations are searching for suitable partners who will implement the project. A tender should be announced shortly.

Thank you for reading another one of my posts done just for you!  If you liked what you read please share it by using one of the buttons up top and check out other posts in this blog.  I don’t want you to miss out on future posts so please follow me on Twitter @Eurodude23.  If you haven’t done it already, please like my Facebook fan page by clicking here!  And if you like the content you have read, and are looking for a content writer for your team please go to www.contentfarm.org for details. See you next time!