Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Top ten things I learned from a Report about the Polish Startup Ecosystem

Paul Chen

A couple of days ago, Startup Poland, a foundation organized by the major stakeholders of the Polish startup ecosystem, released a report based on the self reporting of startups in Poland. I asked Eliza Kruczkowska the CEO of the foundation the reason behind the report, she answered.

“It is the first of its kind. It is a complex report about startups in Poland. After few meetings with politicians and decision makers, I've discovered that there was no in-depth information about our sector. Even the community didn't know how many startups are in Poland, how big they are, which sectors are they specialising. I wanted to have some hard data, not just opinions. Therefore, our research was coupled with the creation of a startup database which has so far managed to gather information about a majority of the business entities – the first ‘census’ of the Polish startup population"
“The report comments on business models used by startups, mentions popular sources of capital and other financial resources, as well as presents companies’ level of employment and the scope of their export activity. I was personally surprised that nearly 60% of startups are financed by founders’ own resources using FFF.”
Here are the top ten things I learned about our startup ecosystem:

  1. There are over 2,400 startups in the Polish startup community. The number could be quite a bit higher because some startups might not have participated in the survey due to their own will or they simply didn’t know about the survey at all.
  2. Over half of the startups in Poland are located in just three cities, Krakow, Warsaw, and Poznan. Other popular locations include Wroclaw and the Tri-City region.
  3. A majority of startups fall into the B2B SaaS model.
  4. A majority of startups in Poland use their sales revenues and funding from investors to help their business grow. However, 59% of them used bootstrapped when developing and launching.
  5. There is still a lack of research and development in the startup community as only 1 out of 4 startups are in cooperation with scientists. Only 15% of startups were founded by scientists.
  6. When talking about diversity, Polish startups suffer the same as Silicon Valley. Just a little over ¼ of the startups can report a female among their team of founders.
  7. Most of the startups can say that their product or service is something innovative and new on the global scale. Some can even call their products distruptive.
  8. Among exporting startups, almost a half perform over 50% of their total sale abroad (diagram). For 60% of exporters, the main country of destination is Great Britain or the United States.Germany is also an important recipient.
  9. 6 % of Polish startups are able to value themselves over 20 Million PLN based on their ability to close their series A round of funding.
  10. Not enough startups are focusing on the 2 most pressing global issues which is life sciences and energy. They only account for 7% of the all of the Polish startups. Given the climate change problem, there are many problems to be solved.

A copy of the full report can be found here: Startup Poland – raport 2015 ENG

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