Six Out of a Hundred – the Best Polish Start-ups Selected in the Start-up Challenge

Katowice, 12 May 2017 – The first day of the European Start-up Days at the Spodek Arena in Katowice was crowned by the announcement of the winners of the Start-up Challenge. Awards went to bold creators of innovative solutions in the fields of new technologies, electrical engineering, human resources and medicine. The best had a chance to present their start-ups before the audience of the largest business conference in Central Europe – the European Economic Congress (EEC).

“The European Economic Congress and the second edition of the Start-up Days are fantastic events that help young and mature businesses mingle together. The discussions between the 50 panellists and 300 invited start-ups demonstrate that you are doing a great job”, said Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice, addressing the winners of the Start-up Challenge.

The challenge was accepted by nearly 200 start-ups. Innovative projects were submitted in six sections: 1 – Industry 4.0. Robotics, automation, IT, new materials; 2 – Business & ICT. Management, analytics, and decision-making processes, HR; 3 – Tradition & modernity. Industry, energy, telecommunications, logistics; 4 – For humans. Biotechnology, medicine, ecology; 5 – Client & business. Commerce, customer experience, fintech; 6 – Lifestyle. Leisure industry, others.

“The chief purpose of the contest is to promote entrepreneurship and support creativity. Our assessment criteria included innovation, team skills and knowledge about the market and the competition”, said Małgorzata Bonikowska, President of THINKTANK and the Centre for International RElations, under whose intellectual auspices the contest was held.

Out of the 100 Polish start-ups presented in Scale-up Alley, the area of Katowice’s Spodek dedicated to business visionaries, the jury selected the six most interesting start-ups. The chosen ideas included: a drone-steering solution based on AI algorithms; a platform for optimising the recruitment of IT specialists; innovative software allowing to quickly design and optimise street-lighting plans; laparoscopic surgery training equipment; a B2B system for invoice sending; and a social media website for influencers.

“I stopped by the Spodek Arena today to have a look at the start-ups. I am quite impressed. Poland is undergoing an unbelievable transformation. We are still far from being a Silicon Valley, but start-ups are really worth the effort. We keep our fingers crossed for your success”, said Dariusz Żuk, CEO of Business Link Poland.

On 12 May, the winners presented their ideas before the audience of the European Economic Congress, the largest business event in Central Europe.


The winners of the Start-up Challenge:


Sky Tronic

Awarded in Category No. 1 – Industry 4.0. Robotics, automation, IT, new materials.

Sky Tronic is one of the first companies in the world to work on a drone steering technology that employs artificial intelligence. Flight control and stabilisation algorithms based on a fuzzy logic controller allow monitoring, evaluating and steering the drone in the same way as a human brain would. This makes steering unmanned aerial vehicles safer and more precise even in difficult and changeable field and weather conditions.



Awarded in Category No. 2 – Business & ICT. Management, analytics, and decision-making processes

The company has developed an innovative platform that streamlines the recruitment of IT specialists. Thanks to a new solution, staff of IT companies will no longer need to be involved in an often complex and time-consuming recruitment process – all the work will be done automatically.



Awarded in Category No. 3 – Tradition & modernity. Industry, energy, telecommunications, logistics.

Gradis has developed innovative software that makes it possible to quickly design and optimise street-lighting plans, allowing energy-savings to be increased by up to 15%. The team is working on dynamic solutions to control lighting in real time, which should help reduce spending even further. The solution relies on a synergy between science and unique knowledge and experience, as well as a practical, business-minded approach to success.



Awarded in Category No. 4 – For humans. Biotechnology, medicine, ecology.

Laparo is a company that specialises in the design and production of training equipment for the increasingly-popular laparoscopic surgery, including simulators with training analysis on physical objects, and in the future (for the first time in history), in virtual reality as well. Their tools will revolutionise the teaching of surgery.


Awarded in Category No. 5 – Client & business. Commerce, customer experience, fintech.

Tosend has developed a system for B2B invoice sending, which allows integration of the most popular invoicing systems, and automatically imports and exports invoices. The solution increases security, shortens the path (the invoice is sent directly to the accountant, with a preview for the entrepreneur) and allows the elimination of issues concerning their printing and storage.

Awarded in Category No. 6 – Lifestyle. Leisure industry, others., i.e. the Daily Dose of Beauty, is a “Facebook for influencers”. The community consists of 12,000 users, and hashtags such as #ddob, #ddobinsta and #ddobgirl have already been applied to more than 150,000 online images. The company was recognised for its innovative approach to customer communication; thanks to influencers, brands are able to build their strength and easily reach out to target groups.

European Start-up Days are a special event that accompanies the 9th European Economic Congress and provides young entrepreneurs with an opportunity to attract capital, organisational support and expertise, focus media attention, build contact networks and forge lasting relationships with mature businesses.

A special guest at the first day of European Start-up Days was Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission for the Energy Union. Together with Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament, former President of the European Parliament and Polish Prime Minister, Šefčovič visited the stands of all the start-ups showcased in Scale-up Alley.

Debates, talks and presentations held during the European Start-up Days were also attended, to name but a few, by Arvind Bali, CEO, Videocon, India; Maciej Balsewicz, CEO, bValue; Brunon Bartkiewicz, President of the Management Board, ING Bank Śląski; Jarosław Bator, Business Development Director, Skanska; Jacek Błoński, Member of the Board of Directors, Business Angels Europe, Managing Partner, ZMV Funds; Michał Ciemiński, Member of the Board, EBAN, CEO, Platinum Investors; Krzysztof Domarecki, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, SELENA FM; Guy Hilton, CMO, Start-Up Nation Central, Israel; Debbi Hoehn, Director of the New Technologies Department, Microsoft; Patrycja Klarecka, President of the Management Board, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development; Michał Kot, Industrial Sector Sales Director, Siemens; Eliza Kruczkowska, Director of Innovation and Development, Polish Development Fund; Julia Krysztofiak-Szopa, CEO, Startup Poland; Robert Ługowski, co-founder, CobinAngels, leader of Business Angels Polska; Jarosław Rogoża, Member of the Board, R&D Director, Synthos; Jacek Santorski, Polish psychologist, psychotherapist, editor and entrepreneur; Mariusz Turski, co-founder, AIP, Business Link, bValue; Wojciech Wolny, Chairman of the Board, EUVIC.



European Start-up Days | Knowledge – Inspiration – Cooperation | 11-12 May, Katowice, Spodek Arena

An accompanying event of the 9th European Economic Congress in Katowice (EEC – 11-12 May 2017)

European Start-up Days is a special event that accompanies the European Economic Congress in Katowice. Young entrepreneurs have two days (11-12 May) to present their projects to potential investors and business people present at the largest business event in Central Europe. Both in terms of content and formula, the event is a truly unique meeting of people interested in developing young, innovative, creative Polish entrepreneurship.

The innovative formula of the event will combine talks and interaction, elements of show and outside-the-box promotion of young Polish companies.

European Start-up Days are organised by Business Link Poland and Polska Przedsiębiorcza.


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