A YEAR OF GLOBAL INSPIRATION – the STARTER in Gdansk is 4 years old now

Dodano: Kwi 18 2016 Autor: Starter

365 days, over 150 events and 10,000 guests – this sums up the fourth year of Gdańsk Business Incubator STARTER. Ending last January, that year was, as usual, one of intense activity. Throughout that time, besides well-known business development projects, new initiatives emerged from the innovative tissue of the city.


Success rockets

The year 2015 was a time of impressive achievements for STARTER companies. Its award-winning Everytap application, which has already gone viral in Tricity, is now taking the whole country by storm. And not only that. The company expanded globally by making its way into far-off Guatemala, as well as gained another investor – TVN Ventures, which bought 40% of the company shares.

Recognition was also quick in coming for Starter Rocket, one of Poland’s few acceleration programs trying to bring start-ups in contact with world-class experts and help them gain expertise. Dr. Poket, who made it to the first edition finals, qualified into Plug and Play Technology Center – one of the world’s first accelerators, based in the Silicon Valley. Another of the project finalists StructView, which has recently expanded into Scandinavian markets, also secured a nomination for the prestigious “Storms of Pomerania 2015 Awards” to compete for the “Young Company of the Year.” The odds are in favor of startups in the present round of Starter Rocket, such as HospiCare which produces applications for families and doctors working with hospice inmates. This year, the finalists of the program will get a chance to stage a presentation in infoShare Startup Zone organized by STARTER and infoShare Foundation. The event will also feature Startup Expo fairs as well as Start-up Contest, Eastern and Central Europe’s largest contest for innovative enterprise. This year, it will host close to 160 companies from 20 countries and 5 continents. Projects such as Starter Rocket and infoShare are part of STARTER-UP – a range of STARTER activities to support developing young companies.

That’s not all, though. The young businesses supported by STARTER are going from strength to strength. In 2015, the 13th edition of ‚Go Creative. Get set for business,’ a project financed by the city of Gdańsk, hosted a record 107 authors of creative ideas. With STARTUP experts and the city of Gdańsk providing expert support and funding to launch companies into independent business, the participants of the contest have set up their own companies, which are now thriving. Kamila Chyła, who took part in last year’s edition of the contest, has set up IKIMASA company. She helps women develop their ideas by organizing workshops and blogging. Małgorzata Wasik, a member of ”Go Creative” in 2014, has opened the Emwudesign agency designing clothes for numerous fashion shows.

Initiatives such as Creative Morning, Social Media Show or the World’s Enterprise Day, have found their permanent spot on Tricity’s business map, attracting 2,700 people to STARTER. These, along with “Go Creative. Get set for business,” are part of the STARTER GO project group aiming to helps establish contacts and start a business in Gdańsk.


A breath of innovation

The year 2015 was also a time of new initiatives with considerable impact on the local community. In cooperation with Alfabeat company, STARTER created Clipster located in the Gdańsk district of Wrzeszcz, probably the only place in Europe which combines co-working with a residential area as well as provides a wide range of mentors for personal and company development in an enterprise-friendly Gdańsk. Also, in the summer period, Clipster will open for digital nomads, or people wishing to run companies as they travel from one interesting place to around the world.

The incubator building has also gained a new face. The co-working section, which lies at the heart of STARTER, has been renewed to bring together freelancers and creative individuals. This room makes networking and creativity easier than ever. The building has also been fitted out with a non-public daycare called ”Little Harvard” for the youngest innovators. All in all, over 450 different companies and freelancers have used the offices, co-working area and virtual rooms. As new companies appear in STARTER, the incubator grew to contain 100 workplaces only last year.

”STARTER is where we’d like to light up the spark of enterprise”, says Małgorzata Jasnoch, STARTER’S CEO, ”We are focusing on efforts addressed to people of all ages. We are creating programs not only for startups but also for those wishing to become businesspeople. We are not forgetting about others, I mean, students who can learn to develop the right mentality for business. They will enter the start-up scene in the future.”


Pursuing business

Buying lockers for middle-school kids or a student-designed application which helps with homework – these are just a few items off the top of the extensive STARTER PLAY portfolio known as ”Lessons in Enterprise”. The lessons, created in cooperation with the city of Gdańsk, propose game-based solutions to give students the motivation to study. Last year, almost 320 youngsters took part in the program. Also, the students were taught practical knowledge through meetings with entrepreneurs as part of the ”In Business” Project. The same event last year brought 1,700 students from Gdansk primary and high schools. But students are not the only ones to benefit from STARTER projects. The incubator provides training and the opportunity to interact with educators. EDU Generator – a series of inspiring meetings on modern educational solutions – was visited by 420 people this year.

In cooperation with Gdańsk, STARTER organized the 1st edition of the international BeZee education conference which gathered over 300 teachers from all across Poland as well as a number of keynote speakers, including Peter Vesterback (the author of the Angry Birds game). The participants were shown the extent of opportunities provided by new technologies of teaching. Also, they used knowledge gained through experience in the especially popular social media zone. It was there that educators posted the first tweets and tried out snapchat.

Another event was the AnalyticsConf conference organized by Microsoft and STARTER, hosting 150 IT specialists from all over Poland. This was also the first time when STARTER featured Alfa School co-created with SpeedUp Groups and Dentons. This event allowed scientists to meet with investors to establish business contacts and advance their business skills. These kinds of initiatives enable STARTER to support specialist groups such as scientists, who are in need of business assistance and expertise on networking and investor relations.

Keep it up!

”This year’s STARTER projects benefited over 10,000 people. A further 6,000 people took part in the events organized by our partners and clients in the conference center.” This proves that STARTER is an important spot on the map of European innovation. We never cease to expand our client and contractor base to engage even more innovators locally and internationally,” stresses Małgorzata Jasnoch.


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