Startup Pirates - a report from Poznan, Poland
We've written several times about the Startup Pirates movement that's underway all over the world. The Huge Thing accelerator in Poland recently helped organize a successful pirate event in Poznan. Thanks to Monika Synoradzka and Marcin Fejfer for sending us this first-hand view of how startup piracy works in the real world.
The Startup Pirates workshops program is getting momentum and entering new countries -- soon workshops will be hosted in Barcelona, Dublin, Rio de Janeiro and even Kampala in Uganda! The most recent event occurred in Poznan (one of Poland’s biggest cities) and finished just a few days ago. Poznan Pirates lasted eight days and involved several participants and more than fifteen mentors from Poland.
Startup Pirates was initiated in Portugal to empower young people and to show them that regardless of where they live, they can be architects of their own fortune. Pirates, with their energetic formula, evangelize about entrepreneurship and help aspiring entrepreneurs to understand what is important to be successful in business. The Polish edition was hosted in Poznan –a city located not far from Berlin that mixes western style with eastern energy. The event lasted eight days and consisted of plenty of workshops, team building, and working sessions focused on improving the business skills of participants and on validation of their business ideas. Essential for the event was an opportunity to learn and get meaningful advices from experienced mentors. “We’ve gathered several very successful business people from whole Poland and asked them to share their knowledge and experience with Pirates. As we’ve noticed, their down-to-earth approach and practical guidelines were much more useful for the participants than theories preached by people without understanding of the real business”, said Arkadiusz Hajduk from Huge Thing accelerator, one of the organizers of the event.
Poznan’s edition of Pirates embraced such topics as creativity, marketing, law, budgeting, taxes, business modeling, sales and building B2B relations. What’s more, during additional sessions Pirates could ask mentors about any interesting topics related with their projects. Participants seemed to be delighted with the idea. As said by Zuza Pogorzelska, one of the participants: “Startup Pirates is an amazing initiative! It’s an event that helps to meet new people, share ideas and inspire each other. A couple intensive days among other pirates rise spirits and motivate to work harder and smarter". She also added that "It is also great chance to review your project and challenge yourself with some constructive criticism. Sometimes it opens one’s eyes to the things and problems that were not considered before.”
During Startup Pirates in Poznan, teams worked on projects related to design, fashion and organization of events. Was it worthwhile to sweat blood off for the whole week? Tomasz Czaplinski from LMS Invest, one of the VC funds partnering with Pirates said: We could observe effects during presentations held by Pirates in the last day of the event. They were definitely different from what we had seen on day one. Generally, teams have taken their frantic ideas and reshaped them into more business-oriented and well thought out projects.” He added that the great involvement of the pirates, their passion and eagerness to seek innovative solutions makes him enthusiastic about the future of some of the projects.
by Monika Synoradzka & Marcin Fejfer of Huge Thing.
Photo credit: the Startup Pirates team.
HugeThing is a 6 months two-phase business acceleration program based in Poznan, Poland, for high potential teams with global ambitions.