The most interesting startups from Poland 2014

This post is a dedication to all of the Polish teams, ideas and startups that you should be aware of in the the next period. 

Luka Sučić
Mar 31, 2014 · 9 min read

Since one of my tasks in hub:raum is to evaluate as much startups as possible and to identify the true innovators and disruptors we usually crunch quite a lot numbers, listen to a lot of pitches, read and discuss about this or that startup or a new technology. Every once in a while we stumble upon something amazing and we want to share it with everyone.

Our focus on telco related startups can prevent us from investing in some of them but that doesn't mean we should not support them any way we can. This post is a dedication to all of the Polish teams, ideas and startups that try to make the ground move and tremor, innovators, misfits and disruptors.

Estimote

Estimote beacon

Estimote was one of the first startups that recognized the future importance and usage of iBeacon and BLE. They started quite early and although today you have a lot of companies trying to do similar things, I believe that first movers like Estimote have a real chance to make it big. To cut to the chase their main product is an sensor based analytic and engagement platform. You read that right, real life analytic platform. How? By developing something called Estimote Beacon, small, low powered quite elegantly designed sensors that you can place anywhere in the physical world and use them to broadcast a message (just like in the Matrix).

The message can be picked up by the user and it will trigger an action of choice (welcoming message, coupons, last minute deals, navigation in huge malls … practical applications are virtually endless). Estimote raised 3.5 million $ by industry veterans like Andreessen Horowitz , Y Combinator, General Catalyst and more, so the future looks bright. Next time you are in a shopping mall look for Estimote beacons and enjoy the ride.


Kontakt.io

Believe it or not Poland has two iBeacon startups and they are both based in Krakow. Kontakt.io has a slightly different approach than Estimote but they have similar results. Kontaktio is trzing to venture outside of e-commerce and tackle the problem on a different level. They offer a vast variety of usage possibilities, like they say it would be impossible to list them all. The scale of usage is also quite interesting, you can build meaningful experiences by using just a couple of beacons or you can carpet bomb the whole city and make a grid network around them. The only limitation is the price ( you can buy packs from 3 to 1000, or select custom quantities). The simplest pack (no customisation, white and stock apps and CRM) will cost you 81$.

The possible practical applications of their solution are virtually endless and range from Indoor Mapping & Navigation, Shopping and payment but also Security & Geo-fencing, Tourism, Gaming, Healthcare, Elderly and Child care and other (too many to cover them all)

Intelclinic — NeuroON

Sleeping mask NeurON

You might say I have a weak spot when comes to hardware based startups but that's just because there are so many in Poland. I believe that the unique hardware/software expertise in Poland will show crucial in shaping of the startup footprint in Poland. Intelliclinic is no different, it is based on a theory of Polyphasic sleep — sleeping multiple times in 24 hour period as opposed to monophasic sleep we all do by default — sleeping once per 24 hrperiod. Intelclinic and their product Neuroon created quite a buzz on Kickstarter with a promise to solve a lot of problems for modern generation professionals — quality or lack of quality sleep. NeuroOn is the world’s first brainwave — monitoring SLEEP MASK that allows you to switch from monophasic to polyphasic sleep. How? By inducing deep sleep faster than you would usually do. That means you can sleep less and more efficiently. They raised just shy of half of a million dollars on Kickstarter and they are preparing for the launch in April. I personally cannot wait to see them in action because my sleeping time can only srink in the foreseeable future. There are so many practical applications of this technology if it proves effective, it is not impossible to imagine military, aviation or other critically human dependent industries to take a great deal of interest in this.

Cloud your car

Hardware based lightweight fleet management

Again simple display of how polish startups excel in both hardware and software. Unlike Dash and other similar solutions that connect to ODB ports Cloud your car is a hardware based solution that plugs in your cars cigarette lighter outlet and allows you to monitor and track your car/s in real time. The heart of the solution is their activity tracker with built in GPS, GSM and a set of accelerometers coupled with cloud solution that can be accessed via variety of applications. If you loose GSM connectivity it has built in memory storage to keep up to 10 days of your driving. The only downside of not using ODB connectivity is not being able to go into fine diagnostics and fuel consumption but it can give you deep insights in your driving style and efficiency. So, can you say fleet management for the masses?

Tail

Positively crazy guys from Krakow doing experiments on dogs. Before you alert the Greenpeace, PETA and ALF let me explain. They are building aan activity tracker that will help you take care of your four legged companions as much as you take care of yourself. The device will be mounted on the the dogs collar and it will monitor heart rate and overal activity just like Nike Fuelband or Jawbone does for you. But all this data will be utilised in a new way. You will get an expert trainer, nutricionis and a vetenerian in a form of an app.

They are working intensively with dog experts like trainers and veterinarians to create a knowledge base that will help you see if your dog is in a good condition or not. On top of that dog, like any other living being is has its good or bad days, depending on all the data, they hope to warn you if there is something seriously wrong with your dog *heart attach, what kind of genetic malformalities can affect your dog during his life etc). You will also get recommendations for your dog based on his breed, weight, age and keeping a journal about his “dog life”

By combining sensory data with knowledge and smart algorithms behind the curtain they can produce quite interesting results. And you know what this is just the first step, after dogs who knows? Cats, cows, sheeps , koalas, dolphins? Could your pet ☺

3D printing movement in Poland

Zortrax

When talking about 3D printing revolution we cannot miss Poland. Shoulder to shoulder these startups are trying to make a dent in the 3D printing universe, each of them in their own unique way. For example Zortrax raised 175.000 $ on Kickstarter and a couple of months later sold a massive order of 5000 3D printers to Dell. On top of that, they just started raising funds trough public bond issues (10.00 bonds worth 1000 PLN per bond).


Pirx

Pirx, another polish 3D startup on the other hand started from the different part of the chart, they believe they can provide access to cheap and and out of the box 3D printing experience to everyone. So they offer quite affordable printers and as far as we know all of their batches are sold out.


Materialination

And when talking about polish 3D printing community it would be not to mention the company that started and if not started then at least strongly boosted the whole polish 3D printer scene, they are of course Materialination, the largest polish community of people interested in 3D printing supporting and growing the community that spurred the likes of Pirx, Zortrax and Omni3D.

They have something called 10 commandments of Materialination so if you speak Polish i suggest you read them, its a stellar example on how to lead a community.


Any yes there are many many more startups and companies doing 3D printing in Poland. If you think some others are worth a mention, let me know ☺

Harimata

This one is quite interesting and groundbreaking startups in Poland. They claim that in the near future they will be able to diagnose and treat certain health conditions based on our everyday usage of the devices we use. Smartphones, tablets and computers, we use and interact with them in a way that is individual and specific to us.

So they believe there is a lot to learn about our current health state by watching how are we using our phones and tablets. The technology behind it seems to be a smart algorithm capable of detecting and quantifying symptoms. Add a dash of data mining and a pinch of machine learning you get individual behavioral patterns. Harimata believes that creating a database of patterns that are associated with certain conditions and illnesses and comparing them to real time usage of our devices we could diagnose those conditions much much earlier than before.

If they prove their hypothesis and make it to the mainstream we will reserve a special place in the human history for Harimata.

As a first step in beta they are focusing on early diagnostics of Autism in children and automated therapy progress measurement by embedding their code in games and applications used by children

Leia Display

Lazorz!

Leia Display produces a series of device(s) with a peculiar acronym — LDS. nothing to do with Huxley, Doors or hallucinogens as you might think but Leia Display System can make you feel you are indeed on Enterprise Holodek. It is a device that allows you to display images in mid air. So we are talking holograms, star trek holodek holograms. Ok not quite but we are getting there. They developed an unique technology that allows you to walk trough the image, touch it, interact with it and they are doing it by using streams of barely visible fog and lasers! To be honest there are similar technologies and solutions in the market but with what we have seen so far Leia is two steps in front of everyone else.


Gimme moar!

To do a summary in the end, I will try to do this regularly. Poland but also other countries in Europe that i am traveling are full of hidden gems like this. So as you see, there is quite a startup movement in Poland and especially in Krakow. Want to know more? Use #OMGKRK hashtag to see for yourself.

So stay tuned for robotics from Romania, supercharged electric cars from Croatia, green energy startups from Ukraine but also more startups from Poland.

You can consider startups here to be ”recommended by hub:raum” and believe me there will be more of them

Thanks to Filip Dębowski

    Luka Sučić

    Written by

    Entrepreneur by vocation.Father of seven?geek? pirate? Who knows? previously investment manager @hubraumkrakow MD @hub385 , now running programs for @aeventures

    Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
    Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
    Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade