What is Poland Prize by Brinc?
A short intro to the program that allows foreign startups to start operations in Poland
The saying “hardware is hard” hasn’t come from nowhere.
Until now, Europe has been missing the necessary infrastructure and ecosystem to support hardware startups. Teams had to look to China or the USA to find funding and product development expertise, whilst European investors preferred to stick to their comfort zone of software, e-commerce and mobile apps — despite statistics showing an explosion of smart devices, increasing from 13 Billion units in 2016 to 30 Billion units by 2020.
But now, foreign founders of mid-stage hardware and IoT startups will have the chance to secure a place in the Poland Prize Accelerator, powered by Brinc. Over the course of 18 months, 18 startups will be selected to receive investment for zero equity, and access to product development services, including industrial design, prototyping as well as Brinc’s extensive hardware and business expertise. Startups for the first round of acceleration have already been selected for the first batch of the program (there will be 3 in total) starting soon.
“It’s no secret that Europe has pitiful resources for hardware founders; there’s a severe lack of funding and support in this space. But we’re changing that. We plan to dominate the IoT space across the CEE region.” — Director of Brinc Poland, Mateusz Sołtysiak
Poland Prize is a part of the Start in Poland program co-financed by The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), which creates conditions for the development of start-ups in Poland at every stage — from the incubation phase, through development, to foreign expansion. Poland Prize will give similar opportunities to the best startups from abroad.
Why is Poland an attractive place for starting hardware startups?
Poland has a rich heritage of great inventions and famous innovators. The country gave birth to lots of inventions that changed the world and are used everyday like, for instance, kerosene lamps, bulletproof vests, toothpaste, movie projectors, the Commodore 64, mine detectors, walkie-talkies or graphene!
Great scientific minds such as Marie Curie-Skłodowska, recently named the most influential woman to have ever lived on Earth by BBC, Ignacy Lukasiewicz, Jedrzej Sniadecki and Mikolaj Kopernik (known as Copernicus) among others, have been changing the course of the way we think and live for centuries.
This heritage not only justifies but strongly reinforces Poland as Brinc’s hub for expansion in Europe. The potential for startup development in Poznan, where Brinc Poland’s office is located, is significant. Poland is investing $10B in R&D between 2014 and 2020. The Polish Government has also helped to create more then 60 new seed VCs — so the chances to raise seed capital in Poland were never better. There are also countless PE funds, business angels and crowdfunding platforms actively investing in startups.
No other country in the European Union invests more into R&D and startups than Poland!
Mateusz Sołtysiak sees this as a great opportunity for mid-stage startups.
“Our program gives teams a unique chance to create dozens products that can prove their thesis. They will also finish the program with a market-ready ready MVP. The Accelerator will allow them to eliminate most risks that may deter investors from investing.” — Director of Brinc Poland, Mateusz Soltysiak
Worth mentioning is the fact that participants of the Poland Prize by Brinc program will spend up to 2 weeks in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, where they will learn about manufacturing to prepare for mass-production of their product and visit prominent local factories. Brinc secures the future for their startups by providing the opportunity to pitch to at least 5 leading Polish VCs to ensure further financing, and by creating a base for rapid prototyping in Poznan.
Poznań is Europe’s Shenzhen
Poland is on its way to become the prime technological HUB in Europe. The country has some of the best engineers in the world along with a developed startup ecosystem with 100+ R&D centers for the largest worldwide brands including Google Campus or Samsung R&D Institute in Warsaw. Ericsson has two R&D centers, there is Microsoft Innovation Centre in Poznań, Bosh, Siemens, Motorola, Siemens, Lufthansa, Alcatel and IBM all have or used to have its R&D and software development centers in Poland as well.
Poland’s productions & manufacturing contribute to ~30% of the GPD. Also 1 out of every 4 startups in Poland is focused on hardware with investors turing more and more to IoT.
Who are we?
Brinc is an ultra-hands-on hardware accelerator that supports entrepreneurs looking to unlock the potential of consumer electronics, SaaS and Big Data through connected solutions. We offer a comprehensive program tailored for hardware startups looking for speed, access and the know-how to build successful companies.
With Brinc, founders get access to resources in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) with a proven approach that de-risks and accelerates the product development process. The result is that Brinc startups get the best of both worlds: manufacturing in the PRD and access to global markets. Now Brinc is expanding to Poland to work with founders on their startups in this region of the world.
Brinc is one of the biggest global hardware accelerators in the world with programs being run in Hong Kong, Shenzen, Bahrain, Barcelona and recently Poland. Brinc plans to open up an office in India in the near future. Brinc’s portfolio consists of 43 companies. Since 2014 5,000+ companies have been reviewed, 1,400 applications have been vetted and 350 companies were selected to due diligence.
Want to know more about Poland Prize? Visit our website: brinc.pl