As the US obsesses over where the next Silicon Valley might emerge, other parts of the world are quickly building up speed as beacons of tech and startup innovation. While it may not currently be at the top of the list compared to European leaders such as the UK, France or Germany, Poland is shaping up to be a promising country for innovation and in 2015, Google opened Campus Warsaw with the aim of fostering innovation in the startup and developer communities in Central and Eastern Europe.
Since its opening, the campus has hosted more than 560 events and 9,000 members have joined the community. Due to its success, Google now has plans to move the campus to a larger building. Additionally, Google has announced three new programs for entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe, including Launchpad Start, Campus Warsaw’s Residency program, and Launchpad Accelerator.
Not only is Poland leading the way, but Central and Eastern Europe as a whole is shaping up to be an incredibly influential location for tech lovers and entrepreneurs. This week, the media incubator Espacio announced it has acquired the media publication 150sec, which is dedicated to startup and tech news in Central Eastern Europe (CEE).
The publication, which was founded in 2015 by Adrian Pica and Agata Kukwa, is the first community-focused website featuring startup, tech & events news in the CEE. Founders Pica and Kukwa are veteran entrepreneurs and leaders in Europe’s startup ecosystem. Pica, a Mentor at Startupbootcamp, is a Global Facilitator at Startup Weekend and is a Product Manager at Telenav. Kukwa, also a Global Facilitator at Startup Weekend, is the Communications Director at Saule Technologies.
“I had the opportunity to meet Adriaan when he was a Speaker at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna. I was incredibly impressed by his work and reputation. Upon speaking with the tech-community on leading entrepreneurial publications, one name kept coming up – and that name was 150sec. Speaking to Adrian’s partner Agata only reinforced my belief in 150sec and its company DNA,” said Espacio CEO Conrad Egusa. “My team’s goal is really to further the mission of Adrian and Agata’s in building the premier publication and platform for startups and entrepreneurs in Central Europe.” Egusa, a former VentureBeat writer and a Global Mentor at 500 Startups, founded Espacio with Eddie Arrieta with the aim to add value to both the media and PR industries.
Espacio has announced exciting upcoming plans for 150sec, including a series of startup events and a jobs and events platform. The team will be lead by Craig Corbett who will be serving as Chairman of 150sec and is in the process of adding to the editorial staff.
“Agata and I believe in the startups in Central Europe, and in the potential of entrepreneurs here,” said 150sec Founder Adrian Pica. “When we spoke to Conrad and talked about the investments he planned to make into the editorial team and into 150sec, we felt it provided an important opportunity for the CEE ecosystem and its media here.”
The CEE region has an enticing tech scene, which is accelerated by a strong backing from political leaders and world-class companies. Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo – amongst other leading figures in the CEE region – recently outlined his commitment to the region becoming a ‘centre of innovation’. CEE has already produced a number of global success stories – including Skype, Transferwise, Avast, AVG and Prezi. Slovakian Aeromobil is also based in the region, which is Silicon Valley’s rival for flying cars.
“We see a lot of interesting ideas and technology in the CEE region and this is reflected in the number of investors that are heading there”, added Egusa. “This interest, however, is not always reflected in the media coverage that these incredible startups receive. This is something that 150sec has been working to change – and that we will continue to work on here.”