Google Campus Warsaw has opened in the Praga district of Warsaw, in a place where 118 years ago, the idea of the Polish “Koneser” distillery was born. The premises on Ząbkowska street are a new place on the map of Warsaw where entrepreneurs can build their network of contacts, learn and find inspiration for new business ideas: the most important activities in the development of a young company. Google Campus wants to be a space where favorable conditions contribute to the success of your business. They want to bring together the ecosystem in the region, allowing people to get to know each other at the right time and place. The plan is to measure entrepreneurs’ business activity with the amount of coffee they drink.
The Google Campus initiative was born three years ago and has already attracted 7,000 members across its locations in London, Madrid, Seoul, Tel Aviv and soon in São Paulo, creating 4,300 jobs around the world.
Rafał Plutecki, Campus Warsaw Director explained that with the community membership “you can have a desk in London, a mentor in Brazil, an advisor in Seoul and an investor in Tel Aviv”.
Google chose Warsaw for Campus’s next location as Poland has world-class software engineers and programmers, an extremely vibrant startup community, and a Google office, said Matt Brittin, Google President of EMEA Business & Operations. As a result, Campus will benefit from the direct support of Google office employees – six of them will become experts and will directly cooperate with entrepreneurs.
The Polish Minister of Development, Mateusz Morawiecki, who was among the opening ceremony’s guests, said that startups are the tissue of region’s development. However, in order to get together in Europe and create value for a wide variety of businesses, we have to act smartly.
Morawiecki noted that the companies emerging within Campus Warsaw and entering the global market as micro-multinationals, should be the embryo of global companies with a mission to reverse the process of brain drain, inhibiting the tendency to suck Polish talents.
As a result, the development minister pointed out that these companies will play a crucial part in the economy. He also stressed that “the way in which we will now use this opportunity for the ecosystem will be representative for the economic development of the next decade or two.”
Campus Warsaw is a space of 1600 m2 which was designed so as to meet all entrepreneur’s demands. There is a Campus Café at its heart where everything begins: an entrepreneur can meet a mentor, another entrepreneur or an investor.
Another important element for a startup is access to an accelerator that ensures an easy start for a company. In order to respond to this need, Warsaw Campus partnered with Krakow-based investment fund Innovation Nest.
The next piece in the jigsaw is a co-working space provided by London’s Tech Hub, which is more than an area with a desk and a fast Internet connection. It brings an authentic experience of meeting like-minded individuals who are eager to help each other and collaborate. Additionally, Google with its partners will unite and organize events for the general startup community. Tech Hub organizes a monthly Demo Day where companies can present their ideas, products or services and receive feedback. What is more, during an event Startup Funeral, Tech Hub will teach how to celebrate failure. Over 1,400 people of 35 nationalities have already applied for Warsaw Campus membership (25% female). All members will have 30 mentors and experts to their disposal.
Google Campus wants to bring together many diverse communities of entrepreneurs. The list of workshops includes such initiatives as Campus for Mums and Entrepreneurs 50+. On top of that, Campus is going to be a regional knowledge exchange hub that connects the startup community from neighbouring countries.
At the opening ceremony, Rafał Plutecki, Campus Director, inaugurated a series of workshops, Campus Exchange CEE, for companies from the region to learn how to globalize their business.
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