Last chance for Poland to speak on behalf of startups

14 czerwca 2016

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Poland needs a strategy to attract tech talents – advocates Startup Poland in a new publication „Visa Policy for Startups” which analyzes global visa programs for startups and foreign entrepreneurs. We are lagging behind in providing both an easy path for Polish entrepreneurs to hire non-EU specialists, and in encouraging foreign startups to locate their businesses in Poland. Europe is facing a decrease in the supply of tech talents, and Polish inertia on this front is proving to be a key barrier of entrepreneurial growth in this country.

An excessive demand for software developers and tech specialists has been experienced not only in Poland but also in the Western hemisphere. Over the next few years, the talent deficit will deepen even further. The most visible global reaction to this prognosis is a country-specific emergence of various incentives attracting and supporting foreign tech entrepreneurs founding innovative companies in Europe as well as globally.

It takes us a couple of months to recruit someone who could take up a specialist position related to software development – confirms Borys Musielak from Samba TV –  We receive applications from Ukraine, Turkey, Brazil, India or Sri Lanka. Unfortunately we cannot invest our time investigating each and every administrative procedure to employ a foreigner from a non-EU country. A Polish unified visa policy would take this burden off us and, primarily, help us grow.

According to the European Startup Monitor in Poland 95.4% employees and 94.9% startup founders are Polish natives. This is a very high ratio compared to the rest of the EU (12% of founders and 32% of employees are non-natives).

Looking at the data, we can easily conclude that cultural pluralism boosts innovation potential and is a productivity vehicle – European startup capitals such as London and Berlin are centres that attract the highest ratio of international employees. In 2015 France launched French Tech Ticket, an incubation program, with the purpose of attracting foreign entrepreneurs so that they start their companies in Paris – explains Eliza Kruczkowska, CEO of Startup Poland.

There is no shortage of specialists willing to work in this country. We see an increased interest from Ukrainian engineers in coming and working in Poland. The first IT projects they create are SaaS-based, cyber security and life science solutions. We have identified groups of engineers from Ukraine who wish to work in Poland – what we need now is a one-stop-shop legislation tailored to hiring them with ease – adds Maciej Sadowski, CEO of Startup Hub Poland, an organization working on attracting hi-tech projects to Poland.

Over the last 5 years, 10 visa programs for entrepreneurs have been implemented globally, and 4 countries have announced plans to create a visa for startups in 2017. Some countries, offer higher grants in incubation programs for its citizens who are graduates of the best universities of the world. Every six months, the French government welcomes 50 startups, offering fast-tracked visa process, and up to €25,000 for each team member. These are country-specific answers to the European Commission’s analysis which predicts the shortage of 800,000 ICT employees in 2020  – says Magdalena Beauchamp, Head of EU Policy and Research at Startup Poland.

Startup Poland has recognized the need and analyzed 16 entrepreneur visa policies introduced globally to facilitate access to the talent that economies and local companies need to grow. Download the Startup Poland Report: Visa Policies for Startups, an overview of the major entrepreneur visas across the world. With this publication we are initiating a national debate on Polish strategy for attracting entrepreneurial talent.

Download the report in English: „Visa Policy for Startups”.

Download the report in Polish: „Polityki wizowe dla startupów”.

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