Huge Thing Pre-accelerator

Last weekend we have started pre-accelerator – the third part of recruitment process for the Huge Thing. On Friday we welcomed 15 startups, which will take part in pre-accelerator by attending in  three weekend trainings.

During Hello Day, the teams had a chance to get to know each other, learn more about potential cooperation with Alior Bank, and also provided 3 minutes pitch to present their projects.



The pre-accelerator helps Huge Thing’s teams to understand better the startups and their needs and design  their individual path of development. It is also an opportunity to see how teams work at the workshops (pitching, business models, financial management and law).

We have chosen 15 teams to pre-accelerator; bankUP, BenchMarks, BillTech, Bmybit, bNesis, Coinect, Gleep, Higgs, KeystrokeDNA, KODA Bots, Lendguru, More Money, OpenBankIT, Positiverse and Predicty.AI. Listed projects are coming from Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Great Britain, Croatia and even Montenegro.



The choice was really difficult. We have received a lot of applications ( 80% of them were  FinTech projects and 42% foreign applications). This has convinced us that Poland is a power on Europe’s startup map.



From 15 selected teams we will invite 10 startups to 4th edition of Huge Thing acceleration program.

These will be teams that fit most in the framework of the program and which are most dedicated to the program and their projects. Selected startups will work intensively on their products  for  next  4 months  starting  from  June 5th.

Huge Thing is primarily focused on the individual development path, so in addition to the workshops, startups will take part in one-to-one sessions and meetings with team supervisor. During the program there will also be two journeys to London and Berlin. Abroad visits are about to  help the projects go global and meet with international investors.



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Blockchain & Bitcoin Coference Prague

Prague will host the largest conference devoted to cryptocurrencies and blockchain

On May 19, the capital of the Czech Republic will host Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Prague – the event dedicated to the development of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Guests will meet supporters of a decentralized economy, successful blockchain developers and entrepreneurs and enjoy the exhibition of equipment for the industry.

Prague is one of the most important bitcoin centers in Europe. The city has around a hundred places which receive bitcoins (including only bitcoins without fiat currencies). Employees in such places often receive salary in cryptocurrencies and that’s why they are interested in attracting more clients.

A bitcoin owner can have a lunch, stay in a hotel and pay for educational and domestic services in Prague. A number of shops will accept a bitcoin card alongside with a traditional currency.

Implementation of contactless chips which can also be used for bitcoin transactions is quite popular among citizens of the Czech Republic.

These and other issues will be discussed at the conference.

Topics include the development of cryptocurrencies, blockchain in Govtech, blockchain services in Fintech as well as legal issues. Participants will study existing projects – from the idea to the moment of entering the market and monetization.

The organizer is Smile-Expo Company famous for its successful blockchain conferences in Tallinn, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kyiv.

You can register and find details on the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Prague website.


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Conducting business activities in the Republic of Poland by foreigners


Because of the economical and geopolitical factors Poland has recently become an attractive place to take up a job or start an own business activity by citizens of the Eastern countries. In the context of Start-Up, it is worth mentioning, how a foreigner, who is living in the Republic of Poland, can start or continue a business activity or create a Start Up with other citizens of the Republic of Poland.

Generally, foreigners can conduct a business activity on the same conditions, as the citizens of the RP, if:

1. A foreigner is a citizen of one of the:

  • member states of the EU,
  •  member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – contracting parties to the European Economic Area Agreement,
  • a foreigner comes from country that is not a contracting party to the European Economic Area Agreement, but has right to use the freedom of establishment based on agreements concluded by this state with the European Union and its member states;


2. A foreigner comes from other countries than the above mentioned, but has one of the following permits:

  • permanent residence permit,
  • a long-term EU resident permit,
  • a temporary residence permit granted for the purpose of undertaking higher education or a temporary residence permit granted for the purpose of the family reunion, excluding the circumstances mentioned in section 1 item 1 letter a, d, Art. 186, section 1 item 3 and 4 Act on foreigners,
  • a temporary residence permit granted to a family member on the territory of the Republic of Poland or on this territory for the purpose of family reunion in accordance with Art. 159 section 3 and 4 Act on foreigners for some groups (with a permanent residence permit, resident permit, refugee status and supplementary protection),
  • refugee status,
  • supplementary protection,
  • residence permit due to humanitarian reasons and consent for tolerated stay
  • a temporary residence permit and is married to a Polish national residing in the Republic of Poland,
  • a temporary residence permit to conduct a business activity, which is granted to continue an already formed business activity based on the CEIDG (Central Registration and Information on Business) entry. This permit is specified in the Art. 142 Act on foreigners – it describes the conditions, which shall be fulfilled to get a temporary residence permit.



Foreigners, who do not belong to the above-mentioned groups, can also conduct a business activity in the Republic of Poland, however they are not permitted to conduct a business as a natural person entered into the CEIDG or as a personal company: registered company and partnership. Nevertheless, depending on the country of origin these issues are regulated by different agreements.

Foreigners – Start-Ups, who have a temporary residence permit and state of domicile in the Republic of Poland can develop own business within the acceleration programs (so called business incubator). During the “incubation” process, a foreigner becomes a member of a foundation through which he can conclude agreements, issue invoices and pay taxes. Because of the reduced costs and help with the formalities, such incubation is an attractive way to start own business by foreigners.

Every foreigner has a right to start and conduct a business activity in form of a limited partnership, limited joint-stock partnership, limited liability and joint stock company, as well as can join such companies and take up or buy shares or stocks, unless the international acts provide otherwise.

Commonly are set up partnerships in form of a limited liability company and because of that, further is described such legal frame of business activity. To start a commercial company, it is necessary to bring an application to the registry court and to register partnership in the National Court Register KRS.The limited liability company can be set up as follows:

1. on-line with a standard agreement available via ICT system (so-called S-24),

  • there is a special field for foreigners, who don’t have a PESEL (Polish Resident Identification Number) number,
  • The court fee for the entry amounts to 350 PLN.
  • The partnership can be formed without a notarial deed.
  • The company agreement is drawn up based on a form that can be modified only in a limited scope, in case there are many individual settlements, the partnership shall be registered in the traditional way.
    1. To form a partnership in the traditional way, it’s necessary to:
  • Conclude an agreement in a form of a notarial deed,
  • Submit documents in the National Court Register (hereinafter called as KRS) and pay a registry fee to the National Court Register, as well as amount of 100 PLN for the notice in the Court and Economic Monitor.


Foreigners don’t have to stay in Poland in order to hold shares in limited liability company or be a board member, however they don’t get a residence permit automatically.It must be pointed out that still the legal basis of residence in Poland is visa or residence permit.Nevertheless, joining a company or acquiring shares can be helpful in getting a temporary residence permit for the purpose of business activity in RP (Art. 147 Act on foreigners)

In order to get a temporary residence permit and conduct a business activity in form of a limited liability company, foreigner should be a shareholder or member of a management board, as well as submit the following documents, i.e. health insurance, source of the stable and regular income to cover the costs of own and family members’ care.

  • A foreigner – shareholder and member of the management board at the same time, is obliged to apply for the temporary residence permit to conduct a business activity and to get a work permit.
  • A foreigner, who is not a shareholder, but fulfils some functions in the management board shall apply for a uniform temporary residence and work permit.

Because of other premises and legislative process, a temporary residence permit to conduct a business activity should not be confused with a temporary residence and work permit.

Foreigners also can buy already formed limited liability companies. However, if a property or perpetual usufruct belong to company’s assets, foreigner shall first get a permit to acquire a property in Poland. The obligation to get a permit results from the law on acquisition of property by foreigners (law from 24. March 1920 journal of laws no. 31 item 178).

Foreigners can continue and create a business activity. Here limited is only business form, as well as form of getting a temporary residence permit to run a business activity. That’s why foreigners don’t have to perform work, which don’t comply with their education, but they can work in Polish Start-ups, create new technical solutions or participate in incubation or acceleration programs. It’s worth mentioning that in EU are currently conducted some legislative works, which shall have led to visa removal for our neighbours from Ukraine, what indirectly will simplify process of forming a business activity outside Ukraine.




  • The Act on Freedom of Business Activity describes, when foreigners can form a business activity on the same conditions as the citizens of the Republic of Poland.
  • Foreigners i.e. from Ukraine, Belarus, Albania, Georgia, who don’t have temporary residence permits in the Republic of Poland, CAN’T CONDUCT a business activity as a natural person and register into CEIDG and CAN’T register personal companies.
  • Foreigners, who have temporary residence permit can use the business incubators and acceleration programs.
  • Foreigners can join a limited partnership, limited joint-stock partnership, limited liability and joint stock company, as well as acquire and take up shares or stocks, unless the international acts provide otherwise.
  • If a foreigner wants to stay in the territory of RP he is obliged to get a visa or temporary residence permit to conduct a business activity, even if he has already joined in a company.
  • A foreigner – shareholder and member of the management board at the same time, is obliged to apply for the temporary residence permit in order to conduct a business activity and for work permit. A foreigner, who is not a shareholder, but fulfils some functions in the management board shall apply for a uniform temporary residence and work permit.
  • In order to buy a property by foreigners, which ex. belongs to company’s assets, some additional obligations shall be fulfilled in accordance with the law on acquisition of property by foreigners.


Magda Judejko

(lawyer/event manager in SWLEX),

+48 884 797 878,

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Huge Thing powered by Alior Bank

I am thrilled. I do not write here very often. Being a CEO of the whole SpeedUp Group is quite a job (disclaimer: Huge Thing belongs to SpeedUp Group, which is also a venture capital company).

So when Huge Thing’s people ask me to write something, it means that we have managed to achieve something great.

So here I am announcing the new batch of best CEE accelerator (I am sure you have missed this great news), this time dedicated to fintech.

We cooperate with Alior Bank – leader in digital innovations among Polish financial institutions. Our partner is also a piece of a great entrepreneurship story. When you think of a bank, you think of an old, distinguished institution with 100 years of pedigree. Well, not this time. The company was founded in 2008 and in the first 5 years they have become an icon of the Polish banking industry, finally being acquired by the biggest insurance company in the region – PZU.

Let me clarify a few things: this programme is under Alior Bank’s supervision, but we are searching for companies who want to become great by themselves. Alior gives you the sandbox to test your product/solution with a top-notch banking player. But, they do not own or use you. I admire this company because they see how fruitful such an approach can be (even if it is not completely obvious).


Thanks to our cooperation with PARP (Polish Agency for Entrepreneurship Development), we offer up to 50k Euro as a grant with no equity. I think this is a real opportunity incomparable with any other fintech accelerator (with a comparable track record).

Of course, on our website, you will be provided with all necessary details, but let me emphasise one thing; even though the programme is located in Warsaw, we look forward to seeing the best teams from Central and Eastern Europe.

Come and start your business with us. Simply check out our offer you will realise it’s a NO-BRAINER.

Bartek Gola, General Partner, SpeedUp Venture Capital Group




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Huge Thing 2016: Summary by DeepDoc

The end of 2016 was very busy for our team. Not only did we get accepted into Huge Thing, but also won a Startup Global competition and had a lot of people asking about our solution and, of course, its effectiveness. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start from the beginning.

Because 2016 was very fruitful in information about AI related startups, not only worldwide but also in Poland, it was a good time for DeepDoc, which uses machine learning to predict and diagnose mood disorders based on Instagram pictures, and serves psycho-educational content via a Messenger chatbot, helping its users to improve their emotional well-being. It is  valuable because only 50% of people suffering from mood disorders get proper help, mainly due to misdiagnosis and limited access to specialists. Considering the fact that there are 350 million people with mood disorders worldwide, we are facing a huge problem. Speaking about “huge” – Huge Thing was the first acceleration program that we have decided to apply to and we have gotten accepted.

We did not know what to expect, so we took everything at face value, nonetheless, we had our aims when entering the program. I can say now that a little over a month after Huge Thing ended, we got what we wanted. What was it we wanted?

Firstly, feedback from other participants, mentors and investors. The thing with feedback is that you need to know what to take from it and what to leave, otherwise you can get a bit dizzy with contradicting opinions. Nonetheless, during the 4 weeks of Huge Thing we have received a lot of feedback, which helped us take a bold step to try to market our service abroad. That was possible thanks to the people we have met while attending Huge Thing.

Networking is the second most valuable thing we got out of the program. Participating in Huge Thing allowed us to meet with other entrepreneurs from Poland and Germany; mentors, who are highly respected specialists in their fields of sales, marketing, legal aspects and even HR, which seems to be neglected in startup events. Each of the team was assigned to one of the mentors from Aviva and a group of cooperating mentors. Those one-on-ones benefited us a lot, both knowledge and networking wise. Also, people from Aviva gave us a sense of what kind of solutions are interesting for them. One thing to be changed in the future is the structure of those meetings – right from the beginning, I would make it clear how many hours the teams have with each mentor and how those meetings would look like. Nevertheless, thanks to Huge Thing’s networking, we are going to the U.K. to learn about the local market and what potential it holds for our product.

I believe in lifelong learning, especially in business; talking with people, reading books, attending seminars – all of these are important to grow. Of course, getting thing done is fundamental, but from my experience, too many founders neglect these elements stated above.

Especially to them, I recommend Huge Thing as a fast track to running a startup and a condensed dose of knowledge. Why? Because you can learn how to run a startup the hard way or the easy/easier way. I believe that attending Huge Thing will take you on the latter path.

Lastly, Huge Thing is over and it comes the time when we, as founders, and the program itself get verified. As for DeepDoc, we are executing our plan for 2017, gaining more and more interest from investors and organizations. We also have a big decision to make at the beginning of the second half of this year, namely whether we should focus on Polish or British market. We are supported by PAIZ, whom we met also thanks to the Huge Thing team. We are working with a research unit from SWPS to improve our algorithm and we are planning to use even more data to give our users a service of best quality and accuracy, hence the best chance for maintaining emotional well-being.

Piotr Podlaś, DeepDoc


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The third edition of is over! It’s time to sum up this batch.


This edition was special! For the first time, was realized in the cooperation with a corporate partner that was a global insurance leader – Aviva. Together, we selected the best startups from CEE that have the potential not only to improve Aviva’s market competetivness, but can also improve its operational activity as an organization.
Thus, third edition of also served as a kind of ‘bridge’ between corporations and startup world. It was a huge program’s value, but it also was a great challenge for us!
Nevertheless, we managed to successfully accelerated 10 teams that we’re totally proud of: Bonsai, Brokeria, Cyberus Labs, DeepDoc, FlyFox, Kundi,, Snowsurance,, VideoBot. 
We believe that participation in program was not only an adventure for them. 
We hope they drew a lot on knowledge and experiences of such great market experts as Bianca  Praetorius, Tristan Pollock, Janusz Berta, Łukasz Turczyński, Patric Young, Robert Marczak, Anthony Hsiao, Artur Jabłoński, Darius Moeini and more.

We hope our program brought a lot of value to each project and deliver many inspirations to teams! Although this year’s edition is already over we’ll stay in touch with its attendees just as we do with previous editions’ Alumni! We know it’s them and their feedback that helps us to improve what we do, that helps us to create better way of inspiring, educating and accelerating other projects!

As said one of our alumni – Marek from Cyberus Labs: ‘The most valuable lesson you can get from accelerator is to challenge yourself, to get new knowledge and to get a feedback – positive or negative is always win situation, because you learn from it’.

Summing up third edition in few words we can proudly say: HARD WORK, HEADS FULL OF INSPIRATIONS, CLOSE FRIENDSHIPS and BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES.

Although we just finished batch, we’re not going to stop over! As the new year is already on, we’re more than ready to launch new HT edition! This time we cooperate with Alior Bank and look for FinTech projects in areas of Blockchain, Biometrics, AI, IoT, Cyber Security, Payments.

We’ll keep you informed about the application period. Stay tuned, because the recruitment process will be quite differently organized this time. As promised, we want to get better and improve for you all the time!

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We’re back, and we’re back in style (corporate)!

When we started Huge Thing, back in 2012, we thought that a crucial point for new tech entrepreneurs was to gain knowledge necessary to run their business.

That’s why we created Huge Thing program – more of a “modern MBA”, than a regular venture-investment service. We’ve already organized its two batches, managed to create successful businesses like Transparent Choice, Vicoinz, GetBadges, Livecall or Dealavo . Some of our alumni didn’t manage to succeed with their first businesses, however, now they have fantastic careers as entrepreneurs or managers.

We had a huge internal discussion about what the new edition should look like. Where are startups’ major weak points? What aspect of our help would be most valuable and allow to really accelerate these growing businesses’ development?

There were two clear winners: factual knowledge (business/vertical specific) and access to the market. I know, it’s not an unexpected discovery. the real question was rather how to address them. Few months ago we realized that we wouldn’t be able to deliver those features ourselves. No matter how great mentors we hire, it simply won’t work.

There was actually one solution. We should build a partnership with a corporation, who could contribute their knowledge and access to their natural market. Easy to say. Corporations were sort of Terra Incognita for us. We knew they existed, but at the same time we felt like they were against tech entrepreneurship values.


There was an important class called “customer discovery” in the Huge Thing learning process. During this class, we encouraged startups not to assume too much. Go to your clients and users, ask them what they think, know, what they need. We realized we were making this common mistake: making so many assumptions without verifying them. The reality was different. We’ve met over 20 big companies while checking whether creating a partnership with Huge Thing would be a valuable thing for them. And you know what? The reaction was warmer that we could’ve dreamt of. Large companies do realize that it’s hard for them to create innovation as quickly as startups do. On the other hand, they have access to huge markets because they’re credible (successfully delivering solutions to particular markets for decades). Yes, we need each other – there’re simply no enough institutional places to communicate, build trust and, finally, cooperate.

We’ve decided to create a partnership with AVIVA – a global leader in the insurance business.

Why? Two reasons: we found there a great team of people with culturally fitting so-called startup mindset: openness, willingness to search for new possibilities, questioning the status-quo. The other reason is very businesslike – Aviva managers aren’t interested in startups because they’re fancy and sort of “trendy” stuff. They see a clear business opportunity in creating value through connecting innovative companies/solutions with a market leader with established position.

So, the deal is very simple; if your product aligns with the preferred areas of: product and sales, communication and customer service, insurance claim repair & settlement, and organizational development – you should APPLY. no strings attached – we don’t expect any equity (you’re not getting an investment automatically), we just want you to be ready to deploy your solutions with Aviva – of course, on the commercial basis.

I do hope it’s a situation often described as a “no-brainer”. I’ve been watching dozens of young companies, and I know that access to the market – first sale – is most often the main obstacle on the way of developing their business. This time, for the first time in Poland (I believe it applies to the whole CEE region), we’re about to help you to avoid it.

Hope to see you in November during the third batch of Huge Thing, this time, powered by Aviva.

Bartek Gola, General Partner, SpeedUp Venture Capital Group

If you have any questions we’ll be for your disposal next Thursday (October 13th) in Warsaw. Please sign up for OFFICE HOURS.

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HugeThing is over. We woke up in a new reality, without daily newsletters describing the meetings we attended and without agendas for the next day, which included daily talks with mentors, other participants and the SpeedUp team. Without cookies, apples, tea, or free pizza from Microsoft ;).

It means it’s time to sum up.

It was an incredibly valuable experience for us. We already had some experience related to startup-like events and workshops, however, what we’ve been offered by SpeedUp was incomparable to anything else. 15 days packed with knowledge. The majority of sessions have provided us with pointers we can now implement in our current project, whilst volumes of valuable notes were growing in size. The evolution of our pitch – its initial and final form, on the Demo Day – is its own proof. We have a product which isn’t easy to describe. It had been difficult to explain in the least, until we met Bianca Praetorius from Berlin. She guided us on how to present it (storytelling) in a way that’d be comprehensible to everyone. We suddenly got enlightened on how, in a simple manner, to convey to everyone the gist of the whole mechanism – thanks Bianca!

Aside from the workshops, we were able to gather a lot of information and advice from the conversations we had with the mentors. We found that meeting Maks Salamonowicz from ACR Systems, who works in hardware in our current target market, was particularly valuable.

It was a one-of-a-kind opportunity for networking. In a friendly and laid-back atmosphere, at times over beer, we could expand our network. Within this group of organizers, workshop conductors and other participants, are people who are able to help your startup, quite often unconsciously or with zero effort. Try to pitch your product as often as possible – that’s how I gained contacts to potential customers in Malta, India, Croatia, and South Africa. How cool is that? ;).

We’re aware it was the kind of event whose benefits haven’t completely materialized yet, since they’re still ahead of us waiting to unfold. We’re unable to thank each and every one personally for these three weeks. It was a pleasure working with you. We’re proud we could be a part of HugeThing.

How did we end up at HugeThing? We’re a startup located in Łódź, which designs and builds robotic camera operators. It makes recording high-quality video cheaper and simpler. Its beneficiaries are video-bloggers, whose goal would be achieving great effects without the need for hiring a professional operator, as well as people who make a living from making movies, interviewing, or music-video production on a daily basis.

A basic tool designed for this purpose is the so-called camera slider. It produces smooth dynamic shots, as you can see here: Udrive is a manufacturer of devices performing a camera-operator’s job for you; namely, camera slider drivers. Within 30 seconds setup, you’re able to film a wonder like from the link above. Sounds good? I only want to add that it’s the world’s first driver capable of being mounted on any camera slider, which had been impossible until now. So far, production studios, videographers, or filming equipment rental businesses were using numerous sliders, thus they were forced to generate multiple costs by purchasing many drivers. Thanks to Udrive, one driver is all it takes, and your money stays in your pocket :).

On top of everything, a beautiful wireless pad with the largest (3,2”) display available; featuring a mobile application, presets allowing you to store and reuse programmed shot-settings, very quiet operating along with feature-and-mode rich variety. Please visit us at and check how else we may help you to record something amazing.

Aleksander Grzelka, Udrive

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Let’s us welcome the teams!

So it’s done! Almost 20 teams will join our Huge Thing batch on 6th of October (list here). One month ago, when we’d kicked-off the #HT.VC  we didn’t know that we could expect so many applications. We were a bit afraid that the concept of a 3-weeks pre-acceleration (without cash-awards) wouldn’t be interesting for many Polish entrepreneurs. And yes, we require a lot from the participants. We demand a full engagement, we do not accept any absence, etc. But, after we’d started to talk about Huge Thing openly, we felt that it’s completely different. Some asked us even to pay, just to be independent students (guys, sorry we don’t do that)…

We decided to make calls to 30 teams from all over the country and from abroad, that interested us the most. We have to admit that the choice was really difficult. We’d planned to invite just 15, but finally we decided to give a chance to few extra crews. Unfortunately, even so, we had to say “bye” to many others. However, our aim was to choose teams that would be able to make the most dynamic improvement and those who would be determined to risk more than other colleagues. We also looked for a real passion to the product and a candid will to learn – not just to meet & greet with cool mentors. Will see, if we were right 🙂

In the meantime, we’ve added some more great mentors. You can see them on on our website. It seems that we will close the list with 50+ mentors, be ready for a really hard work, workshops and one-on-one sessions with them. Guys… Blue Monster is really big this year and we will make these 3 weeks of your life really intensive!

See you soon!

Marcin, Investment Manager @ SpeedUp Venture Capital Group

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What’s in it for you?

It was 3 years ago. I didn’t understand the startup world and I had no idea what’s it all about. But at the same time, together with my partner, we had the idea of creating web and mobile app to improve tourism experience. We knew that this idea is worth to spread so the decision of applying to Huge Thing was quick and simple. We’d created short video and we were choosen to the group of 19 lucky people for a 6 month accelerator. We started to feel that something huge is going to happen 🙂

We can’t expect that everything in our live will be given for free. Only hard work, effectiveness and focus make us grow. It was the same with Huge Thing. Joining the accelerator was not about getting the money or building the product that immediately would make us billionaires. The value is hidden in people. Once you know how to network, talk to people and learn from their experience – you’re on the right way to be succesful. In this regard Huge Thing is very openminding and refreashing. Not only for participants but also for whole startup enviroment.

How did it finish for me? In fact, I didn’t finish the product I had been working on that time, but since then I’ve been involved in the local and polish startup scene. I learnt a lot about company culture, specific business approach and many other things, that gave me the basis I’m still developing each day.

After the past three years I’m happy to be an enteprenuer with my own recruitment business where I’m helping startup companies build awesome teams.

Huge Things gave me the direction and opened my mind. And actually, that’s the best thing you can get from the accelerator.

Don’t waste the opportunity!

Aleksandra Pszczoła, owner, BeeTalents

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