Do we have to stay in Poland during the program?
To a large extent, we run the Acceleration Program online. Hence, presence in Poland is not necessary, however it can be helpful while working on the project developed by you, in particular, for working closely with Technology Recipients during the Acceleration phase. These startups are going to complete the Acceleration phase with validation, e.g. you will verify whether their product or service (or its essential elements) can be implemented by the Recipient of the Technology.
We have designed the Acceleration Program in such a way that as many activities as possible take place online, including formalities. We recommend you to have electronic qualified signatures (in line with eIDAS) issued by a trusted certifying entity. Certum, KIR (Szafir), PWPW and others issue such software. According to Polish law, documentation signed using an electronic qualified signature is valid. It makes it easier to confirm the identity of the person participating in business activities. We recommend signing the acceleration agreement and its annexes using qualified electronic signatures.
Technology Recipient - who is that? What should the cooperation look like?
Business partners are crucial stakeholders of the Poland Prize program. They are often corporations, investment funds, entrepreneurs operating on a large scale, both in Poland and abroad. Here you can find a short description of these entities and their areas of interest.
You should establish a relationship with at least one business partner during the Development phase. If you gain their interest, specify with them how you can develop your solution according to their needs, the partner may give you the opportunity to validate it during the Acceleration phase and receive an additional grant.
In case of meeting the needs of the Technology Recipient (OT), as the entity it is able to implement your solution. An investor, on the other hand, is an entity that expresses interest in investing in you, if you meet certain business conditions. If you gain Business partner interest, you will work closely with at least one person dedicated to them. Together with the Huge Thing team, mentors and experts, they will support you to accelerate as much as possible. During the Poland Prize, you set goals (milestones) in consultation with Huge Thing (and during the Acceleration phase also in consultation with the business partner). We assume you will define one milestone during the Development phase and three milestones during the Acceleration phase. During the Acceleration phase, the business partner will verify if you have achieved the milestones. All milestones are also verified by Huge Thing.
How many people can be in the team?
What does it mean that founders or the company cannot be linked to Poland?
What kind of support can we count on during Development?
What can we spend the grant on - what amount and at what stage?
When you sign an acceleration agreement, you take part in the first stage of the Acceleration Program: Soft-landing and Development phase. During Soft-landing and Development, we offer you a grant up to PLN 50,000. Part of these funds may be spent on remuneration of team members, “concierge” services (a person supporting a startup in starting a business in Poland), consulting services (such as mentoring and expert services) and other expenses related to its startup (e.g. financing the technological development of your venture, marketing costs). Concierge services are provided only during Soft-landing.
If Soft-landing is completed successfully, Business Partners is willing to work with you, and you stand out from other startups participating in the Acceleration Program – we will invite you to the second stage – the Acceleration phase. During Acceleration, you receive a grant of up to PLN 250,000 to further develop the project. The goal is to validate the solution with the Technology Recipient or reach KPIs agreed on with the Investor. After the Acceleration phase is over, you do not receive any further financing, however you might enter the post-acceleration and receive other forms of support (including networking) to further develop in Poland.
Who is the organizer?
Hi! It’s us – Huge Thing – the operator of the “Poland Prize Program powered by Huge Thing” project. We are one of the oldest Polish accelerators – soon it’s going to be our 10th anniversary. The first edition of the Poland Prize program (2021-2023) constitutes our tenth acceleration batch! We’ve been through a lot with startups: accelerating, facilitating their cooperation with all kinds of corporations – global ICT companies, multi-sector corporations or banks, sharing know-how on developing their idea in Poland and abroad.
We lead the Acceleration Program on behalf of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP). PARP is a government agency operating since 2000, which stimulates business development in Poland, focusing, inter alia, on supporting startups and other micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. For this reason, the grant received by a startup is a public aid (also known as de minimis)