Richard Lucas November 2016
This post is in honour of and in respect to attendees of OMGKRK and All in UJ's Startup Academy which launches today.
The good news is that the Krakow Silicon Valley is real. You just have to look for it.
When Pawel Płaszczyk came back to Krakow after years abroad he looked for Krakow Silicon Valley and couldn't find it.
He set up this web site http://www.it.wkrakowie.org.
When Ramon Tancinco and others discussed this years ago he set up this .
Back in 2011 Ramon gave a TEDxKrakow talk Krakow: Europe's Silicon Valley? as above/
15 years ago I tried with First Tuesday it lasted until the bubble burst in 2001
The Cambridge Phenomenon took 50 years. It takes time to build a community.
Now the situation is much better
The OMGKRK Facebook group has over 4000 members. It's the place to post latest news and find out what is going on in Krakow. It is in English (see note below) because Marek Przystas wanted Krakow to be internationally successful and for the group to be relevant to the world (not just locals). Dominik Dryja takes a bow as the founder.
The Crossweb diary tells you what is going on in town (and across the whole of Poland) and has English as well as Polish interface. Krzysztof Hostyński who founded it is local 🙂
There are specialist events going on all the time as the screenshot shows. Some big annual events like the big OMGKRK X Massive events, Aspire Annual meeting, Smogathon, Ebiz and Boss Festivals, Global Entrepreneurship Week and Startup Weeks, Bitspiration, recently more visible in town thanks to the new accelerator Bitspiration Booster and Product Development Days. (not to mention the impressive TEDxKraków and (modestly) TEDxKazimierz.
For community building are organisations that host regular events are below
AIP Krakow Sebastian Kolisz
Hive53 and Join Hive Krzysztof Nowak and Daniel Di Gusto
Hub.raum Great Team
Innovators Bridge - Smart City Edyta Korona
Innovation Nest Chris Kobylecki , Piotr Wilam Marek Kapturkiewicz, Marcin Szeląg
Krakow.Miastem.Startupow Bartłomiej Świstak Piotrowski
Krakow Technology Park Bartosz Józefowski sometimes seen as the Ambassador of this community (though now Asia Oparcik is probably the right person for this title
Krakspot Marcin Jaśkiewicz, Filip Dębowski, Mateusz Czekalski in previous years, now Damian Warszawski
Krakow Enterprise Mondays (English) bringing Alumni and Students together last meeting this year 5th December (me, Krzysztof Piech, Zuza Kulej, Karolina Marysia Cholewińska Lorenzo Brigatti Karolina Wojtas
Open Coffee Krakow regular meetings every second Thursday at 8:00 Business and social entrepreneurship/ Next meeting 1st December in Cluster Cowork (me, Ewa Kucharska Kamil Łopata, Lorenzo Brigatti, Marta Ryłko)
Project Kazimierz podcasts
Startup Stage Chris Kobylecki
TEDxKazimierz (Christmas Party 15th December)
TEDxKrakow now Małgorzata Kuś (with a hat tip to Ewa Spohn who took it to a next level 2011-15)
Should events be in English (lub po polsku ) or in Polish ? Ważne pytanie/good question. The answer is both. If you are only trying to reach people who speak Polish, are too shy to attend a meeting where they might meet a foreigner, or simply believe that events in Poland ought to be in Polish, and discussion will be better in Polish then events can and should be held in Polish.
However,, as Willy Brandt said "If I want to sell to you, I speak English, if you want to sell to me, denn mussen sie Deutsche".
It's not a good idea to expect global clients to speak Polish, to require fluent Polish of your international staff from the start or to forget that foreigners are intimidated by Polish. If event organisers have the ambition to be globally significant, want to encourage international arrivals in Krakow to feel welcome and attend your events, English is better.
It's vital to bring more students into the startup community., please give Tomek and the All in UJ team all the support you can for this important new initiative.