A Polish-Israeli corporate innovation program which will see large corporations share their innovation needs with start-ups and entrepreneurs from both countries was launched Wednesday in Warsaw in the presence of Israeli Ambassador to Poland Anna Azari and Polish Minister of Technology and Entrepreneurship Jadwiga Emilewicz.
Backed by the Israeli government and Poland’s Ministry of Technology and Entrepreneurship, the 10-month initiative aims to identify start-up solutions for challenges faced by corporations in both countries, and to accelerate pilot programs, implementation and scaling to markets of those solutions.
The program was initiated by Poland’s state-owned Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) and Tel Aviv-based organizations Creators IDEAtion Lab and Start-Up Nation Central, with the participation of Poland’s Industrial Development Agency.
Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization which connects international companies to Israeli tech firms, will lead the scouting process for available technologies in Israel and Poland, while Creators will be responsible for the ideation phase, acceleration, sprints and mentorship program.
“Poland needs start-ups, now more than ever. The larger the number of quickly developing young companies, the faster the innovativeness level of our economy increases,” said Emilewicz. “We want to cooperate and learn from the best – Israel is the second-most innovative economy in the world.”
Two major Polish corporations have signed a letter of intent to become the first partners of the initiative: Tauron Group, the country’s second-largest energy producer, and Asseco Poland SA, the largest technology-sector corporation on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
“In Israel, the ecosystem of innovators, business and the public sector is operating very efficiently. Increasing the innovativeness of the Polish economy is one of the goals of the Strategy for Responsible Development, of which the BGK is a key implementer,” said Wojciech Hann, a member of BGK’s management board.