From private garage to world conquest 100 start-ups vie for passports to success during the European Start-up Days



A 3D virtual fitting room, a simulator for cardiologists, a home-based health monitoring device, an interactive mirror, a portable lab that fits in your pocket, smartphone postcards and an app that helps you place a restaurant order are but some of the many innovative business ideas awarded by the jury of the Start-up Challenge. Authors of the 100 most original projects will have the chance to present them before the audience of the European Economic Congress (EEC) and the accompanying European Start-up Days in Katowice on 15 and 16 May 2018.

“Technologies that will change the world” is the slogan of the upcoming 3rd edition of one of the largest start-up events in the country. This year, the European Start-up Days will be attended by more than 70 speakers, several hundred start-ups and over 2,500 guests, and offer a rich agenda of panel discussions, motivational speeches, practical case studies and presentations of start-up ideas.

‘Our goal is to make sure that the third edition of the European Start-up Days (ESD) preserves its original, open formula but even more effectively connects innovative start-ups and large entities who wish to invest in the future. It is no accident that the ESD should accompany the European Economic Congress, which attracted nearly 9 thousand participants last year,’ says Wojciech Kuśpik, CEO of the PTWP Group, initiator of the European Economic Congress, ‘Those who have excellent business ideas and wish to launch or develop them on a wider scale will have the chance to present their projects, talk with potential investors, experts and shareholders, and attract media attention. Anyone interested in bold and innovative ways of thinking, on the other hand, will be inspired by many compelling ideas. We extend our cordial invitation to all those who value progress, innovation and knowledge,’ he adds.

Nearly 200 start-ups signed up for this edition of the Start-up Challenge; the jury selected the top 100 to be showcased at Scale-up Alley, an area of the Spodek Arena dedicated to business visionaries. Authors of the top 18 will not only get the chance to appear on the stages of the European Start-up Days but also those of the European Economic Congress in the International Conference Centre, vying for prizes in six different categories: NEW INDUSTRY (Industry 4.0, robotics, automation, production systems, new materials, space industry); ENVIRONMENT (Environmental protection: climate technologies, ecological plantations, smart energy, resource use, waste processing); TRADITION & MODERNITY (Traditional industry, energy, telecommunications, transport, construction); HEALTH & BIOTECHNOLOGY (Medicine, health, medical technologies, pharmacy, biotechnology); BUSINESS PROCESSES (Management, analytics, ICT, cybersecurity, logistics, HR); CLIENT & LIFESTYLE (Commerce, customer experience, e-commerce, fintech, edutech, gaming, sport, leisure industry).

Some of the selected business ideas include, for instance, a device that allows audiences to interact with speakers or workshop facilitators in real time. Called Time To Speak, the app turns your smartphone into a microphone, allowing you to communicate through sound and text, but also conduct polls and surveys.

In the category of new industry and technologies, the jury selected, e.g. ATS WorldWide, an automatic, intelligent airplane taxi system. This innovative, as yet unheard-of solution patented by three friends from Warsaw has already attracted the attention of the US administration, the AAEE and several senators.

The jury also appreciated the globally innovative solution presented by Medical Simulation Technologies, specialized in the manufacturing and sales of advanced medical training simulators. The transoesophageal echocardiography simulator is the first product implemented by the company.

Another solution awarded in the field of medicine was the symptom-checker. Designed for paediatric patients, the app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to give parents the first opinion on the symptoms shown by their child. After a quick interview, the system decides whether the child requires immediate medical attention or suffers from a common cold that may be easily treated at home.

It is also worth mentioning the portable lab by Genomtec. So small that it fits in your pocket, the lab-on-a-chip analyser needs just 20 minutes to detect the presence of DNA or RNA in a genetic sample, identifying viruses, bacteria, genetic mutations and fungi without the need to consult a specialist.

Lovers of photography and travel will surely like Image4you, a new app that allows users to print smartphone photos from anywhere in the world and receive them back in the form of postcards, Polaroid prints, calendars, memo games, etc., in a personalized box delivered to the address specified in the order.

Awarded start-ups also include Abyss Glass, a company specialized in the manufacturing and distribution of interactive mirrors that recognize the clothes taken to the fitting room by the customer and uses the data to display targeted information.

The problems of online clothes shopping will be solved by Fit&Match, which employs 3D technology to allow users to try on and choose clothes from the safety of their home. Based on predefined parameters, the app is able to create a 3D virtual model of the body.

Participants in the European Start-up Days may also be interested in Comer, a mobile app that allows users to order a meal in a restaurant through the smartphone without the need to call a waiter. All they need to do is select the table number, choose their favourite dish from an interactive menu and foot the bill through the application. The solution reduces waiting times and allows users to quickly leave the table once they have finished their meal. The elaborate menu with reviews and photos of individual dishes will help them take their pick.

All 100 top start-ups will be presented online at

The special guest of this year’s European Start-up Days is Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Estonian Prime Minister in 2005-2013.

Debates, speeches and presentations of the European Start-up Days will feature: Brunon Bartkiewicz, Chairman of the Management Board, ING Bank Śląski; Anna Brussa, Start-up Development Division, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development; Dobromir Ciaś, Managing Director, Edge NPD; Beata Cichocka-Tylman, Director, PwC, Board of the Foundation, Coalition for Polish Innovation Foundation; Magdalena Chudzikiewicz, Board Member, Pion Internet, IT and Marketing, Polska Press Group; Katarzyna Dorsey, CEO, Co-Founder,; Ben Greeven, CEO, Founder, Thalento; Piotr Hołubowicz, CEO, SEEDiA; Tomasz Jażdżyński, Chairman of the Board, Gremi Media SA; Bo Ji, Chief Representative & Assistant Dean, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business; Michał Kot, Sales Director, Siemens Polska; Marcin Kowalik, Co-Founder, Managing Partner, Black Pearls VC; Łukasz Kroplewski, Deputy Chairman of the Board for Development, PGNiG SA; Julia Krysztofiak-Szopa, CEO, Startup Poland; Benoit Legrand, Chief Innovation Officer, ING Group; Jowita Michalska, CEO, Digital University Foundation; Tariq Qureishy, CEO, Founder, MAD Talks, Media Professional, Futurist and Executive Coach; Greg Pietruszyński, CEO, Founder, Growbots; Paweł Rek, General Director for Poland and Regional Director for Central Europe, Amadeus; Wiktor Szmidt, CEO, Netguru; Anna Tryfon-Bojarska, Head of Innovation & Technology, Skanska; Viktor Wanli, CEO, creator, CEO, Team Kinguin SA; and Wiktor Warchałowski, CEO, Co-Founder, Airly.

Mentors ready to discuss your start-up ideas will include, e.g. Maciej Balsewicz, CEO, Founder, bValue Venture Capital; Kamil Bilczyński, Deputy Chairman of the Board, Art Director, co-founder, The Farm 51; Marek Borzestowski, entrepreneur, investor, co-founder of Wirtualna Polska, Managing Partner, Giza Polish Ventures, Chairman of the Board, NanoGroup SA; Sergey Butko, mastermind of CallPage; Michał Czerwiński, Chairman of the Board, PurellaFood; Jakub Gajdamowicz, Founder, LandscapeLab, vlogger, founder of a channel dedicated to creating online business; Iwona Grochowska, co-founder, CEO, Nais; Justyna Janicka, Co-Founder, COO, 1000 realities; Mateusz Juszczak, founder, Chairman of the Board, Laparo; Edyta Kocyk, co-founder, SiDLY; Piotr Krych, founder, Saule Technologies; Marcin Kuśmierz, CEO,; Arkadiusz Regiec, founder,; and Andrzej Soldaty, Project Leader, “Future Industry Platform”.

The European Start-up Days will be held on 15-16 May 2018 in Katowice. The first event of this magnitude to bring together start-ups, corporations and business support organizations, it attracted 2,500 visitors last year alone. This year, the objective again is to integrate the community of young entrepreneurs with experts, CEOs of large companies, investors and successful business people attending the European Economic Congress in Katowice. The Networking Zone will serve as a venue for meeting potential investors and partners from mature companies, Scale-up Alley will showcase start-up booths, while the TechExpo Zone will allow visitors to find out about completed, innovative projects of Polish start-ups and larger companies.

More information about the European Economic Congress:
Detailed information about the European Start-up Days:

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