Let’s connect to grow
Central and Eastern Europe
Apply for the programme which could be
the ticket to your business going international
Join over five hundred creative projects developed with
passion for new technologies
Think Big is
Tweet your opinion:is a way to validate your idea for a global startup
Think Big is a programme addressed to entrepreneurs from the
CEE region who pursue their ideas through innovative technologies.
The programme allows them to take bradvantage of global
experience and know-how of experts.
Benefits of entering Think Big.
Businesses which enter the competition will strengthen their brand image through association with leading market players, gain opportunities to exchange knowledge and establish business relations right from the first stage, as well as take part in online workshops under the guidance of the programme’s mentors.
Admitted among the top contenders, the finalists will have their business scrutinized by experienced mentors, who will help address the company’s deficiencies and outline the way forward to succeed on the CEE markets.
THINK BIG WINNER
The winner will be able to grow their business as a partner to UPC Biznes, drawing on the company’s vast customer base. In addition to recognition gained by winning a prestigious business award, the winner will also get EUR 10 000 to boost growth dynamic on the surefire road to success.
UPC Biznes is seeking solutions in the following market areas:
+ invitation to collaborate with UPC
Competition Jury – independent experts
Co-founder and Managing partner at SpeedUp Venture Capital Group. Works with portfolio companies active in IoT, martech and big data, advising them mostly with regard to business strategy, product creation, distribution channels and marketing.
Businesswoman, journalist, mentor and social activist. Founder of „Success Written in Lipstick“ - the first Polish organization providing complex support for women’s enterprise development and national publicity of their successes. She has over 20 years of experience in business including 12 years of holding executive positions with international corporations. She was chosen as one of the 25 leaders who are most likely to have an impact on the direction of development that Poland will head towards in the next quarter-century.
Founder and CEO of GetFokus.com. Successful entrepreneur focused on supporting and investing in IT start-ups. Mentor, IT blogger and pundit. Co-founder of Aula Polska – biggest monthly event for start-ups in Poland, as well as Aulery Awards.
Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, responsible for the capital city’s development strategy, oversight of departments obtaining EU funding, economic development, housing policy, environmental protection, sports, as well as geodesic and cadastral surveying.
Founder of Dirlango, longtime CEO of Grupa Onet.pl. Until 2011, VP and Head of Online Operations at TVN Group.
Deputy editor-in-chief and journalist at the Polish edition of Forbes, formerly editor-in-chief and managing editor of the financial monthly Pierwszy Milion. Specialises in finances, banking and supporting many forms of business.
VP and Chief of Operations at D-RAFT, responsible for managing programmes of corporate-start-up collaboration. Co-founder and Chief Innovation Architect at Innovatika. Experienced consultant and expert in strategy, marketing and validation of business ideas.
Programming Director at Forbes Polska, owner of RMVC (Roman Młodkowski Ventures & Consulting). Formerly creator and manager of franchise business news TVN CNBC (2007 - 2013) and head of the business editorial team of TVN24 (2011 - 2007). Author and anchorman of popular TV format Firma.
Competition Jury – UPC & Liberty Global
Managing Director CEE, Liberty Global.
MD Business Markets, Liberty Global.
Frans - Willem de Kloet
CEO, UPC Polska.
VP Corporate Affairs, UPC Polska.
Dyrektor UPC Biznes, UPC Polska.
VP Legal For Central and Eastern Europe, UPC Polska.
PR and Brand Communication Expert, UPC Polska.
Communication Manager, CSR & Brand PR Lead CEE, UPC Polska.
Marta Jakowluk (mentor)
VP HR, UPC Polska.
Anna Putts (mentor)
Head of Marketing and Communication CEE, UPC Polska.
Joanna Michałowska (mentor)
Central Back Office Manager, UPC Polska.
Mariusz Kasprzak (mentor)
B2B Product Manager, UPC Polska.
Michał Szczepaniak (mentor)
B2B Product Manager, UPC Polska.
Paweł Domoradzki (mentor)
B2B Product Specialist, UPC Polska.
Tomasz Stańczak (mentor)
Cpe Management Leader, UPC Polska.
Winner of Think Big 4th edition 2016/2017
How much can you do in 28 seconds? Wear a tie, make tea…or perhaps snatch a new customer? CallPage introduces a callback system to facilitate the client-company communication. Potential customers click the CallPage button on a company’s website, pop-up prompts them to write their phone number and the widget connects them straight to the consultant – all within 28 seconds. This simple yet brilliant callback system offers an innovative alternative to the traditional hotlines, which are notorious for discouraging and exasperating callers.
Winner of Think Big 3rd edition 2015/2016
Elephant Door provides a revolutionary smart security solution for apartments. The system detects threats thanks to door vibrations analysis, scares the burglar away with a single alarm siren signal and immediately sends smartphone notification to your device. The lock on the door is controlled with a smartphone or a dedicated remote.
Winner of Think Big 2nd edition 2014/2015
Egzotech builds robots used in neurorehabilitation and orthopaedic therapy. Luna EMG uses reactive electromyography to train the sensorimotor cortex – in other words it acquires bioelectric impulses straight from the muscles, providing personalised care so that patients can effectively train on their own. Egzotech would like their solution to become a standard in automatic rehabilitation, considering there is a shortage of skilled physical therapists in the healthcare industry.
Winner of Think Big 1st edition 2013/2014
Izzy Bike is an innovative chainless bicycle, in which the drivetrain is built right into the front wheel hub, thus going a step further then other chainless bike prototypes and creatively reinventing the 200-year-old design. "Think Big is an initiative tailor-made for businesses like ours – ready to deliver innovation, but in need of support. Winning the competition kickstarted our project and allowed us to plan for future development,” said Marek Jurek, inventor of Izzy Bike.
Finalists of the THINK BIG
On May 16th and 17th, the top ten of THINK BIG 5th edition will present their business ideas to an experienced team of mentors and jurors. The prize pool is 20,000 euro and the possibility of further development under the wing of UPC Biznes.Read more
CallPage is the winner of the 4th edition of the Think Big programme for entrepreneurs run by UPC Biznes
Under the programme, UPC invites the authors of the winning project to cooperate according to the catchphrase „Let’s do this business together”Read more
Think Big. Elevator Pitch. The new challenge for the finalist of THINK BIG 4
On March 15 we will discover the winner of the 4th edition of UPC Think Big – a competition for entrepreneurs who want to develop their business based on new technologies.Read more
Agenda - The Grand Finale of the 3rd edition of THINK BIGRead more
The Start-up which attracted the most online media attention in 2016 will be honoured by UPC Biznes during the gala of the Think Big programme for entrepreneursRead more
MEET THE SEMIFINALISTS OF THE 4TH THINK BIG EDITION
The three emotional editions are already behind us. In spite of the winter aura, we heat up the atmosphere and proudly present the twenty solutions which made it to the semi-final of the fourth edition of Think Big.Read more
THE FOURTH EDITION OF THINK BIG POWERED BY UPC BIZNES LAUNCHED UNDER A NEW FORMULA
UPC expands the region for the participants of the programme and invites entrepreneurs from the CEE region.Read more
ELEPHANT WINS THE 2ND EDITION OF THE THINK BIG ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMME
The 'Elephant' project won the first prize in the THINK BIG contest for small businesses with global ambitions, organized by UPC Biznes.Read more
LUNA EMG WINS THE 2ND EDITION OF THE THINK BIG ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMME
Luna EMG has won the first award in the THINK BIG contest for small businesses with global ambitions, organized by UPC Biznes.Read more
IZZYBIKE WINNING THE THINK BIG COMPETITION FOR BUSINESSES
Izzybike has won the first award in the THINK BIG contest for small businesses but with global ambitions, organized by UPC Biznes.Read more
Finalists of the THINK BIG
On May 16th and 17th, the top ten of THINK BIG 5th edition will present their business ideas to an experienced team of mentors and jurors. The prize pool is 20,000 euro and the possibility of further development under the wing of UPC Biznes.
The TOP 10 are as follows:
- Cyberus Labs
- Tutorial Online
- Voicelab Ai
- WeSavvy Poland
CallPage is the winner of the 4th edition of the Think Big programme for entrepreneurs run by UPC Biznes
Under the programme, UPC invites the authors of the winning project to cooperate according to the catchphrase „Let’s do this business together”
During the formal gala held at Arkady Kubickiego in Warsaw, the winner of the 4th edition of the Think Big programme was announced. The new formula of the programme includes and invites entrepreneurs from the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The winner is Ross Knap, the co-founder of CallPage, who received the prize of EUR 10,000 as well as the invitation for cooperation with UPC. The Jury prize of equal value was awarded to the VoicePin project.
The 4th edition of the Think Big programme included entrepreneurs not only from Poland, but also the entire Central and Eastern European region. The programme’s brand new formula was launched in October 2016. In January, the contest commission with D-Raft business analysts selected nine finalists: BetterSoftware, CallPage, Dolphio, Gamfi, Lab4Motion, OnBoardX, VoicePin, Wandlee and WellServed – overall, seven companies from Poland, one from Hungary and one from Romania. According to the new rules, the submitted project had to show business potential in one of the three areas – B2B, customer experience, or marketing tools and technologies. The success of the participants was to be determined by their business potential, originality and maturity of the submitted solution as well as its synergy with solutions sought by UPC.
The Think Big Jury decided that this year’s award along with 10,000 euros and the invitation for cooperation with UPC on business development should go to CallPage. The company developed a system for requesting callbacks from consultants via a website.
“The participation in the Think Big programme provides us with the opportunity to enter not only the Polish market, but all Central and Eastern European markets where UPC operates. This ensures our visibility which is a key component of every company’s development. For us, the Think Big award is a confirmation that what we’ve been doing for the last two years has a great business potential. We are even more glad, since our competition was very strong,” says Ross Knap, CallPage co-founder.
During this year’s gala, the Jury awarded another prize of EUR 10,000 – to Łukasz Dyląg from VoicePin. The company created a voice authentication tool.
A special prize was awarded to Dolphio – for raising important social issues.
The winner of the BIG6 ranking – which ranks Polish start-ups that conquered the Internet in 2016 – was HealthUp, the creator of MySpiroo spirometer.
“Once again Think Big proves that we are surrounded by many creative ideas. All finalists displayed not only their spirit of innovation, but also the spirit of entrepreneurship. UPC and Liberty Global have been supporting Polish and foreign entrepreneurs in developing business projects based on digital technologies for many years. I am very happy that we can support creative projects and contribute to their further dynamic development,” said Frans-Willem de Kloet, CEO of UPC Polska.
This 4th edition marks the first time a special prize has been awarded to the winner of a debut Think Big competition: Elevator Pitch. The challenge presented to each of the 7 finalists consisted of presenting and selling their business idea in the most attractive way possible to the randomly drawn member of the Think Big jury in the elevator of the Warsaw Spire building. For two weeks, Internet users could vote for their favourite film on the Business Insider website. Their choice turned out to be Łukasz Dyląg from VoicePin.
The special guest of the Think Big final gala was David Rowan, a long-time editor-in-chief of the WIRED magazine, focused on reporting the impact of technology on politics, economy and science. Mr. Rowan presented the lecture entitled How is technology changing business rules?
The members of the Jury of this year’s edition of the Think Big programme consisted of independent business experts and members of the UPC Management Board, including: Michał Olszewski – vice-president of Warsaw and the initiator of Smolna Centre for Entrepreneurship; Piotr Chęciński – TV broadcaster and journalist; Olga Kozierowska – initiator of women’s entrepreneurship promotion, creator of the project Sukces Pisany Szminką; Artur Kurasiński – blogger and entrepreneur; Przemysław Pająk – editor-in-chief of Spider’s Web; Arkadiusz Piechocki – Partner in SpeedUp Venture Capital Group; Tomasz Rudolf – President of D-Raft; Sergiusz Sawin – Vice-president of D-Raft; Cezary Szymanek – Bloomberg Businessweek and Sukces magazine editor-in-chief; Łukasz Wejchert – founder of Dirlango, investor; Paweł Zielewski – deputy editor-in-chief of FORBES magazine; Dariusz Żuk – CEO of Entrepreneurial Poland.
Honorary Patronage of the Programme was assumed by the Ministry of Development and the President of Warsaw. Media patronage is provided by Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and Spider’s Web. Partners of the initiative: SpeedUp Venture Capital Group, Aula Polska, THINK TANK and Think Tank Cyfrowy. The expert partner of the programme is The Heart.
Think Big is a programme for entrepreneurs who want to develop their business based on new technologies. The programme offers them the opportunity to benefit from global experience and expert knowledge of UPC. The objective of the programme is providing support for entrepreneurs by enabling them to improve their products and services. Since 2012, UPC has been successfully running the programme which up to and including its last edition registered nearly 500 applications from entrepreneurs with varying business history and experience.
THE LAST CHALLENGE FOR THE UPC THINK BIG FINALISTS
SEE WHO MANAGED TO SELL THEIR PRODUCT IN 3 MINUTES IN…
VOTE FOR THE WINNER!
On March 15 we will discover the winner of the 4th edition of UPC Think Big – a competition for entrepreneurs who want to develop their business based on new technologies.
As we enter the last leg of the race, the finalists must face the ultimate challenge:
– Think Big. Elevator Pitch –
In a randomly drawn scenario, they will have 3 minutes to pitch their product as well as they can to the demanding judges of the competition.
See how Think Big finalists handled the time pressure and vote for those who were the best at completing the task.
The finalist with the largest number of votes will receive a special distinction from Internet users during the final Think Big gala.
The voting is open until March 15.
Agenda - The Grand Finale of the 3rd edition of THINK BIG
Master of Ceremony – Roman Młodkowski
15:10 Introduction by Agnieszka Zawistowska and Chris Coles - MD Business Markets, Liberty Global
15: 20 - 15:30 The vice-president of Warsaw City
15:30 - 15:40 Ministry of Economy & Development
15:40 – 16:10 Post-reality. Trends in 2017 and beyond - Natalia Hatalska (well-known blogger, trend analyst, author of the hatalska.com blog regarded as one of the most influential ones in Poland).
coffee break & innovation room
- Announcement of the winner of BIG6 ranking & presentation of the winner (BIG 6 ranking was organized by UPC for the first time. It’s dedicated to Polish start-ups that attracted the most media and online community attention in 2016)
- Presentation of 9 finalists of the Think Big competition
Jury deliberations & coffee break & innovation room
- Discussion ‘It’s time for CEE tech entrepreneurs. How to boost high-tech innovation in Central
and Eastern Europe.’
- Mihnea Radulescu - VP B2B, UPC CEE
- Entrepreneurs from the CEE Region:
- Michal Smida, Founder & CEO at Twisto (Czech Republic)
- Ionut Cotoi, CEO of DeviceHub (Romania)
- Radoslaw Pallach - Elephant Door system – winner of 3rd edition of THINK BIG (Poland)
18:50 - Special Guest - David Rowan - long-term editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine - How is technology changing business rules?
19:50 Award Ceremony of 4th edition of THINK BIG (Severina Pascu, Frans-Willem de Kloet)
20.10 - Cocktails
Innovation room: interactive mirrors – winner of 3rd edition of THINK BIG (Abbys Glass), 3D painting application (Berrylife), technology of air quality sensors providing accurate information about air around (Airly)
The Start-up which attracted the most online media attention in 2016 will be honoured by UPC Biznes during the gala of the Think Big programme for entrepreneurs
Warsaw, 9 January 2017: BIG 6, Polish start-ups that conquered the Internet in 2016, is a ranking organised by UPC Biznes for the very first time. The eponymous BIG 6 was nominated by the jury of the Think Big programme, and Internet users will decide which is the best start-up. The prize for the start-up that attracted the most media and online community attention in the past year will be presented in March 2017, during the Grand Finale of the 4th edition of UPC Biznes’ Think Big programme.
“For many years UPC Biznes has been supporting and inspiring young entrepreneurs to boldly venture beyond the established borders. We believe that young companies offering innovative solutions are an important source and driver of changes in digital economy. This is why we are proud to announce that within the last 7 years, Liberty Global, the owner of UPC Polska, invested over USD 150 million in the development of start-ups. With the BIG 6 ranking we want to show our appreciation to the companies that due to innovation, passion, successful commitment and strong leadership have achieved success in terms of both business and image, which is confirmed by their media and online presence. The media and the Internet are very particular trend detectors, whose attention can prove to be the key factor in the process of acquiring clients and subsequent business development. BIG 6 is a ranking in which we appreciate the creativity of the new generation of entrepreneurs, and we reward their ability to effectively showcase their solutions to the world and build a recognisable brand,” says Agnieszka Zawistowska, UPC Biznes director.
Companies nominated for the first BIG 6 ranking include:
- Brand 24 - the most popular tool for monitoring Internet and Social Media in Poland that enables discovering opinions about a particular business. Brand24 offers instant access to billions of Polish-language mentions both in social media and traditional Internet sources (forums, blogs, news websites and many more).
- DocPlanner - one of the largest medical services platforms in the world, in Poland branded as ZnanyLekarz.pl, develops similar services in 25 countries worldwide.
- Growbots - Polish-American start-up creating and delivering tools for the automation of the sales process, that last year got accepted to one of the largest business accelerators in the world.
- HealthUp – the company that creates MySpiroo – a small, light and portable spirometer that will be wirelessly connected to the dedicated smartphone application. This user-friendly device helps the patients constantly monitor their respiratory functions.
- iTaxi - the largest Polish platform connecting passengers with licensed taxi drivers, that potentially can seriously shake the market and challenge Uber. The taxi can be conveniently called via an intuitive application, online or via the phone.
- LiveChat - innovative Polish tool for sales, consulting and customer service on the website, that revolutionised e-commerce communications.
From 27 December 2017 until the end of February you can vote for your favourites at thinkbig.upc.pl/BIG6. The organiser of the ranking will fund the prize of a 12-month superfast 600/60 Mb/s Internet package from UPC Biznes for the Internet user who submits the most creative justification of their choice. The winner of the vote – the best of the eponymous BIG 6 – will be awarded a commemorative statue and will receive the title of “the Start-up that shook the Internet in 2016”. The prize will be presented by UPC Biznes during the final gala of the 4th edition of the Think Big programme in March 2017.
The distinction is supported by the main message of the THINK BIG programme carried out by UPC Biznes. The competition addressed to micro and small entrepreneurs with ambitions for global expansion of their business, which they develop based on new technologies, is organised this year for the fourth time. Entrepreneurs from all over Poland had until December 22 to apply for the participation in the UPC Biznes programme that rewards the best ideas for business development with a contract for cooperation and a financial prize of EUR 10,000. Another prize of EUR 10,000 will be awarded by the Jury.
Meet semifinalists 4th edition of THINK BIG
III editions filled with great emotions already past us. In spite of winter aura, we heat up the atmosphere and we proudly present 20 solutions, which made it into the Semi-final of fourth edition of Think Big, a competition for innovative entrepreneurs.
After a long debate, our jurors and mentors chose the following:
- Better software (BS Group)
- Lab 4 motion
- Onyx Beacon
- Samba TV
Only half of them will go to the Grand Final, which will take place in the spring.
The final 10 will be announced on Tuesday.
UPC expands the realms of the programme and invites to cooperate entrepreneurs from CEE region.
LET'S DO THIS BUSINESS TOGETHER, Warsaw, 18 October 2016: The fourth edition of Think Big programme has been launched - the programme for entrepreneurs organised by UPC Biznes, the operator of advanced telecommunications services for businesses. The key idea of Think Big is supporting business projects developed by people who are devoted to new technologies. This year the programme will be carried out based on new provisions: competing for the opportunity of global business development, under the wing of the largest provider of digital services in Poland in the form of the chance to cooperate and win a financial prize from UPC, will be entrepreneurs from Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.
Think Big is a programme addressed to entrepreneurs who want to develop their businesses based on new technologies. Under the programme they will have an opportunity to use the global experience and knowledge of UPC experts. The aim of the programme is supporting entrepreneurs by enabling them to improve their products and services. UPC has been successfully running the programme since 2013. Until the previous edition nearly 500 entrepreneurs with various backgrounds and business experience had submitted their applications.
According to the new provisions of the programme the submitted project must carry business potential in one of the three areas: B2B, customer experience, IT & technology, and must be run on the Polish, Czech, Romanian, Slovakian or Hungarian market. The success in the competition will depend on the business potential, originality and maturity of the submitted solution as well as its synergy with the solutions desired by UPC. The winner will receive 10.000 euros and the opportunity to develop a model of cooperation with UPC. A Special Jury Prize in the amount of 10.000 euros will also be available.
The organisers point out that participation in the competition can be, as seen in the previous editions, a chance for global development of business. The participants of Think Big not only make new contacts in the course of the competition but also attract attention of investors and the largest media covering business trends.
- The development of innovative entrepreneurship is sky-rocketing now and the business creators from Central-Eastern Europe are particularly courageous and determined to build their competitive advantage. In addition, along with the development of the internet and the increase of devices with network access, the communication barriers disappear, which makes running a company with global ambitions much more feasible than ever before. Think Big is a programme we use to give the chance to the creativity of the generation which uses modern technologies in their everyday work. We want to contribute to the further growth of digital economy.- says Frans-Willem de Kloet, President of UPC Polska.
This year's edition of Think Big will be divided into three stages. To participate in the competition it is necessary, between 18 October and 31 January 2018, to fill in and submit the form available on the programme's website: www.thinkbig.pl. Simultaneously, in Poland and outside its borders, the process of scouting will be carried out by the substantive partner of the programme - D-Raft. Under this stage the Jury will select 20 solutions. The semi-finals, including internal sessions in UPC, will last from November till January 2017. This stage will end with the selection of 10 best projects whose creators will participate in the final workshops of Think Big and will subsequently be evaluated by the Jury during the Grand Finale in March 2017.
This year's Jury of Think Big will feature independent business experts and Members of the Board of UPC Polska, including: Michał Olszewski- Vice-mayor of Warsaw, Łukasz Wejchert- founder of Dirlango, Arkadiusz Piechocki - Managing Partner in SpeedUp Venture Capital Group, Olga Kozierowska- Initiator of the women's entrepreneurship promotion in Poland, creator of Success Written by Lipstick; Cezary Szymanek - Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg Businessweek Polska and "Sukces" magazine, Artur Kurasiński- blogger, entrepreneur and creator of Aula Polska, Przemysław Pająk- Editor-in-Chief of Spiders Web, Paweł Zielewski- Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Forbes, Tomasz Rudolf- CEO of D-Raft, Sergiusz Sawin- vice president of D-Raft, Dariusz Żuk- CEO and co-creator of the AIP group and Piotr Chęciński - economic journalist.
The Honorary Patronage over the programme is taken by the Ministry of Development and the Mayor of Warsaw, D-Raft is the programme's Substantive Partner, the media is managed by Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and Spider’s Web, and the Partners of the programme are: SpeedUp Venture Capital Group, Aula Polska, THINK TANK and Think Tank Cyfrowy.
Project 'Elephant' won the first prize in the contest for small businesses with global ambitions – THINK BIG, organized by UPC Biznes.
he following edition of the UPC Biznes' program for micro and mini-businesses has ended. The competition was addresses to creators of business projects already operating on the market and using new technologies and innovative digital solutions. The organizers have awarded the first prize in the amount of 50k PLN and two consecutive awards amounting to 15k PLN each to Travelist and Abyss Glass.
The Jury selected as the winning project Elephant that is the intelligent emergency system in the category of Internet of Things
Radek Pallach, one of the creators of the victorious project, stated:
We are excited to win because our project has been appreciated many times throughout the current edition of the program. First, with the decision of the Jury we made it to the semi-finals, then we received the credit of trust from the web users who voted for the Elefant Door project on Facebook. Now finally, the decisive verdict has been made by the Jury. We are hoping that the victory in Think Big 2016 will attract to ‘smart alarm' the attention of many decisive people and institutions, which has already been confirmed by the last year's winners of the contest. We are even more assured of the potential of Elephant Door which we wish to target to foreign markets within the few upcoming years.
The winners of the first prize have persuaded to their idea the Jury consisting of, inter alia: Piotr Chęciński(also in the role of the host of the Gala) – author of television programmes, publicist and producer,Christopher B. Coles – Managing Director for Business Markets at Liberty Global, Bartłomiej Gola – managing partner of SpeedUp Group, Patrycja Gołos – Corporate Affairs & Public Policy Director of UPC Polska, Nino Dżikija – Editor in Chief of INNPoland, Olga Kozierowska – initiator of the promotion of female enterpreneurship, the creator of Sukces Pisany Szminką, Artur Kurasiński – blogger, entrepreneur and the creator of Aula Polska, Beata Lubos – Head of Innovation Policy Division in Innovation and Industry Department, Roman Młodkowski – economic journalist, Monika Nowak-Toporowicz – Technical Service Support & Infrastructure Director in UPC Polska, Michał Olszewski – Deputy Mayor of the City of Warsaw and the initiator of Centrum Przedsiębiorczości Smolna, Andrzej Pągowski – graphic designer, Sander Vonk– Director of Liberty Global Ventures, Łukasz Wejchert – founder of Dirlango, Agnieszka Zawistowska – Director of UPC Biznes, Paweł Zielewski – Editor in Chief of FORBES and Dariusz Żuk – and the co-founder and President of Polska Przedsiębiorcza.
Two consecutive awards of 15k PLN each were given to: Travelist and Abyss Glass.
According to the opinion of the Director of UPC Biznes – Agnieszka Zawistowska:
UPC Biznes supports Polish entrepreneurs because it is small businesses which are the creators of innovation today – the phenomenon crucial for the increase of the competitiveness of the Polish economy. Poland is now within the first five of the fastest digitizing European states, to which micro-entrepreneurs greatly contribute. Year after year the amount of tools supporting the development of the digitizing process increases, and we – as a technological company – can be proud to support the changes, both through the continuously increasing offer of advanced digital services for businesses, and with the promotion of the best projects competing in the Think Big program.
o win the prizes of the third edition of THINK BIG competed companies which operate in the e-commerce and mobile sectors. Projects which made it to the strict finals were:
Abyss Glass – producers of interactive mirrors used as advertising space
wooloo.pl – web portal for commissioning small services
Elephant - Elephant Door application – intelligent emergency system in the category of the Internet of Things (paired with our electronic devices, e.g. smartphone)
Budikom – solutions in the computing cloud of Ignis Office dedicated for small and medium businesses
Infocode – he creators of BIN.E –the intelligent system for the managing of household waste
BrightTech – Ownere application and system enabling registering and identifying lost electronic equipment
BusinessForecast – an IT tool in the form of service for the performance of cloud business forecast
Travelist – he service which operates as a base of tourist offers in the lowest market prices
Youcreo.com – he creators of the application which enables individuals to prepare materials for printing
The Finale of the third edition of Think Big was opened by the Mayor of the City of Warsaw – Hanna Gronkiewicz Waltz, Jerzy Kwieciński – Secretary of State in the Ministry of Development also delivered his speech. During the Gala special guest appearances took place, namely: Marek Zmysłowski – CEO in HotelOga, co-founder and former CEO in Jovago.com – the largest web portal for booking hotels in Africa,Dean Johnson – project leader, startup mentor in the Front Row I/O incubator, the former vice-president of The Chartered Society of Designers and Egzotech- the winners of the last year's edition of Think Big.
This year's novelty was the Showroom space where each finalist was to give a hands-on demonstration of the functioning of their project or service. As in the last year we prepared the Innovation Room. Under this space the guests of the Grand Finale of Think Big could learn about the most interesting Polish technological projects of the last few years. This year's Innovation Room featured: the intelligent electric city bike equipped with iBeacon technology – JivrBike, interactive screen – Monster & Devices and the polyphasic sleep mask – NeuroOn created by Intelclinic.
Patrons: Honorary Patronage of the Mayor of Warsaw, Honorary Patronage of the Ministry of Economy, Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, Polish Agency for Enterprise Development Substantive Partner: SpeedUp Venture Capital Group
Partners Aula Polska, Business Link, Liberty Global Ventures
Media Patrons: Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, INNPoland, Pierwszy Milion
LUNA EMG WINS 2ND EDITION OF THINK BIG ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM
Luna EMG has won the first award in the THINK BIG contest for small businesses with global ambitions, organized by UPC Biznes.
During the finals of the 2nd edition of the THINK BIG contest - "2015 THINK BIG Final & Inspiration Day by UPC Biznes" - the program's jury, having examined a set of most innovative projects created by Polish businesses, selected ten finalists. The contest was open to entrepreneurs who are familiar with using new technologies and unconventional, innovative business solutions with a potential of global expansion in their day-to-day work. The organizers awarded the main prize of PLN 40,000 and two prizes of PLN 20,000 each. The first three winners will have an opportunity to attend the THINK BIG Academy, comprising a series of dedicated mentor sessions with UPC Biznes experts and business practitioners.
The first prize was awarded to a project presented by Luna EMG, a producer of rehabilitation robots.
Michał Mikulski, co-author of the winning project, told us:
The Think Big contest is a great opportunity to us and we are delighted to receive this award. Recognition among experts is a significant factor in the expansion of any innovative business. It is an important step forward in taking our project to a wider scale, beyond the borders of the country. We want to find out how our business model will be received abroad. As you can see, thinking 'big' pays off.
Two parallel awards of PLN 20,000 each were granted to: Leia Display System - creators of a display enabling mid-air image projection and Lo Fi Robot - a robot construction and robotics education system.
In just a 3-minute presentation, combined with a 3-minute question and answer session, the award winners were able to convince the jury, including: Sander Vonk - Director of Ventures at Liberty Global Ventures, Łukasz Wejchert - founder of Dirlango, Grzegorz Kiszluk - Editor-in-Chief of Brief magazine,Paweł Zielewski - Editor at Forbes and Pierwszy Milion, Roman Młodkowski - independent consultant, journalist, creator of TVN CNBC business TV channel, Agnieszka Zawistowska - Director of Business Services at UPC Polska and Patrycja Gołos, Director Corporate Affairs & Public Policy at UPC Polska.
According to the CEO of UPC Polska - Ramiro Lafarga:
t is only harmonious, continued economic growth, driven by innovative entrepreneurs who create new business value, that can ensure the development of societies. This process surely requires creativity and initiative of company founders themselves, but also universal access to superfast Internet, which enables breaking down communication and information barriers, making the daily running of a business even more competitive. UPC Polska, being a company operating in the sector of new technologies, is committed to the active promotion of these changes.
The competition for the first award in the 2nd edition of THINK BIG was among companies from such sectors as e-commerce, robotics, healthcare, IT and biotechnology. The final round was reached by: Luna EMG - creators of rehabilitation robots, eWejściówki.pl - a website selling standing theatre tickets via Internet, Bivrost - creators of Oculus Rift interactive goggles, Sport Tracking – authors of a training support system using range-of-motion analysis, Leia Display System – creators of a display enabling mid-air image projection, Printify – customized 3D printing platform, Coder's Lab – first Polish Programming School, Lo Fi Robot – a robot construction and robotics education system, Prowly – a CRM system dedicated to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of PR operations, Sortsound – an application for music bands and clubs facilitating organization of concerts worldwide.
The Think Big Final & Inspiration Day by UPC Biznes was marked by speeches given by special guests, including Krystian Cieślak – Chief Marketing Officer of Ifinity – Polish producer of beacons, Janusz Kaniewski – one of the highest renowned designers in the Polish market and a long-standing designer for one of the best-known design studios in the world – Pininfarin, who introduced the attendees of the event to the technology of future cities. Olga Kozierowska – initiator of support and promotion of Polish women in social and economic life, author of the Sukces Pisany Szminką project (Eng.: Success Written in Lipstick) and juror in the Think Big program, attracted the audience with one of her motivational "power speeches", photographer Dennis Hodges familiarized the guests with his New Perspective concept, and Michał Wolniak – Chief Strategy Officer of VML Polska, listed 10 technologies from our closest environment offering the highest potential for improving the quality of life of digital societies.
As previously, the organizers decided to allot part of space at the Think Big Final 2015 to the exclusive use of companies invited to participate in the so-called Innovation Room. This area was open to all guests at the grand Think Big finals, allowing them to get acquainted with the newest innovations implemented globally by companies founded in Poland. The Innovation Room 2015 hosted such companies as: Ifinity – beacon producer, or Wristy – authors of the first Polish wrist watch.
The finals were attended also by the authors of a unique publication "Andrzej Pągowski & young creative for UPC Biznes". The six-page calendar, created by Andrzej Pągowski – author of the artwork and one of the jurors for the program, along with his younger colleagues – Jan Bajtlik, Wojciech Domagalski, Filip Tofil and Patrycja Rek, pictures inspirational mottos for entrepreneurs: courage, thinking outside the box, global expansion, passion for business, mission possible and balance. The artists' presence in the finals of the 2nd edition of Think Big coincided with the first official presentation of all works included in the calendar to the public.
IZZYBIKE THE WINNER OF THE THINK BIG COMPETITION FOR BUSINESSES
Marta Jurek and her IzzyBike project won the first prize in the competition for small companies with global ambitions Think Big, organized by UPC Biznes.
During Inspiration Day, the finale event of the Think Big competition, the jury selected projects for the most innovative business out of 10 finalists. The competition was addressed to companies already operating on the market and which presented exceptional ideas for further development. The winners received the main prize of PLN 40,000 and two prizes of PLN 10,000 each.
The jury chose Izzybike as the winner, i.e., the project of marketing a bike without a chain. "The prize will allow us to introduce our innovative project to the market. The decision of the jury is a great challenge for us and, at the same time, responsibility. We know that now more people believe in this project and that is why we will be working on it with even greater determination" - Marta Jurek said about her success in the Think Big competition.
Two runner up prizes of PLN 10,000 each was presented to: Windu CMS - a tool for creating web sites, and the National Network of Children Labs Junior Discoverer. The winner of the main prize convinced the jury to her idea: Dariusz Bogdan - undersecretary of state, Ministry for Economy, Grzegorz Kiszluk - editor in chief Brief magazine, Olga Kozierowska - initiator of promoting women's entrepreneurship, author of the Success painted in lipstick project, author of programs aired on TVN 24 and Radio Pin, Barbara Sielicka - editor Bankier.pl, Grzegorz Marynowicz - analist Bankier.pl and editor of portal Mambiznes.pl, Artur Kurasinski - blogger and businessman, Bartlomiej Gola - managing partner, SpeedUp Venture Capital Group and Agnieszka Zawistowska, Director for B2B services UPC Polska and Patrycja Golos, Director for Corporate and Public Affairs UPC Polska.
According to Betzalela Kenigszteina, Managing Director Liberty Globa, Central and Eastern Europe, the winner of Think Big will certainly expand the group of Poland's most innovative companies. 'Innovations implemented by creative businesses drive the economy and Poland has the chance to join the ranks of leading European countries if it places its bets on innovation - he stressed. - UPC Polska understands this well, hence the initiative to launch the Think Big competition - he added. Contenders for the main prize were: Electronic Flower Fair, ElimiDate, a mobile dating application Fanshop xTRI.pl for triathlonists and sports fans and IzzyBike, - a project of commercializing a bike without a chain, KINETIZER, creator of an innovative tool for the job market, Creator of pleading letters, which helps in civil action cases, Mamabu for export - international store with Polish design for children, Museum Guide, a mobile platform which presents art in a comfortable and attractive way, National Network of Children Laboratories Junior Discoverer and the innovative tool for creating web sites - Windu CMS.
Inspiration Day was the final event of the Think Big competition which also hosted special guests, including authors of Dice+, i.e., electronic dice for board games in digital version, representatives of iTraff - authors of the technology recognizing pictures and Omni 3D - the first company which began the assembly and production of 3D printers in Poland. Partners of the Think Big competition are: Polish Economic Chamber, SpeedUp Venture Capital Group, Cowork and media: Brief, Bankier.pl , Święto Kobiet Biznesu, Sukces Pisany Szminką and Newspaper for SME.