On Tuesday (14 May), the Start-Up Challenge awards were presented during the European Start-Up Days (ESD), an event accompanying the 11th European Economic Congress in Katowice. Here are the best of the best.

The European Start-up Days is an event which connects start-ups and corporations and business-support organisations. The purpose of the event is to integrate circles of young entrepreneurs with experts, CEO’s of large companies, investors, and successful business people who attend the European Economic Congress in Katowice.

“We want the start-up event accompanying the European Economic Congress to be as effective as possible, and to generate real benefits and relations. I started my business 20 years ago, and I know how hard it is to reach the largest customers. I trust that this event will support you and help promote your projects”, said Wojciech Kuśpik, CEO of PTWP SA, initiator of the European Economic Congress.

“We care about you. About your thinking on the economy of the future. We are interested in implementing your ideas and making the world wonder. I'm looking at various parts of the world, in particular Silicon Valley. It's there that many Poles make their dreams come true. I think that step-by-step we'll also be able to boast interesting projects which will result from ventures in big business with you – smaller, but already-important companies,” said Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice.

This year it is for the fourth time that a competition for start-up is organised during ESD. A record number of almost 300 start-ups from several continents took part in the competition. The best 18 had an opportunity to present themselves during the event. From among them the jury selected the best six.

“We started our adventure with business several years ago when we set up ING Księgowość [Accounting]. We were very innovative – we were the first to launch paperless accounting. We had relatively easy access to capital. It was simpler for us to proceed from the start-up phase and then to scale-up. Currently, we handle the books of account of almost 500 companies,” said Artur Kuczera, Director for the development of banking services at ING Bank Śląski. “Taxes, payroll, accounting, are the last things a start-up founder has in mind. We want to support you and we will provide winners with one year of care,” he added.

Bioceltix was the winner of the competition in the category of medicine, health, medical technologies, pharmacy, and biotechnology . The jury awarded the prize for an ambitious plan of clinical research, its developed business model, and the possibility to scale-up the solutions. The expertise of the team were appreciated, too.

MakeGrowLab was the winner in the environmental-protection category: technologies for the climate, ecological crops, smart energy, the use of raw materials, and waste-recycling technologies. The solution helps to reduce the use of plastic packaging, and additionally there is no need to additionally store waste related to food production. The jury appreciated the low production costs and the possibilities to scale-up the business.

QNA technology won in the category of Industry 4.0, robotics, automatics, production systems, new materials, and the space industry. The jury awarded the prize for the high innovation level of the solution and the broad range of proposed commercialisation fields. The jury appreciated the technological skills of the team and their readiness for technical challenges at the production stage.

Hyper Poland is the winner in the category of traditional industry, power generation, telecommunications, transport, and construction. The jury rewarded the innovative use of hyperloop technology, providing for its gradual implementation on the existing railway lines and a detailed plan of research processes. The jury also appreciated the advanced process of obtaining patent protection.

ProperGate was the winner in the category of management, analysis, ICT, cyber security, logistics, and HR. The company received recognition for its ideas based on profound market analysis and the needs of market participants, as well for the major potential of business scalability. Also, the dynamic team was appreciated.

Trade, customer experience, e-commerce, fintech, edutech, gaming, sport, and the free-time industry was the category in which Salesbook was the winner. The company was appreciated for its process solutions which materially improve the operating effectiveness of salespersons by way of automated reporting and analysis of customers’ reactions to the submitted tenders. The jury also noted the interesting portfolio of market implementations.




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