Many countries including the UK have a keen interest in exporting. And exporting doesn’t come any bigger these days than when it comes to Tech. Only recently, DisruptionBanking covered the UK FinTech Mission to Western Europe’s event in Switzerland. Where some of the best Fintech Startups from across the United Kingdom were showcased. Countries like Poland are also involved in these types of initiatives.
With the British summer in full swing. Warnings of mini heat waves. And cocktail parties on top floors of buildings around Shoreditch and the City. It was only a matter of time till the editorial team at Disruption Banking managed to get to a top floor bar where an exclusive event was being held. This time focusing on connecting Polish Tech firms, as well as others, looking at the United Kingdom as a destination for business.
Many years ago, events hosted by the Polish community often took place in Kensington and Hammersmith. At these events internationally celebrated pianists like Anna Maria Stanczyk have often graced the stage adding a certain je ne sais quoi to proceedings. Today things have evolved. Sometimes people even attend events in sneakers. Even traditional city workers.
Polish Tech Day
Polish Tech Day is the biggest project of PLUGin Foundation, a vibrant international community that unites and supports the Polish innovation diaspora around the world.
It has been the main platform for bilateral business relations between the Polish and British innovation and technology sectors. Since its first edition in 2015, Polish Tech Days has hosted over 180 speakers including Marta Krupinska and Olga Grygier-Siddons, for instance.
Over the years the organizers of Polish Tech Day have chosen different venues and diverse ways to evolve the agenda. The last time our editorial team attended the event it was at the now closed Google Campus in London. Back in 2019.
This was the first time since then that there has been a face-to-face meeting for Polish entrepreneurs in London. For a taste of the type of Fintechs who call Poland home, here is a recap into some of the exciting banking technology solutions in the Polish market today:
Polish Tech Firms have a platform in the UK
There is clearly a need for something like Polish Tech Day taking into the account the success of Poland as a Tech outsourcing / near sourcing hub. And these Polish tech firms will want to expand to countries like the UK or even further to the U.S. or Singapore. Logically, then, Google for Startups is the strategic partner of the event.
This year Polish Tech Day took place in three capital cities. In Warsaw, Paris and on the last day in London. Where our editorial team caught up with the organizers. And with one of the partners of the event, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency or PAIH.
But before we continue. It’s worth mentioning that the event was held at Eight Moorgate Club, at a roof top bar. In fact, Polish City Club are members of the exclusive club in the City. Polish City Club were another of the partners to the event. Polish Tech Day did an amazing job putting the evening together. As well as the whole three days of the event.
How PAIH is helping Polish entrepreneurs in London
PAIH have a representative office in London. From the London office, Rafal Owczarek, Head of Foreign Trade Office in London and Dublin at the Polish Investment & Trade Agency joined the event. We decided to find out more about the type of support that PAIH can offer to Polish companies coming to the UK. The setting was certainly perfect for a discussion about how important Polish tech firms are for PAIH.
Rafal started by explaining how PAIH was trying to “stimulate Polish companies and encourage them to export.” He continued by explaining how the Agency itself is industry agnostic, but that the PLUGin foundation were long standing partners of PAIH. And how PAIH were delighted to partner with an organization that helps showcase Polish startups. That helps them “match their ideas and products with capital and with business partners here in London,” Rafal said. Adding “which is, of course, the centre of the financial world.”
PAIH supporting Polish Tech firms and StartUps
PAIH have taken a step further into supporting fintech companies recently by signing a co-operation agreement with the FinTech Poland Foundation.
Rafal explained how now PAIH would have access to the Polish fintech map. Which is how they describe this co-operation agreement in Poland. Where you have access to a whole range of fintech companies that are already through various stages of financing. Helping them access the overseas market.
“London is such an important city for the Polish community. There are between seven and nine hundred thousand Polish people who have settled in the United Kingdom and made this country their home.” Rafal shared. He continued by explaining how technology is a “new area that we are trying to stimulate. And our agreement with Fintech Poland is one of those steps forward.”
Rafal also shared insights into a startup that the London office of PAIH is currently supporting. The startup operates in the field of sustainability solutions. But, most importantly, they are being hosted at PAIH’s London offices. He explained how PAIH are “actively finding contacts in the market that are matching their [the Startups] requirements. Not only in terms of capital investment, but primarily in terms of finding actual business partners who will be interested in taking on their product and introducing it to the UK market.”
To find out more about PAIH there is a recording available of the interview online:
Author: Andy Samu
The Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) supports both the foreign expansion of Polish business and the inflow of FDI into Poland. We also aim to boost Polish exports. Supporting entrepreneurs, the Agency assists in overcoming administrative and legal procedures, related to specific projects as well as helps to develop legal solutions, find a suitable location, reliable partners and suppliers.
The Agency implements pro-export projects such as “the Polish Tech Bridges” dedicated to the expansion of innovative Small and Medium-Sized enterprises. PAIH actively work with the leading Polish sectors, regarding foreign expansion and offer support to Polish companies wishing to develop in new markets. PAIH is also responsible for the promotion of Poland at the upcoming World Exhibition EXPO Dubai 2020.