10:15 - 11:00 - Session 1: Polish IT – Coming of Age? While there are plenty of anecdotal success stories in Polish IT, there’s a general consensus that the country lacks some basics if the sector is to gain steam. Tech parks complain they need help gaining visibility, others point out that research and development lags. Meanwhile, multinationals are here, but mostly to take advantage of Polish IT talent at a reasonable cost. One key: connecting entrepreneurship and financial backers with innovators – which surely Poland has. What are the keys to pushing Polish IT forward over the next decade?
Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, Tomasz Snażyk, Krzysztof Kowalczyk
At the session: Tomasz Snażyk, managing partner, Cytowski LLC; Adam Bergmann, COO, IN2KNO Ltd.; Krzysztof Kowalczyk, HardGamma Consulting; Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska,Polidea software; John Beauchamp, Managing Editor wbj.pl.
Tomasz Snażyk is managing partner of the Warsaw office of Cytowski LLC. Snażyk focuses his practice on legal advice to growth companies and clean tech companies. In the energy space he focuses on renewable technologies and clean energy project finance. Snażyk is serial entrepreneurial and has been involved in various tech and IT start-ups as an adviser or an investor both in the US and Poland. Most recently he has been involved in a US start-up with a subsidiary in Poland, which provides unique personal and management services to Polish expats and another start up in the virtualization and localization service sector in Poland. He is routinely retained for his out of the box and creative thinking and deep business expertise for start-up companies as well as companies in the oil and gas sector and renewable energy technology. He has represented both founders as well as venture funds and angels in Poland and the US.
Adam Bergmann is Chief Operating Officer of IT security firm IN2KNO Ltd., focused on providing top-class cybersecurity solutions. He has been in Central and Eastern Europe for almost 20 years. As the co-founder and managing director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) aerospace, defense and security (ADS) advisory practice, he served as financial adviser to the Polish Government on the biggest Aerospace sector transaction in Central Europe in 2009, and on the restructuring of the largest Polish defense sector company. He also served as the Director of the Polish F-16 office for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. As the Senior Expatriate representative leading the office he was directly involved in the largest defense product sale in Central & Eastern Europe – the procurement of 48 F-16 aircraft by the Government of Poland. He managed key projects within the world’s largest Offset program associated with the countertrade requirements for the F-16 program. He has also been a director in the Canadian-Polish Chamber of Commerce, and previously served as a commercial officer at the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw, developing trade and investment, helping businesses succeed in Poland and lobbying the Polish Government. Educated in Canada, Poland and the UK, he holds a Masters degree from the London School of Economics specializing in Political and Economic Transformation of Central & East European countries, and an B.A from University of Guelph (Canada) in International Relations Political Science.
Krzysztof Kowalczyk is an early stage investor (HardGamma Ventures) in technology start-ups and strategy consultant (HardGamma Consulting) with deep expertise in Internet, software and digital media. He has won a string of awards, as well as finding time to be the founder of the first YC/TechStars-like startup accelerator in Poland, GammaRebels. He is a mentor and investor/LP with Springboard / Techstars London and sits on the BitSpiration Program Committee.
Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska is a usability engineer currently working at the Polidea software house. She is also a founder and organizer of Human Tech Art, a series of meetings for people creating projects at the intersection of technology and the humanities. Previously she worked as a usability engineer at 10clouds.com as well as a Community Manager in Sharelook. She holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from the Polish Japanese Institute of Information Technology in Warsaw.
John Beauchamp is managing editor of Warsaw Business Journal group’s online platform wbj.pl. Formerly head of Polish Radio’s English Section, John also delivered outreach for Friends of Europe, an independent Brussels think-tank. He has covered European current affairs, specializing in EU institutions, Central Europe and the EU’s eastern neighborhood. He holds a Masters Degree from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, where he concentrated on identity theory, as well as a BA in Polish and East European Studies from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL in London.
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