Start in Podkarpackie startup acceleration program is designed to incubate every startup which will get in through the tailor-made mentoring.
The main problem (when talking about startup ecosystems, acceleration programs, etc.), especially when Poland is in the middle of startup revolution because of huge amount of money from EU and Polish government intended to starting new companies and developing high potential ideas, is that most of startup founders are young people (students from different areas of expertise/education) and a lot of them do not realize startup “responsibilities” (running company in Poland). That is why we designed the incubation process to be as flexible and as customizable as possible to increase the likelihood of success of startup.

The objective is to help accelerated startups with MVP creation process and first market tests through customized mentoring paths. Because the level of technology readiness level of incubated startups is different, the whole program is so flexible that if some hours/money was not used by one startup it can be transferred to the startup which is lower in readiness level of incubation.

The project is directed to natural persons who have an idea for a business related to the aviation, automotive, IT or construction industries. There are no age restrictions. The condition is the need for the originator and his team to establish a capital company in the voivodships of Eastern Poland. institutions taking part in the project are institutions dealing with business and science.

Resources needed

The Project is financed with EU funds and its total cost is 20mln PLN. The own contribution isn't needed as its 100% financed. The most necessary items are:
• Access to experienced mentors
• Mentors database for start-up support
• Experts for evaluation of applications and ideas for start-ups.

Evidence of success

Right now 42 startups are being accelerated within Start in Podkarpackie Acceleration Program and every single one have chosen at least one path of mentoring (most of them choose law mentoring). The program is so flexible in terms of hours allocated for use as part of mentoring paths, that event if one startup have not used all hours which were allocated, the Start in Podkarpackie can decide to allocate it to different startup.

Difficulties encountered

The biggest challenge is to convince startup owners of the benefits of using all hours dedicated to mentoring and specialized services because still some of them do not use hours for mentoring because they don’t believe it can bring them benefits.

Potential for learning or transfer

It's a Good Practice because of the flexibility for mentoring paths. Even so, Start in Podkarpackie is the program funded by EU so sometimes it's hard to accomplish satisfying level of flexibility, Rzeszow Regional Development Agency managed to do that and the program is best example. Every startup is being accelerated individually and each service/mentoring is tailored-made. Also universities are partners of the initiative, it can be also prize example of cooperation between startup and academic sector or event first step to creating spin out/off companies in cooperation with startup founders.
Every startup which joins Acceleration Program has around 10k EUR to use for the customized mentoring in different areas like law, accounting, etc. The amount is distributed though hours of mentoring used within different paths. Startup can easily operate shipping at known times for a given path and allocate it to another path while reducing the amount of time for use in yet another path.

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Main institution
Rzeszow Regional Development Agency
Start Date
January 2019
End Date


Marek Duda Please login to contact the author.