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Why does the startup ecosystem need maps and reports?

Why are maps and reports created?

One of the main activities of SpeedUp Group is investing in software or other technological solutions related to changes that are taking place in the way we produce and consume energy. This industry, especially in Poland, is relatively young, poorly integrated and not well understood.

– We want to be an investment leader in this area, so it is absolutely in our interest to know the whole market and all its players. This is a completely different market than “Internet startups” – here everyone knows each other, there are dozens, if not hundreds of small and large events where people meet, network and clash their ideas – says Bartłomiej Gola, General Partner of SpeedUp Group and SpeedUp Energy Innovation. – On the market of “energy startups” this does not exist yet. The map is to be the beginning of environment integration, one of the tools to network the whole environment.

Industry 4.0 Innovation Radar was created to give entrepreneurs a ready-made “phone book” with contact details of young, proven companies with an offer for the industry.

– We thought that the market leaders – global manufacturers of industrial robots, IT systems, sensors and instrumentation – have already reached potential customers with their offer. Of course we respect and value their achievements, but at the same time we believe that we have a very competitive, developing ecosystem of solutions for industry in Poland. Unfortunately, outside the startup bubble, the visibility of smaller companies is traceable – their reach and effectiveness cannot compare to marketing resources available to global giants – says Bartosz Józefowski, deputy director for Industry 4.0 at the Kraków Technology Park.

Innovation Nest Fund while creating the report and landscape wanted to map the SaaS market in Poland. – For a long time we have been collecting data on SaaS companies that appeared in Poland and we wanted to share this research. The research itself was also a valuable process for us, because we managed to map many companies whose existence we did not know about – admits Marcin Szeląg, partner at Innovation Nest.

What difficulties did you encounter?

Bartłomiej Gola notes that the technology industry is developing not as a network, but rather as independent outpourings: – Remember that many entrepreneurs in this area come from traditional, “non-networked” industries. We feel a kind of skepticism about community building and whether such a process contributes to the development of each participant in the ecosystem. This is normal, we all need time.

Bartosz Józefowski admits that creating the project was not easy. The task seems to be simple on the surface, it is enough to gather information and group companies according to the key – However, when you approach this process for the first time and you have to make some decisions for the first time, it is time consuming and expensive. On the other hand, because we went through the process, we have lessons learned that will help us create the next edition,” he adds.

For Innovation Nest, the main conclusion is the difficulty in collecting accurate and correct data on companies. While most of them are run in Poland as zoo companies with the obligation of reporting to the National Court Register, getting data on employment is not that easy. The report showed that the majority of companies are very small with small revenues. Qualifying companies into particular software categories was also a tedious process. There is no single clear classification. We had to create one for the purposes of the report,” says Marcin Szeląg .

Methodology

Bartłomiej Gola compares creating a map to searching for startups: – In a fund like ours, most of the so-called deal flow (companies that have investment potential, the fund’s sales funnel) comes from scouting. We don’t just wait for companies that apply to us, we actively look for them in our areas of interest.

It is very similar with the methodology of creating a map: SpeedUp Group builds a typology of the industry (sub-industries, groups. etc.) and then actively searches the market, looking for companies that operate in this area in Poland.

The Krakow Technology Park team applied a filter that allowed them to decide which companies could be included in the Radar. They searched only for companies that have proven themselves in cooperation with business – they have delivered products within gas pedals or funds and received recommendations from them. This obviously doesn’t give a picture of the entire market, but it does give repeatable credibility. – We trusted recommendations of our partners – says Bartosz Józefowski .

During the work, however, there was a methodological problem with dividing the collected companies into categories. In the field of industry 4.0 startups were difficult to divide and it was necessary to work in several iterations before the division of companies became fair, transparent and useful. – In the end, we decided to group the companies both by technology and by the business areas in which they provide solutions e.g. manufacturing management, health and safety, cybersecurity, logistics, etc. As you can guess, many companies appear many times in different categories, but we decided that it would be the most convenient for the recipients of the publication – adds deputy director for Industry 4.0 at the Kraków Technology Park.

Innovation Nest, in turn, when verifying companies looked mainly at the subject of their activity in order to verify whether it is a B2B area. Then it took into account financing, employment and revenue.

Recipients of maps and reports

SpeedUp Group emphasizes that the map they developed is a tool to integrate the industry. First of all, entrepreneurs, funds, cooperating entities (for example, law firms) and the media, which can thus more easily describe or explain this complex market to the audience.

Marcin Szeląg from Innovation Nest confirms that landscape was directed mainly to broadly understood VC industry. The purpose of the landscape was to show the current state of the SaaS market in Poland.

On the other hand, KPT considers CEOs and managers of production companies as the main recipients of its catalog, who are looking for interesting solutions, created by flexible and local, but proven teams. – Innovation directors, production managers, transformation managers – they are the ones who can look for potential cooperation partners in our Radar, especially if they plan to implement innovation in their plant. It’s not uncommon for them to see no alternative other than working with large corporations that have a lot of credibility but also little flexibility. Cooperation with a smaller company can bring them an additional benefit – a tailor-made solution and the possibility of co-creating it with a team of engineers so that it fully meets business needs – says Bartosz Józefowski.

Read also: CREATORS of the Polish startup scene. We award the most deserving

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