That I’m in love with Poland is no secret for those that follow me. One of the reason why I’m so amazed with Poland is because their technology trajectory during these past 2 years has been amazing. During that time I’ve had the pleasure to be invited many times to the country and met with their startups, their business angels and their VCs. Not only that, this past year I met with what I call the Polish Mafia in Paris, London, Berlin, Austin TX and San Francisco CA. While you can say many things about Easter Europe, there is one thing that people fail to recognize, they’re catching up at a vertiginous speed! Not only that, they have some of the most outstanding startups I’ve had the pleasure to meet.
So it shouldn’t come as no surprise that the guys at Aula Poland, and specially Artur Kurasiński and his team are opening up their startup awards, The Aulery’s to a European scale. During these past 3 years, they’ve been pushing the Polish startup scene hard. Always focusing on startups creating sustainable wealth for Poland, so far, all their winners are still in business and making money. As a good example take my friend Rafal Han’s startup, Ciufcia, winner of last years award and currently expanding operations to the US.
As my colleague from The Kernel Ezra Butler wrote not long ago, where are the credible startup awards? I would say, The Aulery’s are profiling as the candidate for Easter and Central Europe. To be honest there are few startup award shows in Europe, being The Europas from Techcrunch EU and Startup2.0 (mobile apps) one of the few. Nevertheless, most of these awards happen in Western Europe and few is known about the amazing startups coming out of Eastern countries.
I’m glad that this year the Aulery awards are opening their doors to, not only Polish startups, but to Central and Eastern European startups. They’ve also created a council of experts with pretty impressive names, including my friend David Bizer, former HR Googler now working as top Head Hunter for HackFWD, amazing Bogdan Iordache, from the How To Web conference, pushing hard the Romanian startup ecosystem, Chris Kowalczyk, one of the top startup forces in Poland with his hardGamma fund and GammaRebels program or my partner Jon Bradford from Springboard, someone also involved with many startup programs around Eastern Europe and the Baltics (like Startup Wise Guys). I’m also a member of that council although I’m not sure who bribe them to get me in that list, but I’m really humbled to be a part of it.
So startups, if you think your company is bad ass, don’t hesitate and submit your startups ASAP so we can check it out, write about it and hopefully honor you with this prestigious award! See you all in Sopot soon!!