10 Polish start-ups you (most likely) didn't know were Polish
While a lot of effort is being made to help Polish entrepreneurs grow on a global scale, there are already plenty of start-up companies from Poland that succeed worldwide, gaining thousands of business clients and individual consumers or producing cutting-edge solutions in their fields of expertise. There is a good chance you already know some of them or at least the products, services or ideas that made them recognizable outside of Polish borders. Well, do you?
If your company interacts with their individual consumers actively and treasures consumer engagement, you may have already used some live chat software. It enables you to always be there when your consumers need you by enriching their web/app experience with a ubiquitous live chat widget. They can always use it to ask you anything. A good live chat should be obviously easy to use, highly customizable, so that you can make it look like a natural part of your website, and lightweight, so that it doesn't slow your website/app down. LiveChat is one of the industry' leaders, and, you guessed, a Polish company. The bold move to incorporate the name of the whole category of software as its brand name set the bar high. But the positive reception among users ensured its success as one of the go to companies for live chat software.
Depending on how old you are, you either have never heard of Brainly, or you use it all the time. Brainly is an educational Q&A portal active in over 20 countries and with over 30 million users. It allows you to seek help with homework and other school projects in the Q&A format. It's one of the most popular of its kind and a massive amount of valuable user-generated content makes it a search engine powerhouse – with thousands of answers everyday it's difficult not to come by Brainly when googling. Brainly's PR & Marketing Manager USA Jakub Piwnik admits that it's one of the most important elements of Brainly's growth strategy:
“The power of Brainly is the community. It's the users who generate all the content. By asking and answering questions, they solve each others' problems with school work. A very positive side effect of this interaction is the huge data base of knowledge. Each question and answer, after being reviewed by the moderators, stays on the platform and is easily accessible to all visitors. This content largely contributes to the user acquisition process, as new users are able to instantly find answers to their questions, and if necessary, ask for more additional explanations. Such user-generated content base is easily scalable - the more users interact, the more content is created and it enlarges the knowledge base for other students.
Nowadays using the Internet for tasks such as finding a doctor and booking an appointment is becoming very popular. And ZnanyLekarz.pl, known worldwide as DocPlanner, is one of leaders in the Central Europe area with ambitions for even more as it is already available in Brazil, Chile, India or Indonesia. Currently it's active in 25 countries and has a total of over 7 million active users, 1,4 million doctor profiles and just under a million customer reviews. Is it in your country? Check it out for yourself.
While less instantly-recognizable that a lot of startups listed in this article, Saule Technologies was named Polish Startup of the Year 2014 for a reason. Its researcher Olga Malinkiewicz has been working on a method of producing solar cells from perovskite materials. Saule's cells can be obtained in room temperature and possess elastic properties, which makes it possible to use them on virtually any surface. Saule Technologies' research has the potential to provide the world with the most efficient method of acquiring sun energy yet.
According to the research by TechNavio, the global ebook market is the fastest growing sector of the global publishing market, expected to have become the single biggest one by 2019 with market share of 27.8%. But ebooks are still a bit too expensive for many people. Legimi, a popular Polish provider of ebooks on a subscription basis, comes to the rescue. Legimi gives the user an access to over 10 thousand ebooks. For a relatively small fee ranging between around $2-7 monthly, you can read and download all sorts of popular and valuable books any time you want on any device you want. Its Android mobile has already been downloaded just under a million times.
3D printing is often mentioned as one of the most important trends in new technologies. But it is also somewhat of a Polish specialty. Some of the brands include Pirx, Zmorph, or Omni3D. Most recently however, it was especially Zortrax that managed to catch the eye of international commentators. Early last year Zortrax managed to land a deal with Dell, which saw it deliver 5000 thousand units of its 3D printer to the American giant. Zortrax M200, the company's successfully crowdfunded and most popular 3D printer, continues to receive positive reception from both business and individual clients, being especially praised for the quality of print combined with its relatively affordable pricing.
Even if 11 bit studios doesn't ring a bell, if you're a gamer, there is a good chance you have heard of its recent brainchild – This War of Mine. 11 bit studios is one of the most successful independent Polish video game developers. This War of Mine has recently been awarded the Cultural Innovation award at the Southwest Interactive, but it's just a cherry on top of its great commercial performance, which allowed the studio to make the developments costs back within 48 hours from its November 2014 release. This War of Mine is not your typical game, it's a survival war-themed game in which not the soldiers, but the civilians play the pivotal role. Their job is to survive against all odds in the world plagued by all the worst wars bring.
If we're on it, it's worth it to mention that The Vanishing of Ethan Carter by another independent Polish studio The Astronauts was also nominated at the Southwest event and released to strong critical acclaim worldwide.
Have you heard about the Internet of Things “thing”? As much as this is nothing entirely new, it's only now becoming a household name with the popularity of beacons, Bluetooth Low Energy, wearables such as smart watches or smart bands. Beacons are one area in which Poland has especially a lot to boast about. While Krakow's Estimote's popularity and the fact its stylish beacons are from Poland as well as Warsaw's Ifinity involvement in the Virtual Warsaw project were recognized in international media, there is even more to Poland being beacon-strong. Kontakt.io is another Polish beacon manufacturer, which back in 2014 closed a $2 million funding from Sunstone Capital. Companies interested in utilizing and experimenting with beacons can purchase Kontakt.io's affordable products that can be managed by WiFi (Cloud beacons), or designed to be resistant to unfavorable conditions outdoors (Tough beacons).
If you are into sales management, you are likely to appreciate the help of consumer relationship management (CRM) systems in turning people interested in your offer into actual consumers. This includes following the sales pipeline, the steps necessary to gather consumer leads and close a sales such as initial contact, meeting, proposal, purchase etc. Base is an internationally recognized CRM system that utilizes all the popular ecommerce trends such as the usage of big data or real-time computing in order to better understand the behavior of your consumers on each step of the pipeline as well as your sales team. What do people think of Base specifically? – read some of their opinions.
When you have companies like Microsoft, Red Bull or USA Today among your customers, you know you must be doing something right. The conviction is further amplified by successful funding rounds from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz or Freestyle Capital. It's UXPin – the popular UX design and wireframing tool for professional designers. The goal of the product is to speed up the process of designing just about anything from websites, through apps to wearable technologies in a browser environment. UXPin also enables designers to create interactive wireframes, which offer far more insight into the project than static sketches.
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