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Pirates on the Shore of COLAB!

The Pirate Summit is the largest early-stage start-up event in Europe. Its unconventional setting and its handpicked participants (invitation or application only) set it apart from similar events. The Pirates on Shore Tour is its initiative to scout the best early stage start-ups in Europe and the Middle East with events in more than 50 cities. In Krakow they were hosted by COLAB and saw five start-up pitches. The head of Pirates on Shore, Robbie Bouschery, facilitated the event

Pirate Summit“It’s extremely exciting to witness what’s happening in the Krakow start-up ecosystem first hand. COLAB is a great initiative and provided the perfect setting for our event” – these were the words of Robbie Bouschery after visiting Krakow’s COLAB coworking space during the recent Pirates on Shore event there.

The lofty, post-industrial interiors of a former factory in the Zablocie district were a great example of how Krakow is revitalizing its space by supporting start-up oriented initiatives. Now the whole area is flourishing with innovative, hi-tech sites, such as Krakow's hub:raum office also located nearby. COLAB itself is focused on creating a cooperation-friendly space and pushing the idea of shared office letting further by allowing the Pirates on Shore project to dock right at their bay.

After a short intro and reminder of the Pirates on Shore general agenda, there was an open chat panel with Marcin Szeląg (Innovation Nest) and Marek Wawro ( As both of them are veterans of international start-up businesses, their insights were of great value to the rest of the participants of the event. Focusing on the reality of making their first steps abroad (they faced great opportunities but also high risk and costs of operation), and highlighting how quickly Poland is catching up with other European start-up hubs (such as England and Germany) in terms of creativity, quality of ideas and beating them with lower operation costs, they created a strong background for the main event: the Start-up Pitch Competition.

The rules are simple: there are five start-ups with their pitches, and each one is three minutes long (and not a single second longer, as exactly after that period of time it was obligatory for everyone in COLAB to shout “ARRR!” and to quiet the pitchers with applause). The best idea goes to the international Pirate Summit for the grand finale. That’s it – the contest began and did not slow its pace till the end.

The jury (Robbie, Marcin, Marek, Oskar Łopalewski from hub:raum and the COLAB host, Kamil Łopata) decided this time that there will be two winners, as the quality of all of the pitches and ideas, according to the words of the judges, was inspiring enough to make an exception for the founders of Flyover and Rombo Games

Pirate SummitFlyover is a “crowd flying” project. Their app connects people interested in a flight in a similar direction and then helps to find the best pick. At you can create your own flight inquiry or join the existing one. When there are enough people gathered –Flyover arranges the flight. The business will focus on big events such as sports games, concerts and festivals, as the main idea is to spend the whole time, including travel, with people sharing ones’ interests. 

How did they get there and what’s their plan for the finale? CMO of Flyover, Joanna Pająk, shared with us:

“We discovered Pirates while following interesting start-up events that create opportunities to gather valuable feedback and do some networking. What should we prepare for the finale? Well – time will show!”

The idea behind Rombo Games is to merge board and family games with mobile apps – but not by converting them into a digital format, but rather by using modern, portable technologies to expand the experience of meeting with friends and playing their hybrid games together. Their games are designed in a way that facilitates the app’s potential and engages players more than ordinary board games would, thanks to augmented reality and multi-touch technologies. BLE beacons and motoric sensors are also on their way to be included into their projects, allowing spending time with friends and family to be a really fun and immersive experience for everyone. CEO of Rombo Games, Marcin Maciejewski, commented:

“It was not the first time for us at COLAB, and we are happy to say that once again we have enjoyed the friendly, informal yet action-oriented atmosphere of this place. The Pirates finale is going to take place in the middle of our Kickstarter campaign, and we will do our best to spend our visit to Germany to promote our ideas in this, all in all, most board game loving country in Europe.”

Pirate Summit 2015 will take place in Cologne, Germany on September 2 and 3, 2015.

See also: The past and the future of Krakow's start-up community

              Krakow Startup Weekend results in six new start-ups


Aleksander Rzetelski
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  • Date of publication: 2015-07-02 11:07:34
  • Date of modification: 2015-08-14 14:33:43

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