The winner has been announced in the first acceleration round of Poland Prize, a governmental programme for startups, coordinated by the Startup Hub Poland Foundation and supported by PGNiG. The winning startup is Spottitt, a UK-based company that has developed a system for analysing satellite images of the earth for optimal positioning of renewable energy power plants and other projects.
In February 2019, PGNiG and the Startup Hub Poland Foundation commenced work on a governmental acceleration programme for foreign startups developing innovative solutions for the Polish energy sector. Winners will be selected in three acceleration batches with eight startups in each.
The first batch ended on June 25th. The jury selected Spottitt, a company that has developed a system for analysing satellite images of the earth for optimal positioning of various types of projects.
“The PGNiG Group infrastructure, particularly its distribution network, is geographically dispersed, which makes monitoring a major challenge. Therefore, we are keeping a close eye on the innovations offered by startups that could help us to increase the operational efficiency and safety of the Group companies’ infrastructure,” said Łukasz Kroplewski, Vice President of the Management Board PGNIG S.A. for Development. “A business partnership will benefit both parties. Access to the PGNiG Group’s resources, experience, expertise and know-how is of great value to nascent entrepreneurs,” Kroplewski added.
Spottitt has been provided with financial support, qualified mentorship, invitation to participate in professional workshops and office space to work on its projects.
Walter’s Cube from Budapest and Discoperi from Kiev also received cash prizes. The Hungarian-based startup has developed a technology that enables processing two-dimensional images into three-dimensional ones. Discoperi of Ukraine is working on solutions to improve driver safety and prevent road accidents based on blockchain technology.
Under the Startup Hub Poland Prize programme, coordinated by the Startup Hub Poland Foundation, 24 startup teams will be assembled by the end of 2019 to work in Poland on projects concerned with power engineering and modern information and communication technologies (ICT). PGNiG is a strategic partner of the project, seeking out foreign startups offering innovative solutions that meet the technological challenges faced by PGNiG Group companies. The best ideas conceived by foreign startups will receive up to EUR 50,000 in public funding (non-equity grants).
PGNiG: offering opportunities for startups
PGNiG is running or participating in a number of other initiatives aiming to help startups to grow. In 2017, the company launched InnVento, an incubator for young firms working on innovative solutions for the energy sector.
June 18th was another pitch day at InnVento, featuring startups and technology firms that registered for the acceleration programme pitching their ideas to incubator representatives. Five innovative companies willing to grow their business in partnership with PGNiG showcased their ideas.
“We attach great importance to cooperation with startups, because we can see they have a great potential for contributing to the advancement of the energy market in Poland. We give young companies a chance to get to know the industry and work on solving real challenges we have to tackle on a daily basis. InnVento is attracting growing interest, and the submitted projects are ever more promising,” stressed Łukasz Kroplewski, Vice President of PGNIG S.A. for Development.
InnVento partners are Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu S.A., the Polish Chamber of the Natural Gas Industry, and the Oil and Gas Institute. With these partners, the programme combines the knowledge and expert capabilities of several organisations. The project is under the patronage of the Ministry of Energy.