Innovative technology is ever increasingly useful to our modern lives – and it can help in important situations too.
Start-up Kontakt.io is one of 49,000 businesses in Poland’s Malopolska region. It began in 2013 with an original concept, a tracker-card connected to smartphones to help the blind. Today it’s a thriving company and its young team has since developed the ‘card beacon’, which tracks people and products and is currently in 100 countries.
Szymon Niemczura, CEO, kontakt.io: “This innovation, it led to many other solutions, like for example in a hospital where you don’t have a GSM signal. With this card, you can actually – in real time – locate every single doctor and every single nurse in a hospital.
“This particular region is very rich in talent, and we experience it constantly with the new influx of people from local universities.”
Company intern Angelika Owczarek is studying Applied Computer Science at AGH University of Science and Technology. She believes that hands-on experience is crucial to development.
Angelika Owczarek: “We have access to the newest technology, to the newest equipment, we can practice on it and thanks to this practice, later we are able to go to the real work to do real projects.”
Each year over one-third of 180,000 students graduating from 31 universities in the region benefit from government strategies to help new graduates.
Dr Stanislaw Sorys, Deputy Marshal of Malopolska: “The local government is trying to support them at every stage by creating a technical infrastructure. After they finish their education we help them by providing facilities for innovative projects.”
With its various centres for innovation and business support, Kraków is a prime location for start-ups. It’s a place where new graduates and young entrepreneurs can develop their projects.
Daleen Hassan, euronews: “The Polish start-up scene is booming, with more than 60 companies in the Krakow Technology Park from ICT (information and communications technology), multimedia and video gaming sectors. The different types of facilities provided to these SMEs and start-ups have produced a business environment rich in creativity and innovation.”
The Technology Park is taking part in an annual, regional event. Held in the end of October, the Innovation Festival was co-founded by companies, research institutions and universities. Workshops and networking opportunities give guidance to new businesses entering the market, as its CEO explains.
Wojciech Przybylski, CEO Krakow Technology Park: “We have the Innovation Festival in Malopolska to support people with their possible business and technology ideas and to find and meet people who will help you to turn this idea into a real business. So if we want to have a high quality of innovation and innovative businesses in Europe, we really need to work on the quantity of people who are thinking about them and who are developing them.”