Check out also: Krakow IT Market Report 2023
Emerging from its humble beginnings as a sparse landscape with just a few startup businesses, Krakow has now flourished into a vibrant ecosystem abundant with innovative ventures that operate on a global scale. There are incubators, business angels, advisers, access to funding at both private and public levels, and more recently international unicorns.
There are at least 150 companies in Krakow that meet the criteria of a start-up. And Krakow comes in third place in Poland in terms of registered startups. While Wroclaw holds the largest share, and Warsaw takes second place, every tenth registered entity is based in Krakow, according to the report ”Polish Start-ups 2022” from the Start-up Poland Foundation. Krakow’s startup creation is driven by a well-connected ecosystem that includes incubators, mentors, investors, and organizations collaborating with startups. Examples of such organizations are OMGKRK and the Krakow Technology Park.
In recent years, the startup scene in Krakow has grown rapidly. Local startups employ hundreds of people and offer innovative solutions used worldwide. The city attracts young and creative individuals and promotes economic growth. The Krakow ecosystem is home to both locally-born companies and international branches of foreign startups, including 19 foreign unicorns. Early-stage teams have access to various support programs, such as incubators (KPT Incubator, Academic Incubation Programs (AIP)), pre-accelerators (OMGKRK, Dragons Cave Pre-Accelerator, KRK InnoTech Starter (KITS)), accelerators (#StartUP Małopolska), and acceleration programs of Krakow Technology Park (Poland Prize, KPT ScaleUp, EIT Digital).
There are three very specific areas where Krakow start-ups specialize.
The following list includes 30 of the most successful start-ups born in Krakow, selected according to their respective Crunchbase Ranking, as of October 2023. We are yet to find a better way to rank and evaluate these ventures as the current valuation data is in most cases not available. Together, these 30 companies have raised over $370M in total funding since their creation. Although originally from Krakow, some start-ups such as Estimote, Kontakt.io or Silvair now have their headquarters located in the United States while continuing to run and grow their R&D centers in Krakow.
After browsing this ranking, make sure to check out the Krakow IT Market Report 2023 to learn more about Krakow’s tech ecosystem, key players and newcomers in last 12 months, salary trends, cost information, business practices and expert opinions from 30+ tech leaders and ecosystem representatives.
Brainly is the place to learn, for students, by students. The world’s largest social learning network with 350 million unique users monthly.
Kontakt.io builds secure and configurable beacon hardware and software to power competitive proximity-based solutions.
Satim develops AI software for object detection and classification using SAR satellite imagery. They have a simulator for creating synthetic SAR signatures, allowing quick training of their AI model to classify objects with 90% accuracy.
Synerise produces a Big Data and AI platform that allows users to process data in real time from various sources based on proprietary database systems and AI algorithms.
Airly specializes in providing hyper-local data about air pollution. It empowers individuals and communities with knowledge about the air they breathe.
Edrone is an autonomous e-commerce CRM platform that provides advanced marketing automation solutions.
SALESmanago operates a cloud-based online marketing automation platform used by over 10 000 customers in over 40 countries.
Estimote is a technology start-up, building a sensor-based context and micro-location platform for mobile developers.
CallPage is an ICT SaaS company that converts website visitors into sales calls.
LiveKid is the most popular system for kindergartens and nurseries in the EU and includes tools for communication with parents, settlements and documentation.
uPacjenta operates a platform connecting patients with nurses for at-home blood tests, right from their own couch or chair.
Intelliseq offers an automated genome interpretation platform tailored for next-generation genome sequencing (NGS) data. Their IntelliseqFlow platform produces comprehensive reports, providing clinical insights for doctors, genetic counselors, or patients based on the selected workflow.
Cardiomatics offers AI analysis of Holter ECG data in the cloud. The system provides healthcare providers with clear reports. They collaborate with physicians and Holter device providers globally.
Talent Alpha is a human cloud platform that connects global enterprises with European software houses, offering tech talent as a service.
Closer provides an end-to-end customer relations platform, facilitating multi-channel and multi-device communication for business interactions, using AI and machine learning.
Orbify is a geospatial data platform for natural assets. It provides remote sensing data analysis using ML models and displays insights on a dashboard based on specific geo coordinates. Their customers include NbS developers, sustainable development teams, and insurance companies.
Widmo offers a subsurface tomography solution using spectral ground penetrating radar combined with advanced software. This approach provides high-quality geological information, distinguishing their offerings in the field of underground imaging.
Secfense provides a tool that makes it easy to add extra layers of security to applications. Their technology lets companies enhance security without major changes to their systems.
AILIS combines Dynamic Parametric Imaging, AI, and telemedicine to detect breast cancer symptoms and evaluate risks.
Sinterit specializes in the development of SLS 3D printers.
Therapify is a SaaS-enabled marketplace tailored for the mental health sector. They facilitate professionals and patients in scheduling and holding psychotherapy sessions, including remote ones.
S-Labs specializes in innovative IoT solutions aimed at improving life quality. Through advanced data analytics from sensors and external sources, they design IoT products for the energy and telecommunications sectors, seamlessly linking smart homes with energy meters and bridging users with their energy providers.
Lekta offers NLP-based solutions, notably their Conversational Agent platform. This platform uses their NLP engine and machine learning to support conversations across various channels and is designed for easy integration and scalability.
HCM Deck empowers enterprise business and HR management to deliver employee development experience at scale, thanks to enterprise-grade solutions embedded into user management, roles, and permissions.
REAKTO creates drone infrastructure using the Anything as a Service (XaaS) model. Alongside, they are developing their inaugural service for this platform: a fast-response drone network for security agencies and their clientele.
Elmodis offers a solution for real-time monitoring of electric-powered industrial machines using current and voltage measurements.
FindAir builds telemedicine tools for respiratory ailments. Their flagship product, FindAir ONE, is a smart inhaler that captures patient data during use. Paired with the FindAir app and platform, it offers a comprehensive digital solution for asthma and COPD therapy, simplifying remote treatment and monitoring.
Planetary is a 3D virtual world where avatars can meet, host live events, play, and stream in real-time. Users can craft content and even shape the 3D environment, with half of it already pre-made.
Mobiltek is a software house specialized in online and mobile payments.
Silvair is a turnkey smart lighting platform enabling manufacturers to provide an enhanced lighting experience.
The Krakow start-up ecosystem does not only consist of Polish start-ups, but also includes small and medium size foreign businesses that have decided to set up offices in Krakow, such as Karhoo (Mobility/ UK), Equativ (Advertising / France) and Unit 8 (AI & Data /Switzerland). Why do foreign start-ups come to Krakow to set up tech teams? With its large IT talent pool of approximately 55 000 IT specialists and competitive salaries, Krakow offers foreign companies great potential for rapid scale up of their IT teams. Often, these companies decide to set up a subsidiary in Poland or opt for a Build Operate Transfer model (BOT) with a local partner. Those not willing yet to open a legal entity in Poland hire directly B2B contractors or choose to use Employer of Record (EOR) services.
Learn more about what foreign start-ups have achieved with their Krakow tech labs by downloading the Krakow IT Market Report 2023.
While a Polish-born company hasn’t yet made the unicorn list, the dynamic growth of companies like eObuwie (an online footwear retailer) and Docplanner (MedTech) suggests that we won’t have to wait too much longer. For now, Brainly (EdTech) is arguably the best bet for the title of first Krakow-born unicorn.
Despite the current lack of a Polish-born unicorn, the unicorn scene is well represented in Krakow, with ten 19 such organizations such as Relativity, Kitopi and Revolut currently operating in the city and tapping into the city’s pool of IT talent and expertise.
Find out more about international unicorns with R&D Centers in Krakow by downloading the Krakow IT Market Report 2023.
If you are looking for information about setting up your presence in Poland, download our Krakow IT Market Report 2023
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