ł.pitch Startup Challenge

ł.pitch is the fastest growing project of the LSE Polish Business Society. It is a Startup competition which aims both to promote Poland as a great place to establish an innovate company and help it in development- moving from the idea to MVP (minimum viable product) or from MVP to POC (proof of concept), which in return makes the startup more interesting to investors.

Motivated by the success of previous competition winners we decided to further develop the ł.pitch Start-up Challenge. The real impact of our competition is already visible. The winner of the first edition, Tensorflight, recently collected a USD 2 million funding round. Last year’s winner, Comixify- went through the Space3ac acceleration program where it had the opportunity to spend PLN 200 000 in development, after it signed a contract with one of Poland’s biggest companies PKN Orlen.

III edition ł.pitch Startup Challenge

This year we aim to select, reward and help the best Polish startups from the disruptive technology field in the seed and post-seed financing stages to grow their businesses. Participating Startups introduce radical changes to the existing business model, which significantly changes the way consumers, industry or companies operate.

The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of PLN 20 000 and a place in the Space3ac acceleration program, in which a startup can receive up to PLN 200 000 in financing for development along with mentoring. Other prizes include: a 30-hour legal care package from the legal office of Kondracki Celej, advice on the development strategy from InReach Ventures, Pitch for investors at Firstminute capital, series of marketing consultations from Arskom and a mentoring meeting with a Partner from BlackPearls VC fund. Additionally, all the finalists will be invited to attend workshops: a Q&A session about “What should a founder pay attention to when negotiating a term-sheet?” and a roundtable workshop about financing possibilities.

Four startups will qualify for the final of the competition, which will take place on March 7, 2020 in London during the LSE Polish Economic Forum. Each of the finalists will present their idea to potential investors and conference participants. Then in the „Dragon’s Den” formula will be evaluated by the Jury, which will include: Marcin Kowalik (Black Pearls VC), Rafał Celej (Kondracki Celej law firm), Karolina Kukiełka (InReach Ventures), Arek Wylegalski (Firstminute Capital), Wojciech Szaniawski (Arskom) and Tomasz Trzciński (Comixify.ai).

Hundreds of Forum participants will be able to watch the finals of the competition live, and the entire event will also be broadcasted on social media.

This year ł.pitch Partners are: Black Pearls VC fund (main partner), Kondracki Celej, InReach Ventures, Firstminute Capital, Arskom and Marvipol Development S.A.

The application deadline is open until February 20, 2020.

History of ł.pitch

As a pioneer of the oil industry and the inventor of the kerosene lamp, Ignacy Łukasiewicz significantly contributed to the development of entrepreneurship in Poland. He was also an important social activist. His figure has inspired us to name our competition ł.pitch in order to show that its mission is to promote entrepreneurship in Poland and abroad.

The two previous editions received vast support from the investors and aroused tremendous interest among startups, with over 100 applications. During both editions the chosen finalists presented their ideas at the LSE Polish Economic Forum (PEF) in front of investors and other professionals. Then, the jury, which included such renowned industry leaders as Sebastian Kulczyk, Krzysztof Krawczyk, Tytus Cytowski, Marcin Kowalik, Wojciech Szaniawski, Karol Górnowicz and Jan Habermann, questioned and assessed the finalists’ ideas in a Dragons’ Den formula, and awarded prizes. The competition attracted extensive publicity, with numerous articles covering the initiative and its winner appearing in leading media outlets such as Forbes and Business Insider.

Startup challenge
Aleksander Książek – Head of ł.pitch