16. February 2012–
Last week Arek Hajduk and his team launched Huge Thing, a six-month business acceleration program based out of Poznan, Poland (240 km from Berlin, about a three-hour drive from the city centre). For any of you aspiring entrepreneurs waiting for Startupbootcamp Berlin, this could be just what you're looking for.
Here's how it goes: During the first three months you receive intense training in the pillars of Entrepreneurship, Strategy, People, Money, Sales and Marketing. You get the support of a hands-on team of mentors (including Point Nine's Paweł Chudziński), who will help validate your business model and attract customers.
The goal is that after six months our goal you have a running business in top shape to present to interested investors. The best teams get a small seed funding of 30.000 PLN for 10per cent of the company and the next three months of acceleration.
"Promising concept. Would be great if Berlin had something like it," said Huge Thing mentor Point Nine's Paweł Chudziński, "But its not far away, let's hope it will be international and not only Polish!"
Application process ends on the 9 of March - hurry to apply now.
Q & A with Huge Thing founder Arek Haiduk
Arkadiusz has an extensive experience in concept and product development, project management, human resources management, customer support, business development, operations management and any other aspect of running a business. Currently, Arkadiusz is working as an investment manager at Speed Up Venture Capital Group where he works with potential investments and portfolio startups.
Previously Arkadiusz spent in few web startups, including one of the leading European social lending platforms smava, where he was serving a number of different roles, also co-founder. Arkadiusz earned his M.Sc. degree at Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
VV. Can you briefly describe your acceleration program? We're excited!
AH. Huge Thing is a six-month, two-phase business acceleration program for the high-potential teams with global ambitions. We invite 10 teams of 2-3 smart people; our great mentors (serial entrepreneurs, investors, journalists, marketing gurus, tech wizards and other subject experts) charge them with wisdom and help them reach a "fundable venture" stage.
VV. How many Berliners are you expecting?
AH. We are open to anybody who is willing to follow hers/his dreams and make it big with our help. The program is in English and we are so close to Berlin - all are welcome. Keep in mind that although we are Huge, it's not possible to cram more than 30 Berliners in (actually even less, since the first applications are already flowing in).
VV. We love the name (Huge Thing). Who came up with it?
AH. We felt like any "startup" related name won't be enough. And we expect great things to happen, hence the name. One of the cofounders and mentor in the program (Michal Olszewski) came up with the name during his brainstorm-under-shower routines.
VV. What's your philosophy on incubation, acceleration, and all related terms, in a nutshell?
AH. I believe that incubation and acceleration process should have one goal: investable ventures presented to interested investor audience. This is the central point of Huge Thing program - we will prepare teams and projects to the point where they are ready for "rocket fuel" from interested investors.
VV. What's your background? Where are you from and what's surprised you in life?
AH. I was blessed with opportunity to live/study/work/startup in Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Sweden and Canada. I have experience working for multinational corporations, launching startups (no big exits, and I learned a lot) and now working for seed venture funds. Life surprises me all the time, so I'm not really sure :)
VV. What do entrepreneurs in Poznan think of Berlin?
AH. For everybody in a startup nation it is the place to go. You can work on your project in Poznan (you can find great developers way faster here!) and in short three hours you can be at any interesting event in Berlin.