On Thursday, 8th December, at the Lodz University of Technology, young people considering starting their own businesses and seeking support participated at Imagine Camp Lodz, as part of the TWIST Polish Bootcamp - COOKING FOR A SMARTER CITY. They had opportunity to acquire theory and practice delivered by the experts from DotConnect, Xplorer, STARTUP EUROPE - TWIST, Swiss Contribution and Microsoft. 

Imagine Camp Lodz is an event organized through the project for supporting Polish start-ups. Its central point is the Imagine Cup competition where one can find young people with business ideas and goals. They are supported by, for example, business accelerator DotConnect, Xplorer Fund, Swiss Contribution Fund and STARTUP EUROPE through its project – TWIST. The event in the capital of the Lodz voivodeship will be, therefore, a meeting between people who wish to run companies and start-up supporters in Poland. 

4.5 hours of inspiration, motivation and priceless knowledge during the TWIST Polish Bootcamp

On Thursday, students had the opportunity to listen to experts and specialists in innovative business creation. The main goal of the event was to inspire them to implement their projects. During the 2-hour lectures, taking part in the F10, LODEX lecture house in 215 Wólczańska Street, they got to know about Imagine Cup - the world’s biggest competition for students in which 1.65 million of participants from 190 countries took part. What is more, the representatives of the companies organizing and supporting the event answered the question on how to create a successful business product. 

Lecturers gave tips and inspiration. They also showed that it was possible to achieve ambitious business goals with people sharing the same values. 

The TWIST Polish Bootcamp continued at 6:30 p.m. at Starbucks Sukcesja at 1 Politechniki Avenue. The event was in the form of Business Speed Dating and allowed for discussions with developers, designers and business tycoons. Those 2 hours appeared to a big opportunity for those who were looking for people to work with in the Imagine Cup projects. A number of participants received attractive cooperation offers. 

Face to face with start-up mentors

Imagine Camp Lodz appeared to be the path to the world of start-ups for many young people. Among the experts students could meet was DotConnect – a business accelerator supporting innovative solutions at their initial stage of development. It offers mentoring, authorial accelerator programs, financial support and assistance in finding innovative promotional solutions. DotConnect is also responsible for central business acceleration of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2017 competition. 

Except for DotConnect, also Twist, the representatives of STARTUP EUROPE, attended the event. The organization was created to support European start-ups through education and access to new markets or financial support for new companies. For Twist this is a special event as the main prize in the Imagine Camp Lodz contest is Dev’s Kitchen.

Among participants there were two companies from the world of start-up support: 
    • ​​Xplorer  -  a fund heavily investing in technical projects at their initial stages of development -  and Swiss Fund, which offers non-refundable financial assistance. Also, the prime mover of Imagine Cup, Microsoft, had to be there. Imagine Camp Lodz was additionally supported by the Marshal’s Office in Lodz. 
    • Imagine Camp Lodz increased students’ knowledge about running companies and the ways of project implementation. For many of them, it appeared to be the first step into their careers. 

READ MORE about the TWIST Polish Bootcamp, right here!

TWIST DIGITAL is the H2020 action, under the Startup Europe umbrella, that provides Transregional Web Innovative Services for Thriving Digital and Mobile to web entrepreneurs aiming at scaling up and competing in the global market around 4 interconnected web entrepreneurship startup ecosystems and hubs (Rome, Lille, Stockholm and Warsaw).
Startup Europe aims to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs so that their ideas and business can start and grow in the EU. Startup Europe contributes to the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan.
Startup Europe's objectives are:
  • to reinforce the links between people, business and associations who build and scale up the startup ecosystem (e.g. the Web Investors Forum, the Accelerator Assembly, the Crowdfunding Network) 
  • to inspire entrepreneurs and provide role models (e.g. the Leaders Club and their Startup Manifesto, the Startup Europe Roadshow)
  • to celebrate new and innovative startups (with Tech All Stars and Europioneers), help them to expand their business (Startup Europe Partnership, ACE Acceleration Programme), and give them access to funding under Horizon 2020.​