25 fruitful years of the Kraków Technology Park
The dynamic development of the supported businesses is the best gauge of success
The Kraków Technology Park (KPT) has closed the previous year with a record number of support decisions issued and is entering this new jubilee year brilliantly. The KPT intends to celebrate 25 years of fruitful operation in a very active manner: indicating development opportunities to the entrepreneurs and offering many types of support, both to the firms that take their very first steps in business and to the ones who have decided to grow by investing big money most profitably in the Polish Investment Zone. Cooperation with the KPT allows ambitious entrepreneurs from the region and other parts of Poland, as well as international corporations, to unfurl their wings.
Kraków Technology Park was set up as Centrum Zaawansowanych Technologii – Kraków sp. o.o. (literally “the centre for advanced technologies – Kraków, limited liability company”) in December 1997. From the start, its main task was to manage the special economic zone covering 66ha, yet other objectives and activities quickly emerged and were embraced. All that to support the establishment and development of enterprises in the best way possible, and in this way to stimulate the economic development of Małopolska. In the following years, the KPT became one of the business environment institutions that are most appreciated by entrepreneurs. Today it offers the full gamut of technology park services, at the same time managing the Polish Investment Zone in Małopolska and Jędrzejowski county.
“We’ve gone through a quarter of a century’s worth of activities, whose purpose has been to attract investments to Małopolska, develop services in support of business, and open new options and potential for entrepreneurs. We always try to be in the vanguard: we have run the Technology Incubator for thirteen years and supported the games development sector for a decade, we are not afraid of space projects, we present hub4industry Factory of the Future, attract foreign startups to Małopolska” Łukasz Słoniowski, Deputy President of the KPT enumerates emphasising entrepreneurs are definitely the strongest drive for KPT’s development – “they are the ones for whom the company extends the range of its services, and has turned the success of the firms resorting to its support the yardstick of its success”.
“Initially, being a company providing investment services as part of what at the time was still the special economic zone, we considered the issuing of several permits a year a major success. Today we manage the Polish Investment Zone in entire Małopolska and Jędrzejowski county, offering tax reliefs to several dozens of entrepreneurs a year. We broke all our records in 2021, as we issued 68 such decisions” is how Krystyna Sadowska representing the investor care division, which she has worked for nearly from the outset, describes the current situation. She also reiterates KPT’s mission: “We support modern economy, helping businesses develop faster”.
We are proud not only to see the dynamic development of the entrepreneurs working with us, whether small, medium-sized, large, huge, or global, but also to know how much the economic landscape of our region has changed for the better, and how good the image of Małopolska economy is today in Poland and in the world. We are glad to have been able to contribute to that”
Dorota Skotnicka, KPT Vice President, informs that 2022 will be devoted to the presentation of the KPT’s offer to businesses at the successive stages of their development: “We will continue to celebrate our jubilee throughout the year, showcasing different groups of our clients: startups, the games sector, industrial entrepreneurs, and IT businesses, to reward their successes at the end of the year”.
The celebration will start from the presentation of the achievements and the current activities of the KPT Technology Incubator. Today it comprises 40 companies, and several dozens more have blossomed in its premises in the thirteen years of his operation. The idea to support the startups was born in the Kraków Technology Park midway through the first decade of the 21st century. That was the time of Poland’s accession to the EU, which made it possible to acquire significant funds for the development of such activity. The year 2008 marked the construction of KPT’s first building, which provided the company’s first headquarters. Today startups can rent their offices in two districts: Czyżyny and Ruczaj, while the incubator also offers support through training, mentoring, and participation in numerous support projects and programmes, also on the international market. Such companies as Autenti, Reality Games, BerryLife, Seedia, Findair, Talent Alpha, and InMontionLabs started in the Incubator to achieve commercial successes worthy of attention.
While designing and running support programmes for the youngest entrepreneurs, the KPT staff realised that, besides the incubator, an acceleration programme should be launched to help to speed up development of companies. Entrepreneurs receive expert support, mentoring, and grants, yet primarily the opportunity to cooperate with large businesses ready to test new solutions. By now already 85 startups have reaped the benefits of the acceleration programme. “We are now embarking on its international edition, cooperating with startup organisations, running numerous events and delivering publications” Dorota Skotnicka adds.
The following stage of celebrating the 25 years of the KPT will be the Digital Dragons Conference organised in the second quarter. In the 10 years of its operation, the conference has earned the accolade of one of Europe’s crucial events in the games development sector. “We started with 300 participants and now, the pandemic allowing, we expect around 2000 people in the ICE Kraków Congress Centre” Krzysztof Krzysztofiak, Director of the Technology Park Division at KPT discloses.
He also emphasises that the jubilee edition of the Digital Dragons will provide a perfect opportunity to show the development of the sector in the last decade, together with the potential of Kraków and Małopolska for the sector, as well as the contribution of our region to the dynamically developing segment of the new, digital economy. Other than the conference, KPT also runs other game-related projects: the Digital Dragons Academy for those only taking the first steps in the sector, an incubator for game dev startups, an accelerator for foreign businesses eager to develop the games in Poland, and finally extensive market studies that the whole game development sector has made use of for many years.
In the third quarter of 2022, the hot subject for the KPT’s jubilee will be the development of production and industrial businesses that use tax reliefs under the Polish Investment Zone programme, as well as of the companies that cooperate under the KPT ScaleUP acceleration programme and in the hub4industry consortium.
Day in day out for 25 years the team of the Kraków Technology Park has remained in very close touch with entrepreneurs, which is why it is highly familiar with their expectations and needs to develop the best tailored offers. Business continues to change, and so does KPT together with it. Cooperating with the KPT, everyone who wants to develop gains not only plenty of money but also valuable knowledge and new competences an advantage of ever-growing significance in the contemporary world.
“I am very glad that it has been my fortune to direct KPT at such a significant moment. I greatly appreciate the achievements of my predecessors. I hope that we are in for many more years of work in Małopolska’s service, and that they will be no less fruitful than the quarter of a century we have served it” Łukasz Słoniowski concluded.