Business Angel
of the Year Awards

Public voting is underway for the Ecosystem Award and Venture Award by VC Leaders. Vote now and select the winners in the online voting!. We select the most outstanding, engaged, and active private investors who play a significant role in supporting the startup ecosystem in Poland.
The first edition of the competition took place in 2018. For the first three years, we awarded one main prize of Business Angel of the Year, in 2020 we expanded the competition to 3 categories and in 2021 to 4 categories. In the current 5th edition of BAY 2022, we are awarding investors in 6 categories.


Rules and conditions



About the Event

The Business Angel of the Year (BAY) competition recognizes the most outstanding, engaged, and active private investors who play a significant role in supporting the startup ecosystem in Poland. Established by COBIN Angels, the largest professional association of business angels in Poland, the award strengthens the recognition of angel investing as not only a viable way of allocating capital but also a formidable career path.

Every year, the business community of Polish entrepreneurs, top managers, startup founders, venture capitalists, and other investors, nominate the most distinguished early-stage, high-risk investors, who demonstrated their dedication to bolstering innovations and developing young companies. In addition, representatives of Venture Capital funds and other ecosystem stakeholders are awarded for their role in building and strengthening the market.


Public voting / Profile of the Finalists 2022

The BAY 2022 competition jury consisting of finalists and winners from previous years, active business angels, investors, experts, and competition organizers and partners, chaired by Victor Namysl, has selected finalists in 6 competition categories.

In the "Ecosystem Award" and "Venture Award by VCLeaders" categories, the winners will be selected by public voting, which was launched on January 31, 2023. Voting takes place for one of the 6 finalists selected by the chapter by secret ballot.

Competing for the ecosystem award are: Boleslaw Drapella, Beata Cichocka -Tylman, Szymon Janiak, Artur Kurasinski, Paweł Maj, Jerzy Szewczyk

In the category of Venture Award by VCLeaders, the chapter selected for the finals: Expeditions, Movens Capital, Rubicon Partners, Simpact Ventures, SpeedUp Venture Capital Group, Sunfish Partners

You can vote here

The announcement of the results of all categories will take place on March 7, 2023, during the Gala, which will be held in the Listing Room of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. We plan to broadcast the event, and we encourage you to follow the information on our social channels and website.

Show profiles of the finalists

Bolesław Drapella

Helps companies grow smartly while keeping a human face on the business. Experienced and successful manager, investor, founder and entrepreneur, member of supervisory and expert boards. Specializes in online, airline, travel and hospitality, wellness, e-commerce and real estate sectors. Founder and CEO of Sauna Pond - a green spa in the heart of Kashubia, which holistically helps fight stress with advanced use of saunas. Former President of AirHelp Poland and held the position COO of AirHelp Group - responsible for the development and expansion of the company from 50 to 600 employees worldwide. Familiarity with both Polish and foreign work environments allows him to look holistically at the organization's challenges. Investor and Limited Partner at Black Pearls VC. Founder of SaunaGrow - a creative business meeting place, where he combines knowledge and experience with his passion for spreading sauna culture and charitable support. As a mentor of SaunaGrow, he supports entrepreneurs in business model, scaling the organization and marketing. Privately, he is a father of a bunch of children, photographer, massage therapist, sauna master and international sauna judge.

Beata Cichocka -Tylman

Beata works with companies on the development and implementation of innovation, as well as on obtaining financing for this sphere of activity (grants and tax credits).  Until 2019, Director of PwC responsible for the area of Innovation and R&D tax credits, currently an independent expert. Also until 2019, member of the program board of the Coalition for Polish Innovation.  Permanently cooperates with the largest software industry association in Poland, SoDA, as an expert on public assistance. Beata is active as a mentor and coach in a number of accelerator programs focused on innovation development, such as KPT Scale Up - an accelerator program for young companies. Industry 4.0 IIoT AI AR, or as the Chief Lecturer of PARP's Innovation Manager Academy program. She is a member of the Monitoring Committee of the FENG Program - which is the main source of funding for R&D and innovation in Poland. She is a member of the observer of the working group of the National Intelligent Specialization No. 10 dedicated to areas in the IT sector that can be supported by EU funds. The author of the methodology for the selection of innovative projects and was a member of the Chapter within the Innovation Initiator competition, Newsweek and the author of many publications in the area of innovation, R&D activities and grants.

Szymon Janiak

In the last 3 years, he has made 35 investments in Internet ventures companies. He has been involved with the innovation market for more than a decade from both the start-up, consulting company and fund side. Member of the supervisory boards of more than a dozen technology companies. In the past, member of the supervisory board of a WSE-listed company managing investments and providing corporate finance services. Board member and co-founder of the success of OORT Inc - one of the most well-known Polish IOT start-ups based in Silicon Valley operating on 3 continents, which has won more than a dozen accolades and awards from Gartner and Bluetooth, among others. He engages in the start-up ecosystem, creating expert articles published on LinkedIn for more than 35,000 followers, among others. Academic lecturer at prestigious universities including the University of Wroclaw, SWPS University and the School of Banking. Author of several hundred expert materials published in Forbes, Puls Biznesu or Rzeczpospolita, among others, where he constantly comments. Speaker at media events and conferences in London, New York and Shanghai, among others. Member of the Innovation Committee established by the Polish Football Association. Creator of an original podcast on Venture Capital available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, among others. Juror in numerous start-up competitions.

Artur Kurasiński

Entrepreneur, creator, investor, observer of technology-related phenomena. Author of books, games and educational comics about science and technology in the series "Rose, and what do you want to know?". Tech-realist. Digital narrator, curator and creator. For more than two decades he has been observing and explaining the impact of technology on our lives. Author of one of the most widely read Polish blogs and newsletters: technofobia, and Speaker and participant of the most important technology conferences in Poland. Co-founder of the oldest series of meetings for startups in Poland, Aula Polska, and the Aulery awards. Privately, father of Róża and Malina, lover of indoor soccer, S-F comics and movies and role-playing games.

Paweł Maj

Investment Director at the Warsaw Equity Group fund.  Previously, he co-managed three VC funds (two bValue funds and the Skyline Venture fund) and the WSE-listed advisory and investment boutique Skyline Investment. So far in his career, he has made a total of more than 60 investments and participated in more than 20 exits, and has served on the boards of directors and supervisory boards of more than 30 companies. Paweł is actively involved in the development of the startup ecosystem in Poland and CEE as a mentor, speaker, lecturer, jury member and author of numerous publications. He is a PSIK mentor in the Social Business Accelerator program. In the two years before joining the WEG fund, he supported startups in fundraising closing an average of one round per month.

Jerzy Szewczyk

Experienced manager with many years of experience, investor. Graduated from the Faculty of Automobiles and Working Machines and the Faculty of Management at Warsaw University of Technology. Involved in social and local government activities. Former councillor of the Warsaw Center Municipality and the Praga-Północ district. Member of the Board of the Warsaw University of Technology Foundation and the Warsaw University of Technology Alumni Association. In 2007 awarded the badge of Merit for Warsaw University of Technology.  Professionally, he worked for many years in the automotive industry running the Szewczyk family's VW and Audi dealerships and in the auto parts distribution sector at Inter-Team. For several years, through his vehicle ANNT Investments, he has been investing in high-tech companies, including the telemedicine industry, helping them develop their technology and commercialize it on international markets. He supports start-ups in a mentoring role. Since 2016, CEO at Pro-PLUS S.A. a company which is a leader in telemedicine solutions on the Polish market. Passionate about technology and new technologies, designer. Manufacturer of tinctures, winner of many awards in competitions - including the most important one - the Polish Championship in tinctures. Privately a father of five children.


Expeditions Fund is a long-term and patient venture capital fund investing in early-stage technology companies globally led by mission-driven founders from the CEE. The fund has initially started as venture capital operations of Firlej Kastory family office. In 2021, Firlej Kastory expanded beyond immediate family management and the venture capital firm, Expeditions Fund, was created. Expeditions Fund today is an independent and private venture fund backed by HNWI, family offices, founders and CEOs of successful companies.

Movens Capital

Is an early-stage, Warsaw-based fund investing in tech startups with global potential. Founded by former tech entrepreneurs, it supports the most ambitious founders from Poland and Central and Eastern Europe in the first stages of building European and global technology diamonds. The fund has previously invested in Vue Storefront, Packhelp, StethoMe, Woltair,, Nethansa, The Village Network, SKY ENGINE AI or, among others.

Rubicon Partners

Rubicon Partners is a VC fund, operating under the Venture Building model, specializing in actively building seed and Series A stage start-ups in the areas of deeptech (new materials, chemistry, biotech) and B2B IT (Big Data, SaaS, AI). It is part of the fund's DNA to operate in a "hands-on aprroach" model (active value creation through operational engagement) and to play a supporting partner role in, among other things, raising investors with smart money. To its current pair of portfolio companies, the fund has raised PLN 115 million in financing through 25 transactions with more than 30 institutional investors (funds, banks) and more than 100 individual investors. In total, since 2008, Rubicon Partners has completed more than 110 investments and transactions worth more than PLN 3.3 billion.

Simpact Ventures

Simpact Ventures is the first and leading Polish venture capital fund based on the idea of impact investing. To date, it has made 28 investments in impact technologies. The fund's investment policy has been recognized by the European Investment Fund, which is now the fund's main investor in the next Simpact 2.0 vehicle. It invests mainly in the Central and Eastern European region, supporting startups that are changing the world for the better at the early-stage stage. Simpact has a flexible investment ticket - up to more than PLN 10 million, an experienced team and a transparent approach to investment. It looks for committed founders, with market-validated ideas and ambitions to go global. The current capitalization of the fund is 130 mln. PLN.

SpeedUp Venture Capital Group

SpeedUp Venture Capital Group is a group of funds investing in the early stages of company development (seed - Series A). The group's area of interest includes companies and entrepreneurs from Central and Eastern Europe who want to conquer the global market with the solutions they have developed. The investment horizon is from 3 to 8 years. SpeedUp Group is looking for innovations in areas including electromobility, energy, industry 4.0, sustainability, medtech, IoT and hardware.

Sunfish Partners

Looking for the next Zlotycorn!  Sunfish Partners is an early-stage VC that invests in Polish deep tech startups with global ambitions. Originally from Germany, they have been investing in Poland since 2019. So far, they have backed 12 of the country’s most promising startups, including Aether Biomedical, Alphamoon, Molecule One, Scramjet, and Solvemed.


Business Angel of the Year 2022

The 2022 BAY Awards will be presented in six categories, honoring exceptional business angels and Venture Capital funds:

The most prominent angel investor in 2022 who have demonstrated their commitment to supporting innovation and the development of young companies.

Business Angel of the Year

The best first-time inwestor who started his/her investments in 2022.

Debutant of the Year

Presented by the startup community for the most supportive business angels.

Ecosystem Award by Dealum

New Category in 2022, for the best foreign investors for their activities in the Polish startup market and cross-border investments.

Best Foreign Investor

New Category in 2022, we want to recognize the best investors who particularly distinguished themselves in 2022 in the area of influencing environmental changes and carrying out pro-social activities.

Impact Investor of the Year

Recognizing the VC fund standing out for their co-investments with business angels and ecosystem-building activities.

Venture Award by VCLeaders

If you are interested in learning more, contact Dominik, Head of Advisory Services, who will tell you what we can achieve together:

Contact dominik


rules and conditions


BAY Jury

The candidates for the BAY Awards are reviewed by a special Committee, which assesses them in terms of successful investments, cooperation with startups, and dedication to promoting angel investment. The Committee is comprised of established investors and entrepreneurs with extensive experience in the subject, as well as the BAY partners and laureates from previous years.

Wiktor Namysł
Przewodniczący Kapituły BAY 2022

Partner w firmie consultingowej. Doradza  największym spółkom w zakresie poprawy efektywności operacyjnej, kreowania  strategii i transformacji cyfrowej. Lider Praktyki Operacyjnej w Europie  Środkowo-Wschodniej. W ciągu ponad 20 lat pracy wspierał klientów w zakresie  poprawy efektywności operacyjnej i inwestycyjnej, kreowania i wdrażania  strategii, transformacji cyfrowych oraz fuzji i przejęć. W latach 2015-2017  partner zarządzający McKinsey & Company w Polsce. Finalista konkursu  Business Angel of the Year 2020.

Wojciech Kostrzewa
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Menedżer i przedsiębiorca, anioł biznesu. Obecnie udziałowiec i CEO Billon Group, właściciel i przewodniczący rad nadzorczych Wydawnictwa Pascal oraz Poland Investments, butikowej firmy doradczej M&A. Przez lata członek rad nadzorczych różnych firm, obecnie szwajcarskiej Grupy Stadler Rail, spółek z Grupy ERGO Hestia i Canal+ Polska. Prezes Polskiej Rady Biznesu. Nagroda główna Bay 2019.

Paweł Zylm
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Skupiony na inwestowaniu w start-upy na wczesnym etapie rozwoju. Manager w branży finansowej z doświadczeniem w pracy w konsultingu. Założyciel i twórca sukcesu BRE Ubezpieczenia. Ekspert i aktywny uczestnik rynku ubezpieczeniowego. Reprezentował firmy w relacjach z Komisją Nadzoru Finansowego, Polską Izbą Ubezpieczeń, Ubezpieczeniowym Funduszem Gwarancyjnym. Twórca innowacyjnych rozwiązań w obszarze projektowania produktów ubezpieczeniowych, sprzedaży i usług.

Krzysztof A. Zakrzewski
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Radca prawny i Partner Zarządzający w kancelarii prawnej Domański Zakrzewski Palinka. Uznany ekspert w zakresie fuzji i przejęć, rynków kapitałowych, venture capital i prawa handlowego. Od lat zaangażowany w rozwój start-upów. Członek Polskiej Rady Biznesu i Rady Nadzorczej Polskiego Związku Pracodawców Konsultingu Konfederacji Lewiatan.

Paweł Woźniak
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Tomasz Ciąpała
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Przedsiębiorca oraz inwestor. Założyciel i CEO spółki Lancerto S.A. Członek YPO Poland, Family Business Network Poland, współtwórca i członek zarządu Związku Polskich Pracodawców Handlu i Usług. Członek wielu Rad Nadzorczych. Od 2015 roku aktywnie inwestuje, w start-upy.

Robert Ługowski
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Współzałożyciel i Partner Zarządzający w Cobin Angels, największej profesjonalnej społeczności aniołów biznesu w Polsce. Oprócz bycia przedsiębiorcą jest również inwestorem oraz doradcą dla wielu startupów i spółek technologicznych. Specjalizuje się w dyfuzji innowacji, organizacji i rozwoju nowych przedsięwzięć oraz modeli biznesowych w obszarze medtech, sztucznej inteligencji, Internetu rzeczy czy blockchain. Pracował na wysokich stanowiskach menedżerskich w globalnych firmach technologicznych, takich jak Xerox, Hewlett-Packard czy Atos.

Ela Kozera
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Jako pasjonatka przedsiębiorczości i nowych trendów technologicznych, wierzy, że głos każdego człowieka ma znaczenie i każdy może coś zmienić, kierując się jej życiowym credo: Szanuj wszystkich. Nie bój się nikogo. Działaj skutecznie. Inwestuje w nietuzinkowych przedsiębiorców w Europie i USA, których pasją i misją jest rozwiązywanie problemów społecznych ludzkości przy jednoczesnym przekształcaniu świata technologii i nauki. ideę uczenia się przez całe życie.

Maciej Kawecki
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Prorektor WSBin Warszawa, Prezes Instytutu Lema, uhonorowany tytułem "najbardziej wpływowej osoby w branży Fin-Tech w Polsce (Fin Tech Awards2022)". Popularyzator polskich innowacji.

Piotr Romanowski
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Anioł Biznesu Roku 2021. Inwestor specjalizującymsię w spółkach z obszaru biotechnologii ifintechuaktywny od 2009 roku. Jego pierwsze inwestycje, Selvita /RyvuTherapeutics S.A., są już notowane na giełdzie. W jego portfolio są teżstartupy takie jak: AI Clearing,, Kevin, MNM Bioscience,, Titanbay.

Bartek Pucek
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Autor newslettera twórca społeczności ekspertów budujących firmy i produkty technologicznie. Inwestor anielski (RampNetwork, Vue Storefront,, ElevenLabs). Założyciel syndykatu aniołów biznesu Forward Operators. Wcześniej odpowiedzialny za globalną strategię digitalizacji (IKEA). Finalista BAY2021

Anna Podkowińska-Tretyn
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Ekspertka od zarządzania strategiami biznesowymi w digitalu. Odpowiadała za strategię transformacji cyfrowej oraz M&A Burdy w Polsce i w Czechach. Wcześniej pracowała w AGORA S.A. jako digital CRO oraz była prezesem firmy Polska. Zasiadała w Radzie Nadzorczej OnlineTechnologies oraz pełniła funkcję przewodniczącej Rady Nadzorczej IAB Polska.Od 2016 roku aktywnie współpracuje ze startupami. Stworzyła StartupAdventure, jest mentorką w wielu programach rozwojowych, aktywnie inwestuje jako anielica biznesu. Finalistka BAY2021

Olga Sobieraj
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Laureatka nagrody Ecosystemu BAY 2021, konsultantka biznesowa i marketingowa, mentorka EMCC, MIT Enterprise Forum CEE,Entrepreneurial Women's Network oraz Business Women Leaders Foundation. Specjalizuje się w offline i online retail, fintech, martech i retailtech oraz branży Health and Beauty.

Wojciech Mróz
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Pełni funkcję współdyrektora największej na świecie sieci przedsiębiorców społecznych Ashoka, aktywnie wspiera i promuje rynek impact investingu w Polsce. Jako Anioł biznesu wspierał również takie spółki jak Explain Everything, Kodilla, Survicate, Testrmy , i Stava. Jest jednym z pomysłodawców wydarzeń promujących jazdę na rowerze wśród pracowników firm

Zofia Dzik
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Finalistka Bay 2021, Fundatorka Instytutu Humanites - think&do tank w zakresie rozwoju Spójnego Przywództwa™ i kapitału społecznego, łączącego systemowo tematykę Człowieka i Technologii. Jest wykładowcą, mentorem, jurorem, fundatorem Akademii Przywództwa Liderów Oświaty - programu rozwoju przywództwa w edukacji. Członek rady naukowej IDEAS NCBR oraz Rady Społecznej Politechniki Wrocławskiej

Kasia Pieniądz
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Finalistka Bay 2021. Inwestorka wspierającą startupy z kręgu blockchain i medtech, specjalistka w zakresie ekonomii zdrowia, ma doświadczenie w dziennikarstwie biznesowym w wiodących firmach medialnych, takich jak Reuters i The Wall Street Journal. Jest wiceprezeską Swiss-Polish Blockchain Association, która wspiera partnerstwo i współpracę pomiędzy szwajcarskimi i polskimi startupami blockchain.

Dawid Urban
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Laureat I edycji konkursu Business angel of the Year, anioł biznesu, przedsiębiorca, członek Young Presidents' Organization. Współtworzył Grupę CHIC i jej markę e-Smoking World, obecnie należącą do grupy British American Tobacco. Dawid jest również właścicielem i współwłaścicielem kilku firm, w tym znanych marek odzieżowych ( Local Heroes, Sugarfree). Pomysłodawca i współzałożyciel autonomicznej sieci sklepów Take & GO.

Paweł Kastory
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

Prezes Grupy DDB. Inwestor w insurtech, technologie, nieruchomości. Członek: SKM SAR i jej Rady Nadzorczej (były prezes, juror i przewodniczący grupy jurorskiej Effie), Polskiej Rady Biznesu, Rady Fundacji Ronalda McDonalda (wiceprzewodniczący). Przewodniczący Rady Muzeum Narodowego w Warszawie, uhonorowany Krzyżem Kawalerskim Orderu Odrodzenia Polski oraz Advertising Hall of Fame (2020), Business Angel of the Year (2020).

Joanna Jasińska
Członek Kapituły BAY 2022

COO VCLeaders, platformy społecznościowej i edukacyjnej dla profesjonalistów z branży Venture Capital. Alumna Global Shapers Warsaw Hub Światowego Forum Ekonomicznego oraz Aspen Young Leaders Program. Współpracuje z COBIN Angels jako konsultantka PR, jak również prowadząca program Startup Chat w Comparic24.TV.

Robert Ługowski

Partner Zarządzający, Cobin Angels
Członek Zarządu, European Business Angels Network (EBAN)

Paweł Michalski

Partner Zarządzający, Cobin Angels
CEO w VCLeaders

Dominik Krawczyk

Head of Advisory, Cobin Angels

Dominik Krawczyk

Head of Advisory, Cobin Angels

Dominik Krawczyk

Head of Advisory, Cobin Angels

If you are interested in learning more, contact Dominik, Head of Advisory Services, who will tell you what we can achieve together:

Contact dominik

Previous Editions

IV edition of the BAY Award  presented in four categories:

  • Business Angel of the Year - for the most prominent angel investor in 2020
  • Debutant of the Year - for the best first-time investor
  • Ecosystem Award - presented by the startup community for the most supportive business angels
  • NEW CATEGORY: Venture Award by VCLeaders - recognizing the VC fund standing out for their co-investments with business angels and ecosystem-building activities.

Business Angel
of the Year 2020

connecting investors with startups

The BAY Award presented in the three categories:

  • Business Angel of the Year - for the most prominent angel investor in 2020
  • Debutant of the Year - for the best first-time investor
  • Ecosystem Award - presented by the startup community for the most supportive business angels

Business Angel of the Year 2019


Awards in the second edition of the Business Angel of the Year competition were presented at the 'Investment & Finance Forum' gala held on May 29 at the Westin Hotel.

Business angel applications for the Business Angel of the Year competition, organized for the second time by COBIN Angels together with the Executive Club, were accepted until May 6, 2019.

The competition jury considered the investments made by the Business Angel in 2018. In addition to exceptional financial performance, the support provided by the investor was evaluated.

Award winner: Wojciech Kostrzewa, CEO of Billon

CEO of Billon, a fintech company specializing in blockchain technology. Before, Wojciech Kostrzewa spent 28years building large banking and media companies. He worked as the CEO of the media conglomerate ITI Group and banks Polski Bank Rozwoju and BRE Bank (today mBank). He also managed the activities of Commerzbank in Central and EasternEurope. Currently, he serves as the chairman of the Polish Business Roundtable, the deputy chairman of the supervisory board of ERGO Hestia, and the member of the board of directors of Stadler Rail and the supervisory board of Canal+ Polska.

Business Angel of the Year 2018

First editionof Business Angel of the year award.

While BusinessAngels are a key element in the development of young companies worldwide, theyare still lacking in our country. To change this, COBIN Angels, are awardingthe Business Angel of the Year statuette.

Winner Dawid Urban, Co-founder ofCHIC Group

Business angel, entrepreneur, a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. He co-created the CHIC Group and its e-Smoking World brand, currently a part of the British American Tobacco group. Dawid is also an owner and co-owner of several companies, including well-known clothing brands (e.g. Local Heroes, Sugarfree). Initiator and co-founder of Take & GO autonomous chain stores.