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February 4, 2021

Finalists of the 2020 Business Angel of the Year Awards announced!

After several weeks of searching and sifting through nearly 100 applications, we are proud to announce the list of finalists for the Business Angel of the Year 2020 contest. The group includes entrepreneurs,managers, and even startup founders. Such diversity shows how Polish angel investors come from different backgrounds and career paths.

Business angels, private investors who invest their money, time, knowledge and contacts in early-stage companies can be the key element ensuring the successful development of a startup. Although it is estimated that there are only 100 - 200angels active in Poland, American and European experience demonstrates the importance of their role.

The success of the Business Angel of the Year main category finalists’ portfolio startups can serve as evidence of this statement.This group includes:

  • Wojciech Faszczewski - active in the West Pomerania region, where he serves as a mentor for startups. Invested in BioCatch, Prosoma, OpenMed, and others. Managing Director at Coloplast Business Center.
  • Paweł Kastory – CEO at DDB Group. His recent investments include Cosmose, ClauseMatch, Nethone, and BotGuard.
  • Wiktor Namysł – his latest investments consist of Booksy, DocPlanner, Preply, Omnipack, POSBistro, and LocalBini, three of which are unicorn hopefuls. Partner at a consulting firm.

 “For a business angel, what counts more than capital is the actual support and impact on the startups’ development, leading to their successes and achievements. It is these qualities that we were looking for while analyzing this year's applications,” explained Robert Ługowski, COBIN Angels’ Founder and Competition Jury member.

“Our goal is to promote committed business mentors, and that counts more to us than the number of completed deals,” he continued. “We are looking for role models that inspire others. This year's finalists bring their knowledge, experience and invaluable support to the ecosystem.“

The Competition Jury, consisting of partner institutions’ representatives and BAY winners from previous years, was responsible for selecting the short list of finalists. The Jury members are: Wojciech Kostrzewa (Chairman), Jerzy Brodzikowski, Marek Ignor, Aleksander Janiszewski, Maciej Kawecki, Piotr Kędra, Tomasz Łasecki, Robert Ługowski, Ewa Małyszko, Paweł Michalski, Dagmara Nickel, Wojciech Niesyto, Dawid Urban, and Maciej Witucki.

The second category included angel investors who made their first investments in 2020. Competing for the 2020 Debutant of the Year award are:

  • Mirosław Janik – a founder of various companies himself,before he began angeling. An expert in startup ICOs.
  • Marcin Tchórzewski - his investments include Jutromedical and Listny Cud. He is also known for establishing Coders Lab, the first Polish programming school.
  • Paweł Woźniak – focused on healthcare and life sciences startups, he invested in KSM Vision and Hashiona. General Manager at Komtur Polska.

Engaged business angels can have an impact not just on individual startups - their actions support the development of entire ecosystems. For this purpose, this year we will present the Ecosystem Award. The winner of this category will be determined by a public vote, in which startup founders, investors and other interested people participate.

The six finalists in this category, trendsetters who are shaping the Polish startup ecosystem, are Tomasz CiąpałaRobert DitrychEla KozeraOla LazarMaciej Noga, and Paweł Zylm.  

All three awards will be presented during the official online Gala, which will be held on February 15th at the Cambridge Innovation Center Warsaw. To register for the event, click here.