In collaboration with the Foundation for Technology Entrepreneurship, MIT Open Learning is introducing a new accelerator brand — StartSmart CEE, based in Warsaw, which will replace the former MIT Enterprise Forum CEE. The project is a part of the StartSmart network to build a global innovation ecosystem. StartSmart CEE represents a significant step forward in the development of technology and entrepreneurship in Poland and throughout Central and Eastern Europe, continuing the achievements of the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE and expanding its business activity.
MIT Enterprise Forum CEE (Foundation for Technology Entrepreneurship), a part of the global network associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is transforming into StartSmart CEE. It will continue to build the innovation ecosystem and support entrepreneurship in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe as a part of the StartSmart network, which has become a member of MIT Open Learning and MIT Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL). This expansion deepens the existing cooperation of the Polish branch within the structures of the world’s top technical university.
As emphasized by Magdalena Jabłońska, President of StartSmart CEE (formerly MIT Enterprise Forum CEE), the partnership with MIT provides access to the latest research, educational resources, and experts who support the organization in fulfilling its mission of fostering entrepreneurship and supporting the startup ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe. ‘’We maintain the mission, values, and goals achieved under the former MIT Enterprise Forum brand, and with access to unparalleled MIT resources and knowledge, as StartSmart CEE, we aim to disrupt the status quo and raise the bar in supporting the technology and innovation ecosystem,” adds Jabłońska.
StartSmart CEE, as a part of the global StartSmart Network, supports technological entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe. It organizes acceleration programs, knowledge exchange, mentoring and training support. The initiative aligns perfectly with the mission of MIT J-WEL, which aims to stimulate education and innovation to address urgent global challenges.
Furthermore, StartSmart CEE recognizes corporations’ values by supporting them in achieving innovation-related business goals. The organization’s objective is to enrich the competencies of management, digitalization and innovation leaders in corporations. StartSmart CEE strives to build skills and capabilities to create a collaborative environment that fosters synergistic relationships between startups and corporations, accelerating technological progress and business growth in the region.
“MIT J-WEL shows organizations associated with MIT a new direction where we can all learn, support, and research academic innovation programs worldwide, from Poland and Central and Eastern Europe to Greece and Southern Europe to Saudi Arabia. StartSmart members will inspire and educate those particularly talented in entrepreneurship. The knowledge they gain can change not only their immediate surroundings but also their careers, the solutions they develop, and the new companies they create, benefiting entire communities,” says Dr. Anjali Sastry, Director of MIT J-WEL and Associate Dean at MIT Open Learning.
The rebranding of MIT Enterprise Forum CEE emphasises the importance of developing innovative business strategies and organizations ready to meet the challenges posed by a rapidly changing world. “The brand change has a positive impact on our business activity, but it does not clash with our values, goals, current acceleration programs, the team we have successfully built in Poland and the CEE region over the years, or the resources we utilize,” says Magdalena Jabłońska, President of StartSmart CEE.
StartSmart CEE’s partners include Bank Pekao S.A., CVC Advisers, MCX, Novartis, PZU, Saint Gobain, and Żabka, and knowledge partners such as EU Patent, Hasik Rheims and Partners, HR Hints, Kingmakers, and TaxLab. The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development is the institutional partner supporting acceleration programs implemented by StartSmart CEE through the Smart Development 2014-2020 program.