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vc summit summary by vestbee
03 June 2022·6 min read

Olga Chechłacz

Editor, Vestbee

CEE VC Summit 2022 by Vestbee- The Biggest Conference For VC Fund Managers In Central & Eastern Europe

On May 24, Warsaw, for one day, became the European Capital of Venture Capital as the CEE VC Summit organized by Vestbee, hosted 200 GPs and other stakeholders from CEE and Western European VC ecosystems.

The VC Summit is the largest in the region meeting platform for GP and LPs who have or want to have exposure to the CEE market. However, this conference is not only about building relationships, as it is also a place where, in numerous discussions, the VC industry debates future challenges and ways to tackle them.

The underlying theme of this year's Summit was focused on assessing the current state of CEE startup and VC ecosystems and their ability to face and overcome challenges imposed by the foreseen global economic slowdown in order to strengthen the multidimensional position of Central and Eastern Europe on the global VC map, both in terms of startups, quality of funds and attractiveness of Venture Capital as an asset class for institutional investors. During several panel discussions, speakers covered such essential topics as:

·      How to boost the appeal of CEE as a region and CEE VC funds to LPs

·      New trends causing gradual evolution of the traditional Ventures Capital model

·      Cross border investments and how to make CEE more interconnected

·      Role of an early-stage investor and what makes a difference for startups.

·      How to prepare for the challenging for the industry 12+ months.

“Despite its dynamic growth, record number of funds, startups and VC deals, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is years behind the developed ecosystems and still faces many challenges on a regional and local scale. Undoubtedly, CEE has one of the strongest technology talent pools in the world, but we still lack the knowledge and skills to build, manage and scale fast-growing businesses with global ambitions from day zero, which would allow us to increase the number of regional success stories.

Regional and local VC funds, for the most part, are not yet able to support their portfolios at levels similar to those offered by their Western peers. The development of regional startups is also hampered by a significant shortage of local VC funds that would be able to finance growth phases, thus forcing them to seek and compete for funding in London or the US. Lack of funding at later stages of development also hampers the development of the regional VC ecosystem, including the inflow of capital to regional and local funds from institutional investors.” - comments Ewa Chronowska, Founder and CEO of Vestbee and Partner at Next Road Ventures, early-stage VC fund with CEE focus. 

All Summit participants agree that CEE has significant Venture Capital potential despite the likely global economic slowdown, however, meaningful educational work needs to be done to catch up with the western ecosystems. 

We are, therefore, trapped in a vicious circle, from which we can be freed by joint cross-border co-investments of funds, educational activities aimed at making individual and institutional investors aware that Venture Capital is an attractive asset class, or promotion of startups and entrepreneurship as interesting alternatives to traditional corporate employment. We all agree that the region needs more success stories like UiPath, Pipedrive, Vinted, Bolt or Docplanner because only with "live" examples we can show that Central and Eastern Europe also has the potential to become a breeding ground for global unicorns.” - highlights Ewa Chronowska.

The conference was honored with the presence of representatives of leading VC funds and corporates, among them the Summit Speakers in such a line-up:

🔹Ewa Chronowska, CEO, Vestbee & Partner, Next Road Ventures
🔹Diana Koziarska, Managing Partner, SMOK Ventures
🔹Marcin Hejka, General Partner, OTB Ventures
🔹Tatjana Zabasu Mikuz, Managing Partner, South Central Ventures
🔹Matei Dumitrescu, General Partner, ROCA X
🔹Stanislav Ivanov, Founding Partner, Tera Ventures
🔹Kasparas Jurgelionis, Managing Partner, Iron Wolf Capital
🔹Marcin Laczynski, Partner, Next Road Ventures
🔹Ertan Can, Founding Partner, Multiple Capital
🔹Diego Recondo, Partner, All Iron Ventures
🔹Maciej Ćwikiewicz, CEO, PFR Ventures
🔹Borys Musielak, Managing Partner, SMOK Ventures
🔹Paweł Maj, Head Of VC, Warsaw Equity Group
🔹Paulina Skrzypinska, Chief Innovation Officer, BNP Paribas
🔹Rafal Stroinski, Partner, B2RLaw
🔹Berkin Toktaş, Managing Director, Revo Capital
🔹Radu Georgescu, Chairman of the Board, SeedBlink & Founding Partner, Gecad Ventures
🔹Bartosz Lipnicki, Managing Director, Endeavor Poland
🔹Tomasz Świeboda, Managing Partner, Inovo Venture Partners
🔹Eva Arh, Partner, 3VC
🔹Enis Hulli, General Partner, 500 Istanbul
🔹Alex George, Principal, Point Nine Capital
🔹Marcin Kurek, Managing Partner, Market One Capital
🔹Jan Habermann, Partner, Credo Ventures
🔹Bakhrom Ibragimov, Head of EBRD Venture Capital
🔹Pawel Chudzinski, Partner, Point Nine Capital
🔹Julian von Eckartsberg, Managing Director Europe, Burda Principal Investments
🔹Maciej Frankowicz, CEO & Partner, Shape VC
🔹Marek Zamlynski, CEE Startups & VCs, Amazon Web Services
🔹Deepali Nangia, Partner, Speedinvest
🔹Marcus Erken, Managing Partner, Sunfish Partners
🔹Aman Ghei, Partner, Finch Capital
🔹Csaba Kakosy, Partner, Day One Capital
🔹Dmitry Smirnov, Investment Director, Flashpoint
🔹Michael Brandkamp, General Partner, ECBF European Circular Bioeconomy Fund
🔹Szymon Kwiatkowski, Investment Manager, EIT InnoEnergy Central Europe
🔹Yigit Arslan, Managing Partner, TechOne
🔹Kinga Stanislawska, Managing Partner, Experior Venture Fund
🔹Tom Hughes, Regional Director, Europe Affinity
🔹Matei Dumitrescu, General Partner, ROCA X

The successful organization of the conference on such a scale would not be possible without Vestbee's Sponsors and long-term Partners: EIT InnoEnergy, Next Road Ventures, PFR Ventures, Amazon Web Services, B2RLaw, Affinity, Goodwin, and BNP Paribas that backed up the event and Vestbee mission to fuel CEE VC & startup scene!

It was a pleasure and huge honor to host such inspiring people, as together we are much closer to bridging the gap between developing the VC ecosystem in CEE and more mature ones from the West. Hope to see you during the next edition!

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Related Posts:

VC Funding In CEE Report - 1Q 2022 (by Konrad Koncerewicz, Head of VC & Startups, Vestbee)

Top 25 VC Funds In Poland To Finance Your Startup (by Ilya Mikhalchyk-Kananenka, Community Builder, Vestbee)

VC Transactions In CEE Report - 2021 (by Konrad Koncerewicz, Head Of VC & Startups, Vestbee)


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