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22 March 2024·5 min read

Katarzyna Groszkowska

Editor, Vestbee

CEE VC Summit by Vestbee 2024 brought together over 200 venture capital investors and managers worldwide. How the event unfolded

Over two busy days on March 19-20, Warsaw served as a gathering point for over 200 venture capital investors and managers from Europe's and US's most prominent funds. The third edition of the invitation-only CEE VC Summit, organized by Vestbee, once again proved to be the place where the region's key players converge to discuss pressing issues, exchange ideas and insights, and collaborate on future projects and joint ventures.

Kick-off and key insights

Ewa Chronowska, CEO of Vestbee and General Partner at Next Road Ventures, officially inaugurated the summit, opening the floor for subsequent speakers and participants. At the beginning of the event, an exclusive unveiling took place, introducing the Central and Eastern European startups 2024 report, a collaborative effort by Dealroom, Vestbee, Uniqa Ventures, and Cogito Capital Partners. This comprehensive report provides a detailed overview of the startup and venture capital ecosystem in the region, offering stakeholders invaluable insights, pivotal statistics, and emerging trends.


Orla Browne, Head of Insights at Dealroom, is presenting the Central and Eastern European startups 2024 report
Photos in the reportage: Michał Zaranek

Panels and discussions

  • What are the key challenges and trends in the CEE ecosystem? 
  • How can the market progress faster and catch up with its more mature Western peers? 
  • How to select companies for a profitable portfolio? 
  • What could be done to facilitate the rise of unicorns originating from the region? 

These and many more questions were addressed in a variety of panels. 


Speakers from funds such as Cogito Capital Partners, Credo Ventures, Uniqa Ventures, KAYA VC, Market One Capital, Eleven Ventures, Startup Wise Guys, HV Capital, Logo Ventures, Presto Ventures, 500 Global, Brightcap Ventures, Deel, PFR Ventures, Multiple Capital, AlphaQ Venture Capital, Next Road Ventures, Isomer Capital, IVP, Endeavor Poland, Molten Ventures, and Warsaw Equity Group were able to exchange market intelligence about the macro-scale of their investment activities, adopting a broader lens to examine the region's advantages and disadvantages. 


Left to right: Zuzanna Czapinska, Investment Manager at HV Capital, Tomas Pacinda, Partner at KAYA VC, Marcin Kurek, Managing Partner at Market One Capital, Valeri Petrov, Partner at Eleven Ventures, and Dag Ainsoo, General Partner at Startup Wise Guys

At the Summit, fireside chats featuring guests from prominent global VCs were held. One such chat involved Ewa Chronowska interviewing Creandum’s GP Staffan Helgesson, who shared key insights gleaned from the extensive track record of successful portfolio companies. 


Ewa Chronowska, CEO of Vestbee, discusses with Creandum’s GP Staffan Helgesson how to build a winning VC

Marcin Laczynski from Next Road Ventures engaged in a discussion with Chris Wade, co-founder & Partner at Isomer Capital, focusing on LPs' relationships with VC funds, highlighting key success indicators and essential LP considerations. 


Marcin Laczynski, GP at Next Road Ventures, and Chris Wade, co-founder & Partner at Isomer Capital

Bartosz Lipnicki, Managing Director of Endeavor, discussed with James Black from IVP about the fund's activities worldwide. IVP is one of the oldest investment firms in Silicon Valley, having partnered with over 400 companies to date, resulting in over 130 IPOs. Its portfolio includes numerous unicorns and soon-to-be-unicorns, such as Discord, Klarna, Slack, and Snap. Additionally, during this fireside chat, James Black announced the launch of IVP's new $1.6 billion fund.


James Black, Partner at IVP, and Bartosz Lipnicki, Managing Director of Endeavor

Panels also spotlighted more particular issues such as emerging trends in tech, from AI and deeptech to fintech and dual-use, with experts from esteemed firms such as Diaspora Ventures, OTB, PFR Ventures, NATO Innovation Fund, Sunfish Partners, Elevator Ventures, Finch Capital, Augmentum Fintech, 212, Sigal Ventures, QNBeyond Ventures, Lead Ventures, South Central Ventures, Tilia Impact Ventures, Metis Ventures, Early Game Ventures, Flyer One Ventures, and Fortech Investments, contributing their perspectives.


Left to right: Konrad Koncerewicz, Head of VC & Startups at Vestbee, Marcin Hejka, GP at OTB Ventures, Maciej Gnutek, GP at Credo Ventures, Sylwester Janik, GP at Cogito Capital, and Andreas Nemeth, CEO of Uniqa Ventures

Balancing the tech focus, legal issues, including the Luxembourg Framework, were also discussed by experts from esteemed organizations such as the Polish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, Osborne Clarke, and SSK&W. 

Networking and collaboration

Beyond the panels, the many opportunities for backroom talks and networking are what make each edition of the CEE VC Summit especially valuable. 



As many attendees expressed during the event, a strong ecosystem infrastructure and collaboration between its main players is essential in keeping and developing the entrepreneurial talent of the region. 



As a result, the conversations extended way beyond the official meeting schedules, and into the VIP dinner and afterparty. 



Partnerships and support

In addition to existing partners, such as PRF Ventures, Deel, and Next Road Ventures, this year’s summit saw the establishment of partnerships with Dealroom.co, OTB Ventures, Cogito Capital Partners, Uniqa Ventures, Fundequate, and a law firm SSK&W. Creandum, a global early-stage VC firm that has backed some of Europe’s most successful tech companies, has also lent its support to the summit. 

Looking ahead

With the conference concluded, it's now time to translate the insights gained into actionable strategies, ensuring continued growth and collaboration within the CEE startup ecosystem.

Until next year’s CEE VC Summit 2025!


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