Startup Weekend Space Gdansk

    Friday, October 2 - 4, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Space Gdansk

Friday, October 2 - 4, 2015

Friday, October 2 - 4, 2015
Event starts at 12:00 pm

Gdansk Science and Technology Park
Trzy Lipy 3
Gdansk, Poland 80-172

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Do you want to be a SPACE entrepreneur?

2nd-4th Oct 2015, we invite you to join us over an extended weekend in Gdansk where you will form teams, formulate space ideas, work intensively on them and finally pitch them to a panel of judges and investors. You will be supported by leaders in the global space community: Entrepreneurs, academics, policy experts and business leaders. They will mentor you and guide you through these intense three days, making sure your idea will translate into actual businesses.

But I am not a space engineer or scientist, how can I contribute?
Innovation is not possible without outside influence. Success in the space sector hinges on the input from all disciplines. If you are an artist, marketer, planner, programmer, lawyer, economist or educator, you too have a role. Join us in shaping the future of  the most challenging, rewarding and fundamentally important industry possible!

It sounds great! Why haven’t I heard about this before?
StartupWeekend Space is the first event of its kind in Europe! We feel that the commercial space sector is stagnant and conservative. We want to enable the broader public to shake it up a bit, to bring in some new faces to town!

I love it. But I don’t have an idea!
It’s not just about the idea, it’s about the team! Teams are formed around top ideas pitched on the first day, so you can contribute your expertise and experience to the business idea that inspires you most. Everyone counts at StartupWeekend Space!

Great, where can I find more information?
Check out our blog and social media outlets below for news and announcements:
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

We can provide you with discounted places at in the center of Gdansk (250m from the main train station & bus stops) for only 50PLN/person/night :) Use SWSpaceGDN code during booking your stay there. Price include: Swedish buffet breakfast, 1 bed, secure locker, lounge area with TV, hot soft drinks and kitchen access.

About Startup Weekend
Startup Weekend is a global grassroot movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest global community of passionate entrepreneurs; as of November 2014, 1,900 events have been held, involving over 150,000 entrepreneurs across more than 500 cities in over 127 countries and over 10,000 startups have been created.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 500 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long events to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.


Friday October 2nd

12:00 pm
Registration Open
Arrive at the venue, register grab a soft drink and mingle with other freshly registered attendees.

12:30 pm
A nice trip
A trip to DCT - Deepwater Container Terminal in Gdansk where we will see satellite navigation in sea transportation & logistics.

2:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants.

3:30 pm
Keynote Speakers
Including Frank Salgzberg (ESA), Jaroslaw Jaworski (PIAP), Christina Giannopapa (ESA), Martin Benecky (CloudEO).

5:00 pm
Welcome from our Facilitator
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce coaches and community leaders

5:00 pm
Philippe Mathieu will lead a workshop dedicated to innovation in new ESA member states and the exploitation of EO data with young entrepreneurs

5:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

6:30 pm
Voting, Form Teams & Begin Work!
Attendees vote for the best projects. Teams start forming and discussing ideas

7:00 pm
SATURDAY Silicon Valey Skype Link
Not Confirmed Yet. We will try to setup a link with a few interesting people from space industry @ Silicon Valley.

Saturday October 3rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:30 am
Rocket Workshop
Adam Matusiewicz from Polish Rocket Society will lead a workshop dedicated to development of rockets in Poland

1:00 pm

1:30 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

9:00 pm
Party party!
Another nice surprise - 2 party buses will arrive at the venue and take us on a 3h drive trough Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot with DJs, drinks and some snacks! If you want you can drop and party at Sopot, if not - we will take you back to the venue.

Sunday October 4th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

3:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards

7:00 pm
Dinner & Drinks
A proper finish for the whole event. Relax, talk, eat and drink :)


Frank Maximilian Salzgeber
Head of Technology Transfer Programme Office at European Space Agency

Frank M. Salzgeber is Head of the Technology Transfer Programme Office of the European Space Agency (ESA). Prior this post he was the Head of Commercial Development in European Astronaut Department of the Directorate of Human Spaceflight Microgravity and Exploration at the European Space Agency (ESA). The first 7 years of his career he spent at Apple Computer and in 2000 he founded his first start-up, which later was merged with a publicly traded company. In the past 8 years, Mr. Salzgeber has supported more than 300 start-up companies and enabled 150 technology transfers. His start-up programme was taken over by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the CERN research center in Geneva and recently by AIRBUS. Mr. Salzgeber advises start-ups, industrial companies, venture capital funds, universities and research institutions. Mr. Salzgeber is an inspiring speaker in the areas of open innovation, technology trends, Industry 4.0 and start-ups.

Christina Giannopapa
European Space Agency

Dr. Christina Giannopapa is a senior advisor in the Department for Relations with Member States in the Cabinet of the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Paris. She is responsible i.a for Parliamentary affairs and for liaising with Member States. From 2010 to 2012 she has been seconded from the Agency as Resident Fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna, where she has been supporting the European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) and lead studies on innovation, Galileo, Copernicus and Africa. In the policy areas she also worked briefly in DG Research, European Commission. From 2007 to 2010, she has been working in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Technical and Quality Management Directorate of ESA in the Netherlands. Prior to joining ESA she has worked as a consultant to high-tech industries in research and technology development. She held positions in academia in Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands and in the University of London, UK. She has received 14 academic scholarships and awards and has 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. She holds a PhD in Engineering and Applied Mathematics; an MEng in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Mechatronics; and an MBA in International Management from the University of London, UK. Additionally, she holds an assistant professor position in multiphysics at Eindhoven University of Technology. She is the chair of the Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and is the secretary of the Committee for Liaison with International Organisations and Developing Nations (CLIODN) of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

Martin Benecky

Martin Benecky joined CloudEO AG based in Munchen (Germany) in May 2015 as business development and sales manager. He is responsible for the business development of the company worldwide and for building the relation that are essential to success. During his career, Mr. Benecky has held various positions as system engineer, SW tester, project manager, sales and business development manager at different IT companies, key electronic producers related to GEO information as Intermap, Panasonic, Intermec or SUN Microsystems. Mr. Benecky began hir career in the SUN Microsystem in Prague as SW tester, then joined Intermec worldwide leader where he was system engineer. Project manager and RFD business development consultant. Then he was working for Panasonic Toughbook division for CEE & M market as senior account manager managing over 20 people across different countries. He joined Intermap as Regional Channel Manager to develop and establish partner network in CEE region especially. 

Jarosław Jaworski
Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements PIAP

System Engineer at Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements PIAP (, an institute offering mobile robots for counter terrorism and making first steps in space robotics. Regional Representative for Warsaw at the KIC InnoEnergy (, an European company providing acceleration services to start-ups and ventures by supporting entrepreneurs with their business ideas, strengthening their business models, building expert teams, and providing access to finance. For 2 years he has been involved in the activity of Polish Space Industry Association, an organization gathering most active Polish players in space sector. In 2014 Jarosław graduated Summer Space Program of the International Space University at Montreal, Canada. First experience in space gained during studies at Students Space Association of Warsaw university of Technology.

Philippe Mathieu
Applications & Future Technologies Department, European Space Agency

Pierre Philippe Mathieu is an Earth observation applications engineer in the Earth Observation Science and Applications Department of the European Space Agency. He spent 15 years working in the field of environmental modeling, weather risk management and remote sensing. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and MSc from University of Liege, a PhD in oceanography from the University of Louvain, and a management degree from the University of Reading Business School.

Adam Matusiewicz
Polish Rocketry Society

One of co-founders, currently CEO of Polish Rocketry Society – a non-profit organisation that associates rocketry fans and tries to inspire young generations towards space industry. As inorganic chemistry professional with a PhD, for couple of years Adam has been an assistant professor at the Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials in Krakow. In 2015, as a result of his rocketry passion, he moved to Gdynia to be the Research Rockets Department Manager at SpaceForest sp. z o.o. – a SME company that specialises in microwave systems and experimental rockets. As a hands-on type of man, Adam is both the designer and prototype manufacturer of all rocket subsystems. His knowledge of chemistry is useful for propulsion systems, whereas his another hobby, which is paragliding, benefits in recovery systems development. 

Event Judges

Marcin Kowalik
Black Pearls VC

Entrepreneur, investor, Co-founder and managing partner in Black Pearls VC.
Former Divisional Director in structures of the Foundation for Academic Incubators of Entrepreneurship. Co-founder and Investment Director in an investment platform Gemstone Partners. Involved in projects related to education, automatic control engineering and robotics, virtual entertainment, outsourcing of processes, logistics and ITS. Member of Committee of Stakeholders of NCBiR (National Centre for Research and Development) and Member of a Board of Interizon Foundation – responsible for coordination of the biggest ICT cluster in Poland.

Izabela Erecińska
Polish Space Agency

Izabela Joanna Erecińska studied administration at the University of Gdansk and law at the University of Silesia, specializing in European tax law and criminal law. From the beginning of her career associated with the management of programs and projects financed from European funds.

She created the organizational structure of the management of EU funds in Pomerania, developed and conducted training programs and advisory services for public administration staff and entrepreneurs. She led the division implementing the European funds in the Pomerania Development Agency, created Regional Financing Institutions, Regional Education Academy and pursued such projects as "The Regional Innovation Strategy for the Pomorskie voivodship", "Pomeranian Economic Observatory," or "The regional e-ducation.  She managed operational activities of several entities, conducted a number of training courses on project cycle management, public procurement, research projects and consortium agreements.

She is co-author of the publication "Regions" within the cycle "Acquis Communautaire", the study "Operational planning and project management" (dedicated to the principles of regional development planning and project management in accordance with the methodology of the European Commission) and several articles related to the topic of project management.

Beata Mikołajek-Zielińska
Department of Innovation and Development @ Ministry of Science and Higher Educationc


Marcin Żukowski
Pomeranian Special Economic Zone

Marcin Żukowski graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Bialystok (Poland) with an emphasis in security, the use of modern technology by law enforcement, emergency management, dual-use technology and innovation. He was a member of teams and research development projects financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the National Center for Research and Development. Professionally associated with the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone, where he was director of the Gdansk Science and Technology Park and currently is a Director of the Development Office of the Special Economic Zone. Currently he is responsible for the development of such industries as: Maritime Economy and Industry, Space Technology and Satellites, Security, Bioinformatics and Dual-use Technologies. Marcin Żukowski is an author of many publications and presentations at conferences related to the theme of innovation, technology transfer and creation of economy based on knowledge and research.

Coaches and Mentors

Ben Kraetzig

Ben is the founder and developer of, a platform aiming to provide new communication means for the space community - leading to visibility, interaction, innovation and investments. He has a background in Aerospace Engineering with involvement in the SOFIA project, hypersonics and the re-entry analysis of the Hayabusa mission. Parallel to his professional activities, Ben's goal is to connect and inform policy makers, and agency representatives about space activities in Germany. He is the National Point of Contact within the Space Generation Advisory Council.

Chris Kowalczyk

Founder of HardGamma Hardgamma Ventures (Polish management consultancy with the focus on TMT companies and technology startups). Worked for Procter&Gamble, Lycos Europe / Lycos Poland and McKinsey&Co. Former MIS lecturer with Warsaw Executive MBA (Carlson School of Management, U. of Minnesota). Member of Mensa Poland and a founding member ofInternet Society (ISOC) Poland.

Emmanuel Mondon

Emmanuel Mondon joined CloudEO AG based in Munich (Germany) in October 2013 as Business Development Executive. He is responsible for the business development activities of the company worldwide and for building the relationships that are essential to success. During his career, Mr. Mondon has held various positions as project manager, sales manager and business development manager at some of the most innovative geospatial solutions companies and world’s leading geospatial businesses such as EADS Fleximage, Ionic Software, ERDAS and Intergraph. Mr. Mondon began his career based in Bucharest (Romania) then Paris (France) with IGN France International, subsidiary of the French National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information (IGN), recognised worldwide as a key player in geographic information engineering. He holds an engineering degree in land surveying from Ecole Supérieure des Géomètres et Topographes.

Jarosław Pilarczyk
B&T Skyrise

Entrepreneur, ICT specialist, investor, investment manager in Black Pearls. From the beginning of his professional career he was involved in the ICT sector, especially in the B2B and R&D projects. In 2009-2012, Jaroslaw was the CEO of the TA Group – technology company, which is a pioneer in development of solutions in the field of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Since 2013 he is the CEO of the B&T Skyrise. Jaroslaw is responsible for conducting R&D for B&T Signaal – Norwegian company specializing in ITS sector. For 2 years he has been involved in the development of startups as a investor and advisor. Jaroslaw graduated Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice – with specialization in Computer Science. He is specialized in the field of Agile Project Management, inter alia, Scrum and Kanban.

Krzysztof Kanawka
Blue Dot Solutions

Krzysztof Kanawka comes from Poland, but during the last 10 years he has lived and studied in Germany, UK, France and Norway before coming back to Poland. After 11 years in academia he decided to move to the business sector in the space industry. The first company, called, was started as a Ltd. entity in 2012. This company quickly found its niche in the engineering/business consulting field. The company has also been creating its own downstream applications, utilising data from satellite navigation and Earth Observation. In 2014 the company experienced a boost due to funds from an investment fund, as one of the first Polish commercial entities in the space sector. The company, now called Blue Dot Solutions Ltd., manages several European Space Agency and Horizon 2020 portfolios as well as portfolios for commercial partners.

Martijn Leinweber
Space Business Innovation Centre

Martijn is community manager at ESA’s Business Incubation Centre in Noordwijk. He supports startups who are using space technology for #downtoearth applications. Passion for startups, hospitality and sports. Like to try out new tools, to experiment and love to learn new things.

Michał Olszewski
Senior UX Designer @ Allegro Group

Michał is currently a Senior UX Designer at Allegro Group, constantly working with users to make online shopping (even) more enjoyable. He is a fan of lean UX approach and believes that understanding users’ needs is the key to success in every business.

Michał Jaskólski
Nokaut S.A. / Morizon S.A.

Co-founder of Grupa Nokaut S.A. listed on the main Warsaw Stock Exchange market and Morizon S.A. - real estate company listed on NewConnect stock market. VP of Product w and business angel. Online since 1997. Involved in creating online products since 1999. Used to be a web designer, web developer, senior analyst, team leader, project manager and product manager as freelancer and in many different companies including Wirtualna Polska and GetResponse. Fascinated by the new technologies, ideas and startups. Geek and early adopter. Captures the world around by taking photos and listens to alternative music (often - live).

Regina Kozyra
Skyvory Projects

Regina is founder of Skyvory Projects, a company offering market research, project management and marketing services in innovation oriented environments. Regina has a broad experience of working in space industry as a project manager and market researcher of satellite applications. She was coordinating remote sensing and GIS projects at Earth Observation Group, Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences and was a project manager of the Polish RPWI Team in the ESA JUICE Mission. As Seconded National Expert at European GNSS Agency was managing publication of the GNSS Market Report and was one of the evaluator at the Galileo Masters Competition. Economist and a true lover of innovation and team spirit.

Sebastian Brzuzek

Co-founder and CTO at Elimi (, a project that came out of a Startup Weekend. Hacker with strong background in providing seamless support for business needs using wide range of technologies. Expert in online banking, payments, scalability of information systems, information security. Open Standards and Open API advocate. Fan of Artifical Intelligence, IoT and Robotics. Extreme creator with positive mindset and hundreds of ideas. His hero: Elon Musk.

Sebastian Marcu
Design & Data

Up until 2010 in variou positions for the Fraunhofer Institute and European Space Agency. Since 2011 Managing Director ( with Björn Brockmann ) of the Design & Data GmbH in Cologne. Focus: Digital visual communication solutions for industry and academic institutions with a focus on the space industry. Service provider for Crossmedia content solutions, Outreach & PR, Media Storage and Media Distribution.

Tanay Sharma
University of Sussex

Dr. Tanay Sharma (Tan) currently works as a Systems Administrator and is based at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. He previously conducted technical research and sales in London, where he focused on providing bespoke and off-the-shelf solutions to commercial airlines based within the EMEA region.  Tanay has an undergraduate degree in computer systems engineering and a PhD in space systems, where he focused the use of magnetic levitation and propulsion technologies to enable horizontal take-off and landing for commercial space vehicles. His research has focused on key issues related to the future growth of the aerospace domain. His research interests span from space situational awareness, use of satellite technology for disaster mitigation and management to international and domestic policy issues that directly affect the space sector.

Wojciech Drewczyński
Black Pearls VC

Entrepreneur, art of innovation enthusiast, R&D Director in Black Pearls. His professional career is connected with ITC industry, project management and startups. Since 2008 he has been managed more than 50 web projects, including several with valuation over 1 000 000 PLN. In Black Pearls responsible for: project management and R&D. Creator of the new method of brainstorming and generating new ideas. Actively involved in development of the Tri-City startup ecosystem.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Space Gdansk team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.



Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Gdansk is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Adam
  • Adrianna
  • Agata
  • Maciej
  • Michał
  • Iga
  • Magdalena
  • Izabela


Adrian Pica
Product Manager

Adrian is a veteran Startup Weekend Facilitator. He founded, a news/media outlet that covers tech and startups in the CEE region that he later sold to an American media group.
Previously he also co-founded Oblico, a location based networking app for events and conferences, a project that came out of a Startup Weekend, was part of the TechPeaks accelerator and received a grant from Telecom Italia.
 Currently he's creating awesome stuff as Product Manager at Telenav INC. Adrian is a lean startup fan and experienced in pitch training and public speaking. You can reach him anytime on FB. He has one of the biggest collections of Startup Weekend T-shirts.

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