Szymon Janiak

Venture Capital

About me

Co-founder and managing partner of the – one of the most active venture capital funds in Central-East Europe – with capitalization of 12 million euro.

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The book

Have you founded a start-up and decided to reach out for financing from VC funds, but you do not know how to start? Order the first Polish book written by a founder of Venture Capital on how to procure capital effectively in our reality.

Experts About the book

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capital funds, has created a practical guide for start-ups looking for financing sources. The Polish market sees a shortage of publications that in a transparent manner explains the mechanisms of operation of the VC in respect to the local reality, presents different sources and paths of capital procurement and neatly describes the particular phases of the whole process.

Paweł Sikorski, a partner of the ProtosNext fund

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In the world, in which everyone wants to be a start-up runner, Szymon Janiak brings people down to earth and cools them down. Emotions, plans and dreams. Rightly so – they must exist! Still, standing usually on the other side (investor seeker), I think that more knowledge and less illusion is better for the market, for business and for dreamers. Usually you hear: “Make a MVP of the idea and come back”. The book by Janiak suggests making a pre-MVP in order to correct plans faster. Importantly – it does help you to avoid making mistakes.

Jarosław Kuźniar, a founder of the Kuźniar Media agency

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”Venture capital” is an enigmatic entry for 99% of all Poles. This is wrong, because it is the growth hormone of the innovative economy. The book by Szymon meets this demand. In a simple and attractive belletrist form, it covers the key issues. I should note that some of the opinions and recommendations of Szymon do not fall within the strategy of the fund that I co-manage – however, economics is not hard science and which solutions are good are decided by the free market, not by a central planner.

Michał Olszewski, a partner of the MovensVC fund

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If I could change the course of time, which I passed as a founder, I would undoubtedly add this book in the beginning of creation of INKsearch. The knowledge that is relayed by Szymon in the book is in the character of a guidebook, and it clarifies many complex topics from the field of fundraising and VC operation. I consider this book as a must-have item and thanks to it, it will be much easier for you to convert a value creation start-up into a value delivery of funds.

Mateusz Łagowski, chief executive officer at INKsearch

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The author relays his great knowledge concerning the range of functioning of the start-ups in Poland with the use of foreign capital financing, in this instance, the venture capital (VC). The book presents all advantages and faults of financing of new capital ventures utilizing 130 VCs operating in Poland in the background, first of all, of such activities in Israel, USA, Germany, France and other OECD states, secondly of the seven other financing sources using the foreign capital available in Poland for those starting up business activities.

Professor Marian Noga (Profesor doktor habilitowany), economist

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Too often Polish firms and funds try to succeed on the East European market copying onefor-one solutions from the USA or Western Europe. Thanks to the diverse experience that he has gained outside the VC branch, Szymon has created his own approach, adapted to our conditions. By way of this broader perspective, he manages to present the whole investment process in an accessible way, both from the side of the investor, as well as the start-up. He does this with no glamorizing and sentiment and in a maximally practical way. I recommend it!

Kacper Winiarczyk, chief commercial officer at The Dott

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I would like this kind of book to have appeared on Polish market much sooner. Perhaps the club-like character and closed community of the venture capital world and investment funds in Poland could have been much smaller then. The author lifts a large part of the veil of secrecy in the scope of the basic concepts of the VC world. He explains how to prepare oneself for meeting with an investor and demonstrates that being an entrepreneur who successfully procures financing from a fund is not so elusive. The book is a must-have in order to understand the character of this branch of business practices.

Mateusz Bodio, the managing director of the RKKVC fund

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The book is written for everyone interested in procuring funds by way of the VC. In an accessible manner, almost in the form of a handbook guiding you by taking your hand, you can learn what a venture capital is, how it operates and how to prepare yourself in the best way to obtain from it, capital in the form of an investment. Drawing on his own experience, the author presents the advantages of a good start-up, as well as the basic mistakes that repel investors. The whole book is cohesive and it is an overall pleasurable read.

Kazimierz Krupa, a former editor-in-chief of “Forbes Polska”, economic publisher, the Drawbridge law office

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Can starting and running a start-up be compared to driving a car? Yes! And it concerns a hard drive, during which you have to navigate through a number of curves, bumpy road sections and sometimes one where you even have to leave the route and go fully off-road! The book by Szymon is a unique instruction manual for a particular vehicle - a start-up - and at the same time, it is a guidebook with a detailed description of the rules and rally route that await those who – being afraid of no challenges – dare to take part in it. Moreover, in the rally team there appears very frequently a mysterious ‘VC investor’ :).

Marek Kapturkiewicz, co-founder & partner of the Innovation Nest fund

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Edukująca, merytoryczna, szczera, bezkompromisowa, a nawet… brutalna. Taka jest książka Szymona Janiaka. Autor jako pierwszy w Polsce w kompleksowy sposób przedstawia świat start-upów – opisuje, wyjaśnia, zadaje proste pytania, a nawet punktuje. Jest to pozycja przede wszystkim dla osób, które myślą o założeniu start-upu. Ale nie tylko! Styl, język i bezpośredniość autora sprawiają, że każdy znajdzie w niej coś dla siebie. Takiej książki bardzo brakowało w branży. Cieszę się, że Szymon wypełnił tę lukę.

Karol Sadaj, country head Poland, Aion Bank


Regularnie komentuję wydarzenia dot. polskiej sceny technologicznej w mediach.

I have spoken up i.a. for :

Do you prefer to listen than to read? Listen to my podcast about venture capital on:

Kiedy Deal Start - Upu Z VC Rozpada Się Przez Prawnika
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7 czerwca 2022

Pożyczka konwertowalna na udziały doprowadza start-upy do bankructwa

Jak przygotować się do rozmowy z inwestorem? Jak podejść do pierwszego kontaktu? Czego nie robić na takim spotkaniu i jak wygląda rynek venture capital w Polsce? Szymon Janiak współzałożyciel, co-founder i partner zarządzający odpowiada na te pytania i opowiada o funduszu, za którym stoi.

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