The book

Have you founded a start-up and decided to reach out for capital from the VC funds, but you do not know what to start with? This is the book for you. The author describes in a pragmatic and accessible way his experiences built on working with thousands of start-ups so as to finish in the end with lifting the veil of secrecy and presenting step by step how to raise capital from an investor in Poland.

As an active founder of a venture capital fund, he shares his observations in respect to how to prepare a company for VC funding, what is important for the VC sector and what should be avoided. It is a one of a kind author’s guidebook around the domestic VC scene, and aims to facilitate procurement of the means for company development for its founders.

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The first Polish book about raising VC capital written from the perspective of a co-founder of a VC fund!

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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Educational, substantive, straight, uncompromising, and even… brutal. Such is the book by Szymon Janiak. The author is the first in Poland to describe comprehensively the world of start-ups – he describes, explains, asks simple questions and even itemizes. This book is, first of all, for people who think about founding a start-up. However, not only! The style, language and directness of the author makes this read appealing for just about everyone. Such a book has been sorely lacking in the industry. I am really happy that Szymon has filled up this gap.

Karol Sadaj, country head Poland, Aion Bank

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Why?

The Polish venture capital market has reached its historical peak. Record-breaking results concern each of the key metrics: the number of investments, their value, percentage of their continuation rounds. Capital has never been so accessible for start-up companies – a situation that substantially favors the development of innovativeness in Poland. Together with the market increase, the educational gap is being highlighted. Start-ups raising capital from VCS still commit elementary mistakes, which cross out their chances to attract the interests of investors. There is a shortage of commonly available sources of pragmatic knowledge that comes from the Polish market and is not merely theory or an attempt to implant American standards.

This book is an attempt to solve the above problem

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