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Recruitment for the 5th edition of the PFR School of Pioneers has started! Why is this years' edition unique?

June is traditionally the month of recruitment for the PFR School of Pioneers – it is no different this year! You can submit your application for the program – individually or as a team - by the 30th of June, but it is worth to read more on the rules, as well as the changes that were introduced for the upcoming 5th edition. Who can become a Pioneer and what opportunities does the program offer? Find out!

The program is created by the Polish Development Fund in cooperation with Allegro and is aimed at new entrepreneurs, scientists, and technology enthusiasts as well as all those who want to change their career paths. If you want to: acquire or systematize your business knowledge; meet people with whom you will build a technology company or develop - with the support of experts – an innovative idea for it, it is an initiative for you! 

The PFR School of Pioneers allows teams to build an innovative startup, that can be scaled internationally. It gives unique access to the knowledge of Polish and foreign experts from technology companies, institutions and experienced start-ups. 

The previous edition of the program was dubbed "green" because it focused on solutions that responded to environmental problems. Participants of the 5th edition of the PFR School of Pioneers will also be able to create similar solutions  in the „climate tech” path, but there will also be a „health tech” path available to choose from. But that's not the whole focus – Pioneers can also choose the „open” path and develop a product or service that responds to the challenges of one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. We want the startups built as part of the PFR School of Pioneers to bring not only profits, but also real change in the areas that are most important for contemporary societies, including health and the environment.    

The 5th edition of the program also brings other changes!

  • For this edition, application is open not only to individuals, but to teams as well.

If you decide to participate in the program individually, you do not need to have an idea for a new business – during the PFR School of Pioneers, you will meet people with whom you will create a complementary team and develop a business idea during the workshop. In the 5th edition, we are also waiting for applications from teams with an idea for a start-up, but wanting to increase their business competences or looking for the right person to co-create a project.

  • The age limit for participation in the program has been removed – competences are important, and Pioneers can be people of all ages!
  • This time, the PFR School of Pioneers is fully international - the main workshops will be conducted in English, which is why we also invite people and teams from everywhere (with a special mention going to Ukraine) to participate.

What stages will the 5th edition of the PFR Pioneer School consist of?

To start, the Pioneers will take part in a weekend bootcamp, which will allow them to learn about the competences and ideas of other participants in the program.

The next step is 2 weeks of intensive business workshops, conducted in cooperation with partners, which include, among others, Allegro, PFR Ventures and representatives of VC funds, as well as our media partner - MamStartup.

PFR School of Pioneers workshops, however, are not the last part of the program! They will be followed by further work of the teams in their own tempo, yet in cooperation the with mentors, which will be finished in October - during the Demo Day. At the end of it, jury will select the best teams, which will have the opportunity to present their solution during the Final Gala of the program.

The pitch session will be evaluated by a jury consisting of representatives of PFR, PFR Ventures, Allegro and the media patron.The Gala will also feature investor representatives.The program ends with the International Mission, a business trip, the previous editions of which took place i.a. Berlin, Oxford and Paris.

The best teams will also be awarded with grants from the total pool of 110 thousand PLN!

Recruitment highlights

Recruitment for the program lasts until 30 June 2022 and is two-stage:

1. In the first stage, all you have to do is fill in the electronic application form, which will be available on our website.

The form should consist of:

  • a personal questionnaire;
  • CV (resume);
  • personal development plan – a presentation about yourself.
  • For teams, documents must be submitted by all team members - it is also important to include a description and roadmap of the project!

Your application will be evaluated – we will provide you with information about the result electronically to the e-mail address provided in the form.

2. If you qualify for the second stage, you will be invited to a group evaluation meeting called Assessment Center, which will be held in online format in the first week of July. During the meeting, each applicant will perform individual and group tasks. Remember that, even if you do not finally qualify for the program, participation in this meeting will allow you to better diagnose your skills and areas of individual development.

If you qualify for the program, remember to pay an administrative fee of:

  • 350 PLN gross – Early Bird fee for participants who will apply between 1 – 13 June 2022.
  • 550 PLN gross – participants who will apply after June 14, 2022.

Details of the 5th edition of the program and recruitment for it can be found on the dedicated website: www.szkolapionierow.pl!

Pioneers conquer the Polish start-up scene!

The Pioneers community, i.e. graduates of the 4 previous editions of the program, already has 200 people. Many of them are successfully developing their businesses, and their projects have received over 130 million PLN in total financing in the last three years! The most dynamically developing start-ups run by Pioneers include – VividQ - (in 2021 alone they won PLN 57 million in funding), Jutro Medical (PLN 27 million in funding in 2021.), HearMe, UpMedic, Pola or Hilosolutions (all approx. PLN 1 million of co-financing). The winners of the previous edition of the program - ZNIKA, won the Startup Arena competition during Impact'22 conference. Aleksandra Pędraszewska (VividQ), Adam Janczewski (Jutro Medical) and Rafał Grudzień (ProperGate) were included in last year's Forbes magazine "30 under 30" ranking.

The PFR School of Pioneers does not end with the program itself. The community of graduates gathers as part of a cyclically organized Pioneer Club, and supports each other in developing their projects. You will also read about Pioneers on startup.pfr.pl, and hear them on the Pioneers Podcast!

The School of Pioneers is created thanks to the cooperation of the PFR with the Strategic Partner – Allegro.

Don't wait until the last minute with applying! Go to the program page and submit your application today.

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