Brinc ScaleUp is an initiative to support young, innovative companies in the field of industrial IoT


The program aims at providing the break-through technology solutions to Polish corporations by working closely between them and startups. It is co-sponsored by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development.

We will provide comprehensive support to mid-stage startups who have a complete working prototype and are ready to start their DFM stage.

Similar to the Poland Prize powered by Brinc program, Brinc ScaleUp takes 0% equity. Selected teams receive cash and services to deliver prototypes that will help them implement their solutions within Corporates.

Why Poland?

Poland’s economic ascent is remarkable. After transitioning from communism, Poland’s per capita GDP growth was fast and stable - averaging about 4 percent per year. The country moved from middle to high-income status in less than 15 years becoming the first country from the former Soviet bloc awarded with a developed country status.

Poland is the only country in Europe where you can seek early-stage hardware funding with hardware oriented VCs that are willing to deploy more than 100+ million Euros into this category.

Our Offer

  • Up to $64,000 USD* in cash ($51,000 USD ) and services ($13,000 USD) equity-free for you to start with DFM

  • $20,000 USD out of cash budget has to be spent on prototyping

  • 4 months program in our brand new Hardware Hub in Poznan, Poland, including an event space, maker space and demo zone as well as some time spent on location with our hands on technology receivers around Poland

  • A trip to Hong Kong/Shenzhen during which you will familiarize yourself with production processes for later stages of startup’s development

  • Advisory and networking services to increase chances of getting an investment from leading Polish VCs

  • Corporate Week: working on-location with some of the biggest Polish corporations who might become startups' first clients and potential investors

  • Access to Brinc’s LMS educational platform



  • Applications submission: starting on the 15th of November, 2019.

  • Ramp Up Stage: from February 17th 2020 till March 6th. During that time we analyse and evaluate all the applications and organise calls with the teams to learn more about them and appraise their investability (technical, market and financial aspects).

  • Due Diligence: from March 2nd to March 6 we perform in-depth analysis and a comprehensive appraisal of teams’ businesses. Personal traits of founders are also taken under consideration.

  • Investment Committee: from 9th to 13th of March. Our global investment committee debates over investability factors of the teams and selects a fixed number per program to invite them to attend the full program.

  • Program Inauguration: Startups join us at the program’s inauguration on April 6th.


Our partners



What are the commercial terms for the program?

Teams joining the full Scaleup by brinc Acceleration program receive $64,000 USD* in cash and services for the full support of the accelerator, for 0% equity.

We invest in teams tackling a wide variety of problems from all over the world, coming from different markets with different economics and benchmarks. Brinc ScaleUp will be centered around prototyping and preparation for seed investment, therefore we require teams to dedicate part of that money towards services that will allow you to meet Acceleration goals. Program’s parallel goal is to create solutions for our various corporate Technology Receivers who not only can become investors in the teams participating in the program but also become their major clients.

Here is a breakdown of the funds available:

  • $51,000 awarded in cash.

  • Of this $51,000, we require teams to spend $20,000 on prototyping services.

  • Additionally, teams will receive $13,000 worth of accelerator services (mentorship, consulting, education).

*Offer based on the Exchange rate PLN to USD, 1 USD = 3.94 PLN.

Why do we need to register our business in Poland?

Poland makes a lot of sense for hardware in the CEE region.

There are many reasons why incorporating in Poland makes sense for hardware businesses:

  • European Union member

  • Access to European market through a borderless Schengen territory

  • Fast-track visa process with support from Polish Goverment

  • Low cost base

  • Active and supportive startup community

  • Active investor community with numerous pitch and networking events

  • Easy company setup and operation

  • The ideal test bed for your product or service ahead of regional expansion

  • Strategic and cost effective location within the Center of Europe

  • Fastest Economic Growth in Europe

  • Numerous government-run grant options in Poland

  • Motivated and hands-on Technology Receivers who may become startups’ first clients

What can I expect after the program?


Brinc created a vast network of VCs investing only in hardware startups so we will be there to help you realise your dreams of taking your startup to a new level.



Spring 2020 Applications start NOVEMBER 15TH, 2019


Does Brinc cover the costs of company incorporation?

No, this falls under startups responsibility. Incorporation is crucial and is required by the program and its Limited Partner (the government, namely PARP). It also triggers the very first tranche of the grant so the sooner it will be done the better for a startup.

What is Industrial IoT?

The Industrial IoT represents a substantial range of IoT (Internet of Things) applications, smart product design principles, and data-driven automation practices within the industrial sector of economy (manufacturing, packaging etc.). It utilizes, in various ways, sensor technology to enhance different types of equipment with remote monitoring and maintenance capabilities. On a larger scale, the Industrial IoT is a key element of Industry 4.0.

Is ScaleUp a government program?

ScaleUp’s Limited Partner is in fact PARP (Polish Agency for Enterprise Development) which is a Polish government’s body who is responsible for the implementation of national and international programmes financed from the EU structural funds, state budget and multiannual programmes of the European Commission.

How much does the incorporation cost in Poland?

Any new company in Poland must deposit 5,000 PLN (~$1,250) as an initial capital. On top of this there are minor fees paid to legal companies for handling this matter as well as to the Polish National Court Register. The initial capital’s payment lays on a startup. Brinc Poland, however, provides financial aid to cover all other legal-related costs that lead to finalisation of incorporation out of grant money provided to startups through services.

How long does the incorporation take?

It can take up to a couple of weeks if done by the book as startups need to hire a sworn translator and have all the paperwork in order as well as to handle Notary Office themselves. This also adds additional costs to the incorporation. We at Brinc, however, found a better way we suggest all the startups to take. A startups provides all the necessary details (i.e. the name of the company, advisory board members etc.) and a chosen attorney-at-law does all the hard work, establishes the company and then sells it to the startup members (100% shares, 100% clean company with no history or debt) for the initial capital he had to deposit to be able to do so. This way startups can be established within a couple of days instead of weeks. After the purchase the Startup shall file these documents to the National Court Register to register the actual owners of the company (startup members) and the management board, which shall consist of at least one startup member.

Do startups have to pay taxes in Poland?

Startup is a typical limited liability company, which operates in the Republic of Poland, so Startup is required to pay all the taxes as any legal entity conducting business in Poland. The main tax in Poland is VAT tax (value-added tax), which in most situations is neutral for companies in their business relations. If your Startup hires people, the Startup will have to pay social taxes from the contract agreement signed with Startup’s co-workers or employees. It is advisable to register Startup as a VAT taxpayer and European VAT taxpayer as quickly as possible (just after incorporation of the Startup). To conduct business properly in the legal and fiscal matters it is important to choose an accounting firm, which will be able to file necessary documents for the tax institutions.

Do startups need to apply for a temporary residency in Poland?

Legally, no. But it is highly advisable as it shows a good faith in front of investors and proves the team is willing to stay in Poland and do business in here. In addition, depending on the nationality of startup founders, some may need a residency to freely enter and leave Poland. The above is obsolete for Polish citizens.

Can startup members leave Poland during the program?

At least one member of the team has to be on location during the whole acceleration program.

Are there any rules regarding behavior in the office?

In general, you are never alone in the workplace so you need to behave with utmost respect to others and their work as well as to avoid by all means things you wouldn’t want to be done to you. Apart from the obvious in our workspace you can’t eat at the desk (there is a common co-working space near the kitchen for that), you can’t consume alcohol unless it’s allowed for a special occasion, and you are obliged to keep the place tidy and quiet. Once you leave the program (for any reason) you must return the Business Link entry card you will be given at the beginning of the program to enter our facilities.

Will Brinc get startup an investment?

The sole goal of the Poland Prize program is to help startups find an investment in Poland by increasing startups investability and through introductions to VC mentors that will may help in this venture. Brinc can not promise a startup that it will get invested. Nevertheless, by choosing a team to participate in the program we recognize that it has a good chance at raising significant interest from VCs in Poland. We will connect startups with VCs in Poland that might be interested in investing in them. At the same time we believe startups are lead by entrepreneurs who understand their responsibilities as founders/owners and will do the hard work themselves. We will also be offering a post-acceleration programs for those who would like additional help in raising funds locally.

What happens in case of any prototyping delays?

Brinc cannot take responsibility for services provided by external companies. We can, however, help in mediating and looking into the problem.

What services does Brinc provide within the grant itself?

  • We provide access to mentors with both Polish and global expertise in: finance, business development, technology (software, hardware, firmware, BOM optimisation, prototyping, SOW, PRD, manufacturing)

  • We organise both a VC Speed Dating and a Demo Day for startups to pitch in front of Polish VCs

  • We provide shared office space in Business Link Maraton office building in Poznan, Poland

  • We grant access to the LMS e-learning platform

  • We organise a not refundable trip to China/HK

Is the trip to China/Hong Kong mandatory?

Yes it is. We believe it’s beneficial for the future of any hardware startup. Our main goal during the program is to increase startups’ investability and the knowledge of manufacturing processes. Up- and downsides of mass production in China as well as the knowledge of local culture and pricing are all valuable from the investors’ point of view.

Who pays for the trip to China?

The trip to China, specifically to Hong Kong and Shenzhen, takes place during one of the weeks of the acceleration program. Accelerator covers the following costs:

  • Flight to Hong Kong

  • Transit cost from Hong Kong to Shenzhen

  • Accomodation in Shenzen

  • Transit back from Shenzhen to Hong Kong

  • Flight back from Hong Kong

All other costs are startups’ personal expenses and won’t be covered by Brinc.

The trip is for one person per startup ONLY.

When should startups start applying for Visas to Poland?

It’s crucial that teams are on location in Poznan when the program starts. Depending on where the team comes from it may take up to a few weeks just for the appointment at a consulate or embassy in certain countries. It is highly advisable then all the teams start applying for visas to Poland at the start of the Ramp Up stage. This doesn’t concern Polish citizens.

What is the deadline for the Scope of Work submission?

We want startups to start the work as soon as they step foot in Poland. Because of this we will push for the SOWs to be finalized and approved by our team by the end of the Ramp Up phase. This will help our hardware partners and the teams to jump start the work and hopefully be done with prototyping by the end of the program. Keep in mind that hardware prototyping takes time.

When should the SOWs be signed?

Even though we cannot fasten the signings of SOWs between our teams and external partners it is one of the milestones that triggers one of the grant’s tranches. At the same time a team shouldn’t expect any technical work to be done or provided to them without having the SOW signed. Any delays in signing SOW will cause delays in prototyping as well and it’s best if teams have something to show potential investors during the Demo Day.

Which companies can a startup choose for the prototyping services?

Firstly, the vendor needs to be Polish. Secondly, it needs to be checked and approved by Brinc Make in terms of its resources and capabilities to make sure the vendor will be able to deliver on time. This is why we work with the already approved and proven partners, namely Hardware Hub (Poznan), Summer Agency (Cracow), Mindsailors (Poznan), Vorm (Cracow) and Spel (Cracow).

How can teams spend the grant money?

We require teams to spend $25,000 of the grant money on prototyping services. The rest of the grant is to be spent freely by teams. At the same time we strongly advise to take a reserve for accommodation and tax related costs as well as any sudden necessities. When it comes to prototyping it has be aligned with the SOW accepted by Brinc’s Head of Hardware (also related to one of the grant’s tranches).

How will the grant be paid?

The grant is paid in tranches. All of the tranches have their own milestones for the teams to achieve. The final break-down of the tranches and milestones is in the attachment no. 3 of the acceleration agreement, which will be introduced to the teams upon signing an acceleration agreement.

Which bank to choose for the company in Poland?

In general we leave this bit to startups. However, since Brinc Poland’s bank account is with the ING, we suggest the same for the teams as having the same bank account allows us to do instant transfers 24/7.

How can the teams increase their investability on their own?

Polish VCs will always look at the teams’ willingness to stay in Poland and to do business in here. Things that convince them on that are: temporary residency in Poland, having university professors on board as advisors, having technical and business partners in Poland. And last but not least: sales. Brinc can help out in acquiring residency, contacting the teams with academic masterminds and helping to find the right partners. The sales part is on the teams.

How many VCs are there in Poland?

There are currently over 60 VCs in Poland, twenty-something accelerators, numerous grants and even more PE investors. The most common ticket size is $250k while some VCs like Arkley Brinc have trenched tickets up to $800k. The Polish investment ecosystem has been constantly growing. The public sector alone will invest over $22B by 2022 in startups and R&D, the most of any European countries.

What should the teams know about Poland?

Poland has a population of 38,5M people. Its economy has been constantly growing for the past 27 years (Poland is the only European Union’s country who can claim that). Poland has 23rd GPD in the world and is ranked 24th in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rank. The country has an A credit ranking and was added to the FTSE Russell developed countries list in September of 2018, becoming the first developed country from the former Communist bloc. Poland is also a member of: the European Union, Schengen Area, United Nations, NATO, Visegrad Group and OECD.

Why does Brinc has its office in Poznań not in Warsaw?

Poznan gives the perfect balance between work and leisure. It’s also exactly between (or at least distance-wise) Warsaw and Berlin. It’s very well connected through it’s airport to all of the European capitals. There is also a lot of capital in Poznan, numerous VCs including one big financial group invest, a huge academia with over 40k awesome students graduating from 8 national universities every year (20 more private ones are not included).

Where should the teams live in Poznan?

Since Brinc Poland’s office is located in the heart of the city, we suggest looking up Airbnb for any places nearby. The office’s address is Business Link Maraton, Królowej Jadwigi 43, 61-871 Poznań. The teams pay for the accommodation themselves.

How much does it cost to live in Poland?

This is obviously very subjective as it depends on how one handles money, what standard does he want to live up to etc. However, on average, the accommodation plus food is around 1,000 Euro per month per person.

Are there any other grants in Poland the teams might want to apply for?

There are many, actually. We are partners with one of the most efficient companies in Poland in this regard. At the beginning of the program we will invite them to our offices in Poznan so they can have 1 on 1 talks with the teams and evaluate what grants are eligible for which teams.

How Is ScaleUp Different than PolandPrize?

There are two major differences:

  • ScaleUp accepts Polish startups as well as foreign ones while only foreign companies can apply to Poland Prize powered by Brinc acceleration program

  • ScaleUp’s focus is on Industrial IoT and our partner Technology Receivers play a huge part in the program being a corporations who can possibly implement startups’ solutions (as clients) and/or invest in them (as investors)


Spring 2018 Applications are due FEBRUARY 15TH, 2019