If you want to go far, go together
We have built the VCLeaders initiative on the idea of preparing investors to support passionate founders in their journey to change the world. We believe that it's possible to create great investors where they're needed by leveraging the knowledge and life lessons of the brightest minds in the investment space.
We also believe that building a thriving VC ecosystem in Europe requires bringing people together and allowing them to discuss, compare, and question how they operate on the micro and macro scale. It means showing different perspectives and taking advantage of the diverse experience that each of the participants, speakers, and team members brings to the table.
A way to understand these dynamics is to look at the profiles of the people behind VCLeaders. The initiative started when Paweł Michalski (then banker) met with Barbara Sobowska (VC lawyer) and Damian Polok (also a banker) to discuss the issues of a nascent VC ecosystem in Poland. To shake things up, they decided to create an educational program where market leaders met with up-and-comers to transfer knowledge. Fast forward to today, the team and ambition have evolved, but the give-first spirit remains intact.
Our core team consists of seven people. Besides Paweł (now a partner at COBIN Angels, the largest business angel network in Poland) and Damian (VP at Silicon Valley Bank in Germany) Joanna Jasińska (professional journalist at Polish Press Agency, former head of Visegrad School of Political Studies) is supervising our operations, Katharina Rokita (business developer at AdEmotion and Mentor at Google for Startups) together with Monika Warężak (a former PE/VC professional and founder at Yuugen) are leading our sales and business development initiatives. At the same time, Zofia Przytocka (former Community Manager at Plug&Play) is making sure the VCLeaders' community is being nurtured, while Anna Kulesza (Junior Associate at COBIN Angels) is boosting our reach and brand awareness.
We are young professionals of different backgrounds who speak six languages in total, live in Poland and Germany, and trust in the power of building bridges in creating a better future. Each of us brings a different set of skills, but we all follow the same values. Thus, together with exceptional speakers and partners and motivated participants, we hope to make a real impact on the quality of venture capital investments in our region.
There is an African proverb that says If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We believe that we can go further than anyone has ever gone before.