When the humanitarian crisis hit Belarus in 2020, we were the first region to set up what we thought was a temporary initiative complementing Poland. Business Harbour programme. Today, 2 years later the program has expanded to include Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, and Georgia. Also, we have successfully embedded 8 startups and companies and are in conversation with many more.
The website of Come2Pomerania pulls together the most relevant information from Invest in Pomerania, Live more. Pomerania and the business ecosystem. It lists out all the support Invest in Pomerania offers in terms of information, set up support, grants, incentives, marketing, legal and legalisation support to name a few. It also gives the option to directly get in touch with various representatives of Invest in Pomerania and get the conversation going.
– As part of this programme we offer help with visa procedures and legalisation via our dedicated investor’s spokesperson, temporary office space, marketing and even recruitment along with grants and other incentives. I am very proud of what we have achieved, and I know we have a long way to go. But, as someone who is not Polish, but calls Poland her home, I am happy that I am able to help people relocate, restart their lives and businesses and thrive in the region. – says Aleksandra Moszyńska, Project Manager, Invest in Pomerania.
As we gear up for the next phase of the programme, we decided to talk to the 8 beneficiaries of the programme to see what is their take on what this programme has done and why they choose the region, because after all, they are the best ambassadors for this programme.
The first company that decided to relocate to Pomerania via Come2Pomerania was Digiteum. The Minsk company engaged in complex software development opened its Tricity office in October 2020.
– There are many reasons why we chose Poland and specifically Pomerania to open a new branch of Digiteum. But I would highlight, first of all, the well-developed and continuously evolving business and legal infrastructure in this region, proximity to our key markets (DACH, Nordic, Benelux), and strong support from the government and local agencies, namely Invest in Pomerania, that have made this journey smooth. Moreover, Poland is simply a great place to be – we share a lot from a historical and cultural perspective, and the people here are fantastic – says Katherine Lazarevich, co-founder and co-CEO of Digiteum.
The strategic location of Tricity has been one of the prevailing factors indicated by the companies. This was also emphasised by Andrew Terehin, CEO of Agente, a company specialising in providing innovative software solutions and custom web and mobile applications.
– Our new headquarters located in Tricity has provided us with a better position for the global development of the company. The convenient location of Tricity makes the Agente team more flexible and more accessible to its customers. We can establish even closer relations with our European and especially Scandinavian customers – says Andrew Terehin.
Tricity: recipe for success
For many Belarusian companies, Pomorskie has not only been a safe port, but also an ideal location for development, hence the decision to extend the programme to companies from Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Efisco was the first company outside Belarus to benefit from the Come2Pomerania programme. The Kharkiv-based company is engaged in process outsourcing. By relocating they have managed to expand their business and attract new customers.
– Although our plans for a large team last year were thwarted by the pandemic, the formalities associated with the opening of the office and the relocation of employees sometimes stood in our way, in the end, it was worth it – says Yana Shaydyuk, operational director of Efisco in Gdańsk – we are very pleased with the investment in Tricity. We have signed new contracts with clients from the Netherlands, Finland and the UK, and our existing clients are expanding the scope of cooperation. We also have no problem persuading employees to relocate, because there is no better place to live for families of highly qualified specialists from Ukraine or Belarus than Tricity. Relocation packages and programmes such as Come2Pomerania, which facilitate the relocation process, are an effective incentive.
CareMeTech, a Belarusian technology start-up developing mobile services for the prediction and early detection of cardiovascular diseases, relocated to Tricity in March 2021.
– Choosing a location in Poland is not easy, because all major cities are developing very dynamically. However, the undoubted advantage of the Tricity is the support of the Invest in Pomerania and its Come2Pomerania programme swung the decision – says Maksim, one of the founders of CareMeTech – in Tricity, we have found the ideal conditions for development and attractive programmes for young IT companies like ours.
Come work in Tricity
The Danish-Ukrainian company InterLogic was one of the first to contact us via the Come2Pomerania website, however, the official start of the company’s activities in Tricity took place only in November 2021. As highlighted by Søren Thomsen, co-owner and Sales Director at InterLogic:
– Thanks to Come2Pomerania, we received information and organisational support, which we badly needed at the beginning of our journey in Tricity. Compared to Denmark, the bureaucracy associated with opening a company and relocating employees here is very complicated and time-consuming. Thanks to C2P, it was much easier for us to find ourselves in the maze of formalities. With the support of the initiative, we were able to hire and transfer IT specialists from Belarus to Pomorskie, which we really wanted.
SoftServe, another Ukrainian IT company that benefited from the programme, selected this region because of the employees already present on the market. The main reason why the company opened an office in Tricity was access to a specialised talent pool and graduates of Pomeranian universities.
– Every day we work with the latest technology. We specialise in software development and Technology Consulting based on Big Data, Business Intelligence, IoT, machine Learning, DevOps, Cloud, e-commerce and UX – explains Paweł Łopatka, APAC client success lead at SoftServe – we believe that due to the high quality of education and positive migration, Tricity is the best place to find IT experts. We see a huge potential for the development of our company.
The position of the Tricity on the IT map of the country is growing dynamically, and this certainly is a magnet for companies such as GlobalLogic. By opening an office in Pomerania, the company will on the one hand engage in interesting projects and create innovative products for current and new clients, and on the other hand develop its structures with specialists living in Tricity and its surroundings. In the local market, there is no shortage of both specialised and novice engineers growing their career in the IT industry.
– In 2022 alone, we plan to hire 100 specialists from the local market: C/C++ and Java programmers, DevOps engineers, mobile application developers and testers and managers. Yes, we are ambitious, but we are in the Tricity, so why not! – says Kamil Świadek, program director at GlobalLogic.
AM Builder, the creator of a virtual construction assistant, is yet another company from Belarus, growing their presence in the Tricity.
– We love and appreciate the friendly atmosphere of Tricity, its tolerance and hospitality, good business climate and European jurisdiction. Tricity is a lively, constantly developing centre attracting new ideas, investments and highly qualified specialists. As part of the Come2Pomerania programme, we received comprehensive consulting and marketing support. – says Anatoly Mironyuk, founder and director of AM Builder. – We are pleased that we can be part of this landscape.
A good plan
All IiP activities – such as attracting investors and promoting the region – fit into the development strategy of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. The Come2Pomerania programme is one of the elements of the plan for the economic and social integration of migrants implemented by the local government, which additionally strengthens the quality of the region’s investment offer. The effectiveness of initiative is confirmed by the decisions of companies located in Pomerania.
Companies interested in support under the Come2Pomerania program are invited to contact Invest in Pomerania.
Come2pomerania is a comprehensive source of information for entrepreneurs, startups and IT professionals who want to move to the region. Acting as a complement to the Poland. Business Harbour, the programme brings great results. Since the beginning of the programme, 8 companies have already moved to Pomerania and this is certainly not the final number. Other companies have already decided on the choice of Pomerania and are in the process of relocation.
The programme has demonstrated sustainability and success, but we know that we have a long way to go. But, we are optimistic that with our experience we will go that extra mile to ensure that we can make Pomerania a safe haven for businesses. After all, we care more.