A hilltop castle situated at a bend in the Vistula River, a medieval Old Town accented by a quirky clock tower from which a trumpet player toots his horn every hour, and a reputation for hearty beer and pierogies comprise the heart of Kraków. This city in southern Poland was mostly spared from destruction during World War II and therefore retains a healthy amount of its medieval charm. But despite the city’s rich and turbulent history, bringing a broad mix of cultural influences, Kraków embraced the vicissitudes of each era and quietly moved to the forefront of major industries.
Poland continues to welcome a large talent pool of tech entrepreneurs, with new startups popping up throughout the country and a 2017 designation by the World Bank as the third-best place to launch and grow a startup company. A young, skilled workforce — most of whom can speak English fluently — and low rents enticed major companies to move parts of their operations to Poland. Kraków draws employees with its small-town feel and slower pace of life, a stark contrast from busier cities like Warsaw.
In fact, according to the MOTIFE Krakow IT Market Report 2021, the Kraków technology ecosystem — one of the fastest-growing and most mature technology locations in Europe — boasts a talent pool close to 50,000 IT specialists and supports dynamic growth, despite the pandemic. The Kraków IT market is diverse in terms of industries, with a higher concentration in sectors such as financial technology, enterprise applications and network systems. Ten new IT players establish a presence in Kraków every year.
The robust tech ecosystem boasts a well-connected network of incubators, mentors, investors and organizations collaborating with startups, such as the Foundation Supporting #OMGKRK or Krakow Technology Park. Investment support is key, with 15 of the most successful startups born in Kraków raising more than $460 million in total funding since their creation. Brainly — the world’s largest social learning network, with 200 million unique users monthly — is the most successful Kraków startup, receiving $148.5 million in funding since its inception in 2009.
Other successful startups in the city include Zendesk Sell (formerly BASE), a company that builds software designed to improve customer relationships; CallPage, software that converts web visitors into sales calls, with a client list of more than 3,000 companies worldwide; and Airly, developer of an air quality mapping system, which in 2020 received investments of $2 million from the family of Richard Branson.
Elsewhere in technology, the SOLARIS National Synchrotron Radiation Center opened in 2018 as one of the world’s most advanced particle accelerator research centers. With a campus located about five miles outside of Kraków’s Old Town, the center welcomes scientists to conduct synchrotron radiation research in various disciplines such as nanotechnology, crystallography and pharmacology.
To prepare Kraków and the province of MaÅ‚opolska (of which Kraków is the capital) for the influx of new companies and employees, Kraków Airport developed a detailed 20-year plan to create up to 10,000 new jobs; expand the airport’s main terminal; and construct a new 9,000-foot runway. Based on the plan, airport officials anticipate a capacity of up to 12 million travelers each year by 2036. In 2019 Kraków Airport became a new base airport for Hungarian airline Wizz Air, offering access to 12 new routes to locations like London, Nice and Oslo.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Flights of Fancy
Imaginative art installations take off at airports around the world.
Find Your Way
Explore alternative travel modes to get where you want to go.
Hospitality heats up with new upscale properties for 2022.
Above and Beyond
Airlines elevate the premium travel experience in the air and on the ground.
Premium economy soars in popularity among returning business and leisure travelers.
Travel brands revamp loyalty programs to keep customers engaged.
Enhanced protocols for aircraft cleanliness protect the health of customers and crews.
Charitable travel makes a positive impact on destinations and communities.
Once Upon a Time
Host a fabled business event in wonderful Copenhagen.
Oasis of Calm
Retreat into luxurious stillness at The Rittenhouse Spa & Club.
Kamil Mocet & Impossible Cover Up Tattoos
Hello readers of Tattoo Revue. My name is Kamil Mocet & I’ve been tattooing for over 20 years. My journey with tattoos began with my friend Robert Lypik from TATTOO FAMILIA in Krakow, Poland. I did an apprenticeship with him in 1999.
Yacht builders keep working
Although most yards ceased production or were operating at a vastly reduced capacity during March and April, yacht manufacturing continued in some countries. Some European countries had less stringent measures in place, which meant yachts were still getting built and order books fulfilled.
CONVERSATIONS ON THE FUTURE OF TRANSLATION
Good Storytelling Still Trending - An Interview with Antonia Lloyd-Jones
A Beautiful Heritage Reborn
THERE’S A POLISH PROVERB, “FATE THROWS FORTUNE, BUT NOT EVERYONE CATCHES.” IT MUST HAVE BEEN FATE THAT BROUGHT KATHLEEN BITTNER KOCH UNWITTINGLY TO CEDAR. BUT IT WAS TO THE GOOD FORTUNE OF ALL.
FIRST RAID TO BLECHHAMMER
Escaping and Evading in Southwest Slovakia
Our Guide in Warsaw
A couple finds their hired tour guide more sage for hire—like Socrates, an ambulatory pedagogue.
The Pollution-Busting Drones Of Krakow
Poland’s historic capital is taking action for cleaner air
Eastern Europe's Love Hate Relationship With Immigrants
Hungary and Poland are among those quietly importing workers to ease a labor crunch.
It's Greta's World - But It's Still Burning
The extraordinary rise of a 16-year old, and her Hail Mary climate movement.
Kejriwal meets Polish envoy, discusses solid waste mgmt measures
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday held a meeting with Adam Burakowski, the ambassador of Poland to India, to discuss ways to collaborate on proper solid waste management in the city and promote tourism.