Ewa Szulc, A JOURNALIST, FORBESLIFE.PL MANAGING EDITOR

5 independent companies sat at one table. Mateusz Kusznierewicz, the project originator, next to them. Although he’s a novice in the world of new technologies, he’s going to prove that Poles don’t have to take their ideas to Silicon Valley. Money and skills are on site.

Kusznierewicz Builds a Business Dream Team

During a conference organized on 4th March, Roman Panek from Goclever announced a surprising partnership. The Polish producer of electronic equipment started cooperation with Mateusz Kusznierewicz, a sailor, and with Patryk Strzelewicz, a co-creator of an electronic DICE+ cube. What are they going to work on? The details are confidential. During the conference, the entrepreneurs didn’t want to reveal much more than the fact they were working on functionality and on a new device which would be used to send pictures. When talking to “Forbes”, Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Patryk Strzelewicz lift the veil of secrecy. Although we’ll learn the gadget design and functions in a few months, we managed to find out who works on this project and what the idea behind it is.

While playing with my daughter, I came up with an idea how to easily and quickly share with my parents the moment and amazing emotions we were experiencing. This way I invented a new way of connecting all generations. I hadn’t found anything similar on the market, but consultations and conversations with many people persuaded me that there was a huge demand for such a solution and the idea could work. I decided to put this through, says Mateusz Kusznierewicz.

Although he is known to Poles mainly as a sailor and Olympic champion, Kusznierewicz has some business experience. He deals, among others, with selling luxury yachts, and also runs a training and travel company. However, for this project he needed specialists in a completely different field.

A friend recommended Krzysztof Trzebuniak, who is the owner of the Financial Support Group, operating financial consulting services and the office of an external financial director for companies. It turned out that Trzebuniak served many companies from a technology sector. Mateusz quickly infected him with enthusiasm about the idea. Trzebuniak got it trough to other people. Thanks to a huge network of contacts, the businessman managed to gather nine people from different entities at one table at the end of last year. As Mateusz recollects, as early as during the first meeting in Jastarnia there was a spark among the participants. All of them decided to give it a try.

The team included: Krzysztof Trzebuniak (responsible for the business and financial part of the enterprise), Mateusz Kusznierewicz (the originator), Patryk Strzelewicz (Game Technologies SA, the DICE+ co-creator, responsible for hardware, implementing new technologies and product design), Michał Bąk (also GT, Strzelewicz’s partner at DICE+, here responsible for providing software), Michał Bonikowski (the DICE+ designer among others, Mindsailors studio, responsible for designing the product), Roman Panek and Daniel Michalski (Goclever, responsible for production and distribution as well as for the product after-sales service), Rafał Baranowski (he had created infomats with tourist information for the Marshal’s Office of Pomorskie Voivodship before, here responsible, together with Michał Bąk, for the development of the product functionality), and Maciek Krzysiak, an experienced manager supervising the product execution. Another three people are to join the team soon. The main investors are Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Roman Panek, Krzysztof Trzebuniak. The whole investment amounts to a few millions PLN at this stage.

The businessmen are going to use the advantage which the access to the resources and knowledge of all the project participants gives them. They act in an American style: they share their knowledge and contacts. It’s still rare in Poland. However, they managed to gain trust because they share a common objective. Thanks to this they can often take shortcuts, avoiding unnecessary discussions.

According to Kusznierewicz, these days technological progress is too fast to get stuck on such a product for two years. This one is to be launched in Autumn 2014 – a year after starting the project. Is it a viable date? Creating a small electronic DICE+ cube took three times longer.

Creating DICE+, we had to make 16 test versions. Today we know what has a chance to work and we don’t have to laboriously develop such solutions as using proper materials or subassemblies, persuades Patryk Strzelewicz.

According to him, the tests of the new gadget prototype will be started in April this year. They will save another several months thanks to Goclever, which has a huge network of trusted distributors and access to cheap and reliable components.

We want to prove that with a proper  team you can complete hardware and software projects in a very short time, without sending knowledge and ideas abroad, summarises the creator of the first Polish controller which went on sale in Apple Store.

Mateusz Kusznierewicz underlines that even though they will launch the product on the Polish market, they have global ambitions.

We’re like missionaries. Our message is that you don’t have to leave for Silicon Valley to fulfil big technological projects. Suitable creative people are here, they just need a proper place to work, he persuades.

This place in the future can be Olivia Business Centre, built in Gdańsk by Maciej Grabski, where a technological park is just being created. Kusznierewicz’s team may be using this place. But it’s the faraway future. For now we just should cheer him. We might have another champion, this time in the world of technology. Who knows?