Hi. I’m John Biggs. I love Central Europe. I love its history. I love its heart. It breeds innovation, growth, and change.

I’ve been visiting there for most of my life – my father has Hungarian roots and my mother Polish – and I feel it’s a second home. Every few months I crave a trip to Warsaw or Prague or Budapest or Zagreb, a need pulling at my brain like a thread that hauls me back over the Oder, across the Tatry, down into the wide open plains and deep valleys of the breadbasket of Europe.

Central Europe is a special place.

So I decided I wanted to write about Central European startups. I told the folks at ImpactCEE, and they asked me to write about CEE startups on their site. They had a platform, they had an event, and they had the blessing of the Polish bigwigs.

I told the folks at Impact that I wanted to feature CEE in the way that Valley and New York startups get featured, the way the journos in London fawn over Continental startups. Central Europe has long been a region of outsourcers. This is no longer true. Central Europe has become a source – a source of great innovation, of forward momentum, and growth.

This blog is a celebration of that.

I also told the folks at Impact that I am non-partisan, non-political, and I won’t accept paid stories or do favors for “special” people. This would be a journalistic endeavor, not a content farm. They agreed.

So here we are.

This blog focuses on Central Europe, roughly the corridor between Poland and Croatia. For a more precise definition, I would say the Visegrád Group plus the southeastern buddies like Croatia and Slovenia. Basically, this list if you want to get pedantic about it. I intend to use this blog as a platform for CEE startups to jump into the center stage and will do everything in my power to spread the stories we write here.

What am I doing here? Not much. I’m editing these stories for content and context, but my team is writing them. They are amazing. Our first two reporters, Karola and Bogna, have deep backgrounds in English literature and engineering. Our columnist, Ahmad, is a player in the Polish startup industry and a journalist. They will keep the site fresh. Every week we will send out a digest of great stories from CEE and every few months the Impact conference will further cement the lessons learned in these posts.

In the end, CEE deserves attention. These countries, so rich in resources, human and natural, are thwarted by language and politics and short-sightedness. I aim to change that in my own little way. A startup out of Pula deserves as much attention as a startup out of Palo Alto. A business that is changing manufacturing in Prague is worth of as much attention as a maker in Brooklyn.

In the end, this is an experiment, but one I think will succeed. If it doesn’t then, it means that the region wasn’t ready to be featured in this specific way, that there is still some growing to do. I don’t think this is true. I honestly don’t.

What do we need from you? Tips. Fill out the form below or email us at tips@impactcee.com. Tell us about yourself. We’re here to listen.

Welcome to ImpactCEE News. Thanks for reading.

Karola Gąszcz


Doing MA in English lit, specialising in fantasy, sf and comic books. ML for NaNoWriMo, gamer, cosplayer and a firm believer in new great idea

Bogna Haponiuk


Engineer by education, writer by passion, creative spirit by nature, innovation enthusiast by choice.

Ahmad Piraiee


CEO @ITKeyMedia, Entrepreneur, MCP, MBA, watching the alpha geeks, sharing their stories, helping the future unfold.