The annual European Business Angels Network Congress has just ended, and we’re proud to report that the Polish startup scene got back from Bulgaria with quite an accomplishment! Białystok-based Photon Entertainment was just named the best early-stage startup in the Central and Eastern Europe.

If you haven’t heard about the winner startup’s innovative device, here’s a quick introduction: Photon is the first robot in the world which actively develops alongside a child, while also teaching them about programming. The device is equipped with special sensors which enable the robot to hear, see, register touch, distinguish light from darkness, and measure distances. In order to interact with a child, Photon utilizes a mix of storytelling and newest technologies to assign kids with tasks based on a continuous story.

As for the development aspect, Photon’s uniqueness comes from the fact that after its first launch, its skills are very limited, and their growth is based on its user’s progress with learning. After learning the basics of programming and familiarizing themselves with the robot’s sensors, kids are able to unlock Photon’s new functionalities, and use their new knowledge to teach the robot new skills.

Photon Entertainment’s road to victory was not an easy one – before their trip to Bulgaria, the startup had to win the Polish chapter of the CEE Released competition, where they beat 15 other startups for the place in the finals. Then, on June 26th, Photon had to compete against 18 other early-stage startups, each representing a different country from the CEE region.

The competition itself and conversations in the post-competition session confirmed that Photon is a product which has a chance to make an impact on virtually every global market. We’ve landed on a moment where our society has finally understood that we need to teach kids programming because it’s not just a technology, but above all, a way to develop a child’s to logically think and solve problems in a creative way. The European Business Angels Network gave us the green light for further development and conquest of foreign markets – stated Photon’s Executive Director, Marcin Joka.

It’s important to note that Photon found its place in the sun quite quickly – its success in the CEE Released competition came just 8 months after the product’s premiere. So far, the robot found its place in over 450 kindergartens and primary schools throughout the country, but after the success at the EBAN Congress, its growth is bound to accelerate and gain them a foothold on the global market.  Congrats to Photon Entertainment on the win! If you’d like to find out more about the device, feel free to visit their website.