Mikołaj and Anna Borowska-Beszta are members of Technology for Mobile, a spin-off from Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland. At the beginning of March, they joined eight other high-potential start-up businesses from across Europe to participate the YUFE Accelerator Programme hosted by the University of Antwerp.

We both studied Economics and Finance at Nicolaus Copernicus University, before embarking on our journey as PhD candidates. Working alongside academics to conduct research and development for FinTech companies, we were offered the chance to become members of university spin-off Technology for Mobile.

Our current focus is on the development of ChronoMetrix, a payment efficiency analysis toolset. It provides a statistical verification of the effectiveness of payments in stores and enables finding bottlenecks in payment processes. Therefore, it is highly useful for both merchants and payment service providers. Our research platform has already shown high usability in projects conducted with several polish FinTech and PayTech companies, retail chains and the National Bank of Poland.

At our university we have the Centre for Academic Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer, who have provided entrepreneurial support as we explore ways to scale-up following the creation and testing of our product. Staff at the centre were involved with the planning and delivery of the YUFE Accelerator Programme and recommended that we participate to assist in preparing us for the next stage of business development.

Over three days, an international team of expert coaches guided us through a series of workshops focusing on key topics, such as understanding the customer journey and preparing the perfect pitch. The programme allowed us to actively put learnt entrepreneurial theory into practice, by applying it directly to our business model canvas.

The workshops enabled us to readjust the focus of our business plan, from originally being consultancy-centred to product-based and providing the tools for companies to obtain their own data for analysis. The experience of pitching to an audience of experts and peers was key in gaining the feedback needed to ensure we create the best narrative and maximise our sales moving forward.

It was particularly beneficial to meet the keynote speaker Jürgen Ingels, Founder and CFO of Clear2Pay. For us, having the opportunity to ask specific questions to an entrepreneur in our industry helped us to consider the most effective ways to approach FinTech companies and reinforced our confidence about the potential success of the business.

It was an intense process, but we appreciated having the chance to work with staff from other universities, to experience first-hand how they approach providing support to entrepreneurs and to receive an outside perspective on specific business challenges.

We would certainly recommend this experience to future participants and would appreciate any opportunity to collaborate with entrepreneurial support staff from the YUFE partner institutions in the future.