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Digital Leaders of Central and Eastern Europe. New project of Digital Poland Foundation

Best practices and insights from real digital leaders from the CEE region. Digital Champions CEE – the newest project of Digital Poland Foundation – has been just launched. Representatives of the most respected companies in the region will share their experiences and ideas for digital solutions. The first meeting with the region's leaders will be accompanied by the publication of a report, part of which is the ranking of the real champions in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. This is the first comprehensive report on our region.

Digital Leaders of Central and Eastern Europe. New project of Digital Poland Foundation

The pandemic has proven to be an engine for digital transformation, strongly increasing the importance of digital solutions and the speed of digitization in virtually every industry. The coronavirus has made companies realize that there is no way back – if they want to survive and grow, they need to implement digital processes and go digital. – Digitalization is now the most important element of economic policy - says Tomasz Czechowicz, founder of MCI Capital and one of the founding fathers of the project. 

- Further digitalization will indisputably be the pillar of economic recovery and equalizing of social chances after the pandemic. Therefore, we need not only to propel investments in broadband infrastructure, but also develop digital skills and support innovative entrepreneurship. The Digital Champions CEE initiative aims not only to recognize leaders of the region, but also to use their expertise and inspire others in order to accelerate the development of digital economy and society in CEE – adds Robert Redeleanu, CEO, UPC, Liberty Global, Eastern Europe.

The goal of Digital Champions CEE is to promote investments in digitalization in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and build and maintain relationships, i.e. networking. The report will contain a ranking of the real champions from our region. The publication will be accompanied by a series of meetings and interviews with the leaders of digitalization. The publication of the report and the first meeting with the champions is scheduled for June 22.

Digital Champions CEE ranking

Poland is one of ten countries in the region that, due to their digital potential, can be seen as the so-called Digital Challengers - according to the report prepared by McKinsey & Company, "Digital Challengers in the next normal. Central and Eastern Europe on a path to digitally-led growth". Apart from Poland, the group includes countries Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. It is noteworthy that the digital economy in the Central and Eastern Europe region grew at an annual rate of almost 8% between 2017 and 2019, reaching €94 billion in 2019. 

– We want to show investors not only in Poland but all around the world, that our region is full of interesting and valuable companies. One of our biggest problems is market fragmentation and lack of a place that would integrate champions and allow them to exchange experiences. That is why we decided to create Digital Champions CEE - a transparent and very credible ranking and meeting place for the real leaders of the CEE region. The practitioners will share their knowledge, reveal the backstage of their businesses, which will allow to better follow the path of innovation – emphasizes Piotr Mieczkowski, Managing Director of Digital Poland Foundation.

– We need to discover companies that will shape the digital ecosystem of the future. While I am convinced that we do already have many digital champions in our region, I consider it our duty to promote them in order to enable them to contribute to transforming the digital economy – says Karim Taga, Managing Partner Arthur D. Little, Global TIME Practice leader.

The Digital Champions CEE ranking is created on the basis of transparent, up-to-date and based on strict financial criteria data. Champions are determined not only by EBITDA, but also by significant capitalization and the majority of the champion's revenue must come from digital products and services or through digital channels.

Digital Champions CEE partners

Signatories of the project emphasize that technology alone does not guarantee growth. Only cooperation and openness to new ideas accelerates innovation, allowing enterprises to succeed. That is why the Digital Poland foundation invited to the Digital Champions CEE project, among others: Arthur D. Little (ADL), Facebook, MCI Capital, PFR Ventures or UPC (Liberty Global).

About Digital Poland Foundation 

Digital Poland Foundation was established in order to integrate companies and society. It deals with promoting knowledge about the role of innovation and digitalization in the economic development of the country. It brings together companies and organizations from various industries, encouraging them to cooperate on specific projects. The mission of the Foundation is to position Poland as a leading centre of digital innovation in the world. By promoting international and cross-industry initiative, combining forces, topics and creating a network of contacts and relationships it mobilizes companies to move from offline to online world. Digital Poland Foundation invites to cooperate all who are interested in implementing innovative projects that will change Polish and European economy. More information at : www.digitalpoland.org

Autor: Nell Przybylska