New AI Chamber formed at CEE to Address the Requirements of AI Startups

AI Chamber

Nearly 50 Polish companies have joined forces to establish the country’s AI Chamber, a recently founded advocacy group aiming to advance the ethical growth of AI throughout Central and Eastern Europe. While Poland boasts exceptional tech talent, its AI startup scene lags due to limited local VC funding and various political and cultural challenges.

Despite this, Poland has seen some global successes, such as voice AI startup ElevenLabs securing an $80 million investment round from a16z and Sequoia. However, most ventures in the country are still in their early stages. The AI Chamber seeks to address these issues by facilitating networking opportunities, advocating for favourable policies, and enhancing comprehension of European and national AI regulations. The group comprises numerous startups, including space scaleup Iceye and fintech company Finiata.

We need an independent institution which would be able to gather different entities with different interests — be it SMEs, startups or NGOs — to exchange ideas about AI,” says Tomasz Snażyk, head of industry lobby group Startup Poland, and the new chamber’s CEO. 

He emphasizes that the primary objective is the “social impact” and “responsible advancement” of AI throughout the region. Among the chamber’s planned initiatives are conducting market research in the CEE region, releasing reports on AI adoption, and promoting the utilization of AI solutions across various sectors of the economy. In the immediate future, the chamber aims to establish working groups and conduct research focusing on leveraging AI to enhance education and healthcare systems across CEE. Additionally, it seeks to explore how AI can support entrepreneurship and policymaking in the region. Presently, the chamber consists of Polish tech firms, startups, NGOs, and associations, with aspirations to broaden its scope to include other countries in the region. Snażyk mentions their interest in the Czech Republic, recognizing it as having the greatest startup potential.

He aims to quadruple the membership within the coming year.

Prior to this endeavor, another AI initiative led by startups emerged in Poland. Earlier this year, a coalition of entrepreneurs, including alumni from Google X and SpaceX, as well as local AI startup founders, established an AI working group within the country’s Ministry of Digital Affairs. However, the group faced significant criticism for its exclusion of NGO or university representatives from the team.

We’re building it for longer than just for one political term,” says Snażyk. “It’s not a group tied to a certain time or parliamentary term — and we don’t want to be dependent on any politician.” 

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