We will remember it for a long time and we will use this warm welcome and positive energy that we felt in Berlin to build our future plans with optimism and encouraged to reach ambitious goals.
— Agnieszka Górska, CEO Ulala Chef

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About Ulala Chef

Ulala Chef is an online platform through which customers can request a private chef for parties at home. In Poland they work with nearly 150 amazing chefs in all major Polish cities: Warsaw, Tri-City, Poznan, Lodz, Wroclaw, Krakow and Katowice agglomeration.

Why did you decide to participate in the program? What did you expect? Did you reach the goals you have set for yourself and your company?

Before I have heard about the program, Germany and Berlin had already been on our strategic map for Ulala Chef expansion plans and we had been planning to make first steps on German market in 2019. So when I saw invitation to apply for the program I decided to use it as first step in our action plan. What I expected mostly was getting to know the market and economic environment, understanding the start-up ecosystem in Berlin and doing some valuable networking in the city. Did we reach the goals? Oh, yes! The program exceeded my expectations especially in terms of networking and was also a source for our first customers for Ulala Chef in Germany, which I did not expect at all at this stage of Ulala Chef preparations for German market. I also did not expect so much help and support from Berlin Partner, even after the program was finished this support is available which is amazing!
And last but not least – during those 10 days in Berlin we not only did familiarize ourselves with Berlin ecosystem and German market characteristics, but also created very strong bonds among all the attendees of the program. We still keep in touch, help each other in business and even private issues and use every possibility to meet even outside Germany. This is so precious! You cannot overestimate it.

Did you have any program highlight? Which kind of information did you use right away after the End of the program?

I had kind of a breakthrough moment when during our networking activities idea of Ulala Chef activities was not only highly appreciated but I also got some first private dinners inquiries which I did not expect at this point. This showed me how Berlin market and Berlin people in general are open for co-operation.
Regarding the information that I used right away – for sure public funding possibilities offered by Berlin – this single information was extremely helpful once I was back to Poland. We could plan our expansion with the financial help that is available in your city when the company decide to open a branch and operate in Berlin.

Can you share with us any lessons learned?

This was the first foreign mission and abroad activity in my start-up’s short history and that is also why it was so important and formative for us. We will remember it for a long time and we will use this warm welcome and positive energy that we felt in Berlin to build our future plans with optimism and encouraged to reach ambitious goals.
One lesson I would share with other future participants of the program: focus on networking, use this stay in Berlin to create as many bonds and new relationships as you can. Use also your own connections to prepare your stay in Berlin and mix it all. The result you get in the end? The next time you are here you will feel almost like your second home.

What makes Berlin so special and which kind of contacts and networks did you meet during your stay?

From what I experienced Berlin is very open, welcoming. It is a culture and ethnic mixture what probably makes it such a tolerant, energetic and unique place on Earth.
What I loved about Berlin – it is very progressive in terms of society development. I admire how people here are involved in inclusion topics, also in startup community. Women entrepreneurship movement is very strong here. But topic of inclusion is treated in Berlin in a much wider way – I am impressed by the activities led by Katy Campbell and APX, speaking about mental health, disabilities, sexual and other minorities in a business environment.
When you ask me which kind of contacts and networks I met during my stay my answer is all kind of networks!  This was the most valuable aspect of the program and I used it to the full. The program gave us access to start-up ecosystem, women entrepreneurship organizations, potential investors, market specialists and other important players here. I also prepared my stay by contacting my own network beforehand and arranged some meetings with these contacts here. For example – there is a pretty strong tech community of Polish people in Berlin called Polish Berlin Tech, led by Ula Lachowicz and I managed to attend one of their meetups in Berlin during my stay what was also very fruitful for me!

What will be your next steps?

My company’s next steps here are recruitment of local private chefs in Berlin, which we already started, and realization of the first private dinner parties for our Customers in Berlin, that are already planned. We need to run a stage of product-market fit phase for Berlin and Germany to understand the circumstances and opportunities here well – among both individual and corporate customers. And after this initial stage we are planning to scale our business here.

What would you recommend to start-ups interested in participating in the program?

Attend only if you are truly interested and planning to enter German market. And if you go, use the program as intensively as possible. Be open for networking and be ready to talk to your first potential customers. Try to feel the city, use public transport, visit some restaurants and bars, and make local friends. Act like you are planning to be back soon!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Berlin is an amazing city. I love it! And thank you for hosting us!
 

 

Visit Ulala Chef

www.ulalachef.com/en