#MeetTheMentor: Daniel Kulig

Meet this week’s mentor: Daniel Kulig a mentor/entrepreneur

Based in Warsaw, Daniel is an experienced mentor who has mentored hundreds of startups all over the world. He has worked with startups from many different industries, including MedTech, FoodTech, AgTech, SpaceTech, and more. He is also the founder of an EdTech startup; his passion for mentoring extends to teaching skiing in his free time.

Hi Daniel! What is your area of expertise, and how did you get into the field?

My area of expertise covers MedTech, TeleHealth, and Health Care fields. It was not a coincidence that I got my interest in this particular field. It was rather a fulfillment of an urgent need of my best friend’s father who happened to live far away from the nearest physician’s office and hospital. The TeleHealth solution that I implemented through my extensive technology search helped him to become remotely monitored and regularly checked via IoT solution. Ever since that time, I decided to work on this field as I truly believed that this is the future of medicine and with the world population getting older, these technological advancements are the only way to go.

What else have you previously worked with? (What is your background)?

Other fields that I previously worked on include FoodTech, AgTech, GreenTech, CleanTech, FinTech, SpaceTech, EdTech, Smart City and Urban Mobility. I worked on these areas while being a Managing Director of the Start-up Incubation Hub and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lead at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (Climate-KIC). Core background comes with 14 years of working for the Corporate Finance environment (treasury, procurement, pension & investments, M&As, budgeting & controlling) in the United States of America. The industry mainly included big pharma, investment banking, and telecoms.

Other fields that I previously worked on include FoodTech, AgTech, GreenTech, CleanTech, FinTech, SpaceTech, EdTech, Smart City and Urban Mobility. I worked on these areas while being a Managing Director of the Start-up Incubation Hub and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lead at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (Climate-KIC). Core background comes with 14 years of working for the Corporate Finance environment (treasury, procurement, pension & investments, M&As, budgeting & controlling) in the United States of America. The industry mainly included big pharma, investment banking, and telecoms.

What is your motivation for mentoring/Why did you decide to mentor?

Personally, I treat mentoring as a fan and the ability to gain personal satisfaction where more experienced individual shares knowledge, experience, and advice with a less experienced person. For me, the biggest motivation to become a mentor was to build the leadership skills, improve communication techniques, learn new perspectives and, most importantly, advance interpersonal relationship skills. Therefore, I believe, that being a mentor does not only benefit the mentee, it is a two-way experience where both sides benefit from the relationship. This is exactly the main reason why I became a mentor.

Have you previously done mentoring work? Where?

I’ve been involved with light mentoring since 2012. First, as a Managing Director of the Start-up Incubation Hub where I acted as the advisor to the start-ups that were in the incubation program. Then, I got involved with the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) where I began more in-depth mentoring of various entrepreneurship and acceleration programs related to the EIT Health, EIT Food and EIT Climate-KIC. Since a couple of years now, I am also an active mentor for private and public acceleration programs in Poland, other Central Eastern European countries and globally. Examples include:

  • MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF), a global organization of dedicated professionals with local chapters, affiliated
    with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),
  • Space3ac accelerator which is dedicated to space startups with direct cooperation with big enterprises,
  • Foodtech startup accelerator that understands that the food industry of tomorrow means healthier food, less
    pollution and the optimal use of raw materials.

Were you mentored in your career? If so, what impact did this have on you? If not, why have you
decided to embark on mentoring?

I was first mentored in primary school by the math teacher and later on in high school by the professional soccer coach. In both instances, it was to gain the focus on the math skills and on the soccer-playing techniques. The high school soccer coach put a big impact on me. He made me understand that it is not the game skills that are important but the mental condition is the one that decides on the performance of the player. I guess this was a trigger that put me into this mentoring journey. The soccer career continued for many more years and now I can say withholding nothing back that the personal mentoring helped me achieve the goal of successfully playing in the 2nd division of the national soccer league. After my soccer episode concluded, I knew I need to give back to society and start mentoring other less experienced people to help them out in achieving their personal dreams or business goals. And here I am today.

What do you wish to gain from mentoring startups?

Mentoring someone else opens you up to endless string of learning opportunities. What I really want to gain from
mentoring startups is, for instance, to become more relevant. It means that all the effort I want to put in to advise less experienced individuals makes me more valuable. Another benefit I would like to gain is to broaden up my networking horizon where, on one hand, I can open doors for mentees and, on the other hand, they can become a natural source of priceless information or connecting me with some other interesting startups, industries, technologies, and people. This all for the mutual benefit.

Tell us about the startups with SBC that you are mentoring. How are you excited to help them throughout their journey in the Accelerator program?

I am just beginning my journey with the SBC and I do not have any startups that I currently mentor. I am very much
excited and I am looking forward to starting mentoring startups within the SBC network. I am sure it will be one of the best mentoring experiences ever as the organization is a top-notch player it its field.

Who/what inspires you?

There is an extraordinary man who constantly inspires me to be the best you can be and to succeed in life. His name is Nicola Tesla, a Croatian scientist, and incredible inventor. In his desire and actions to help other people, Tesla has shown his giving personality. Near the beginning of his inventing career, Tesla had the idea for the AC motor: “‘No more will men be slaves to hard tasks,’ he told his friend. ‘My motor will set them free. It will do the work of the world.'”. Being totally inspired by Tesla’s giving personality, I decided to use mentoring as the tool to give to the world as well.

Anything else you would like to add/share?

So you don’t think I am all about mentoring, I wanted to also share with you my other interest and hobbies such as, for instance, running my own EdTech startup and being in charge of the regional ski club where I also teach kids and adults how to ski. By the way, the Dubai Indoor Ski Arena rocks!


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