Plenty of information is published online by internet users daily. We share emotions, photos from holidays, moments spent with friends or even times, when we feel lonely or upset. One of Polish start-ups, DeepDoc, uses this virtually unlimited access to data, to monitor depression states. After testing their solution in Poland, the company started to consider its presence abroad.
DeepDoc is a Polish start-up that has developed algorithms using machine learning for diagnosing and monitoring depression states based on analysis of social media. The creators of this solution, looking for possibilities of market development, have found interest in the markets of the West, mainly in Great Britain.
London’s calling, but… what happens next?
Depression state is a real and frequent problem of the British society, mainly people living in London. The British market is one of the largest European markets in this regard. Hence, it was a natural step for DeepDoc to decide to investigate the possibilities of starting an activity in that country.
Due to absence or non-complete strategy, expansion plan, knowledge and business contacts, organising a trip to Great Britain seemed impossible for DeepDoc. The company applied to the Polish Investment and Trade Agency for support in all aspects related to entering the new market.
The first step after the initial contact of the start-up with Polish Investment and Trade Agency was to find a solution adjusted to the individual needs of the project. The company obtained the possibility of benefiting from the ‘Location-Related Advice’ Programme.
This product is free: the supported start-up only incurs costs of travel and accommodation of its representatives. Preparing the agenda, organising meetings, accessing additional events and visits at appropriate institutions are all ensured by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency through numerous international business partners that support the Agency’s activities. The activity is composed of a very intense three-day studio visit at a given eco-system: in this case it is London, with assistance of a guide from the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. The trip aimed at confronting the assumptions of DeepDoc with actual needs of the selected market and ensuring that the idea of transferring activities there will be a step that will actually lead to developing the business.
The support proposed by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency is complementary and applies to all aspects related to entering a new market: from the process of opening a business, legal aspects including tax law, HR-related matters (employment, salaries, etc.) to logistics and space that will be suitable for the seat of the branch. Piotr Podlaś, CEO DeepDoc, summarises participation in the Programme: For us, the trip to Great Britain was organised for assessment purposes. We wanted to understand the local system of psychological aid, approach to treating depression and the reality of conducting a business activity. Thanks to the meetings organised by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, we have achieved our goals.
Results of the activities
The visit to London enabled to achieve the following results:
- Partnership with the Polish Psychologists’ Association – cooperation when implementing DeepDoc to be used by the Association’s beneficiaries;
- Providing knowledge related to London as the location for managing a business;
- Creating lasting relations with the healthtech environment in London;
- Acquiring know-how and offers regarding cooperation from London-based companies and institutions;
- Providing knowledge relating to grants available to foreign companies.
What is important is that the Polish Investment and Trade Agency supports companies with which it cooperates, also after the workshops are completed offering them the possibility of creating long-term relations as well as assistance in matters regarding media promotion. Information about DeepDoc was published in a Polish magazine, "Puls Biznesu" and in the French "Le Monde".
A Polish start-up on the British market
Among the many conclusions DeepDoc has made during the trip, one can become a specifically valuable lesson for other companies wishing to follow the footsteps of this start-up. Piotr Podlaś adds: Of course the British market is significantly more competitive than the Polish market. What is new on the Polish market, has been functioning in England for years. This creates additional challenges for Polish companies when they wish to start a business abroad. A clear definition of the competitive advantage as well as a plan of competing with companies that are often significantly larger and have better financial support, seems to be specifically important here.