The HardGamma Ventures fund is managed by Chris Kowalczyk and Paweł Ciesielski with the support of an experienced team of managers, advisors and assistants.
Backed up by the support team, the management team has a wide range of competences thanks to education and professional experience. Team members are, among others, science and information technology graduates who play a significant role in the assessment of tech projects.
Our team also has a number of MBA graduates and lecturers, whose professional experience includes setting up and developing startups, strategic and operational consulting, project management, running departments at developed companies, internet marketing, acquisition of EU funds, as well as Mergers and Acquisitions.
Chris Kowalczyk – Managing Partner
Chris is a graduate of Warsaw School of Economics (Management of Information Systems, 2001). He holds a CEMS Master’s Degree in International Management from Community of European Management Schools (2001) and an additional degree in German Studies in Economics (Deutsch-Polnisches Akademiker Forum, in cooperation with University of Duisburg and University of Mainz).
His professional experience includes the implentation of the E.piphany CRM package in Procter&Gamble divisions in Great Britain and USA (2000), co-managing an Internet startup (System Internet Provider, 2000) and introducing the Lycos Europe portal to the Polish market as Head of Content and Technology (Lycos Poland, 2001). He was also a Management Consultant with McKinsey&Company (2003-2004).
Between 2001-2008, Chris was an assistant professor at the Warsaw School of Economics with the Faculty of Business Informatics, and a lecturer in Warsaw Executive MBA and CEMS (Community of European Management Schools – Master in International Management) programs.
Chris is a member of Mensa Poland and a founding member of the Internet Society (ISOC) Poland (current member of Supervisory Board).
In 2007, he co-founded Aula Polska, Polish startup scene meet-ups which are now a regular fixture in the Polish ecosystem both in Warsaw and other cities.
Chris is a past member of the Supervisory Board of Oriaq.com, Supervisory Board of Macoscope.net and past advisor to the board at Codility.com.
Paweł Ciesielski – Managing Partner
Paweł is a graduate of Wrocław Technical University (Computer Science and Management) and Wrocław University of Economics (Management and Information Technology, MBA).
Before coming to be a partner at HardGamma Ventures, throughout his career Paweł has held a number of top management positions. In the period 1994-2003, he worked in JTT Computer S.A., leading Polish computer manufacturer and distributor. Since 1998, he served as CEO, formerly the Vice President of the Management Board, responsible for marketing and sales as well as production and logistics. From 2003 to 2009, associated with a group of Getin Holding SA, leading Polish financial and banking holding, initially as a member of the Supervisory Board of Getin Holding SA, then to March 2005 as a member of the Management Board of the company. From 2004 to 2007, Vice President of the Board of Getin Bank S.A., responsible for implementation of new IT solutions in the bank and operational consolidation of the bank group.
In the period of 2009-2015, Paweł Ciesielski worked in Asseco Poland S.A., Capital Investment Division.
He was CEO of Asseco Corporate Venture.
Past member of the Supervisory Board of TU Europa, currently one of the fastest growing insurance companies.
Anna Krikun-Burakowska – CFO
Anna is an achievement-oriented financial professional with diverse experience in controlling and accounting. She has more than a decade of accounting experience, two years of controlling, as well as eight years as a member of a revision committee. Anna likes data accuracy, information brevity and reliability, and is respected for her thorough financial analysis and knowledge of tax regulations.
Adam Jerusalimcew – Portfolio Manager
Adam is responsible for support in the management process of existing portfolio companies and analysis of investment prospects / current dealflow.
He graduated from the Law Faculty of Kozminski University and holds a LL.M. in International Commercial Law (ALK). Adam also studied management at WSB-NLU.
He started his career as a lawyer in a Polish law firm dealing with restructuring and insolvency. Before joining HardGamma, Adam worked in the Capital Market department with a Warsaw based consulting boutique. Between 2013-2014 Adam worked with BetaScuderia, one of HardGamma Ventures’ portfolio companies.
Outside the office, Adam is passionate about vintage automobiles, motorsports and hiking in the Tatra mountains. He is also a certified ski instructor.
Tomasz Kowalczyk – Growth and Innovation Designer
Tomasz is a member of the HardGamma Ventures team responsible for leveraging its actions using available support schemes and cooperation with external partners. Before joining HardGamma, Tomasz worked as Innovation Consulting project manager for one of the Big 4 companies.
Tomasz has five years of experience in shaping and financing innovative projects of a total value of nearly EUR 90 million. He is an innovation management specialist, co-author of guidelines concerning cooperation between science and business published by the National Center of Research and Development, author of several professional articles concerning innovation management and financing.
Tomasz is also a NASA psychofan.
Piotr Tuszyński – Acceleration Manager & Entrepreneur in Residence
Piotr is first and foremost a software engineer and mobile developer. He started building mobile applications in the days of PalmOS. An entrepreneur and founder of Appvetica, a mobile lab working on disruptive mobile application concepts. Entrepreneur in Residence at HardGamma Ventures where he’s responsible for startup acceleration programmes. Fencer and pilot in training.
John Beauchamp – Communications Manager & Entrepreneur in Residence
John is a half-British, half-Polish journalist and communications professional based in Warsaw, and is in charge of HardGamma’s communications channels and press relations.
As Entrepreneur in Residence, John is the Co-Founder of CEEscape, a media platform which provides news from the startups ecosystems in the CEE region.
Before coming to HardGamma Ventures, he held a number of roles at Poland’s state broadcaster Polish Radio, and was head of the English Section as well as editor of its current affairs website, thenews.pl and affiliated social media channels.
John has cooperated and commented for a number of radio stations worldwide, including the BBC, Radio Netherlands and ORF in Europe and NPR and APR in the US. John has also worked for the Warsaw Business Journal and spent a year in Brussels with Friends of Europe, a thinktank.
John is a graduate of UCL in London as well as the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.
Rafał Kwaśny – Entrepreneur in Residence (London)
Rafał Kwaśny is a systems thinker focused on exponential technologies. Holds a degree in Physics and Computer Science from Warsaw University of Technology. He has over 10 years of experience in enterprise IT. In the last few years he has been advising companies in the government, finance and energy sectors on data management strategy. In addition Rafal is a regular Spark London meetup speaker and an active member of the community. Currently at Entropy creating breakthrough Big Data and Machine Learning solutions.