Risks of foreign investments in Polish technology start-ups

It is currently accepted that only 5% of start-ups in the technology industry are successful. This fact means that, in principle, the investor has as much as a 95% risk of losing money. However, if the investment turns out to work with no failure the investors may gain millions.

The more innovative the subject matter the bigger the risk

A good example of a risky investment is a highly discussed case of Elizabeth Holmes. She is the founder of  biotech start-up, Theranos. The main concept of her business was to create a blood-testing method which promises to detect a range of illnesses with just a prick on the fingertip. She based her business idea on her fear of needles. One device would replace professional laboratory machines. The technology was supposed to revolutionize the healthcare industry. As this idea seemed futuristic and  innovative it is no surprise that it seduced many high-profile investors that invested millions into this business.  Silicon Valley investors have poured more than $200 million into projects in the past years to build a device that analyzes blood – according to ‘Financial Times’. However, in 2015 it emerged the blood-testing devices did not work and Theranos was doing most of its testing on commercially available machines made by other manufacturers. The company shut down three years later. Numerous problems have arisen since then. The invention gave false results, resulted to undetected diseases. As it later turned out, it was not the machine that tested the samples, but a team of people appointed to do so. The machine was only an object of advertising and marketing. Now Ms. Holmes faces 12 fraud charges and she is accused of deceiving investors and patients with defrauding investors through a ‘sophisticated, multi-year fraud’.

The business obtained one of its first financings in 2004 from a well-known investor from Silicon Valley, Tim Draper. Theranos founder began collaboration with former senior U.S. government officials to serve on the board of directors. Among them were: George Shultz (former Secretary of Labor, Treasury, and State of the US government), Gen. James Mattis (US Secretary of Defense), Henry Kissinger (former Secretary of State), William Perry (former Secretary of Defense), Betsy DeVos (US Secretary of Education) and many other successful individuals.

It sounds surprising that highly respectable, influential people did not even ask Holmes for detailed financial analysis and accurate product information. They have lost millions of dollars because of being too superficial in their due diligence.  

Polish tech and software start-up scene


Escrow agreements for the acquisition of source codes and licenses for their use

Technology transfer agreements as well as investment agreements are often accompanied by source code escrow agreements used to secure the IP rights to the software.

Source code

The key of programs and software is the source code. It is the fundamental component of a computer program that is created by a programmer.  The source code should be written using a human-readable programming language – usually plain text. The main goal of it is to set exact rules and specifications for the computer that can be translated into the machine’s language.

What is source code escrow?

Sometimes it happens that even if special software tailored to one’s needs is created by a professional company, problems may arise. The investor needs to make every effort to protect company in the event that the contractor’s company ceases to exist, for example because of its bankruptcy or liquidation. In such cases, the solution to secure the transfer of ownership of the source code is to put in place source code escrow agreement. This is a service that helps protect all parties involved in a software licence by having a neutral, independent third party escrow agent hold the source code. 

Main principles of source code escrow


MINING POOLS – How to get a cryptocurrency?

MINING POOLS – How to get a cryptocurrency?

KIEŁTYKA GŁADKOWSKI KG LEGAL constantly supervises and prepares its lawyers for the specialization in which they provide services for foreign clients. In order to systematize the conceptual grid of very specialized fields of IT, telecommunications, biology, medicine and modern finance, KIEŁTYKA GŁADKOWSKI conducts internal consultations to improve the experience of our lawyers specializing in legal assistance for foreign clients from the IT and TECH sector. As a result of such internal research, KIEŁTYKA GŁADKOWSKI creates and publishes texts on topics related to modern legal problems, but also to explain the basic concepts of specialized IT and pharmaceutical fields. In this way, KIEŁTYKA GŁADKOWSKI aims to demonstrate to potential clients within specialized industries that our lawyers are also familiar with specialist terms necessary for a proper understanding of our foreign client’s business and legal needs.

This is one of those texts. We invite you to read it.

How to get a cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is not emitted by some central, national bank as it happens with classical form of money (fiat money). Cryptocurrency is made in a digital sphere and the only way to obtain the currency from the blockchain system is to mine it (similarly and metaphorically to the gold mining). Cryptocurrency mining works similarly to the gold mining. Virtual coins can be discovered digitally using computer programs. The Bitcoin, for instance, has set a limit of total of 21 million bitcoins. Thus the faster you dig bitcoins the more of them you will have (if we consider only mining). All bitcoins are lying within the blockchains system and the role of the computer program and the miners is to dig it from that system, precisely to discover it in that system. Thereby there can be one miner or a clubbed miners’ group who dig together, faster and more effectively and then they divide their profits among each other.

What is a mining pool?




On June 10, 2021 there was launched the Warsaw Health Innovation Hub (WHIH). This, first in the Eastern (and Central) Europe, initiative between public and business sectors will bring together leading global medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. According to the funders’ intention, it should be a beginning of the Polish Medical Valley which was created concurrently with the WHIH. The WHIH is intended to be just a first step of this huge, innovative enterprise.


The Polish WHIH is the first business initiative in the Central Europe that brings together co-working between public sector with business entities in order to create innovative medical, technological and legal solutions for patients’ health improvement and for enhancement the capability of Polish health- care system. This unique conception (co-working conception) will allow to provide the conditions for rapid transformation of ideas into products, processes and services, taking into account the development interests of the Polish biomedical sector and Poland’s need to be independent in terms of drug and medical products safety. It is also an opportunity to invest in Polish technologies and the best research teams in the country, according to the Medical Research Agency.[1]

This is a joint initiative between the Medical Research Agency (Agencja Badań Medycznych)[2] EIT Health[3] and global medical industries players: AstraZeneca, Microsoft, Polpharma, Roche. The launching ceremony was held at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland with his patronage.


Non-fungible token (NFT) – legal aspects and application in the art trade

What is NTF?

NFT is a blockchain technology gradually entering our lives, more increasingly related to contemporary state-of-the-art artwork that can be purchased at international art auctions. Non-fungible token (NFT) is a key part of the blockchain economy. This is a type of cryptographic token that is stored on a blockchain architecture. It is a unique, digital certificate that provides certain ownership rights in an asset and it is not possible to copy it. Each of the tokens is individual, of different value and has no equivalent for itself. The most common standard for creating and issuing tokens is ERC-20, but there are other standards in operation (e.g., ERC-223, ERC-721, ERC-777, and ERC-1155). Each successive standard is created with increased security and speed in mind. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files.

Blockchain is a decentralized database used to store and transmit information about transactions made on the Internet. One of the features of NFTs is that it can only be bought, sold and traded as individual assets and this is one of their differentiators in the market.

The Cryptocurrency market is growing at an accelerated rate and NFT trading is definitely following it. NFTs differ from cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or DDKoin in that they are both not interchangeable and not identical. In addition, owning a given token does not entitle us to the rights reflected by the token. NFTs can’t be divided into parts as the elementary unit here is the token itself, whereas fungible tokens can be because all the units have the same value. It does not matter which unit you get.

How to mint NFT?

Creating and saving NFT for the first time on a block chain involves minting. This is how the digital art becomes a part of Ethereum blockchain. Thanks to this process artists can purchase, trade and track in the market the art works.  Minters may be the creator of the work associated with the NFT, such as the artist. It can also be someone who has the appropriate rights to mint NFT digital assets. NFT contains unique identifier (called also ‘TokenID’), the blockchain wallet address of current owner and an identifier of where the digital work may be found. Transactions are fully transparent, so anyone can view an NFT and its underlying information, including the blockchain address of the current owner and the blockchain address of any previous owner. In addition, since transactions on a blockchain are publicly viewable, buyers can see the address from which the NFT was first minted.

NFT and cats?

Early forms of NFTs have been around since the mid-2010s. The NFT technology gained popularity in 2017 with the virtual cat-trading game called CryptoKitties. Namely, this is a game on Ethereum developed by Canadian studio Dapper Labs  which allows players to adopt and trade virtual cats. Each cat is one-of-a-kind and 100% owned by the owner and it cannot be replicated, taken away, or destroyed. Then NFT gained momentum. Many people have used the game as a way to earn big amounts of money quick. According to the TechCrunch website research from 2017, about $1.3M has been transacted, with multiple kittens selling for ~50 ETH (around $23,000) and the “genesis” kitten being sold for a record ~246 ETH (around $113,000).

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