Chasing Black Unicorns in Africa. Fireside chat with Marek Zmyslowski

Mar 28, 2019, 5:00 – 8:00 PM


WeWork Grzybowska 62, Grzybowska 62, Warsaw, 00-085

Startup Grind Warsaw is chasing the chaser of black unicorns – on 28.03 we will interview the co-founder of Jumia Travel and HotelOnline – Marek Zmyslowski. Marek will take you through the ups, downs and everything else of being an entrepreneur in African emerging markets.

In-person event

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About this event

Researching the Polish startup community has revealed the general rule, that to function effectively in the digital economy, you have to act on a global scale.

Over half of Polish startups are exporting their products abroad, mainly to the US and UK, and are looking with interest at other European markets.

But Polish founders started getting internationally recognized and achieved already some spectacular success in the global competition over the developing markets such as those ones… in Africa!

If you would like to learn more about how to conquer the African market with such partners as Rocket Internet from Berlin, or Goldman Sachs from NYC, you can’t miss out our next event with Marek Zmyslowki.

The author of “Chasing Black Unicorns”, Marek Zmyslowski is an online entrepreneur, who has built multiple successful online ventures. In 2013, as a young and success-hungry Polish tech entrepreneur he moved to Nigeria to join the African Digital Revolution. Marek co-founded, that later merged with who shortly after became Africa’s first Unicorn, employing 3000 people in 23 African countries. His second startup, HotelOnline, turned into the biggest Hospitality Software and Destination Management Company in Western Africa.

Marek along with his success has had to face many foe’s through his career, from a betrayal of his co-founder, through being blackmailed by corrupted police in Nigeria, to finding himself on the most wanted list of Interpol.

Marek worked through companies like Rocket Internet and Goldman Sachs to gain knowledge of best business practices’ and used this to his advantage whilst building his own ventures.

Before starting his career of a successful entrepreneur, he found himself to being a financial advisor, where he gained significant know-how & capital that he invested in online projects.

Marek will take you through the ups, downs and everything else of being an entrepreneur in African emerging markets.

In 2014, he was chosen as one of the Ten Most Important People in Tech by IT News Africa Magazine. He is a Lead Mentor at Google’s Launchpad and World Bank’s XL Africa Program.

Marek is also a snowboard instructor and has a rally license. However, his dream is to be a stand-up comedian.

We are looking forward to hosting our congenial guest and can’t wait to ask him about his plans for the future!

Check out what happened


  • Marek Zmyslowski




Thursday, March 28, 2019
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM UTC


Reception and networking
Networking & afterparty


  • Eva Galant

    Startup Grind Warsaw

    Chapter Director

  • Ahmad Piraiee

    Startup Grind Warsaw



  • Ahmad Piraiee

    Startup Grind Warsaw

    Chapter Director

Global sponsor

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HugeThing logo


Mazowiecki Klaster ICT logo

Mazowiecki Klaster ICT

Fundacja MOST logo

Fundacja MOST

StartupAcademy logo




HiCash logo


Reaktor Warsaw logo

Reaktor Warsaw

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