Made in Emerging Europe

The Polish AI start-up helping firms navigate the digital transformation

CampusAI has developed a unique, scalable educational concept for AI, giving organisations a competitive edge in addressing the challenges of the digital revolution.

Warsaw-based CampusAI this week raised 10 million US dollars of pre-seed funding, a record for a Polish start-up, to develop its online training ecosystem, enter as many as 10 new markets and teach 200,000 new users how to collaborate better with artificial intelligence.

CampusAI, founded early last year, immerses people in the world of AI and trains them to use the technology more effectively, including by setting their own learning path; choosing tools that fit their personality; and writing better and more complex prompts. Its avatar-based blended learning model, in which practice plays a key role, boasts completion rates up to 10 times those of traditional e-learning methods.

Corporate clients can use the CampusAI platform to build comprehensive e-learning suites that support digital transformation. A recent survey of CEOs by global consultancy PwC reported that a lack of digital skills, particularly those related to AI, is one of business leaders’ most pressing concerns, while Boston Consulting Group found 62 per cent of top executives cite a lack of skills as one of the main reasons they are unsatisfied with their organisation’s AI efforts.

“For digital transformation to be effective, it has to be based on strengthening an organisation’s most important asset: its people,” says CampusAI co-founder and CEO Aureliusz Górski. “That’s why it’s so important to create an environment that makes it easy to learn how to work with AI. Our Human+AI Collaboration model makes people more proactive, creative, and effective, allowing an organisation’s leaders to engage their teams at all levels in their vision for transformation driven by generative AI.”

The funding round, led by Polish angel investor Maciej Zientara, founder of Supernova Group and a partner in JR Holding, will support CampusAI’s expansion abroad. A substantial part of Zientara’s investment portfolio is based on artificial intelligence, including AI-based SaaS company AI Clearing, which raised 14 million US dollars in series A funding late last year.

CampusAI’s model builds on work by Aleksandra Przegalińska, a visiting research fellow at Harvard University and an associate professor at Warsaw’s Kozminski University. She and Kozminski Professor Dariusz Jemielniak, the co-author of her 2023 book Strategizing AI in Business and Education, serve on the company’s scientific advisory board.

“I’m supporting CampusAI because we have a common vision at the level of values,” says Przegalińska, who has made her image available as one of the avatars the company uses to deliver its materials. “First and foremost, artificial intelligence is a tool to be used by people, not the other way around. And secondly, AI is for everyone, which means it should be accessible and democratised.”

CampusAI’s ecosystem visualises its interactive content using a cutting-edge software engine developed for gaming, allowing the creation of custom learning environments. The company plans to expand to its first new market within three months and add as many as 10 new countries by the end of the year.

“After achieving success in the Polish market, we’re ready to expand globally with the backing of an investor who shares our vision,” Górski adds. “Maciej Zientara has extensive experience in building value on international markets. He’s the dream investor for any start-up, because he brings in know-how, not just cash.”

Górski had already raised more than 70 million US dollars as a venture builder, developing six organisations over the past 17 years. His previous projects include AIP Business Link, Poland’s first co-working and start-up accelerator network, and CIC Warsaw, an innovation centre for scale-ups.

“The first targets in our sights are the English- and Spanish-language markets,” says CampusAI co-founder and CTO Szymon Piekarz. “Our ultimate goal is to have a presence on at least 100 key markets, with 1 billion TAM; in the short term, we are seeking to build a community of 200,000 loyal users. Outside the purely educational aspect of CampusAI, we’re seeking to build revolutionary technologies that help learners spread their wings and succeed in a world where technology is driving rapid change.”

In addition to businesses, CampusAI is partnering with universities and public-sector organisations, providing them with an engine to build their own e-learning platforms.

“I’m thrilled to become a part of this global project that will impact not just the corporate world, but all of society,” Zientara says.

“CampusAI has developed a unique, scalable educational concept for AI, giving organisations a competitive edge in addressing the challenges of the digital revolution while respecting the principles of social responsibility. Artificial intelligence will affect everyone’s job, which is why it’s so important to develop effective education that gives people the skills they need to thrive on the labour market of tomorrow.”

Photo: CampusAI co-founder Aureliusz Górski, scientific advisor Aleksandra Przegalińska and investor Maciej Zientara.

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