SAS Advisors, one of the leading EU funds attracting companies in Poland, is joining forces with CIVITTA. Read more about it in an interview with Łucasz Pupek and Jakub Bursa, the company’s founders:
First of all, wishing you and your team a warm welcome to CIVITTA! We’d like to find out more about the company that you’ve built, together with its areas of expertise.
Łucasz: Thank you :-) We are a Polish consulting company obtaining public funds from EU Funds and national state aid sources (specialization in R&D projects). Our previous brand – “SAS Advisors” – refers to the area of our expertise which is “State Aid Services”. We have been present on the market since 2008. Only during the last five years, we have obtained for our Clients over EUR 300 million preferential financings, including over EUR 200 million for R&D. Our company has been developing organically over the years and currently our team has over 30 consultants. We work mainly for big companies (both international and domestic), but also have many success stories of disruptive startups in our portfolio.
What are your plans for the near future in relation to developing the office and its service offering?
Łucasz: We plan to develop the team in terms of both numbers and expertise to be well prepared for the EU financing 2021-2027 launch. Our challenge for 2021-2027 is to explore the European Commission's direct grants opportunities for our Clients, since in previous years that source of financing was of a minor stake in our portfolio.
Jakub: Our goal is to provide strategic consulting services related to EU funding for our clients developing businesses in various EU markets. We want to become a leading consulting company in the region that will be the first to address the dynamically developing enterprises looking for financial support and subsidies for planned innovative projects.
What can you tell us about the Warsaw team, overall? How would you describe the company’s culture?
Ł: We develop thanks to smart and open-minded people who truly believe in what they are doing and have a team spirit. We have a flat structure and a very direct relation within the team. We prefer smart-casual instead of a suit, a co-working office instead of glass offices in a skyscraper, and an individual approach to each employee instead of rigid procedures.
J: Great ambition, diligence, commitment to everyday work and determination to further development is what distinguishes our team. In addition, the friendly approach in our everyday work and the great teamwork we share (division of project task regardless of the position held in the company are our well-known features).
Talking about interesting or unique projects, can you tell us about some of the most impactful ones you have contributed to?
Ł: There are a lot of “game-changing” projects that we have contributed to and have large satisfaction from. If you ask that question to our consultants, probably each one in the team will indicate a different project. From the perspective of the company as a whole, perhaps the most unique is the entire project portfolio that we have completed over the years for selected Clients. Some Clients have done with us five or more significant R&D or investment projects. Now, looking at how our work has contributed to their whole businesses is very satisfying and inspiring for us.
J: Most of the projects that we have completed are related to the development or implementation of the most breakthrough technologies by Polish enterprises (from the IT industry, AI, renewable energy projects, automation of production plants through heavy industry). Each project that we carried out was unique, interesting and developmental for the market in which our clients conduct business.
What are your plans and expectations now that you joined the CIVITTA family?
Ł: Joining CIVITTA is an exciting business adventure for our whole team. We just expect ourselves to seize all the opportunities for growth that come with this change — both business-related and personally.
J: We strongly believe that with CIVITTA we will gain new experiences in international cooperation. Moreover, the exchange of our experiences will help us develop our business more dynamically and in turn, will contribute to developing the CIVITTA organization.
Last but not least, as CIVITTA is positioned as the Challenger advisory, could you share how you feel this Challenger spirit will apply to your future endeavors?
Ł: I believe that the mindset defined by CIVITTA as “challenger spirit” has been present in our company from the very beginning and brought us to joining CIVITTA. If the constant improvement of what and how we are doing is the challenge, we plan just to keep going with that spirit.
J: The Polish consulting market is relatively large and competitive, and we believe that CIVITTA's mindset and business approach will help us look at our market and services from a different, wider perspective.