Harnessing Israeli tech to succeed on the sports field
Dariusz Mioduski, owner of Polish football club Legia Warsaw, is counting on Israeli tech to take his team to the next level.
Dariusz Mioduski, 56, moved with his parents to the U.S. at the age of 17. His father was an engineer and manager at an energy company in Gdansk, Poland, and had no place in the crumbling Polish economy of the 1980s. "We were like any other family of immigrants, we arrived in the U.S. with $100 in our pocket and that was it," Mioduski told Calcalist. Dariusz went to high school, but barely understood the language and after school he'd work with his father in the jobs he could find, in gardening and construction. He was doing all that illegally as he didn't have a work permit. Dariusz’s first legal job was at McDonald's. "I didn't speak the language so I needed to stay another year in high school. We started off like any other family of immigrants. We had little money in our pockets and I had to work to help the family," he explains.
Mouduski says he learned a lot from those days serving burgers at McDonald's and gardening at the homes of the rich in Houston. "It taught me about hard work, understanding others, and the importance of knowledge and international connections," he said.
Mouduski completed his first degree in political science and philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and also became the university’s first graduate to be accepted to law school at Harvard. He went on to work as an attorney in law offices in Houston and New York before returning to Warsaw to work as a senior manager after the fall of communism.
From 2007 he worked mostly in managing investments for Polish energy companies and started his own ventures. His work was characterized by a strategic multi-layered approach. He created enough capital (around $500 million) to join the management of his favorite football team, Legia Warsaw, one of Poland’s most successful clubs, and a few months later he bought it.
Now he is counting on a relationship with Israeli hi-tech as part of his strategy for the future of the team.
Mouduski decided to contact Welltech1, which connects Israeli technologies in the wellness sector with global partners. Legia and Welltech1 collaborated during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic to create a competition for startups in the wellness space with an investment of $200,000 being offered as a prize.
"This is a critical time for a venture like this," said Welltech1 CEO and founder Amir Alroy. "The pandemic hurt investments in startups, but it also increased the importance of wellness healthcare. We saw a jump of tens of percent in these ventures."