CzechInvest held the closing conference of the CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 project at the Wayra incubator on 17 September 2014. With foreign guests in attendance, the conference assessed the project aimed at supporting innovative companies as having been very beneficial. The participating companies gained a wealth of experience over the course of the project and took advantage of a range of opportunities and asserted their projects and products abroad. The most successful firms taking parting in CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 were Ki-Wi Digital, and Idea RS. In total, CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 provided nearly CZK 24 million to support the development of the participating firms. The launch of the next edition of the project, CzechAccelerator 2.0, is planned for the second half of 2015.
The result of the project and the successes of the companies were evaluated at the conference. During the project’s four-year existence, the participating companies concluded more than 30 partnerships and agreements on cooperation, filed ten patent and registered-trademark applications, established foreign branches, participated in and won prestigious competitions especially in America and Singapore and, of no less importance, gained invaluable experience, contacts and feedback from professionals from the given areas. “We rate CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 as a very successful project that managed to tangibly assist 39 Czech firms in their efforts to assert themselves on the highly competitive global market,” says Ing. Ondřej Votruba, acting CEO of CzechInvest, adding: “We believe that we will see the same degree of success with the new edition of the project, CzechAccelerator 2.0, which should be launched in the second half of 2015. CzechInvest will continue to support young, promising Czech companies.”
CzechAccelerator will undergo several changes and improvements, particularly on the basis of feedback from the participants and experience gained during the project’s four years in operation. The process of selecting companies will be enhanced with a so-called “bootcamp”, i.e. several days of intensive training featuring the participation of Czech and foreign experts with the purpose of selecting the best companies and concurrently preparing them for a stay abroad. “We plan to continue in the destinations in the United States and Singapore. In Europe, we are considering London,” says Mgr. Luboš Matějka, acting head of the Investment Project Support Department at CzechInvest. CzechInvest will support start-up companies and promising young entrepreneurs also via other projects, seminars, workshops and networking events focused on supporting entrepreneurialism.
Foreign and domestic luminaries of the start-up scene welcome similar projects
The conference featured not only the interesting experiences and stories of companies that participated in the project, but also appearances by representatives of foreign incubators and other institutions that cooperated with CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 from the beginning, including Alfredo Coppola, CEO of the US MAC incubator in Silicon Valley, and Christa Bleyleben, director of MassGlobal Partners in Boston. Part of the conference consisted in a discussion on the necessity of accelerators and incubators, the participants of which were Lenka Kučerová of the Wayra incubator, Jiří Beneš of the investment firm 3TS Capital Partners, and Jaroslav Gergič of GoodData, who concurred that it is necessary to highlight successful cases of Czech firms operating abroad, such as Cognitive Security. Thanks to this, companies gain an international perspective, are able to compare themselves with their global competition in their respective fields and bring their findings back to the local business community.
The top companies recognised within CzechAccelerator 2011-2014
Project participants shared their impressions and experience at the conference. The three most successful firms were recognised for their achievements.
First place – Oscar application for seniors
“We are very pleased to be in first place among the awarded firms. We have tremendous desire to continue onward. The environment of accelerators and incubators is so motivational that CzechAccelerator helped us to conceive and develop our ideas and we will definitely continue with them,” Tomáš Posker, Co-founder of Ki-Wi Digital s.r.o. Based in Brno, this start-up currently also has operations in Prague and the United States. The company broke into the market with Oscar, a tablet and smartphone application intended for seniors that has already gained satisfied users in America (www.oscar-care.com).
Second place – Forensic analysis of digital photographs
Second place among the most successful companies was taken by the Prague-based firm ImageMetry s.r.o. (Verifeyed.com), which registered in CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 with a product serving for forensic analysis of digital images. While participating in the project, the company won several prestigious awards, such as Next Idea and Czech Brain 2012. CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 helped the company to find a way to commercialise its products and today the company has branches in the United States and several business and strategic partnerships. ImageMetry s.r.o. has received orders from major corporate clients, particularly banks and insurers in the Czech Republic and North America.
Third place – Cloud solution for structural calculations and analysis of structural members
IDEA RS s.r.o., (www.idea-rs.com), was named the third most successful project participant. This Brno-based company develops and sells software for structural calculations and analysis of structural members. Due to its use of cloud technology, this unique software enables architects to use it from anywhere via the internet. Thanks to the company’s involvement in CzechAccelerator 2011-2014, it concluded an agreement on cooperation with a local partner in Singapore, filed a patent application and is continuing to conduct business in the face of strong global competition throughout Europe and in Singapore. The company is currently considering the entry of an investor to aid the further development of its business.
The closing conference of CzechAccelerator 2011-2014 was held in the inspiring environment of the Wayra incubator on Wenceslas Square in Prague. The media partner of the conference was Lupa.cz. The conference was hosted by Vojta Bednář, a journalist focusing on the start-up scene.
More information about the conference including presentations, videos and photographs will be available on the project’s website at www.czechaccelerator.cz and CzechInvest’s social-network pages.
The CzechAccelerator project has been helping innovative companies gain experience with doing business in advanced foreign markets for the past four years.
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