CzechAccelerator helps first three Czech innovations
12 Aug. 2010 | CzechInvest | The first trio of succesful Czech firms has returned from Silicon Valley.
The first three Czech firms to participate in the CzechAccelerator programme administered by CzechInvest have returned from their three-month stay in Silicon Valley. BoldBrick, Cognitive Security and ImageMetry spent a quarter of a year at the Plug And Play Tech Centre, one of the world’s most successful business incubators.
“Silicon Valley is the heart of the IT world. Technologies which are being created there will be on the global market within two years. A three-month stay in such an environment gives Czech firms a head start which would be difficult to find at home,” explains Alexandra Rudyšarová, acting CEO of CzechInvest. “CzechAccelerator’s strength lies in the fact that it serves as very intense motivation to go to the United States even for firms to which Silicon Valley seems too far away. It isn’t far. It’s only an eleven-hour flight. And CzechAccelerator opens the way.”
“We went to Silicon Valley with the aim of establishing contact with American firms and becoming part of their distribution and partner chains. The American market is very well connected and the first step toward our gaining investment is to firmly establish ourselves among the competition of local firms. CzechAccelerator greatly helped us in this regard,” says Martin Rehák, technical director and executive manager of Cognitive Security.
“American insurance companies comprise one of the target groups for the product with which we went to Silicon Valley. In comparison with the European environment, these companies’ position on the local market is very different. Europe is friendlier in this regard, whereas in America simply establishing initial contact, for example, takes far more time and energy. CzechAccelerator was truly valuable for us in this respect,” says Petr Šídlo, Sales Manager at ImageMetry.
“The time spent in Silicon Valley was very beneficial for us. During our time at CzechAccelerator, we had the opportunity to talk with several significant investors who, among other things, alerted us to the weaknesses of our business model. Thanks to this experience, we can now work on improving ourselves,” adds Babak Mahdian, founder of ImageMetry.
“America is the target market for our product. In the past we managed to establish initial contacts with American potential partners, but we discovered that it was difficult for us to further develop them. We used our stay in Silicon Valley mainly to develop our existing contacts and to establish new ones, notably with managers of Microsoft, for example,” says Michaela Špringerová, business development manager at BoldBrick.
This Monday CzechAccelerator is opening the next round, for which companies can register until the end of September. The successful firms will fly to the United States on 1 January 2011. Eligible companies are those with up 100 employees operating in the areas of information and communication technologies, biotechnology, environmental technologies or microelectronics.
The successful firms will receive three months’ free rent of office space at the Plug and Play Tech Centre in Sunnyvale, California. The centre is currently home to more than 250 start-up firms operating especially in the areas of internet, mobile and wireless technologies and social networks. Important IT firms such as Google, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft have their headquarters or development centres in Sunnyvale or its surroundings. Registration in the CzechAccelerator programme requires merely filling out the simple registration form which can be downloaded from the website at www.czechaccelerator.cz. Participants in the programme will be selected by a panel of experts comprising representatives of CzechInvest, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, entrepreneurs and investors from the Czech Republic and the professional public.
For more information please contact the CzechInvest Press Centre
Štěpánka Filipová, spokesperson, phone: +420 296 342 538, firstname.lastname@example.org