Technologies from the Czech Republic have been installed in New York’s second tallest building thanks to the startup Sharry, and the anti-bullying FaceUP application created by former gymnasts in Brno is being used at 1,800 schools around the world. What, in CzechInvest’s view, are the most successful domestic startups of the recent period? Have a look at a selection of the five most interesting.
The domestic market is populated by hundreds of startups that are striving to develop unique products and technologies and to successfully expand abroad. CzechInvest helps them with the development of their business through professional mentoring and acceleration programmes abroad and participation in sector-focused events. With the agency’s assistance, a number of young companies have successfully established themselves in the international environment in recent years and have reached the top in their respective sectors.
These companies include the technology startup Integromat, which offers a tool for automation of human work. It combines online applications and services that do not normally communicate with each other and transfers data between them. Integration can thus be carried out without knowledge of programming for a fraction of the price of a custom integration solution.
Thanks to its solution, Integromat can boast one of the biggest exits in the history of Czech startups. “The company got the first offer during its stay in the United States in connection with the three-month acceleration programme. In the end, it came to an agreement with the German firm Celonis last year. The value of the acquisition was more than USD 100 million, or CZK 2.3 billion,” says Markéta Přenosilová, head of CzechInvest’s Startup and Innovative SME Division.
Another success among domestic startups was achieved last year by Sharry, which specialises in smart solutions for state-of-the-art office buildings in Europe and the United States. The startup became a technology partner for the One Vanderbilt skyscraper, which upon its opening in September 2020 became the second tallest building in New York and the fifth tallest in the United States.
“Our line of four products – access via mobile telephone, smart parking, visitation management and a community application – is rather unique and makes perfect sense. All of the functions are interconnected in a single user experience when you enter or exit the building. Which products are used is solely up to the customer, and of course the products can be combined,” says Josef Šachta, CEO and co-founder of Sharry.
Students from Brno developed an application that fights bullying
CzechInvest also ranks FaceUp.com, which was established by a trio of gymnasts from Brno, namely Jan Sláma, David Špunar and Pavel Ihm, among the country’s top startups. The company’s application helps to combat bullying, ostracism and other social problems at schools. In addition to victims of bullying, it is also focused on individuals who are aware of the problem, but for certain reasons are afraid to talk about it. Thanks to this platform, they can do so anonymously outside of the classroom environment.
“A unique aspect of the project is the fact that the young entrepreneurs were not even 18 years old yet when they started it and thus had to apply for legal emancipation. Today, the startup’s product is used by more than three thousand teachers at more than 1,800 schools around the world including, for example, a school in South Africa that was attended by Elon Musk. In the three years that it has been on the market, the FaceUp.com application has received more than 5,800 notifications,” says Markéta Přenosilová.
In connection with CzechInvest’s CzechDemo programme, the young company has twice used the opportunity to attend foreign conferences in Singapore and Dubai. In addition to valuable contacts, it gained inspiration for the future direction of its application. The startup’s founders decided to focus also on companies and to help employees and employers to maintain a safe and friendly work environment.
Individualised videos and an application that helps to prevent overheating of machines
The Liberec-based startup Hardwario has a successful foreign expansion in the form of a branch in London under its belt and was awarded fifth place in the Rising Stars Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE ranking. The company specialises in projects based on the internet-of-things principle. Thanks to a device that can be the size of a matchbox, for example, it is able to map production deficiencies at Škoda Auto, overheating of production-line motors at the carmaker TPCA in Kolín, and the climate in British forests.
Wherever a company needs to measure something – power output, temperature, motor overheating – that’s where we come in. Based on the given company’s needs, we are able to put together a device that will evaluate data at the interval chosen by the customer,” says Alan Fabik, founder of Hardwario. According to Fabik, another benefit of the advice is that it can run for years on batteries and sends data via the internet, even from places where that was unthinkable until just recently. It thus monitors the climate in forests in Great Britain and air quality at the Liberec Zoo.
According to Markéta Přenosilová, the video platform MotionLab is another rising star among Czech startups. “MotionLab helps merchants precisely target their clients in the highly competitive online environment. In the course of a single evening, it can, for example, generate a million videos tailored to individual target customers. It is able to address them by name and take into account their buying and contract history,” says Přenosilová.
Today the company, which went abroad for the first time thanks to a three-month programme in New York, ranks among the leaders in the nascent video-personalisation sector. It has won a number of competitions intended for startups and can boast dozens of successful campaigns in various sectors and for multinational giants such as Microsoft, O2, Boehringer Ingelheim, UNIQA and KBC.