Start-up’s Day, a networking event for Czech start-ups and foreign journalists, was held in Prague on 22 May 2015. The conference was attended by twelve Czech start-ups, many of which have achieved success also beyond the borders of the Czech Republic. Some the firms have been successful thanks in part to assistance from CzechInvest’s CzechAccelerator project, which has been giving innovative firms opportunities to gain experience with doing business in advanced foreign markets since 2011.
CzechInvest CEO Karel Kučera presented the Czech Republic as a traditionally technology-oriented country where start-ups succeed. “CzechInvest has two main missions: to keep investors in the Czech Republic satisfied and to help the business environment for small and medium-sized companies and start-ups,” Kučera said in his introductory remarks. Some impressive figures were quoted in the presentation of the Czech start-up environment. For example, 304 Czech start-ups – many more than in, say, Poland – are on the so-called Angel List, an American listing of innovative companies. Czech start-ups received more than USD 68 million from investors in 2014. And Czech developers of anti-virus programmes have more than 400 million users around the world.
Another point made clear at the conference was that even though the Czech Republic has long been technologically advanced, it is not always seen as such elsewhere in the world. Czechs are still not a very business-oriented nation and the Czech Republic is seen far more commonly as a country of beer and hockey than as a country of promising start-ups. One of the goals of Start-up’s Day was to change this stereotype.
The companies presenting at Start-up’s Day included BrandEmbassy, CDN77.com, Cognitive Security, Corinth,Gamee, Geewa, GoodData, Imagemetry – Verifeyed, Invea-tech, Skypicker, Strvcom – Lavendr, and Warhorse Studios.