Being located on the coasts of the U.S., to this date CzechInvest has not created many long-term connections and sustainable footprint in the inner part of the country. However, due to the increasing shortage of tech talent and economic overheating of some of these coastal areas, the geographical distribution of the business, entrepreneurial, R&D activities have lately been being spreading across the country, including the Midwest region.
With that being said, CzechInvest office in San Francisco has made a decision to set-off for a one-week long investigation mission into the City of St. Louis, Missouri in June 2019 (6/3/2019-6/7/2019), in order to learn about the local business environment and meet the key stakeholders of the local innovative companies, start-up accelerators/incubators, universities, and local trade promotion agencies. While exploring the local business and innovative environment, CzechInvest’s representatives also hope to establish a long-term business relationship with the local community and to build a cooperation bridge between Czech and St. Louis innovative incubators.
“For the past couple of years, the economic development of the State of Missouri has been absolutely spectacular. Last year, it was the third fastest growing state in the U.S. They must be doing something really great over there, and we are eager to learn more about what that is and how we could become part of it.” says Miroslav Tenkl, Director of West Coast Operations at CzechInvest San Francisco.
With having the Czech innovative companies and technical universities constantly seeking access to new markets/research partners, CzechInvest hopes to find such partners in the St Louis region while also introducing the Czech Republic as a region to do business in.
“Having offices in San Francisco and New York does not mean that we solely operate within those areas. Very frequently, our representatives travel into the other parts of the country, in order to introduce the Czech business environment and establish meaningful connections with the local stakeholders.” ads Martin Partl, Director of the Global Network of Foreign Offices at CzechInvest.
Despite its size, St. Louis has an enormous amount of talented and innovative people who are eager to gain a global business perspective. "As the costs of doing business in St. Louis are relatively small compared to the coastal areas, the region has also a potential to become a gateway to the American market for Czech start-ups and smaller companies.” explains David Bures, external representative for the Midwest Region of the CzechInvest Office.
Among others, CzechInvest plans to meet with representatives of the biggest university-related accelerators in the area such as UMSL Accelerate, Wash-U SlingHealth and HealthCare Lab, and SLU innovative hub during its mission to St. Louis. “There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur at UMSL. We teach “next practices” to our entrepreneurially-minded students and are thought leaders in corporate innovation. UMSL is transforming lives in the Greater St. Louis region and UMSL Accelerate is here to disrupt higher education and upend economic development.” says Tamas Javor, Assistant Director of UMSL Accelerate. “Any opportunity to cooperate on an international level, mainly with such a highly talented region as the Czech Republic, is greatly welcome. We are very excited to meet with CzechInvest.” He adds.