The fifth edition of CE Tech Startups Day, a prestigious event for start-ups that took place in London in October, welcomed twenty technology start-ups from Central Europe. Each of the start-ups presented their respective projects over the course of five minutes to the London audience comprising investors and experts in the start-up scene. The jury selected three winners: Motionlab of the Czech Republic and two Hungarian projects, InSimu and Rocket Shepherd.
For the fifth year, CE Startups Day was organised by CzechInvest in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London and the embassies of Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. Five innovative start-ups from each country could participate in the event. This year, the Czech Republic was represented by the founders of ImpromptMe, Motionlab, Roivenue, SmartGuide and SMUP-UQ, who were selected in the Czech Pitch Night Shine@London event by the Prague Startup Centre incubator and the Lighthouse Ventures venture-capital fund. PwC was the main partner of the competition.
The victorious Motionlab is a Brno-based start-up that is developing a platform for creating personalised videos.
We asked its co-founder, Jan Sekerka, a few questions.
When did you start with Motionlab and how many people are currently on your team?
Motionlab was established at the end of 2018, though the development of the platform itself began much earlier. Currently, fifteen people work for us, but we partially share them with our sister company Motionhouse, which specialises in production of animation.
What helped you to win in London?
Video-personalisation is one of the main digital trends that interest the marketing and business community. Right now, few people are able to do everything so that campaigns really work and bring results. Motionlab is already in the phase when it can show its first major references and the viability of the whole concept. At the same time, we are able to present global ambitions and a scalable business model through our SaaS platform. Thanks to our great team, we have been able to succeed at similar events.
In which way is your innovation unique?
Personalised videos are only the resulting product. What makes us different is our ability to deliver an enterprise-ready solution and combine it with experience from the advertising and video-production sectors. Our innovation is thus a combination of these features and the possibility of delivering perfect results without limitations on the creative side and without excessive training requirements. In addition to that, we are striving to build simpler tools for ordinary users. The first of those, which we will soon introduce to the market, is a solution for sales teams. It has a single purpose – to help salespeople to sell.
You won several awards in the past, for instance this year’s regional round of the Startup World Cup & Summit in Prague. In comparison with that, how do you rate your success in London? Will it help you to penetrate the British market?
Collecting awards does not guarantee our commercial success. Nevertheless, it is important for a project in the early phase to be visible and thus be credible for potential clients. Expansion to the British market is part of our plan and the possibility to present ourselves was definitely a great opportunity to get started with that.
What are you planning as your next step in the UK?
Our goal is to acquire our initial corporate clients and, primarily, to establish partnerships with major digital and creative agencies, which will then provide us with the necessary range of campaigns in the future. Personalised videos are just one piece of the whole marketing puzzle and we definitely can’t get by on any market without partners. London is considered a centre of European innovation. We believe that our solution has a great chance of success here, where there is the strongest demand for new forms of communication.
Do you have strong competition in London?
We see our competitors as future partners. Agencies try to develop their own solutions for making personalised videos, but that often turns out to be too difficult for them. We thus sense a tremendous opportunity in that we can provide them with the necessary infrastructure in the form of a platform that they can further offer and thus focus on their core business.
Are you planning to expand to other countries?
The Czech Republic is definitely not our final destination. We spent three months at an accelerator in New York at the beginning of the year, and we definitely want to return to the United States next year. We are also actively looking at other markets, such as England.