Approximately seventy guests including local venture capital investors, bankers, attorneys, start-ups and representatives of major corporations such as Facebook and Google came together at the How to Build a Unicorn in Eastern Europe event in San Francisco on Thursday, 15 November 2018. The meeting was organised by CzechInvest’s San Francisco office and Kiwi.com, one of the most successful Czech technology firms. The purpose of the event was to present to the local start-up community Central Europe’s technological, innovation and business potential, including specific examples of globally successful firms from the region, with emphasis on the Czech Republic.
During a moderated discussion, Oliver Dlouhý of Kiwi.com stressed the significance of the global rather than local ambitions of a rising start-up. Andrej Kiska of Credo Ventures, the biggest venture-capital fund in Central Europe, pointed out the importance of having the right motivation, which should not be the will to get rich, but the endeavour to solve a problem encountered by a significant group of future customers. Tytus Cytowski, an attorney who assists start-ups in Silicon Valley, contributed a similar idea to the discussion. According to Cytowski, the primary characteristics of beginning firms should include self-confidence, humility, a desire to learn and willingness to help their surroundings. Pavel Serbajilo, founder of the start-up M.Dot, which was later sold to the American internet domain registrar GoDaddy, shared his experience with building a start-up.
“An ever growing number of innovative firms from Central Europe and the Czech Republic are striving to succeed in global competition. The first of those firms have gained international renown and Silicon Valley is starting to take Central Europe seriously. Central European and Czech firms are thus beginning to show up on the radar of local venture-capital investors,” says Miroslav Tenkl, CzechInvest’s representative in San Francisco.