Business and Investment Development Agency


press release

Representatives of Czech innovation infrastructure gain experience in California and Nevada thanks to CzechInvest

Representatives of Czech innovation infrastructure gain experience in California and Nevada thanks to CzechInvest

At the turn of October and November, the CzechInvest agency organised a study trip to Silicon Valley and Northern Nevada for representatives of ten Czech regional innovation centres, university incubators and accelerators, investors and science centres. The participants had the opportunity to visit the world's largest accelerators and discuss with representatives of innovation institutions

"Silicon Valley is the world's largest startup hub, where a huge amount of venture capital is concentrated. It is where the most game-changing innovations that disrupt traditional industries are created, and the local environment also serves as the world's largest "testbed" for new solutions. Its reputation as the world's technology mecca attracts startups and funders from around the globe. One of the by-products of Silicon Valley's development is a highly developed entrepreneurial infrastructure that provides facilities for startups, VC funds and business angels, and is able to work effectively with both local governments and corporations," says Anna Hight from the CzechInvest foreign representation in California: "The Northern Nevada region has benefited from a long-term influx of talent from Silicon Valley. This trend has become even more pronounced during the pandemic. This has also made the Reno-Tahoe area one of the fastest growing regions in the US.

During the California leg of the week-long study tour, participants visited some of the world's largest plug-and-play accelerators, Alchemist and Berkeley Skydeck, as well as the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Entrepreneurial Support and the Roseville Urban Incubator in Central California. The mission also included a tour of the GoMentum Station, the largest test polygon in the US focused on autonomous mobility. Glydways, in which Bill Gates has invested through his Gates Frontier Fund, is testing its public transport solution. Its futuristic autonomous vehicles, which will transport passengers between the city centre and the airport, are expected to be deployed in 2028 in San Jose, the 12th largest city in the US.

The Nevada leg of the mission began with a meeting with the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Nevada, Reno, one of Reno's key innovation institutions. The university's InNevation Center hosted a discussion with representatives from local accelerator and innovation programmes, as well as representatives from regional innovation institutions. They, along with the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development, presented the innovation strategy and tools that are changing the long-term focus of the local economy from entertainment to innovation and high-tech industries. One example is Tesla's Gigafactory, one of the largest electric car battery and control unit factories in the world. This is where the Tesla Semi electric trucks, currently used only by Pepsi and Tesla, are assembled. It employs 11,000 people, many of them from the entertainment industry.

"The aim of the trip was to learn about proven or new incubation programmes and services for budding entrepreneurs and startups. We also wanted to get to know the support systems for student entrepreneurship in California and Nevada and to establish contacts with venture capital funds," says René Samek, Director of the Innovation Department at CzechInvest.

The study tour of innovation infrastructure representatives to Silicon Valley and Northern Nevada was implemented as an economic diplomacy project funded by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. CzechInvest and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles were involved in its implementation.

Media contact:
David Hořínek
PR Manager and Spokesperson
+420 724 591 667

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