Silicon Valley recently experienced a Central European start-up week. CzechInvest and its partners prepared a programme here for selected start-up companies from the Visegrad Four countries.
“Support for start-ups and innovative business is one of the main pillars of CzechInvest’s work and we therefore anticipate support for similar events in the future. For example, we are planning to launch a new acceleration programme in Silicon Valley in 2016,” said Roman Horáček, CzechInvest’s representative for the US West Coast.
The week filled with meetings, presentations and business discussions began on Sunday, 20 September 2015, when CzechInvest held a special start-up reception in cooperation with the Czech honorary consul, Richard Pivnička.
The event was attended by representatives of Czech firms such as Bileto, Portadi, Socifi, Flydeo, Oscar, Farmcivilization, Corinth and Synergykit, who were able to familiarise themselves with the local technology community and meet potential clients and representatives of investors.
The global TechCrunch Disrupt conference was held in San Francisco from 21 to 23 September. Thanks to the cooperation of CzechInvest, CzechTrade and the Czech ICT Alliance, the national pavilion featured nine companies, which thus had the opportunity to present themselves to the most important players in Silicon Valley and to attend presentations and receive advice from successful entrepreneurs and investors.
The second event within the We4Startups was held on Tuesday, 22 September. The We4Startups brand was established in 2015 and unites the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary on the international start-up scene. We4Startups helps start-up companies to establish themselves in the world and to raise awareness of the region. More than 150 guests attended the presentations of twelve selected Central European start-ups before an expert jury composed of local investors. The Bileto team from the Czech Republic won third place in the face of strong competition.
“The objective of We4Startups is to promote the region as a whole and to make investors aware that we are not only a cheap industrial destination in the east, but that we also have a well-developed innovation ecosystem. In and of itself, the Czech Republic is relatively small for global investors. With the other V4 countries, however, we make up a combined market of sixty million people, which is far more attractive for business,” explained Horáček.
At the end of the week on Thursday, 24 September, a conference titled “How to Survive the First Year in Silicon Valley” was held at Silicon Valley House, where the Corinth team led by CEO and founder Ondřej Homola is based. Mr. Homola invited experienced entrepreneurs and incoming start-ups to share their experience. The conference was attended by Jan Moravec (Apiary), Hubert Palán (Productboard), David Semerád (STRV) and Pavel Serbaljo (GoDaddy).