Prague Startup Centre welcomed its first startups
Prague, 3/3/2016 Prague Startup Centre, new business incubator in the city of Prague was inaugurated on March 3. More than 100 guests were welcomed in the new premises by Adriana Krnacova, Mayor of Prague, Andrej Babis, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, and Karel Kucera, CEO of CzechInvest.
Interest in the first incubation program exceeded the capacity three times
Prague Startup Centre launched its business incubation program for innovative startups in the idea phase of idea. It brings not only office space in Adria Palace, but also mentoring and lot of advice from experienced experts and technology partners. Participation in the program is absolutely free and startups will not give up of their equity in favor of the program. Interest in the first run exceeded the capacity of Prague Startup Centre three times.
First batch was selected on February 22. Following projects were chosen by a jury consisting of partners, experts and corporate technology specialists:
- Zaparkuju.cz – online booking mobile app for parking spots in cities
- BattSwap – complex battery swap solution in EVs/self-driving cars, fastest in the world (30 sec)
- DeliLife – healthy food to corporations with mobile orders possibility. Founders have strong corporate experience.
- Shiftee – fully automated system for scheduling employee shifts
- 3DLife – 3D video content of the unique places where people normally can not get
- Liftacar – mobile and web-based application for ordering the car lift to the service and car wash
- mButler – own ultra-cheap mobile phone, custom hardware product
Prague Startup Centre activities are shaped by advisory board comprising of representatives of technology companies (Microsoft, IBM) successful Prague startups (STRV), investors and partners (Trojan Ventures, Hatchery, GISTin UP!) and experts on corporate innovation ( CEZ). During the pilot operation, Prague Startup Centre organized several events with the participation around 400 people interested in entrepreneurship.
Prague Startup Centre is operated by Czech ICT Alliance. New business incubator is operating in Adria Palace thanks to the favourable lease from Prague City Hall. The costs of operation and human resources are paid purely from revenues on rented premises and collaboration with corprorate partners. Prague Startup Centre doesn’t receive any financial public support. It cooperates with major student associations (Všehrd, the Union of Students CTU) and Prague universities (eg. College of Business, College of Business and Law, Metropolitan University). Prague Startup Centre also assists students in starting their own business.
“Our main goal is to connect software companies and ICT startups to major players in this sector and effectively support the Czech ICT business. It creates opportunities not only in Prague, but in the whole country! It is a great opportunity how to share know-how and create new jobs with high added value. Thanks to the connection to the Czech Chamber of Commerce, Czech ICT Alliance is capable to connect Czech software engineers, companies and experts with multinational corporations such as Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, “says the mayor of Prague, Adriana Krnáčová about the benefits of Prague Startup Centre.
Space Incubator in Prague Startup Centre
ESA BIC Prague, business incubator of European Space Agency, operated by CzechInvest with significant support from Prague City Hall will be another important tenant in Prague Startup Centre.
“We are very happy that we became the operator of the ESA BIC Prague and after long negotiations and with support from Ministry of Industry and Trade we were able to open space incubator in Prague. Thanks to provided funds we will open completely new opportunities for startups focused on using space technology in everyday life. Prague will become a gateway for innovation not only in our lives but also on a European scale, “says the director of CzechInvest Karel Kucera. BattSwap the first Czech startup, which was accepted into the prestigious incubation program at ESA BIC in Darmstadt, is already operating in Prague Startup Centre.
Investing in startups
Connecting investors and startups in need of growth risk capital is another important part of Prague Startup Centre activities. Trojan Ventures, newly established fund with big ambitions in Central and Eastern Europe is located in Prague Startup Centre.
Czech ICT Alliance, operator of the Prague Startup Centre, has also extensive relevant experience:
- Jobote –from first investor, securing investments for future growth, business mentoring to exit to global player
- Braci – from initial investment, mentoring to 15-time value increase in less than 2 years
- Lily – initial risky investment in a globally successful company in Silicon Valley, with valuation around USD 100 million