Czech ICT Incubator is a program of Czech ICT Alliance which, in cooperation with CzechInvest and with the assistance of different partners, is sending innovative startups into Silicon Valley. Its third run sends these three promising entrepreneurs to the Mecca of startups: BattSwap, Lumitrix a Simplity.
Ten Times More Applicants for The Program
Czech ICT Incubator not only provides office spaces for three months, but also mentoring from a diverse group of experienced mentors in the amount of 6500 dollars with no claim to the company’s equity. Twenty-five companies have taken part in the third round of the program. The winners were selected by a 9-member jury comprised of representatives of the program’s partner companies-ČEZ, Rockaway, STRV, MSD IT Global Innovation Centre, J&T Ventures, Microsoft and GISTin UP.
“The quality of the competing startups and their diversity was quite high. In comparison to the previous round there was a notable improvement in the pitches. These startups knew how to sell themselves. This is fantastic because it is often a key factor in evaluating the company’s stay in Silicon Valley and its subsequent development,” says Ladislav Bárta who is responsible for innovations in ČEZ.
One of the winners is the BattSwap team which boasts with the world’s fastest complex solution for automatic battery swapping for electric and self-driving vehicles. “During two weeks of our stay in Silicon Valley we’ve signed a number of cooperation memorandums with key players, which shows great interest in the BattSwap technology. Thanks to the program’s support we can secure a professional environment and investor, customer and partner negotiations mentoring during the three month stay,” told Czech ICT Incubator Radek Janků, CEO of BattSwap.
The Lumitrix team, as the second winner, offers a unique solution to video mapping in cities. “The opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley thanks to the Czech ICT Incubator program is a unique opportunity to learn the method, get inspired, and gain experience from the top players in the contemporary projection mapping business,” says Lukáš Brus, CEO of Lumitrix.
Besides the two winning teams Simplity, the fastest growing IT company in the CEE region according to Deloitte, also goes to Silicon Valley. Simplity was awarded a special prize of the jury which gives them the program’s aid in finding the right partners and mentors in Silicon Valley. “The Czech ICT Incubator Program is a great force to help with the penetration of the US market. Czech ICT’s support means greater certainty in taking any business and marketing steps in the USA,” comments Petr Mahdalíček, the director of Simplity.
“We’re very happy that we can help beginner entrepreneurs succeed with their ideas and test and push them in the dynamic environment of Silicon Valley. I believe that the experience and contacts, which the winners will bring back from Silicon Valley, will push forward their business efforts in the Czech Republic as was the case with the previous winners,” says the general director of CzechInvest, Karel Kučera.
“The Czech ICT Incubator Program presents a unique opportunity for Czech startups to expand to the American and global market. Thanks to the cooperation with potential partners and mentors, startups get new possibilities to expand, which also benefits the entire startup ecosystem,” says Michal Zálešák, CEO of Czech ICT Alliance.
Travelove, the winner of the second round of the Czech ICT Incubator, benefitted from their stay in San Francisco by re-evaluating the company’s strategy, product and general direction. “We were able to learn a lot from other startups during our stay. Working side by side with many successful and unsuccessful companies helped us to identify four major problems on which we’re currently working on at Travelove. You can actually read about most of them in books about startups but you only fully appreciate them when you go through it,” comments on her participation in the Czech ICT Incubator Kateřina Mikulková, co-founder of Travelove.
In the final round, besides the winning projects, 9 other startups presented themselves before the jury: Factorify, DATABREAKERS, ShopSys, SmartMeter, Traffika, Accent Artisan, Procrastination.com, 101touch and Rada Building.
Czech ICT Incubator is a shared project of Czech ICT Alliance and the CzechInvest agency. The main goal of the program is to facilitate entrance to the American or global market for Czech startups. The main partner of the project is the ČEZ company. Other partners include STRV, MSD IT Global Innovation Centre and prominent incubators from the Czech Republic.