Czech Republic

THE ECOSYSTEM

The startup boom in the Czech Republic began after 2010, when new projects supporting startups, e.g. StartupYard, Impact HUB, JIC StartCube or Czech Accelerator appeared. Czech ecosystem is strong in information and communication technologies; therefore, it is not surprising that Czech startups offer more often software products then key technology solutions such as nanotechnologies, advanced materials or manufacturing technologies. The most common type of products of Czech startups is SaaS, followed by web technologies and mobile software.

Concerning maturity of innovative companies, majority of Czech startups is in the seed phase and financing of their projects is limited to their own resources.

Czech Republic is also famous for its innovative companies in the field of cyber security, for example antivirus companies AVAST, AVG or Cognitive Security, ThreatMark. Among other internationally known Czech unicorns belongs Kiwi.com.

Innovation is not linked only to the capital city of Czech Republic, even though majority of startups is based there. Brno, the second largest city, is becoming known as Svratka Valley as it is built on the river Svratka and the concentration of startups and big corporations like IBM or Red Hat makes it perfect environment for innovative mind-set and spirit of entrepreneurship.

KEY STARUP ECOSYSTEM STAKEHOLDERS

INCUBATORS/ACCELERATORS

SIC South Moravian Innovation Center https://www.jic.cz/en/about-us/ Is an association of companies in Brno, that connects universities and research institutions with entrepreneurs. It provides consultancy services in project evaluation as well as intellectual property. SIC also launched creative vouchers to support cooperation between technological companies. SIC also runs digital workshop, FatLab Brno.

SturtUpYard http://startupyard.com – is a seed accelerator for technology startups. Its goal is to help companies build viable products, launch fast and successfully raise capital.

Green Light https://greenlight.vsb.cz/ – is an accelerator for supporting business development, and its aim is to motivate and support university students in particular to help them achieve their own business objectives. It is a joint project of Ostrava universities and their partners, and its implementation is ensured by the Innovation Support Centre at VŠB Technical University of Ostrava.

UP21 https://www.up21.com/ – Incubator and Seed fund based in Prague, focused on Central Europe. It focuses mainly on financial services. In 2017, UP21 announced a new investment in solutions for network infrastructure, by taking a strategic stake in software developer CROSS Network Intelligence (CNI)

Impact Hub https://100dc.impacthub.cz/ – is part of an international network of shared working spaces (in Prague, in Brno and Ostrava). Impact Hub in Brno is currently the biggest co-working center in Europe and the second in the world.

Prague IoT Centre http://pragueiotcentre.cz/ – launched incubation program focused on startups in the field of IoT and SmartCity. It provides mentoring.

ESA BIC http://www.esa-bic.cz/index.php/incubation/ – The ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Prague is managed by CzechInvest (Business and Investment Development Agency CzechInvest), with support from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Transportation and the City of Prague. ESA BIC Prague offers an extensive support package to entrepreneurs and young start-ups with innovative ideas for exploiting space technologies or applications to develop their non-space businesses on Earth.

There are many other accelerators and incubators with more local or thematical focus in Czech Republic, e.g. StartUpGo, AI StartUp Incubator, Prague StartUp Lab, Prague StartUp Centre, NODE5 and StartUpAccelerator which is run by Czechinvest.

MEDIA

Tyinternety.cz http://tyinternety.cz/ is web-side which informs about news from the online world, startups and social networks. On weekly basis, it publishes column "Startup of the week", which introduces new Czech startups with potential.

czechstartups.org http://www.czechstartups.org/en - It is the first official on-line hub for start-ups in the Czech Republic. Its aim is to provide basic information about the Czech start-up scene. On the website, you can find relevant information about existing governmental and private support programs, information about providers that can help take the business to the next level via mentoring, investments or networking. Moreover, web-side contains event calendar.

Czechcrunch http://www.czechcrunch.cz/sponzorstvi/ Czechcrunch is an online magazine, featuring the latest and interesting information from the world of startups and technology in general.

Forbes Next http://www.forbes.cz/ Forbes newt is special edition of Forbes magazine. It is published quarterly per year and informs about news from the world of startups, technologies, innovations and future.

UNIVERSITIES

University of Economics (VŠE) http://xport.vse.cz/english/ The University of Economics, Prague (VSE) launches its own business accelerator – a space designated to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of both current students and alumni of VSE.

Czech University of life Sciences Prague (CULS) https://www.czu.cz/en/ CULS launched business incubator Point one which offers space for students or alumni of CULS university’s well as workshops focused on development of business skills.

Czech Technical University in Prague (CVUT) https://www.cvut.cz/en CVUT founded the business incubator InQbay, which is part of the Department for Project Management and Technology Transfer at CTU Rectorate. InQbay provides business activities to students, researchers and graduates of the CTU, as well as to all prospective business entities.

The Centre for Knowledge and Technology Transfer (CPPT)https://www.cuni.cz/UKEN-78.html The Centre creates opportunities and an environment to promote knowledge and technology transfer with the goal of increasing competitiveness and attractiveness of Charles University to students, staff, and the public, and to strengthen the "third role" of Charles University. CPPT builds a Charles University Innovation Network by connecting academics across all faculties and parts of C. U. The Innovation Network is based on cooperation with innovative organizations outside C. U. brokering knowledge, experience, services, information and funding. The Innovation Network is gateway, guide and a mediator between potential partners and the C. U. community.

PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

Czechinvest https://www.czechinvest.org/en Czechinvest is the state contributory organization subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. It runs several programs focused on support of startups in the different stages of their development (CzechStarter, CzechAccelerator, CzechDemo and CzechMatch). Czechinvest also runs ESA VIC Prague, which incubates startups with innovative ideas for exploiting space technologies or applications to develop their non-space businesses on Earth.

INVESTORS

Spring Tide http://www.springtide.cz/ Investments of SpringTide typically range between one and five million of euros. Investors help entrepreneurs to connect with business partners and potential customers worldwide, provide consulting concerning strategic options and common pitfalls.

HitHit https://www.hithit.com/en/article/whatIsHithit Hithit interconnects entrepreneurs with those who want to support them. It focuses solely on creative workers, ideas and innovations.

Air ventures http://airvcs.com/ Air ventures focuses primarily on early stage innovative companies with scalable and sustainable business. They aim on long-term projects with the goal of connecting the dots between different segments and industries.

Credo Ventures https://www.credoventures.com/ Credo Ventures is a venture capital company focused on early stage investments in Central and Eastern Europe. The company's goal is to become a leading venture capital investor in companies in the early stages of development, particularly in the areas of the Internet, IT and healthcare

Reflex Capital http://www.reflexcapital.com/ Reflex Capital is a group of accomplished entrepreneurs with multiple US$xxx million exits. It only invests its own money so there is no leverage or dependency on third party partners, i.e. decisions are made very quickly. The profile of the partners makes the fund extremely founder friendly.

Keiretsu Forum https://keiretsuforum.eu/en/ Keiretsu Forum Prague CEE is the 38th Chapter of the global network, covering CEE region of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Belarus. Among the partners of the Prague chapter you can find companies such as Microsoft, US Market Access Centre, Clifford Chance. It's greatly supported also by Czech Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and Czech Invest.

Czech Invest is open for collaboration with investors, accelerators, public and private organisations that can strengthen the competitiveness of the Czech ecosystem and improve the position of the startups in Europe