Star­tup Slo­va­kia

BALAINICELAND / 2. november 2014 / Tools a produktivita

I am a big belie­ver in the Give First phi­lo­sophy. I have the ple­a­sure of mee­ting so many people from so many dif­fe­rent backg­rounds, expe­rience and nati­ona­lity. I am really bles­sed to have this oppor­tu­nity. Fran­ti­sek Bor­sik, is one of those indi­vi­du­als. Frank moved to Ice­land and wan­ted to work here, he had a funny story of how his girlf­riend loved Thor and they got to live in a street in Ice­land cal­led Asgard. Any­ways, I always encou­rage people to help entrep­re­ne­urs and do things to cre­ate their own Star­tup Eco­sys­tem. Today is a guest post by Frank tal­king about how Ice­land ins­pi­red him to go back home and launch the ini­tia­tive of Star­tup Slo­va­kia. If the fol­lo­wing Fly­ing Car is any indi­ca­tion of the Entrep­re­ne­urial spi­rit in Slo­va­kia, I think he is onto somet­hing.

You may not know me. Howe­ver, since April 2014 I have been a mem­ber of the Star­tup Ice­land ini­tia­tive, mee­ting entrep­re­ne­urs, wan­nabe entrep­re­ne­urs and star­tups, try­ing to add value where it’s possible.

Many of you are doing your best to make somet­hing out of not­hing. I am just a sim­ple man, I like networ­king and mar­ke­ting. And I love to learn! So thanks a lot for all those won­der­ful oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn from you.

Being a mem­ber of this ini­tia­tive gave me so much. I expe­rien­ced the con­fe­rence Star­tup Ice­land 2014 from the inside as a team mem­ber and it igni­ted a spark in me.

And I have a fee­ling that now is a time for me to move on and get back to my home­land, Slo­va­kia. Do you know about this island in the heart of Europe? I hope so. This is a thing I like about you, my dear ice­lan­ders, you know about Slo­va­kia, you even know about Cze­cho­slo­va­kia or you have at least been to Pra­gue.

Well, we Slo­vaks are not per­fect. Not at all! Years of socia­lism are still run­ning in our blood. There was the Vel­vet Revo­lu­tion and we were dre­a­ming of being “the second Swit­zer­land”. It’s not gonna hap­pen any time soon so we woke up and jum­ped on that EU band-wagon. Was it a good deci­sion? We hope so. Our prime minis­ter calls jour­na­lists (who are not afraid to report his mis­fi­res) idi­ots, pros­ti­tu­tes and liars. But hey! We have a new pre­si­dent and my friends who know him are tel­ling me that this guycan make a dif­fe­rence! He went on a trip to the US with people from slo­vak star­tup eco­sys­tem and since they heard his spe­ech in San Diego, they are whis­pe­ring “JFK! JFK!”

So let me tell You somet­hing about the state of star­tups in Slo­va­kia. Lets start in late 90′, do you know about NOD32, well-known anti­vi­rus com­pany from one of our first star­tups, ESET? The com­pany was awar­ded (to name just a few of its achie­ve­ments) as the most suc­cess­ful Slo­vak com­pany in 2008, 2009 and 2010. From the com­pany bre­a­king into the Delo­itte Fast 50 CE in 2002 till now they are amongst the best. The com­pany is still pri­va­tely held and has branch offi­ces in San Diego, Mon­treal, Bue­nos Aires, Sao Paulo, Pra­gue, Kra­kow, and Sin­ga­pore as well as dis­tri­bu­tors in over 180 coun­tries.

Anot­her great “older” star­tup from Slo­va­kia that you most pro­bably heard of before is Sygic, the world’s most down­lo­aded off­line navi­ga­tion app. They were also in the Delo­itte Fast 50 CEE Com­pany for five con­se­cu­tive years.

To name a couple of others from the past and the pre­sent:

M.dot app with their “Cre­ate a mobile web­site for your busi­ness or your­self from an iPhone” wereacqu­ired by GoDaddy in 2013.

FIN­VIZ offers the fas­test and the most advan­ced stock scre­e­ner avai­lable online, inte­rac­tive mar­kets maps, inno­va­tive mar­ket ana­ly­sis and ins­ti­tu­ti­onal ser­vi­ces.

Quality Unit is a pri­va­tely owned soft­ware deve­lop­ment and tech­no­logy com­pany that is offe­ring web app­li­ca­ti­ons for busi­ness. A part of the company’s vision: “We embrace par­tners­hip. Our Affi­liate Prog­ram is desig­ned for 360° degree pros­pe­rity. The dial is set for suc­cess.” Their affi­liate mar­ke­ting soft­ware Post Affi­liate Pro is used by dozens of thou­sands of mer­chants worl­dwide.

Web­Sup­port is the big­gest web hos­ting com­pany in Slo­va­kia, they won at the Star­tup Awards 2011 with Nicereply.com (a cus­to­mer satis­fac­ti­ons ana­ly­tics for e-mail, live chat and help desk) and last year again with their other spi­noff inHiro.com (“Manage your entire rec­ru­it­ment with one sim­ple online tool.”)

PIXEL FEDE­RA­TION was foun­ded in 2007 by 4 people from the game indus­try and is dedi­ca­ted to bro­wser-based and mobile game deve­lop­ment. The com­pany cur­ren­tly employs over 100 people, have mil­li­ons of users and have three suc­cess­ful Face­book games – Train­sta­tion, Empo­rea and Diggy Adven­ture.

Aero­Mo­bil a.k.a. Fly­ing Car! “Aero­Mo­bil is a “fly­ing car” that per­fectly makes use of exis­ting infras­truc­ture cre­a­ted for auto­mo­bi­les and pla­nes, and opens doors to real door-to-door tra­vel. In terms of auto­mo­bile con­fi­gu­ra­tion, it fits to a stan­dard par­king space, its engine enab­les it to tank at any gas sta­tion, it is fully accus­to­med to road traf­fic and as a plane it could both take off and land at any air­port in the world.” Sounds pre­tty good, right?!

Guys from sli.do are giving a voice to your audience with their Q&A plat­form for live and hyb­rid events. Win­ners of #FRES­H14 Best Tool Award, ETA­2013 Best New Event Tech Star­tup Award, Even­tex 2013 Awards.

data­mo­lino, on the other hand, can turn your invo­ices into struc­tu­red elect­ro­nic docu­ments that can be impor­ted directly into your accoun­ting sys­tem. Guys gra­du­ated from the Wayra acce­le­ra­tor in Pra­gue ear­lier this year.

eDocu can help you ima­gine a world where you know eve­ryt­hing about the things around you right away, just because eve­ryt­hing has its own QR code.

Enough said for slo­vak suc­cess sto­ries, now let’s talk about pla­y­ers that are in place to help them to take off and fly!

Ven­ture Capi­tal:

Neulogy Ven­tu­resFund of Inno­va­tion and Tech­no­lo­giesLime­rock Fund Mana­gerCredo Ven­tu­res.

Ini­tia­tive:

Star­tI­tUp (they expan­ded to the Czech Repub­lic just few days ago!).

Incubators/accelerators:

Brain­HouseBoos­terLaun­cherEast­cu­ba­tor (+one is on its way, should be up and run­ning in Decem­ber).

Events:

Star­tu­pA­wards, Star­tup Wee­kend (in KosiceZilinaBra­ti­slava), Pione­ers Unp­lug­ged Bra­ti­slavaBusi­ness Idea of the Year.

Co-wor­king ini­tia­ti­ves:

The SpotCon­nect Cowor­king Bra­ti­slavaCowor­king Nitra HIVE5Impact HUB Bra­ti­slavaHUB Bra­ti­slavaVTP ZilinaSALIA – Cowor­king in KOSICE, etc.

Oh yeah, of course we are mis­sing pre­tty much back there in Slo­va­kia. We are young and afraid to fail (this one is actu­ally pre­tty spread all around the world, except US and Israel, though). Big cor­po­ra­ti­ons and fore­ign coun­tries are “eating” (sic!) our best brains. There might be too much capi­tal and less good enough com­pa­nies than neces­sary from time to time (and the oppo­site might be true the very next time). We need to cre­ate brid­ges from our small “island” to other “islands” in the world to be able to com­pare and com­pete our ideas with the big world out there. Our envi­ron­ment badly needs more “pla­ces” that will be able to take com­pa­nies lite­rally from the cradle to the grave.

BUT I HAVE A DREAM, SLOVAKIA…because I can see great people like Lukas Gas­pa­rik Sr. (Star­tI­tUp), Michal Tomek (star­tup ent­hu­siast), Jaro­slav Lup­tak & Micha­ela Jacova (Neulogy Ven­tu­res), Michal Tru­ban(Web­Sup­port), Juraj Duris & Mar­tin Majer­nik (Brain­House), our Mr.President Andrej Kiska and many others!

Mama I’m Coming Home and I would like to make my dream come true: the first nation-wide star­tup con­fe­rence, Star­tup Slo­va­kia 2015. Where? In our second big­gest city, Kosice. When? Sum­mer 2015. The rest is TO BE DONE so let’s go for it my dear friends! #UNLE­ASH

Wanna help me to make this dream come true or want to cre­ate a brid­ges to Slo­va­kia? Come to Star­tup Awards 2014, Novem­ber 28th 2014, Bra­ti­slava, Slo­va­kia @ http://www.startupawards.sk and we can talk or hit me a mes­sage.

Zdroj: startupiceland.com

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