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15 minsHi, my name is Michal and I work for JIC, organization, that helps people to create businesses that change the world.I usually start with some joke, but the hot weather burned my brain so I don't remember any. And more importantly, I have a serious topic to cover in this talk.
Facebook / instargramPlease, hands up all the people in the audience, who claims themselves developers. It is a tempting to code something for a several weekends with group of friendsand become rich. Right? But how many rocket startups like Facebooks or Instagram did we see in Czech Republic so far? None.So why many of the people still think that they will become rich after few-month work?
I did a math because of this summit and realized, that last year I saw 246 new projects in the Czech Republic only and many more abroad. I was totally surprised by such a high number. But I was even more surprised when I tried to find out, how many of those projects were good enough to negotiate with investors.There were just 15 interesting for investors. What is sad unfortunately, that out of this 246, there were just 5, that could be categorized as a hi-tech projects.And 3 out of those 5 were successfully negotiating with investors. The rest of 231 projects was more or less… ordinary… or totally crazy. Hmm, does it mean, that less than 5 % of simple projects are interesting for investors, but in hi-tech the interest grows significantly to 60 %?The sample is not big enough to claim it determinative, but it illustrates the quality versus quantity problem.
Research departmentBut what if you can make your startups more interesting, what if you can meet lot of valuable people or upgrade your technology without hiring whole research department? In next few minutes, I will show you how. I will show you someofthe opportunitiesthat are availableforeveryEuropeanstartup but not many knows about them.
EYEYou probably know Erasmus for students, right? But how many of you knew, that there is a program running for almost 4 years dedicated to young entrepreneurs? Not only you will be mentored by experienced entrepreneur for up to 6 months, but you will also get covered significant amount of the expenses (up to 1100 EUR per month).The only thing you have to do is to apply for the program with a simple business plan and choose one of over 1600 entrepreneurs, who's segment is close to your business idea.
Like this guy from Lithuania - Rimvydas, who was thinking of starting a courier service when he came across this programme. His Austrian mentor helped him to understand the Transport and Logistics services sector by participating in daily routines. Rimvydas has now put into place a delivery service to distribute small packages across Lithuania as well as setting up a bicycle correspondence across the city. More than 1000 young people from Europe used this opportunity already, but how many from Czech Republic? Only ONE so far!
For teams and companies, who want to upgrade from low-tech web mashups to hi-tech products solving real problems, there are several interesting initiatives.Easy Access IP (1:00)Imagine this great thing - some of the best universities in the world published access to their valuable intellectual property. Any company in the world can get the benefit from their long-term research projects and build on that.There is only one condition - you have to give the public credit to the universities. But it is for free.
There are available technologies such as Electrochromic smart glass that can be switched from full transparent to translucent or darkened state in a seconds, or Cryptographic key generation that allows two devices to generate a shared secret key by processing data such as common image or a shared pattern of movement.
ESA Technology Transfer (2:20)Next example. Pretty much everyone knows what is NASA and what they do.For example, they subsidize commercial research and development in Earth orbit transportation. And voila, there are private spaceships like DragonX that can fly to orbit.And Europe has it's own space agency - surprisingly called European Space Agency, that subsidize both development of a new technologies, but more importantly, also usage of a space technology in a non-space sector.
Let's presume that you can get access to satellite images in different spectrums. You can see how much water there is under the ground or how much snow there is in the streets of Torino.
There is a company, that computes the best direction for a salting truck to use all the carried salt, so they save the fuel. And they also automatically compute the right amount of salt used to melt down the snow. Simple idea, but a nice economical results. With such a technology, just a city of Torino saved several thousand euros for salt and fuel in winter 2012.
Let’s stay in space for a little longer. Copernicusmasters (1:00)There is an interesting competition with 1 000 000 EUR in a prize pool for projects, that use satellite navigation for everyday life in an innovative way
Last year winner's solution was an indoor navigation system, that receives location-based information relevant to you and your friends. It is as easy as using satellite-based navigation today that enables also individualised indoor advertising.But you don’t need to win to get benefits. Companies in relevant industries knows about this competition so the doors for you gets open.If you want to participate, it's the right time. Deadline for applications is this month and there are not so many people in Czech Republic that knows about it.
So that was a competition under the ESA umbrella, but you can find hundreds of startup competitions at one placeStudent competitions (0:25)Try to participate in foreign competitions as well. Show the world how good you are. Find new opportunities that might bring you cash prize, PR, new contacts and help you to become more attractive to investors.
Investor catalogue (0:35)And once you think you upgraded your startup enough and you look for money for future growth, enroll for a place in central European investors catalogue at f6s.com. JIC is a leading organization in this initiative and together with other centers in Hungary, Austria and Poland we bring the catalogue to hundreds of Business Angels and VCs worldwide.
So if you are technological startup, come to us since we are recognized as the European gateway.I can see lot of startups in the audience. I believe that you will make a change in upcoming years.
Bring some fresh air to the startup community. Expel startup hipsters, upgrade from simple mashups and look for opportunities, they are out there.