TechCrunch Disrupt New York, this year held between May 15th and May 17, is undoubtedly one of largest and most respected global tech and start-up conferences. For Czech start-ups, it is a great opportunity how to present their work results to a relevant and interesting audience. That was one of the main reasons why the Agency CzechInvest selected specifically this event to receive participating support from the CzechDemo program allowing four Czech Startups Actijoy, Incomaker, viaGoood and XTND to be a part of that. The conference itself had been just a beginning of what turned out to be the Czech start-up week in New York City!
Week-long program filled with various meetings offered a chance to meet not only more US and world-wide based start-ups but also to meet representatives of international investors, accelerators and incubators. CzechInvest New York office and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York teamed up with VentureOut and provided an acceleration program giving start-ups an opportunity to meet at interesting places and talk to useful contacts. Something that they would likely would not be able to do themselves. We are working on interview series with all four start-ups to allow you to share their experience too. Final interview will be with VentureOut to allow you the other point of view what it is like to put together a program like that.
Jan Chmelík, Director of CzechInvest’s US East Coast Office says: “Compared to previous years, when startups had come for the TechCrunch itself, we were able to put together truly a full program including the acceleration part even thought it was fitted into a one week only. We believe that, together with a pre-departure e-workshops, it is exactly what brings the extra value and makes it a relatively unique event in the Czech environment, hopefully not a last one.” Markéta Škáchová, Project manager for the CzechDemo program, continues: “Thanks to this cooperation we were able to reach a whole different level of the CzechDemo program. It is very useful for starting companies to have an opportunity to meet experts able to help them to take off. Being able to become a part of a start-up community, where you can get experience and valuable advice from more mature colleagues is equally important. I am glad that we could provide this opportunity for the Czech start-ups. I believe that our start-ups valued the program and we definitely want to continue this way in the future.”
What specifically did the Czech startups go through? Thanks to the economic diplomacy project powered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the four companies could be a part of an e-education series even before they landed in New York. Topics we selected as a cross-spectrum in key fields including marketing in the US market, capital raising, law framework and other areas. Mentoring and meetings were with experts in given fields form VentureOut and VCs from Rubicon Venture Capital, Scout Ventures or Brand Foundry. Start-ups had an opportunity to present in front of investors with a valuable feedback. The week-long program included the Czech Tech Pitch Night, with investment pitch in front of a panel, allowing them to use the newly gained skills.
Another valuable event was the European Network Tech Mixer, taking place on the rooftop terrace of the Bohemian National Hall. Members of New York and European start-up community were among the guests allowing the Czech startups to get yet another networking opportunity to better understand how to do business in the US market.
Karel Smékal, the Deputy Consul General and Head of the economic section of the Czech Consulate General in New York, sums up the week: I am delighted that this year we could expand the offer for the Czech start-up participating on the TechCrunch Disrupt and offer a unique accompanying program which, as I strongly believe, helped them to gain experience, skills and contact that will make the local market entry easier. This new model, possible from this year, thanks to a combination of CzechDemo and our economic diplomacy project, is something that we would like to repeat in the upcoming years as well because exactly the combination of the TechCrunch Disrupt and quality accompanying program assures the added value which the Czech startups, traveling all the way to New York, deserve.”
Article with details from the Czech start-up week also available on the Consulates website HERE.