CzechAccelerator New York is Now Open. First Czech Start-ups Landed in Big Apple

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Manhattan’s Bohemian National Hall hosted launch ceremonial of CzechAccelerator, project implemented by Czech governmental agency CzechInvest. First two Czech start-ups – TouchArt ( aka Eventee) and Legito – began three months-long program powered by renowned company VentureOut. Czech Republic joined only a handful of countries, such as Canada or Germany, with their own national acceleration programs in New York.

Grand opening of the CzechAccelerator in the Bohemian National Hall drew nearly 200 guest representing some of the best within New York’s tech community giving our start-ups great chance to start networking just one day after their arrival to the City. Welcome remarks from Jan Chmelik, CzechInvest’s Director of East Coast Operations, Deputy Consul General Karel Smekál, VentureOut Founder Brian Frumberg and Economic Development Director from Mayor’s International Affairs Office Daniel Kadishson, were followed by videomapping showcasing some of the most important Czech innovations throughout the history (from lightning rod, blood types, soft contact lenses to Semtex or cybersecurity by Avast). The impressive show was created by Czech company XLAB Realtime which has been successfully penetrating the US market over last one year. Once the program was opened the first two start-ups had they first introductory flash-pitch.

The program itself will be run by VentureOut, well established acceleration company focusing on such international start-up programs. Both CzechInvest and Consulate General of the Czech Republic have previous experience with VentureOut cooperating on first Czech Startup Week NYC aligned with participation at TechCruch Disrupt NYC supported from the CzechDemo program. This year’s second edition follows with participation at TechDay NY in May, again with a week-long accompanying program.

The project first run between 2011 and 2014 and in the United States brought start-ups, apart from Silicon Valley, to Boston, MA. The second edition, running between 2018 – 2020 specifically targeted New York City as a location that topped Silicon Valley in the third quarter of 2017 reaching $4,2 billion when it comes to raising venture capital investment. The plans are to accelerate approximately 20 Czech companies over next two years.

CzechInvest’s project provides three months of acceleration for up to five Czech startups with financial support covering most parts of the program (office space, mentoring costs, travel costs). These costs are covered from the Operational Program Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Competitiveness, part of EU’s Regional Development Fund. First two Czech accelerated startups are Legito (providing document automation) and TouchArt (platform connecting conference organizers with the audience).

David Němec from Legito shares his thoughts on the first week, saying “It has been a blast since we landed – three days at the largest legal-tech conference in the world, LegalWeek, where we got valuable connections, followed by a classy CzechAccelerator Launch in the Bohemian National Hall. We have not had a chance to stop yet!”.

Roman Maštalíř from TouchArt just adds that “After a first week with the entire CzechAccelerator and VentureOut team we coud not be more excited! The chance to present our product at the program launch in the Bohemian National Hall was a great opportunity and experience generating two new meetings already that could help to move our business forward!”.

Photos: Adela Wagner