Czech Start-up Week New York is an action-packed event held at the beginning of May in downtown New York. The main attraction is TechDay, the biggest start-up event in the United States, with an accompanying programme in which the American incubator VentureOut took part along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which focused on economic diplomacy.
Three Czech start-ups – WAPS Technologies, Statusdroid and Xlab – already have the demanding week behind them and shared their impressions with us in a brief interview. What do they agree on? Start-ups must think globally and comparison with foreign competitors is priceless.
1) Part of the accompanying programme comprised quick meetings with American investors and numerous local experts. What was the most valuable advice you received from them?
Miloslav Szczypka, WAPS: The most valuable advice we got mainly had to do with how pitch decks and effective marketing should look.
Martin Stoila, XLAB: We got the most valuable advice in the area of marketing. Though we hadn’t underestimated this aspect of establishing a firm on a foreign market, their advice showed us new possibilities of presenting our company.
Lukáš Pour, STATUSDROID: We should focus on partnerships with larger organisations instead of focusing on gaining individual customers. Also, we should better explain our value and show what we bring to the customer instead of presenting a list of what we are able to do.
2) If you compare the Czech and American markets, where do you see the biggest difference and why would you target the American market in particular?
Miloslav Szczypka, WAPS: The biggest difference is mainly in the volume of money on the market and the size of the market. It is also easier to find an investment here.
Martin Stoila, XLAB: We see the biggest difference in the size of both markets and thus in the possibilities that are available to firms.
Lukáš Pour, STATUSDROID: The American market is very dynamic in terms of both workforce fluctuation and the number of competitors that pop and then disappear every day. They’re not afraid to very quickly pivot a project to a completely different direction.
3) For you, what was the icing on the cake of TechDay, the biggest start-up event in the US?
Miloslav Szczypka, WAPS: The whole TechDay was amazing for us, so it’s hard to choose a particular aspect.
Martin Stoila, XLAB: It’s about the biggest market in the world with a large number of potential clients for our company.
Lukáš Pour, STATUSDROID: We didn’t have a shortage of visitors at our stand at TechDay. People came by all day and we were glad that they weren’t only from the start-up environment.
4) You spent a week in the Big Apple, the technology mecca of the US East Coast. What will your companies’ first step be immediately upon your return?
Miloslav Szczypka, WAPS: The first thing we have to do is change our pitch decks from the ground up, improve our website and correctly target our marketing.
Martin Stoila, XLAB: We’ve sorted all of the contacts that we obtained and we will begin to gradually get in touch with them. We are also working on improving our marketing strategy according to the feedback that we received in the course of the programme.
Lukáš Pour, STATUSDROID: Definitely making adjustments to our core message so that it better describes how we can help and we will also focus more on collaboration with marketing agencies.