Interview with Michal Valta, founder of the start-up viaGoood, which was part of the Czech expedition to TechCrunch in San Francisco

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The Czech company viaGoood is not a start-up, as it set out on a path that is not entirely typical for business. Its main project viaGoood – 50,000 good people in the world is the first Be-good platform for everyone who wants to live in a better world. And for founder Michal Valta, that is not a cliché. Thanks to his personal experience with a serious traffic accident, he decided to create a mobile application that offers interesting and motivating online content. You can easily and effectively help people in crisis situations and protect the environment and animals.

And how did viaGoood get to TechCrunch in San Francisco? The start-up registered its project in CzechInvest’s CzechDemo programme, which covers 50%-100% of the financial costs of marketing, airline tickets, translation, participation in events, mentoring and consulting. After registering, the company successfully underwent an evaluation and selection process and two weeks ago took part in one of the biggest and most prestigious international events in San Francisco. However, it is necessary to point out that the agenda was much broader and the programme was packed with meetings, networking events and even grilling on the beach with Czech start-ups, as we describe in our article Czech start-ups find success at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.

Looking back, how does viaGoood rate its participation in the event? What would it change? Were there any surprises? We recently sat down with Michal Valta, founder of viaGood, to learn the answers to these questions and more.

Q1: Michal, tell us more about viaGoood. Be-good platforms are very rare in the Czech Republic and very few people know about them.

To be honest, there is no genuine Be-good platform on the market. Not in the Czech Republic, not in the world. In this respect, viaGoood is the first. There are donation applications and platforms where you can send money and support good causes, but that’s all. Under the name Be-good platform, we are introducing a social network where people can support each other and which offers motivational content and a lot more. It is a real, full-fledged environment for people who want to somehow make the world a better place. In that respect, viaGoood is a completely unique concept.

Q2: When we look at your project from the business perspective, what for you is the value added of doing business in this sector?

The value added for users lies primarily in the fact that viaGoood works on the so-called “snowball” principle. This means that with every good deed you do in the viaGoood environment, you motivate other people to be better. Your help thus gains unprecedented effectiveness.

For me personally, our project’s value added is due to its ambition to truly improve the world around us. It is unbelievably fulfilling work. Thanks to the combination of technology and human potential, a lot of good can be done. It’s the best job in the world for me.

Q3: Your goal is to bring to the website 50000goodpeople.com the first 50,000 good people who will support the establishment of viaGoood by each contributing USD 19. Why did you choose this approach?

This involves crowdfunding. The viaGoood project is intended for everyone who wants to do something good. So it’s logical that its establishment can be supported by people who like our project. We were led to this idea by the fact that viaGoood is not a purely business matter, but in many respects it goes beyond the framework of only commerce. Thus the creation of 50000goodpeople.com, where everyone can support us and take part in its establishment.

Q4: At viaGoood, users can contribute to “good projects”. Have you already selected any particular projects that they can support?

Of course. There are four basic areas of assistance. You can support environmental protection, help children and people in crisis situations or support protection of animals. There are a number of activities in every category. With viaGoood, you can, for example, protect rhinoceroses in Africa, support children’s education, plant trees in Amazonia or provide food for stray dogs. In total, there are more than forty activities to choose from, so everyone can find “their own”.

Q5: In San Francisco, you had an opportunity to talk with Czech start-ups in the US that don’t speak of Silicon Valley as the American dream, but rather as hard work. What is your experience?

Hard work is necessary for every success. Succeeding in Silicon Valley is a tremendous success. Logically, it requires tremendous hard work. (laughs)

At any rate, in addition to a great idea, you have to have a flawless team and the ability to overcome difficulties. Besides that, there are very important contacts to the right people. In that respect, cooperation with CzechInvest was very helpful to us. Without contacts, getting to Silicon Valley is practically impossible.

Q6: To conclude, please tell us about your plans for the immediate future.

Finish the viaGoood application, put it on the market and get the first users. Right now, we are also seeking a strategic partner that can help bring our ambitious project into the big numbers. We are looking for such a partner in the Czech Republic and we have the requirement that, in addition to a financial investment, it should have the same values and goals as our project. And that goal is nothing short of improving the world in which we live and doing something “truly great”.

We wish you a lot of luck!

 

Written by Kateřina Glazar Kynclová