JIC STARCUBE is now launching registration for its ninth run. Teams with promising technology or products now have until 31st October to apply to central Europe’s longest running accelerator. Projects from all over the world – in hardware, cyber security and IoT – stand a chance of gaining a place. New for this year is a shorter more intensive programme, 24/7 access to a prototyping lab and also the presence of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab as a new partner.
Teams with at least two members can submit their applications HERE. ‘We want to address all those projects that are waiting for their first paying customers. Those ideas being cosseted somewhere in the comfort of halls of residence, or kept going as an alternative to finding a job, ideas always being discussed in the pub with friends and which need to be prodded into life. Our intensive two-month, jam-packed course should offer just the momentum people need to finally manifest their project, test it and release it to the world in a meaningful and profitable form,’ says JIC STARCUBE Manager Hana Šudáková, describing the accelerator’s target audience.
The accelerator programme is entirely in English, starts on 15th January and lasts 2 months. It will cover all the important topics on how to accelerate a business – from creating value and understanding customers through to transferring technological know-how from partners. Getting through the selection process, governed by JIC and its partners, and into the accelerator will be a maximum of ten teams. These can then get 100 thousand crowns towards their stay in Brno, as well as a budget for legal, marketing and finance services. Chosen JIC STARCUBE graduates will additionally be able to continue on an individual six-month follow-up programme.
This year, for the first time, finalists have an opportunity to use the recently opened FabLab Brno, whose nearly 200 m2 of lab space offers several types of 3D printer, a laser engraver, CNC machine as well as mechanical tools, kits and accessories for the IoT, with which they can assemble their prototypes. ‘Once trained, finalists will have non-stop access to the lab. Our workshop is moreover situated right at JIC, two floors above the STARCUBE Space, where most of the accelerator’s programmes will be taking place – so teams will be able to pop up and check how their prototype’s printing is coming along during breaks between workshops,’ explains FabLab Brno Manager, Tomáš Mejzlík. Helping equip the lab are two of the accelerator’s partners – Honeywell and Y Soft.
The list of last year’s technology partners, which in addition to the two already mentioned also featured AVAST, Konica Minolta and Microsoft, is this year expanded to include ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab. ‘Working with global hi-tech startups, we want to create business cooperation models that are reciprocally advantageous. We’re interested in new ideas in mobility and connectivity which could enrich ŠKODA AUTO’s current business. Besides which, we’d also like to work with startups engaged in cyber security, since this will be a key area in future – not just for the automotive industry, but across the board,’ says Jarmila Plachá, Managing Director, ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab.
JIC STARCUBE is the longest running CEE accelerator. Since 2010 more than 80 start-ups have entered it. Teams experience three months loaded with knowledge, workshops, meetings with mentors and connecting to global technology companies. They gain benefits and financial support for testing and prototyping, legal and tax services, marketing, travel reimbursement and accommodation. Successful companies which have gone through the accelerator include, for example, GINA, Reservio and currently one of the fastest growing CEE start-ups Kiwi.
JIC (South Moravian Innovation Centre) supports people in creating and developing companies which change the world. Every year its services are used by more than one hundred companies, from aspiring entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to rapidly growing start-ups and established technology firms. Start-up companies which have gone through JIC programmes have created more than 1,400 new jobs and hundreds more in follow-on services. Over the 14 years of its existence, the JIC has initiated almost 360 instances of cooperation between researchers and companies. Through these and other activities the JIC helps to improve the competitiveness of South Moravia, making it one of the most innovative regions in Europe.