StartupYard Welcomes 2 more Czech Teams to the 2014 Accelerator

As we recently announced, 6+ teams have been invited to take part in the 2014 Accelerator at StartupYard. While this year marked a change, in that StartupYard opened its doors to teams from all over Europe, we still had an enormous amount of interest from within The Czech Republic. And not surprisingly, this is where we found some incredibly promising projects and teams. Here are 2 more of them:

How did you find out about StartpYard, and why did you decide to apply?

Pavel Nemec

Team From: Czech Republic

Project Area: News, Social Media

I’m in touch with a friend of mine who was in StartupYard last year, they created a site for babysitting – Hlidacky.cz. He told me how exciting it was being in this 3 month acceleration program. When I had this idea about our project, I knew that technical realization would be very difficult, because it requires us to collect a lot of data. When I read an article about StartupYard 2014 and its focus on big data and analytics I knew immediately that we had to take this chance and apply. 

  

Václav Formánek

Team From: Czech Republic

Project Area: Gamification/Education

As we are startup from the Czech republic, I think, we know all accelerators from here. There are not so many:) StartupYard combines three things we need very much – very good mentorship, contacts and money. Offices in Techsquare are a great bonus.

 

What attracted you to the idea of an accelerator, rather than bootstrapping or other sources of income (going directly to investors, crowd funding, etc)?

 Meeting a lot of creative and experienced people from business. Our team is open minded so we are hungry for new ideas and advice from experienced entrepreneurs. I think this experience could push us to the next level not only as a startup but also in our mindset. Being exposed to so many mentors and people from business can give you something you can’t learn at school or in a library. Also having the opportunity to meet data scientists from companies like Seznam, GoodData or IBM and talking with them about our project is just great and we are looking forward to it. 

Actually, we started our project more than two years ago, so we have already tried all of these sources. We started as a kind of crowdsourcing project with more than 100 contributors – developers, designers and authors of educational content, who invested their time to the project. Then we realized that it is very ineffective to manage so many coworkers, so some of us became founders and we have started to work as a smaller team and pay ourselves for work. We have already had appointments with potential investors, but we have had different visions, so we didn´t come to an agreement..

How is your team preparing for StartupYard?

We are preparing UX and the core of our application and of course validating the whole concept and target market. Also studying technology which could we now use thanks to StartupYard and companies supporting its program this year. From a logistical point of view, we are restricting all our other activities and responsibilities, so we would be able to make the most from these three months.

I definitely want to improve my English :).

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How did your team come together? How did you meet your cofounders?

Well it was 3 years ago, when I decided that I would spend one semester studying abroad as an Erasmus student. I sat on the bus in Prague and in that bus which was headed to France was my co-founder. It was really an accident that we met there and that we went to the same city. We became friends and we stayed in touch even after this Erasmus experience. So when I had the idea of this whole project I knew immediately that he is the right person.

 Ondřej (CTO) and me (CEO), we have been best friends for more than 13 years. We have discussed the vision of our product with hundreds of different people. Most of them liked it a lot. More than 100 people have been somehow participating in development of our project. The ones who remain, are the toughest ones.

Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years after StartupYard?

We hope that the problem which we are solving will be associated with the name of our application. We want stable user community which we are going to listen and react to their needs. We would like to spread world wide and not only to English speaking audience which is our target market now. We want our application to be available in all platforms and all smart devices which will be here in 5 years.

If I look in the list of our planned features and ideas, I think we have plans for more than 5 years from now.

We would like our platform to be the best and most popular place where people can use gamification to share their knowledge. We would like it to run as sustainable as possible, so we can move to other projects, where we will use gamification and data analysis to make the world a little better place.

 What are you looking forward to most in Prague, both in the accelerator, and in the city? What are you nervous about?

We are both from Czech Republic so our excitement is more about acceleration process itself. 🙂 We are looking for meeting interesting experienced and creative people from business. I can’t say that we are nervous, we are just excited and we are looking forward for this life experience.

 All of us have been living in Prague for a long time. We are really looking forward to meeting great mentors and other teams.

How old are the members of your team, and what are their levels of education and professional experience?

I’m 25 years old and I have masters degree in computer science at Masaryk University. My studies were more focused on the theoretical part of computer science. Now I’m studying physics as a PhD student. Even though I love theory I also had plenty of working experience during my studies. The most exciting thing for me is the logic and algorithms behind this project. The other founder is 25 years old too and he is studying at the Czech Technical University in Prague. He is passionate about programming and he’s been developing websites since high school. The area in which he specializes is UX design and delivering the content to end users.

 Vašek, CEO, 27,  I will get my Master degree in International Politics and Diplomacy (University od Economics in Prague) in few weeks, I have a Bachelor degree in International Trade.  Since 2002 I have created, developed and succesfully finished many different projects in education (www.educon.cz/) and gaming, I am author of two theatre plays, and director of the documentary “Slumdog 50 cent.  I was one of the founders of NGO “Stop tunelům”, which achieved significant success in decreasing corruption in Usti nad Labem.

Ondřej, CTO,  29,  Master degree in IT (Czech Technical University in Prague) For more than two years (2011 – 2013) he participated in developing of groundbreaking education game called “Czechoslovakia 1938 – 1989” as a backend developer. Before that, he worked in Czech consultation and technology company Trask solutions for five years, where he achieved Senior java developer position.

Petr, 35, High school (High school of Art and Graphic in Jihlava) . Petr has been working as a freelance graphic and UX designer since 2005.

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