Saturday, May 12, 2012

eClub Demo Day

nine new teams have presented their business projects in eClub last Wednesday. The jury is selecting the top three projects. The winning teams will receive a scholarship and a mentor to jump start their business during this summer.

I have reported about the teams in one of the previous blogs. In addition we have welcomed also Babywebik team. This team has entered the competition in the last minute. They are together already for quite some time and based on the presentation they are getting close to start real business. I will not go to details about the projects and presentations in this blog, because jury is still working ...

Generally speaking the presentations got better. All the teams were much more focused. They had better explained the business ideas. The organization improved, we became also more efficient, everybody sticked to the time limit. The jury was giving great questions and comments. Overall the atmosphere was cheerful and productive. Lot of people interested in presentations joined us and they were discussing long after the end of the Demo Day.

We have started in 2011, it is only a short time. But I'd like to review how are we doing in the eClub? All together we have seen thirty teams and projects. We have prepared around forty presentations delivered by the top entrepreneurs in the country. We have started to stream to nine universities in the Czech Republic this summer. We have almost eighty recorded sessions in the video archive. We have attracted numerous students to the startup movement. Around 250 people were watching Karel Janecek, the most visited presentation. We have healthy number of visitors on our eClub portal and it si constantly growing. In cooperation with the Czech MediaLab Foundation we have provided financial support to wining teams in a total of almost one million Czech crowns. We work with several donors and I hope, the number will grow. I believe this is only the beginning. Tell your friends to join us too and enjoy the great spirit!

And how about the alumni? The first winner EasyWall did not survive too long but the members of the team created a new company MetaTV. After returning from Silicon Valley they have stepped on gas pedal and they really do good job not only recording the eClub meetings but helping other groups too. They are step by step building their startup. The next round winner Avocado is still pivoting the original idea in slightly different direction. The team is really dedicated to make things happened and I am sure, we still will see some good outcomes. City adventures is another team still hard working on their idea for taking tourists through cities and entertain them with short movies about the points of interest. I have heard a rumors: investors are interested in acquiring the them. Another interesting startup twist: the MallMania team. They have developed the original MallMania application but still trying to make it simpler before they get to the market. Alas, in the mean time they have derived from the MallMania a new mobile service for the portal. This app is in pilot testing getting nice attention. I must not forget the InstantStorm duo, they have launched new free version of their product and they work hard with their mentors to offer payed version. They are great team counting the number of downloads in millions. Yes, we still have not generated a prosperous company, but we have set a trend and given the short track record I am sure we will soon see some of our alumni to perform well, creating new companies and new jobs.

The interest in startups movement is grooving in the Czech Republic and there are other signs about eClub securing its place in the newly forming startups landscape. First of all the media are interested to talk about us. Yes, startups are getting in and we have to take advantage of it. Try to search on google for CVUT eClub.

We have managed to attract an interesting bunch of experts to our jury and this is another proof of doing well. It became already a tradition Ondrej Bartos (Credo Ventures) is the chairman of the jury again. I am glad we were able to get to the jury some of the most startup influential people. Actually we were lucky Hubert Palan (Gooddata) and Jakub Nesetril ( were in Prague and generous enough to help us. We also attracted the banking startup gurus Ladislav Dvorak (Sporitelna) and Petr Jaros (CSOB) who are both visionaries focusing on future solutions including startups. Pavel Zima (GM and Stepan Burda (CTO were representing the major Czech portals. We were also very happy to bring to the jury Radek Sazama (GM Fujitsu GM) and Zdenek Paskevic ( representing the large global companies. Karel Obluk and Petr Ocasek ( represented the startup enthusiasts and business developers helping generously to all teams. Dusan Senkypl ( represented the Internet business segment. Nice team! Some of the jury members are helping us with funding and I am hoping other will chip in with their contributions too.

We are all waiting for the results. If you are interested join us on Wednesday May 23, we will announce the winners. Soon we will put the final presentation videos on the eClub pages, give it a try.

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