There are only two weeks left to file an application to participate in the JIC STARCUBE. In this ninth round of the accelerator, the focus of attention will be on cyber security, the Internet of Things, and hardware-software connections. Projects that involve the setting up of an innovative technical idea are welcome to apply; the accelerator will help to verify and plan their future growth. Up to ten teams will be invited to join the select group of companies, such as Reservio, GINA Software or Kiwi.com (the fastest growing CEE startup), that have previously completed the programme.
To register, a short questionnaire must be completed; for further information go to the web pages of the accelerator. The accelerator team will create a short-list of the thirty most interesting teams, who will subsequently be interviewed over Skype or face-to-face. Team strength and the scalability of the idea will be the decisive factors in determining which projects go through to the final ten. “We do not expect to hear from companies who already have paying customers. On the contrary, we are interested in projects that are in their infancy. The two months spent in our accelerator is meant to show the team how to tweak their service or product, or efficiently apply technology,” says Hana Šudáková, JIC STARCUBE Manager, when asked to describe those projects that might make it onto the shortlist.
Up to two members of each participating team will be invited to Brno to attend two months of training, starting on 15 January, with experts, covering areas such as law, finance, and a range of business and marketing issues. The teams will have the prototyping lab at FabLab Brno at their disposal 24/7, will receive financial support to the tune of CZK 100,000 to cover the costs of their stay in the Moravian metropolis, as well as have access to other services for the development of their business. This year, ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab has joined the group of technological partners, which also includes companies such as AVAST, Honeywell, Konica Minolta, Microsoft and Y Soft. These companies provide added value through their willingness to share their technological know-how and global market experience with the promising teams.
The strength of the accelerator lies in the long-term support offered by JIC. Graduates of JIC STARCUBE can continue to work on their development through other programmes, such as JIC MASTER or JIC PLATINN, that are also run by the innovation centre. Many companies have benefited from these opportunities. For example, Giriton, a software company, took a three-year break from the accelerator and continued to cooperate with JIP mentors. Another example is that of GINA Software, who participated in and successfully completed the first round of the accelerator in 2010. The company passed through several follow-up programmes during its development, has its seat in JIC, and became the first company to receive direct investment from JIC VENTURES, the innovation centre´s investment tool.
This year, the accelerator team has decided to cooperate even closer with the promising finalists through the JIC STARCUBE Plus programme. This programme will offer the best projects the opportunity to continue working with JIC mentors for an additional six months. “For some start-ups, the first few months after leaving the accelerator are the hardest. In the programme they receive daily support, but there comes a point where they must be cut loose. Making the projects stand on their own two feet is a healthy step. Access to the consultants, albeit as part of a looser regime, helps the teams to apply the knowledge they acquired in the accelerator and to survive those critical months prior to the launch of their product onto the market,” says Petr Chládek, JIC Director.
The accelerator will be held under the auspices of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and the City of Brno.
Contact: Martina Pouchlá, 602 476 863 , firstname.lastname@example.org
JIC STARCUBE is the longest running CEE accelerator. Since 2010 more than 80 start-ups have entered it. Teams experience two 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.
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