Compared to previous years, startups applying to the Brno accelerator are older, have more advanced projects and want trade all over Europe whilst still operating out of Brno. This summarizes the applications to join JIC STARCUBE, which this year has received record interest. Eager to come to the South-Moravian metropolis are 169 teams from 48 countries. In contrast to last year’s 88 projects, this figure has almost doubled.
Three quarters of applications this year have come from abroad. Just like last year, every continent (except Antarctica) is represented. Ten of these projects are headed by women; in total, 30 or so women have applied. Applicant age range is between twenty and sixty, with the number of student applications on the wane.
Most popular are solutions tackling the topic Smart City/Home/Office, with a third of all teams applying under this category. “Smart City/Home/Office brings together abstract technology with the real-life needs of people, employees and city-dwellers. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of wrap-around projects that resolve real world problems. Sure, one smart tram stop is nice demonstration of the technologies involved, but a complete transport system that relies on smart stops to provide passenger comfort is the real development that people want to see. This is the area where I think startups have the biggest opportunity,” argues Jan Sekerka from Microsoft, responsible for supporting startups within the company.
After the home nation, India, the USA and Germany are respectively the countries most strongly represented. Applications from Africa and South America have appeared much more frequently this year. JIC STARCUBE Manager Hana Šudáková explains the interest shown by teams from all corners of the world as follows, “teams from outside Europe are planning on using Brno as a gateway to the EU. They have also cottoned on to the fact that Brno occupies such a strategic location and has a high concentration of technology oriented firms with whom they can work, as well as students who represent future employees. For geographically closer firms, co-operating with our technology partners is more lucrative.”
In the upcoming days JIC will be working with partners to choose thirty of the most promising applicants and invite them to the selection workshop. This get-together will help sound out the teams’ ideas and reveal the level of resolve in following them through. Together with its technology partners, JIC will then select and invite the final ten to bootcamp, which kicks off the whole accelerator trimester on 12 September. The 2016 programme culminates 7 December with the JIC STARCUBE Show, when the teams will present themselves to the general public.
This year’s topics comprise four technology and five application areas, namely: Augmented and Virtual Reality, Big Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, Sensors, Industry 4.0, Retail 2.0, Paperless Office, Smart City/Home/Office and Secure Home/Family. The accelerator’s principal technology partners are AVG, Honeywell, Konica Minolta, Microsoft and Y Soft, who will be offering teams know-how and global experience in their respective fields.
You can find out more information about the accelerator and how it operates on its website.
Contact for media: Martina Pouchlá, 602 476 863, firstname.lastname@example.org
JIC STARCUBE accelerator www.jic.cz/en/starcube
JIC STARCUBE is the longest running Czech accelerator. Since 2010 more than 72 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 start-ups Kiwi (formerly Skypicker).
JIC (South Moravian Innovation Centre) www.jic.cz
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 13 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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