Intro to organising team of Startup Weekend Prague

Let’s take a look at people who are responsible for bringing this event to Prague after 5 years. At the end, you can expect one pic from their meetings.

For each organizer we have the same set of questions:

  1. Introduce yourself in one sentence.
  2. Why did you decide to organize the event?
  3. Why should attendees spend their weekend at SWPrague and not elsewhere?

Martin Andrle

  1. I love to create platforms for people, which defines me as a designer.
  2. I experienced the event from almost any point of view. After the success of this event in Oulu, I decided to bring it back to Prague. 
  3. It is a great opportunity to learn lean methods how to validate your initial business idea, meet like-minded people and create life-term relationships. One day, maybe, start your own business. I personally saw a couple of very successful stories which started their journey at Startup Weekend.

Zuzana Maderová

  1. Creating and nourishing human relations to bring more empathy into this world.
  2. I like forming a space powered by the right knowledge where young people can grow personally and professionally.
  3. To not miss an event where self-driven people, innovative concepts, and experienced mentors meet as these elements are the proper conditions to turn your ideas into reality.

Lukáš Hudeček

  1. I am a founder known for giving birth to one of the oldest seed Accelerator in Europe called StartupYard and running event and workspace for entrepreneurs Node5.
  2. Weekend hackathons are one of the best possible ways to give a taste of hardship of startup life.
  3. Because there’s 98% probability that your attendance at SWPrague will positively affect your personal and professional life forever.

Jan Antonín Kolář

  1. I build projects in a pursue to find hidden value.
  2. I attended in 2012 the first StartupWeekend in Prague. This experience inspired me to start community living called Techsquat and start a project in a field of transportation. I consider StartupWeekend as a great way to build and lead stuff from others. And I like Martin Andrle.
  3. Making a right decision in life is about perspectives, StartupWeekend provides a good one.

Ricardo Andres Monagas Medina

  1. Helping tech startups to make their ideas come true.
  1. I like the idea to motivate aspiring entrepreneurs to challenge themselves and kickstart one project in 54 hours. I want to build this experience in Prague since it’s a city which has given me a lot of opportunities in these 3 past years. Furthermore, I’ve already participated in two Startup Weekends (Caracas and Berlin) and now, I want to participate in another role as an organizer.
  1. It’s the place you want to be: expand your network with like minded people, meet your next co-founders, validate your idea and enjoy a great time. Definitely a good way to spend one weekend.







Interview with Inside Salesman: Michal Vojta

The next mentor, Michal, comes from the Czech Republic, where he returned after gaining a masters in the Netherlands. He is currently working on starting his own company. In this post, Michal discusses how he became interested in entrepreneurship and the importance of sales.

Who are you? What do you do? What’s your background?

I’m an entrepreneur, a sales professional and a sports enthusiast. During my studies of economics in Prague, I started to work for 3M where I became passionate about two things – sales and innovations. This motivated me to move to the Netherlands to study Strategic Innovation Management and work in sales for a Dutch startup. This role got me excited about the tech world and is what made me decide to start my own company.

My co-founder and I saw that startups tend to struggle with sales, so we started SALESDOCk, where we outsource sales for B2B tech startups.

You have a foreign experience, particularly from the Netherlands. What are the main learning points from these experiences?

One of the main learning points I took away from my experience is to invest in sales. I have seen many startups fail because they did not invest in sales.

Most startups focus heavily on product development and marketing, but don’t want to truly invest in sales. Rather than hiring an experienced and skilled sales team, they simply find talkative people, don’t pay them a fixed salary, “give them the product” and tell them “go sell it”. This doesn’t work.

You have to be prepared to invest into sales even though it’s risky money with an uncertain ROI.

What kind of mentorship can participants expect from you at Startup Weekend Prague?

Participants will be tasked to sell their idea/product/service to someone, somehow. If not to customers, then to investors, partners or/and distributors. My role will be to help with certain decisions, like who to target and how to do it.

I have co-built more than a dozen sales processes for startups, so the likelihood that I have experience in participants’ intended markets and channels is high. These decisions are crucial, even in the idea stage of startups — the sales model can shape the product design or even the value proposition.

Why would you suggest people in Prague to join to the next Startup Weekend?

My experience with a Startup Weekend in the Netherlands was the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. I had a crappy idea, but other participants encouraged me to go up and pitch it anyway. Although it didn’t work out in the end, I learned a lot and knew entrepreneurship was a path I wanted to pursue. The sooner you start to get involved, the sooner you can begin your own journey.

Startup Weekend is a great (and inexpensive) opportunity to enter the startup world, to get inspired and finally START.

 

What advice would you give to the younger version of yourself based on your experiences?

I believe that with all things in life, the key to progress is consistency.

I still have to work on it, but the younger me, oh boy, that guy was a jumper. It’s very tempting to do whatever is shiny at the moment and believe me, you‘re going to see many interesting ideas, areas and people in this world. But if you keep jumping from one thing to another, you won’t develop a deep understanding on one topic. You will always leave when facing the first problem, without solving it. I would tell myself to quickly choose a field, habits and people and then stick with it for a while before moving on.

I like to meet new people and help, so if you, at any stage of your idea, need to discuss whether your product is viable and sellable or just network with me, shoot me an email to michal@salesdock.cz.

Good luck!

 








Interview with Entrepreneur and Technical Lead – Michal Kacerik

Another mentor is coming from the country well-known for their halušky, tatranský čaj, and beautiful mountains. At least one of these three things he fell in love with. Michal is incredibly humble and talented person. Read it!

Who are you? What do you do? What’s your background?

A passionate entrepreneur and team lead with a technical background, sense for product and marketing, also an active supporter of the Slovak startup eco-system, and to compensate all the workload he is also a mountaineering instructor, traveler and a geek full of energy.

He spent several years living in Austria, then traveled the world a bit as a digital nomad and is living now in Bratislava. Besides, he loves to write about himself in 3rd person and irony.

You currently work as a CTO at SaferPass and you co-founded BeeSafe. I bet you went through so many up and downs that armed you with awesome stories, but more importantly for our audience. “How the hack you can manage to do so many things?” Tell us your secret power 🙂

Yeah, it is a rollercoaster, I usually do not get bored that is for sure! 🙂 Mountains and sport help me a ton to keep myself from “running circles” and to recharge my batteries. I’m trying not to waste time with unimportant stuff and surrounding myself with the right people, so we can support each other.

What kind of help could get the participants from you at the Startup Weekend Prague?

After winning 2 Startup weekends and mentoring several ones, the most important thing was to focus on the right tasks, because you have only around 50 hours, but if you use them right you can achieve a lot! With the right direction, I can help you for sure, except that I’m good with validation, marketing, the technical part of the project and what to include inside the presentation.

Why would you suggest our audience in Prague to join the next Startup Weekend?

You will meet awesome people who might change the world one day, or maybe you will, who knows 🙂 The mentors will help you a lot. You will learn how to validate an idea, and based on that to move forward either with your current project or with one in the future.

What advice would you give to the younger version of yourself based on your current experiences?

That is a tough one, I’m very thankful for my life and all the chances I have taken, and one can always do better. But this is rather a philosophical discussion over a beer 🙂

Anything you want to add 🙂

You can achieve a lot, just stop talking, looking for excuses and start! 😉 Do not forget to install https://saferpass.net to protect your online accounts. And if you think I can help you somehow, just connect me. via Facebook or LinkedIn








Prizes at the Startup Weekend Prague 2017

Node5 Co-Working Space

The Startup Weekend is coming closer and we are really excited for all the knowledge and experiences you will get during the event. Also, you should be excited for the interesting prizes that you can receive. Take a look at the list below.

Everyone can be looking for the following prizes:

 

1. Central European Startup Guide: Get to know about the Startup Scene, fundraising and employee equity in the Central Europe based on the experiences of Andrej Kiska Jr. of Credo Ventures.

2. Creative Tim and ThemeIsle Web Templates: Make your landing pages or websites easily with the templates that we will provide you during the event. There is no coincidence that template you will have the chance to use is called Get Shit Done from Creative Tim and any other which would fit your idea from ThemeIsle.

3. Node5 5-Day Passes: All the participants that finish the StartupWeekend will receive a 5-day Pass to work in Node5 Co-Working Space, the only condition is that it has to be used until July 2017.

4. Discount Coupons from Martinus: It is up to you which book you want to buy, but here is a little advice from Martin Andrle – SW list.

5. Culcharge Handy USB.

 

The winners can expect following prizes:

 

1. Node5 Co-Working Space: Run your project from a great co-working space. Here are the details:

a. 2 months Flexi Resident to the first place.

b. 2 months Flexi Resident to a selected team based on the decision of the judges.

2. Consultation Hours with 2Fresh and mentors from ESA BIC Prague: Receive incredible knowledge and feedback for the progress of your startups with a team of Design Experts and mentors of the Space Program in Prague. The prize consists:

a. First Place: 6 hours of 2FRESH mentoring & 6 hours of ESA BIC mentoring.

b. Second Place: 4 hours of 2FRESH mentoring & 4 hours of ESA BIC mentoring.

c. Third Place: 2 hours of 2FRESH mentoring & 2 hours of ESA BIC mentoring.

3. Books from Martinus: Buy any books from the Martinus library. This prize will offer you 75 EUR of credit for your team.

4. Access to Zeerat Analytical Tool: Record the activity of your website’s users with the goal to understand the behavior and improve your sales. The prize has:

a. 600 EUR of credit for the platform usage in the first place.

b. 120 EUR of credit for the platform usage in the second and third place.

Let us know if you have any other prize ideas and we can try to get them for you :). We hope that you will all enjoy the benefits of being part of the Startup Weekend.

Feel free to invite your friends and start the path and make your ideas come true. See you!.

 








Interview with Startup Weekend facilitator Michaela Szilvasova

Who are you? What do you do? What’s your background?

Hey 🙂 I’m Michaela, 26; motivated, active, ambitious girl with experience in startup community building, digital marketing, project management and events organization. I studied strategic management at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Since the beginning of my studies, I volunteered on, organized and lead a number of startup and educational initiatives. I have been working in the startup environment for the last 3 years, I recently joined a small company providing machine learning and artificial intelligence software solutions.

 

Could you please let us know your experience at the Startup Weekend Events?

At this point, I’ve experienced Startup Weekend from many angles; 4 times as a volunteer, 2 times as a participant and 2 times as an organizer. My first experience was more than 4 years ago when I was volunteering at Startup Weekend Bratislava in 2012. I am really grateful that I had a chance to get to know amazing people from Startup Weekend community all around the world and learned many, many skills during this time.

To our audience in Prague, why would you suggest them to join to the next Startup Weekend?

At Startup Weekend, you are surrounded by talented and hard-working startupers; business people, designers, developers, mentors, investors, startup community builders, organizers, etc. It is the best way to meet entrepreneurial-minded folks, build new relationships and grow your network. We all know it’s not just about building companies. Startup Weekend is also about learning things that can’t be taught at school. It is the perfect opportunity to boost your skills such as lean approach, customer feedback, team-work, UX, pitch training and so on..

You have recently become an official facilitator of SW, congrats! What was the reason?

Being a facilitator is an amazing opportunity to travel and see how other startup communities in various countries are working together and what problems they are trying to solve. I am really happy when I can give a helping hand and support people in activities they love to do.

 

What advice would you give to the younger version of yourself based on your current experiences?

I think I wouldn’t give my younger self any special advice. I am happy about my past life, mistakes, and fuckups. 😀 It has been a great learning path. One thing I regret a little is that I don’t know anything about programming. I wish I could learn some basic coding when I was younger and had nothing else to think about (except school and boys) 😉

Anything you want to add (Contacts or other information)

Feel free to connect with me on my social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) or write me: michaela.szilvasova@startupweekend.org








Interview with Marketing Strategist Pavlína Louženská

In our mini-series of mentors. It is our privilege to introduce you our next mentor who is Pavlína, who actually doesn’t need any introduction. Take a look what she has revealed about herself and get inspired by her recent trip – #roadtripjelaska.

Who are you? What do you do? What’s your background?

I am a girl, who believes in unicorns. Currently, I am delivering happiness in ZOOT. Before joining the biggest Czech fashion e-tailer, I was in a digital agency, various startups and a PR agency. A long before (the Internet was created) I was teaching English. But let’s meet in person!  

Correct me if I am wrong, but you are currently on your one-month escapism trip over the Europe – #roadtripjelaska. What have been the strongest experiences so far?

Serendipity. You happen to get out of the plane in Azores, walk into the first café, meet surf dudes, who ask you if you are hungry and when you nod, they invite you into their living room upstairs for the best brunch in your life. And there you meet a famous artist, former marine and so many people who have great stories to tell. I learned that if you stop trying, amazing things will actually start happening. Check out my Instagram to get a sneak peak.  

What kind of help could get the participants from you at the Startup Weekend Prague?

Marketing, PR, Copywriting, Pitch, Business strategy, Connections, Magic.

To our audience in Prague, why would you suggest them to join to the next Startup Weekend?

Pick your favorite: It’s fun and YOLO. // You are going to meet great people, fall in love, build the next Facebook and be happy ever after. // I will bring home made cookies and we can conquer your Tinder and GitHub together.

What advice would you give to the younger version of yourself based on your current experiences?

  1. Every person you meet has something interesting to say. Kill your ego, listen and learn. That’s how you move forward and more importantly where you’re supposed to be.
  2. It’s crucial to have a plan. Because then you can create a strategy to achieve it – you suddenly understand who you need to meet, what you need to learn and where you should apply. But life will come in your way and you will for sure come up with a new plan. And that’s great. No kid has ever said they want to be a UX designer when they grow up. Because they have no clue this job even exists. There are so many things to explore and so many roles to fill. So do not get stuck, just because you planned it.
  3. Success is not the only key to one’s happiness.

Anything you want to add (Contacts or other information)

Twitter & Instagram: @pavlina_speaks (As everybody above 30 I gave up on Snapchat, but the same handle in case it comes back into fashion). Feel free to connect on Linkedin and Facebook. Or send and email: pavlina.louzenska@gmail.com Can’t wait!








Interview with multidisciplinary designer Vladimír Mokrý

It is a pleasure to introduce you one of our mentors. Vladimír Mokrý. He is an incredible designer, well, read it 🙂

Who are you? What do you do? What’s your background?

My name is Vladimír. I am a full-stack designer. I can think about your service from business and product perspective and also focus on designing interface or visual marks. I studied Visual Art at the Pedagogic Faculty in Brno so I am an art teacher. One day I will get enough courage to return to teaching.

 

You have recently finished an incredible project 366letter, what did you learn from it? What was even your motivation to draw a letter for every single day?

I was overwhelmed of my usage of social networks, Facebook particularly. So last year around Christmas I decided to delete my profile entirely. Aside from feeling empty and having FOMO for first weeks, it had some positives. People daily spend around 50 minutes on social networks so now I had plenty of free time. The drawing was a suitable idea for me, so I started and developed a habit.

 

What kind of help could get the participants from you at the Startup Weekend Prague?

From product strategy, user experience and interface to unproductive discussions about small visual details that do not matter at this stage of the product. Yes, I will be that guy to tell you to move to the next problem.

Why would you suggest our audience in Prague to join the next Startup Weekend?

You will meet awesome people with different backgrounds and views and you will learn by doing. Which is so far the best way to acquire new skills and knowledge.

What advice would you give to the younger version of yourself based on your current experiences?

Stop playing video games; there is so much stuff to learn. Seek more experienced peers. Travel more. Don’t post photos on the internet, open discussions with locals. They will give you new insights.

Anything you want to add 🙂

After finishing 366letter, I continue to draw random stuff on my instagram vmokry. It is not related to anything, so that’s why you should peek in.