Despite the country’s recent fall in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness report, Czech technology start-ups seem to dominate in the Central European region. At least according to the latest ranking published by the accountancy firm Deloitte on Thursday, which placed 19 Czech businesses among its list of the top 50 home-grown technology companies in Central Europe.
Pavel Podruh, founder of the Czech start-up Self-Sufficient Houses, has become the first Czech ever to receive the prestigious Outstanding Young Person Award presented by the Japanese branch of the organisation Junior Chamber International. The Czech innovator was awarded for promoting the idea of ecologically friendly housing and for innovations in the field. I asked him to present his winning project in more detail:
Today Anna Thu Nguyenová is based in California, where she works with technology start-ups. But the young Czech-Vietnamese woman is familiar to many here in her native country thanks to roles on TV series, including a soap opera in which she appeared in over 100 episodes. Indeed, when we spoke recently she was taking a break from her business career to appear in a new Czech Television series. Some viewers will know her by her former name, Anh Thu Nguyen Thi, and she explained the change.
The Prague-based property technology company Spaceti took top honours this year at MIPIM, the world’s biggest real estate industry fair, held in the glitzy French resort town of Cannes. Co-founder Aakas Ravi spoke to Radio Prague about the start-up’s evolution from focusing on safety to its pioneering work making “smart buildings” even smarter.
Scientists from the Technical University in Brno have responded to an appeal to help albinos in Ghana, creating an affordable, high-factor sun protection cream that can be produced cheaply in local conditions from easily available ingredients. Money for the start-up was raised through the biggest Czech crowdfunding site HitHit which supports young artists, scientists and designers.
A director who documented the last few years of Václav Havel’s life has
received more than twice the initial amount he sought through a Czech
crowdfunding site to begin work on editing his film.
Petr Jančárek, who worked with the late Czech president from 2009 to 2011, shot some 200 hours of material that will be edited for a feature-length documentary.
He had sought 400,000 crowns in public donations through the crowdfunding site HitHit but received more than 1 million crowns in the first 10 days. Jančárek will continue trying to raise money through crowdfunding sites Kickstarter and Indiegogo, his representative told ČTK.
Entitled “This is Havel, Can You Hear Me?”, the documentary is set to premiere in November 2019, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and the fall of Communism in Europe.
Jančárek is hoping to get the rights for songs by some of Havel’s favourite musicians, including the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed and David Bowie, for a symbolic price.
Daniela Mauleon Davidova is one of the many Czech entrepreneurs who have decided to set up a business far from home. Her start-up, making fair trade jams in Tanzania, is not merely a business venture; it aims to improve the life of the local community by giving people a job and skills that they can make good use of in the future. Her project has received support from the Czech Development Agency. I met up with Daniela shortly before her departure for Zanzibar and began by asking why she chose for make fair trade jams.
Opravárna is a new Czech app, which matches handymen to repair requests sent from across the country. The app has been quick to catch on and currently has nearly a thousand handymen registered. Yet Opravárna is not just a savvy business idea, but one of the ways in which the Czech Republic can contribute to the EU’s plan for achieving a more circular economy.
Englishman Neil Smith is behind the rebirth of a distinctive and iconic Czech scooter from the 1950s and 1960s – the Čezeta. It’s distinctive shape and nose resulted in it being nicknamed ‘the pig’ but it was a major success with tens of thousands sold. The new version is electric and the project has just benefitted from the biggest Czech crowdfunding ever with capital raised for marketing and further production in just 10 days. Driving force and project owner, Mr Smith, first of all described how it was love at first sight when he spotted the first