I attended the Startup Summit conference yesterday in Prague. This was the first event bringing together almost all startup enthusiasts from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Everybody was there. Let me share with you some of the highlights.
I go to conferences because I like networking. People are coming relaxed and they are happy to talk to each other. The Startup Summit was no exception. I enjoyed meeting friends and it was not just me, nobody wanted to stop chatting, drinking coffee and return for presentations.
Because of networking I have missed the opening keynotes, but I came on time for the two Ondrej's Bartos (Credo Ventures) and Raska (Miton) conversation moderated by Zdenek Cedra. The discussion or dispute was about creating global or local startups. Both made strong statements, such as “if you did not sell anythig in the age of 15 do not create startup, work for McKinsey”. Raska is successfully running local companies, but I am more on the Bartos’s side. He defines a startup as a global company, scalable and capable of growing. On the other hand there are many businesses, which are by nature local and there is nothing wrong about them. Both agreed that the local market is in many ways different then global market. During the discussion they have asked the audience an interesting question: How long will the Czech market exist? The major global labels are penetrating, creating local versions of the global products. Good question but we still like portals such as seznam.cz …
Rastislav Turek, (synopsi.tv) and Jakub Mach (zoomsphere.com) were the next discussing about the local versus global. Jakub was the most controversial speaker of the day with a very unique insight. He was criticizing developers for shooting for trendy apps and surfing on waves of currently cool trends. His advice: ask the countryman to discover real problems. He also questioned the number of unique users as the only criteria of success. He also criticized the local mentors for seeking too much social credit. He also criticized them for trying to advice but having nothing new to contribute, their last Internet victory is ten years old. Yes, he was negative and controversial, but in some sense he raised good points.
Game developers have shown a strong presence. Milos Enderle was representing a very successful company Geewa. His thoughts were interesting for me, since I have no idea about games. His company creates so called casual games, easy to enter, hard to master and difficult to stay on top. Games last between 5 to 20 min. The company has 28 people and subsidiary in Berlin. Geewa is very player focused. The most interesting statement: we have shortened the update cycle to one day. It takes MS one year, Google one month, but we update or improve our products everyday.
Jakub Dvorsky is another star on the gaming sky. He is an artist developing aesthetic creations of new worlds. His games are graphically very unique. He enjoyes his job, he has no special market strategy, he is just developing what he and his friends like. So far it works for his company Amanita Design very well. They are very successful and have lot of fans, Check them up!
In the afternoon before the end of the conference we have seen some of the best startups followed by presentations of incubators and events helping to the startup folks. I must not forget, I have pitched the eClub and I have also been on the stage for the startup and university block discussion, but I’ll try to report about this other time. Check the Startup Summit pages for more info.
The startup movement is getting stronger and more and more new companies are emerging in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Central Europe. We need more of these events to create new connections and help each other. Great event, I'll join next year again.