Meet your Slovak startup

Several events take place during the year where Slovaks present their ideas, projects and startups.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Though not well-known for research and science, Slovakia is full of good ideas waiting for the right investor.

More than a few innovative ideas born in Slovakia have found fans around the world, such as the cycling charger Ridelo that charges a smartphone while riding a bike, the ultimate Q&A and polling platform for company meetings and events, Sli.do, or the oft-mentioned AeroMobil, the flying car.

Several events presenting the best Slovak ideas and startups take place throughout the year, including Startup Weekend in the northern-Slovak town of Žilina. The event focuses on the discovery stage, running a business, the startup ecosystem and building a community.

“The basic idea is to rework an idea to obtain a minimal functional product and gain customers or at least their interest,” said Daniel Harcek, one of the organisers of Startup Weekend Žilina. Early-stage startups benefit from mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs and the intense focus on a project.

Final project presentations on Sunday afternoon are key for investors, providing them with information about teams, their projects, the phase of work and their business plan.

“We try to co-build and support the startup community in the region and bring in interesting people and opportunities,” Harcek added.

He is convinced that Slovak startups can stand up to international competition and Startup Weekend Žilina is one way to build self-confidence in future businessmen. The projects presented at the event are mostly of a technical character, though nontechnical ideas can also be found. The majority of participants are young people between 20 and 30 years; Slovak and Czech investors usually attend the event.

Profit on both sides

Another significant event in this field is the FutureNow conference coupled with the Startup Awards, meant to support and motivate the business environment in central Europe.

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