Czech accelerator lures startups in with ‘cheap beer, beautiful girls, clever boys’

Long-running Czech accelerator JIC STARCUBE is promising 10 startup teams from around the world the chance to hang out in “stylish” bars, enjoy “incredibly cheap” beer and meet “clever boys and beautiful girls”.

“Brno is an amazing city with stylish bars (New Yorker says here) incredibly cheap bear (half a litre for one dollar!), clever boys and beautiful girls! (sic)” Martina Pouchlá, a public relations specialist told Ventureburn in an email sent out with a press release announcing the call for its ninth cohort.

The accelerator, run by innovation agency JIC, says entrepreneurs from all over the world, who have tech projects, are invited to apply. The deadline is the end of next month (31 October).

But it won’t be all play and no work for participants when the two-month programme gets under way on 15 January.

Brno is an amazing city with stylish bars incredibly cheap beer, clever boys and beautiful girls says Czech accelerator PR agent

The accelerator’s manager Hana Šudáková says the programme will cover all the important topics on how to accelerate a business.

“We want to address all those projects that are waiting for their first paying customers. Those ideas being cosseted somewhere in the comfort of halls of residence, or kept going as an alternative to finding a job, ideas always being discussed in the pub with friends and which need to be prodded into life,” said Šudáková.

This year, for the first time, finalists have an opportunity to use the recently opened FabLab Brno for free. The lab, located two floors above the accelerator, offers several types of 3D printer, a laser engraver, CNC machine as well as mechanical tools, kits and accessories for the IoT, with which they can assemble their prototypes.

The accelerator is one of the longest running in the Czech Republic and has international mentors. Since 2010 more than 80 startups have passed through the programme.

Projects from all over the world – in hardware, cyber security and Internet of Things (IoT) – stand a chance of gaining a place. To apply teams must have at least two members.

Following the conclusion of the programme selected graduates will subsequently be able to continue on an individual six-month follow-up programme.

Brno is a hub for innovation, and a number of global companies such as Honeywell or Konica Minolta have research and development (R&D) centres based there. These (and four more) companies are partners of JIC STARCUBE.

The accelerator will hand out 100 000 Czech korunas (about $4500) to each participant to cover their stay in Brno. In addition participants will also get a budget to cover legal, marketing and finance services.

Yet the question really will be – will that be enough to cover the beer money for two months?

Featured image: Street scene from Brno Náměstí Svobody via Flickr (CC2.0 BY-SA, resized)



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