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Startup overview in Slovakia

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About Slovakia

Slovakia offers great advantages to foreign investors: strategic location between East and West with great export potential, the common European currency Euro and eight lowest debt of GDP in the EU29. In 2010 Slovak economy recorded a 4% GDP growth, one of the highest in EU and continues to grow throughout 2017. The country enjoys positive ratings from international rating companies and gained the best position among the CEE countries in World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2008 – 2013.

Top 10 Reasons to invest in Slovakia

—  Safe investment environment: political and economic stability

—  Central European hub & favorable geographic location with great export potential

—  Fastest growing Eurozone member within the last 10 years (CAGR)

—  Slovakia 10 Year CEE Leadership in Doing Business 2004 – 2013 (World Bank)

—  CEE Leader in Physical Property Rights Security (PRA)

—  CEE leader in labor productivity and in TOP 10 hard working countries (OECD)

—  High adaptability of labor force to different culture management styles

—  Nr. 9 worldwide in adapting to new technologies & high innovation potential

—  Official currency EURO as one of a few countries in CEE

—  Large selection of industrial land & offices

—  Steadily growing infrastructure network

—  Attractive investment incentives

Startup Environment Slovakia

—  Number of quality startups 87

—  Total funding last 12 months $48,042,274

Major startup events in Slovakia

—  StartUp Awards is the biggest startup event in Slovakia. Startups compete in four categories which are art & design, digital, science and society. Not only the idea is important but also the presenting pitch which gives you only 4 minutes to persuade the jury about the most innovative and overall best startup.

—  Pioneers Bratislava is the smaller brother of the famous Pioneers Festival Vienna. In the Bratislava edition 8 startups are given the opportunity to present their ideas in front of Slovakian and foreign investors in exchange of great contacts and capital.

—  Startup Weekend Bratislava is a 54-hour long marathon which aims to transform your business ideas into ambitious startups with help from successful entrepreneurs. We are part of the largest world-wide community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1000 past events in more than 500 cities around the world. The idea alone has no value. The team is the most important part. That’s why we gather developers, designers, marketers and business people to drive innovation in Slovakia.

—  Smart Point is a network of institutions supporting innovative entrepreneurship in the Bratislava region. Currently operating three SMART points, which cooperate with each other and undertake joint activities – Connect coworking center, Faculty of Commerce, University of Economics in Bratislava and Bratislava Municipality. They organize workshops, mentoring evenings and last year also a whole day event – Smart Campus – which is the grand finale of the nominees of each country.

—  StartUs Connect: Bratislava is a part of #StartUsConnect mentoring & networkig event series co-organized by StartUs and RubixLab with the aim to connect the Bratislava community with neigbouring communities like Vienna and Budapest. The next event will take place on 19th of June in RubixLab.

Co-working Spaces In Bratislava

—  RubixLab– Tech startup incubator based in Central Europe with global ambitions. Up to 18 months they provide: seed funding up to €150.000, office space, world class mentors, and business support.

—  Impact HUB Bratislava  – Is an international platform (formerly known as The Hub) supporting innovative ideas, honest solutions and quality education. They’ll help you start up your idea and start a business in various sectors. They will help startups and established projects with the expansion into foreign markets, thanks to their active network worldwide and non-profit organizations to sustainably manage and develop their activities.

—  The SPOT – The Spot is an initiative of the zealots for startups in Slovakia. They have created a space in which they can meet all creative and innovative people with entrepreneurial spirit. They can also work together to help each other and take it, helping their business to constantly move forward.

—  BrainHouse – is a group of young hard-working people. They offer a pleasant environment, experience and support, help with the idea, motivation and also a lot of fun. In exchange they require you to work really hard on your dream (really work, not just want it), you have to be an aspiring genius and also an eternally dissatisfied optimist.

—  Connect Coworking – Creative space with industrial style where ideas get a completely different dimension. Space for your work, meeting with clients or chill out zone. You’ll find it all there. Motivational lectures, practical workshops, inspiring meetings. Easy access to the right information, which is essential for success. Become a member and use the connect service for your daily work. Printer, meeting rooms or bar are available for you every day.

—  HUB Bratislava – HUB Bratislava’s aim is to be a place where your business is doing well and will create the conditions for business growth. They provide background and support you no matter the size of your ambition. Their portfolio of clients is ranging from new market entrants, startup projects, individual entrepreneurs, short-term projects, business travelers, language schools, small and medium-sized companies to those hustling representative rooms for negotiations.

—  Clusterhaus – Is the startup enrichment center and the largest technology hub in Slovakia. Clusterhaus is active in Bratislava, but also in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Hungary. It absorbs 122 startups on 10,6k square meters. As a benefit you have parking space for cars and bikes, shower, football, a lake and 2 pools nearby, library, meeting rooms, lounge room, kitchen, power coffee and international companies as well.

Financing Opportunities in Bratislava

Incubators:

  • RubixLab offers seed founding up to 150.000 EUR, innovative working space in an English working environment, talent recruitment and supproting services (HR, Legal, and BD), access to advisors as well as to VCs for further potential founding.  RubixLab vision is to become the most sought after business incubator in Central & Eastern Europe until 2019. Thanks to the strategic location that Bratislava has we want to bridge eastern opportunities with the western startup ecosystem and bring them into the international market.
  • INQB (University Technological Incubator) – the workplace of the Slovakian Technical University in Bratislava, which helps emerging entrepreneurs in the early stages of company development. It focuses on the promotion of technical / technology-oriented innovative ideas. Its aim is to tie science, research and innovation practice. You can get discounted rental of office space and a number of additional services, such as various programs, events, consulting services and so on.

Accelerators:

  • Booster by The Spot has celebrated its first year of a unique project. 6 business ideas have undergone a 4-month acceleration program and presented themselves in front of various investors on a very special day. These startups now have all the prerequisites to successfully enter the market.
  • Flemio – Flemio is a startup & business accelerator focused mainly on IT startup ideas. Flemio can deliver high-end outcomes, its team and partners have many years’ of experience in international corporate business.
  • CEED Tech is a consortium of five startup accelerators, operating in Central and Eastern Europe. Since 2011, they have launched 94 technology companies, and helped to raise over 10mln Euro in seed and venture capital.
  • LAUNCHER is a startup studio focused on seed and early stage investments and startups in Central Europe. They build startups and turn them into real companies. They also invest in fast growing companies with international ambitions, skilled people and a scalable & sustainable business concept. To experienced people who have already proven some degree of competence and skills they offer an opportunity to run an independent project or join an existing one.

Grants & Subventions:

  • Startups will soon get a boost from state – the startup initiative from Slovak Governent is an awesome thing and happened quite recently. This article explains it all but unfortunately it is only in Slovak only, but here you can find the link to a shorter article, which is in English.

Crowd Investing Platforms:

  • In Slovakia we still do not have any crowfunding platform which would specialize only in this market. Slovaks mainly use  the Czech platform Startovac or worldwide known platforms,  such as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.

Angel Investors:

  • 42angels is a platform, which gathers experienced Czech and Slovak entrepreneurs with a passion for start-ups, providing angel/seed stage financing with added value. The page will show you Slovak angel investors like Anton Zajac or Michal Truban.
  • You should for sure check out the Slovakian business angel network, which will also give you an idea which events you can join to meet investors.
  • Kenneth Ryan is a managing partner of KPMG in Slovakia and he lifted KPMG up to help local entrepreneurs. Kenneth also writes a lot on mentorships and created a startup Studio, which “in itself is an internal innovation within KPMG in Slovakia. We embraced the idea of a long term investment into startup founders. We refined our product offerings for the needs of startups and aligned our fee structure to startups’ commercial success. Each startup’s needs are unique so we aim at making the support we provide completely tailor-made.”

Venture Capital Investors:

  • Neulogy Ventures is the first Slovakia-based management company to run fully regulated seed and venture capital funds structured along the highest industry standards. Neulogy Ventures build on their thorough knowledge of the local tech scene, deep and wide network of mentors and advisors from Vienna to Silicon Valley, and years of realizing equity investment transactions as both investors and entrepreneurs.
  • Speed Invest not only invests capital in world-class talent, but also provides the entrepreneurial know-how, and operational experience that is rare outside of a place like Silicon Valley, but is so essential to building great companies.
  • Credo Ventures invests in companies that have high-growth potential and international ambitions. They are entrepreneurs at heart, and have experienced both the rewards and shortcomings associated with entrepreneurship. Their experiences provide a foundation for entrepreneurs that could be used to benefit by partnering with Credo Ventures.
  • Limerock Advisory is a corporate finance and financial advisory services firm. Five partners of the firm provide more than 50 years of combined track record in the areas of business consulting, corporate and investment banking, M&A and private equity. Their goal is to facilitate capital flows for clients and to provide specialised financial expertise related to their business and corporate finance transactions. Limerock Fund Manager focuses on attractive small and medium enterprises and provides growth and expansion capital with no buyout element. They seek companies that want to develop further their successful businesses but we also target new projects in their start-up phase.
  • ADV Europe is in the portfolio of JK Europe investment group. JK Europe through its companies invest in projects in various innovative and high growth potential areas.
  • Crowdberry is an innovative way of direct investment of private capital. Crowdberry represents equity-based crowd funding platform portal, whose essential nature is to link groups of qualified investors, namely known and organized in the investor club, with dynamic business ideas. The purpose of the capital increase pre-selected companies exchanged for ownership. They say: “we connect capital with ideas. It is private banking in the world of startups.”
  • Fund of Innovation and Technology – their mission is to provide a risk capital and support entrepreneurial initiative and thus develop entrepreneurship, employment and the economy towards innovative economy. It was created in response to arising demand for risk capital to support entrepreneurs with ideas and is the result of collaboration Slovak Business Agency (SBA) with investors.
  • G4 Investment club is a private club of individuals – investors looking for space for further investments. Investment club realizes its investments primarily through entering into equity, mezzanine finance, and project finance loans. Indicative amount allocated to investments for 2013 is 13mln €, with individual investment on the order of 100.000 Euros to 2mln Euros.

 

Profiles of selected Slovak startups

Staffino

Staffino is an online tool that allows businesses and managers to collect, analyze and respond to customer feedback on specific staff members. The Staffino team is led by Tomas Rosputinsky, an entrepreneur and founder of several businesses, including a crossline advertising Agency This is Locco. Staffino is the 2014 winner of StartupAwards.SK in the Digital category.

Aeromobil

AeroMobil is an exceptional vehicle. It‘s a real flying car, with all that a car and an aeroplane have to offer. Because of its true flexibility, you have a choice: road or air. The choice is ultimately up to you, but, whether you choose to be aerial or earthbound, AeroMobil will always turn heads.

Vectary

Create 3D models right in your browser and have everything saved in the cloud. Accessible from anywhere. Switch between your low-poly model and a smooth-surface model while editing your object. 3D modeling made easy and fun. Export your models to standard 3D files, print them or continue your work in a compatible software.

UAVONIC

UAVONIC ranks among the most competitive industrial UAV service providers in Europe. Our drones are equipped with the most technologically advanced sensors available in order to gather data of the highest quality. We then process this information to deliver complete, customized solutions to our clients from different industrial sectors.

Membery

Membery is a complex software solution for various types of organisations supporting the management, processes and communication with members. Core functionalites Membership Management Extensive Evidence Processes & Workflows Payments, Fees & Finance Events & Calendar Mass & Target Messaging Website with Custom Design Data Storage (photos, videos, docs) & Sharing Advance Permissions Management & Security.

Voltia

Voltia aims to accelerate the transition towards clean and sustainable urban logistics by making it easier than ever before for transportation companies to switch to electric. Voltia brings an innovative Electric-Vehicle-as-a-Service approach to professional transportation, involving zero emission light commercial vehicles, charging infrastructure, electric energy, fleet management IT system and advanced customer support as complete service with mobility.

CropTech

CropTech pioneers home food-growing using hydroponic technology, a method of growing plants by using mineral nutrient water solutions without any soil. The company is developing a fully autonomous, highly scalable and cloud-based hydroponics system for homes and small to medium sized enterprise growers. The stellar team led by Martin Pala raised EUR 250,000 from Neulogy Ventures.

SEAK Energetics

SEAK is a provider of intelligent LED lighting solutions using unique technology of lighting control based on powerline communication. Being able to save up to 40% of energy, this solution is convenient for large industrial and commercial sites, currently serving clients such as TESCO, Volkswagen,  RTR ENERGÍA and Venture Lighting.

Greenway

GreenWay operates the most comprehensive network of electric vehicle charging stations in Slovakia. Our network enables users to enjoy the use of their electric vehicles comfortably throughout Slovakia and abroad. GreenWay fast charging stands are conveniently located near the motorway and highway exits and roads in Slovakia.

GA Drilling

GA Drilling is a high-tech company developing and commercializing a groundbreaking technology platform PLASMABIT. Our technology enables massive time and cost savings compared to relevant existing drilling technologies and opens up vast new possibilities in oil & gas, geothermal energy, mining and tunneling.

Ecocapsule

Ecocapsule is a self-sustainable smart house powered solely bysolar and wind energy. It allows you to live off-the-grid, with the luxury of a hotel room. Ecocapsule is your design way to independent housing. It can serve as a cottage, pop-up hotel or even as a charging station for electric cars.

Mentegram

Mentegram is a professional platform that allows therapists to collect daily mood and behaviour data on their clients, and use this information to deliver more effective treatment. The company was founded by Igor Holas, PhD candidate in psychology at the University of Texas and Milan Steskal, serial entrepreneur with vast experience in digital media.

MultiplexDX

MultiplexDX is a biotech diagnostics company developing accurate, specific, quantifiable and affordable diagnostic tests, which aim to provide effective and successful treatment of cancer. MultiplexDX is at the forefront of R&D in this area, developing a new visualization technology combining approaches from both molecular biology and histopathological methods.

Diagnose.me

Diagnose.me is a platform for medical diagnosis connecting patients with elite medical specialists from around the world. The platform works as a marketplace for second medical opinion where patients can choose from any number of top medical specialists based on their expertise, experience, report delivery time and price. Global telemedicine market represents a large opportunity.

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