114 Start-Ups Apply For CzechInvest’s First Technology Incubation Challenge
More than a third of the applications received by the CzechInvest Agency are in the field of artificial intelligence. Photo Credit: Freepik
Czech Republic, 31 Aug (BD) – A few days ago, the CzechInvest Agency closed the application process for the first Technology Incubation Challenge. Start-ups focused on mobility, creative industries, ecology and circular economy, or artificial intelligence were eligible to apply. A total of 114 applicants applied, of which almost half came from the capital city of Prague.
The applications are currently being evaluated. This consists of the Commission checking that the project meets the requirements of the competition and is innovative, and a formal check focusing on possible risks for applicants who have reached the last stage of the process. If the company passes this selection, the ‘incubation’ or actual implementation can begin.
“This will be followed by work with the startups, which mainly consists of intensive mentoring and facilitating appropriate contacts, at the end of which we expect a successfully launched startup with a finished product,” said Petr Očko, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade and head of the CzechInvest agency. “Each start-up will be assigned a so-called incubation package reflecting its specific needs. Our main goal is to provide focused support in strategic innovation areas where the Czech Republic has the greatest potential for growth or strategic interest.”
The technology incubation project represents an important investment in the future of Czech industry. Over the next five years, it plans to support up to 250 innovative start-ups in seven key sectors which are promising for the further economic development and competitiveness of the Czech Republic, with around CZK 850 million of funding. CzechInvest argues that high added value no longer lies in industries as such, but in technologies applicable to all sectors.
The first call for technology incubation projects was open from 1 July to 17 August 2022. Of the 114 projects submitted, 92% are less than three years old. More than a third of the applications are in the field of artificial intelligence, with creative industries following closely behind. Most of the applications come from Prague and the South Moravia region. CzechInvest plans to launch two or three calls per year for the technology incubation project.
“We have some very interesting data for the first call,” said Tereza Kubicová, CzechInvest’s Vice President for Technology Development. “Although we have not yet launched the main part of the marketing activities, more than 320 applicants have already expressed interest in the project, of which 114 have applied. With the others, we are continuing the so-called pre-incubation process, i.e. working with the company before submitting the actual application. We believe that pre-incubation and the possibility to be in contact with interested parties before applying is a great advantage of technology incubation.”
More information about the scheme is here.