The 2015 edition of the pan-European startup contest Idea Challenge sees an increase in variety and internationality. The series of events re…
Wayra's motto. Photo credit: Heisenberg Media, http://www.flickr.com/photos/heisenbergmedia/8364422794/
Wayra, an ICT accelerator supporting startups in Europe and Latin America, has announced its first winners out of its recently launched Czech Republic accelerator last week. WayraWeek Prague started with 21 projects and ended with ten chosen to receive an investment of approximately 50.000 euros and the opportunity to utilise Wayra Academy’s work space in Prague.
Wayra, owned by the Spanish Telefónica, announced plans to launch in the Czech Republic in December 2012; its fifth European country and 12th overall. In January, inventures.eu spoke with the Wayra team prior to their Prague opening. The Czech location was chosen to be a gateway for Wayra to CEE startups and the teams that will participate in their first academy proudly represent the Slovak and Czech Republics. Interestingly, nine out of the ten startups selected are from Slovakia.
Here’s a brief rundown of the chosen ones:
Big Launcher: The Czech startup has developed a fast and simple Android interface for the visually impaired, seniors or anyone who is overwhelmed with icons.
DataMolino: The Slovak venture aims to bridge the world of electronic and paper invoices by embedding QR codes on invoices. They’ve seen some prior success, having won the Slovak Start-up Development Program and having their product put into use by the Slovak Banking Association.
Excalibur: Hacked email accounts got you down? Excalibur to the rescue. The Slovak startup and winner of last year’s Startupawards.sk plan to replace user names and passwords with technology that allows you to use your mobile phone as a secure login ID.
Linxy: With a motto of ‘Read smart,’ Slovak Linxy’s app for iOS allows you to point your iPhone at any text and instantly get more information on the word you are focused on from Wikipedia and Wiktionary.
Mapilary: Their website isn’t ready yet, but the Slovak startup plans to assist people who are looking to connect by suggesting meeting places.
Mapz: Another tool to help the visually impaired; the Slovak startup has created three tools for the blind utilising mobile devices. A Guide Belt, Remote Assistant and Blind View aim to improve life for those without sight. They are also winners of the 2012 Slovakia Startup Awards.
Networker: Previously featured as a Startup Pick on inventures.eu, the Slovak team has developed a networking tool for both event planners and attendees that promises to help attendees with their networking skills including finding relevant people and initiating that first contact. For event organisers it should assist with creating networking opportunities and promoting their brand.
Onxpo: Specifically aimed at trade show organisers, a further Slovak startup, Onxpo is an all-in-one exhibition platform that can coordinate a trade show’s registration, exhibitor directory, event analytics, social media and more.
TrashOut: A social venture from Slovakia with roots in Finland, TrashOut aims to eradicate illegal dumps worldwide by providing an app that allows users to report a dump, which will then appear on the company’s TrashMap. TrashOut also pledges to support local governments and NGOs in their efforts to clean up cities.
Woppa: Another Slovak team, the startup aims to be a one-stop resource for university students, helping them finding information on internships, language courses, study programmes and volunteer opportunities.
With such a range of companies it’ll be interesting to watch how they develop over the coming months with the extra boost of funds and assistance. In order to get to where they are, they spent three days pitching and training; experience that ended with them being evaluated by a panel of seven experts, ranging from business folk with IT/Telecom experience to entrepreneurs to investors. Good luck to all of the selected startups!
Read more about the Slovak and Czech startup scenes:
What would Karl Marx say about people working for startups? All these mostly young and smart guys and girls happy to devote themselves wholly to a working life that fulfils them and motivates them to give all they can - out of their own free will and often for a modest wage?
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