“I personally started as a programmer with a vision and ended up as an entrepreneur with a business plan,” says Tomas Stanik from Remote Assistant. Historically first startups will leave Prague’s Wayra next month and this is how they see their stay in the accelerator. Eight companies, mostly from Slovakia shared with us their experience and what six months stay in the offices at Wenceslas Square in Prague gave them. They are very enthusiastic, even though Wayra CEE, being the youngest startup accelerator in Czech Republic is at the beginning.
“When we got to Wayra, we had a team of 5 people and a plan validated by a few potential customers. Now, when leaving, we have a product that is being tested by our future customers and a team of 15 people that form a real company. And we’re closing a seed round of financing that will help us to validate our business model in the global market. Wayra motivated us to take bold steps and helped us to grow faster than we would have,” says Andrej Glezl from Datamolino.
Wayra tries to teach people things more than help them directly. “Thanks to it, we’ve been able to start looking at the world around us with different eyes, entrepreneurial eyes. And this can’t be achieved by sitting at home in front of the computer,” says Jan Husak, CEO of BIG Launcher.
During this six month program, startups have been visited by many mentors. They teach young entrepreneurs, how to succeed and keep common sense. “Especially Alex Bergfeld who was a great inspiration of how to stay on top of things no matter what,” added Stanik. “We met and interact with amazing people coming to Wayra every day. Even Telefonica CZ CEO Luis Malvido became our mentor and helped us to organize our Lion Concept Show, where he personally talked to our potential customers and discussed their problems based on his personal experience,” commends Martin Smolka, from Lionexpo.
But Wayra isn’t only about hard work. Lots of events and parties take place in these modern and well designed offices. “We have enjoyed every day of our stay. And events like Halloween party were literally the icing on the cake,” explained Jan Husak. And it’s also about creative space. “Conversations we had in the kitchen (while our CTO Tomas made his microwave scrambled eggs) gave us new ideas, understanding of business world or even new technology,” laughs Smolka.
And what would the first alumni of Prague’s Wayra tell to all startups that would like to join some accelerator program? “Use your time wisely. Enjoy all new things. But remember why you joined WAYRA in the first place. The relationship with your co-founders is crucial. Never go to bed angry. And don’t forget – it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” advises Katarina Krajcovicova from WOPPA.