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Jan, why do you organize Start-up Europe Week?
The mission of DEX Innovation Centre is to improve society through the research and innovation. So start-ups are key players for us. We need them to fulfill our mission and improve the region. I work as a mentor with start-ups internationally, so I would like to share experience and knowledge.
What is your priority?
I mentor start-ups during the international Boot Camps. I would like to transfer experience and contacts from abroad to Liberec. During Boot Camps, we give to start-ups the feedback, we link them with investors and raise their funds. Dex Innovation Centre works with almost hundred start-ups now, but with no start-ups in our region. We want to change it and use our knowledge in our region too.
How does Start-up Europe Week look like?
It is an opportunity to meet with appealing people from various business fields. But this year it will be particularly special. We prepared 3-days-long Boot Camp for regional start-ups as tasting of our accelerator program that will run in spring 2018. We will bring mentors and investors to Liberec. We prepared one-to-one sessions, workshops and pitching preparation. The start-ups will learn each other, share experience and will be bursting with new ideas. We want it to be challenging and to learn them to think big. In my experience, it is usually not in their blood. Our goal is to boost their business.
Do you plan any session for the public in Start-up Europe Week 2018?
Definitely, last day of the Boot Camp, 7th March will be a Demo Day. If you want to see start-ups pitching, it is the first occasion in Liberec. Start-ups will present their impactful project stories, goods and services.
Why do you do all these activities just in Liberec?
It is a town I chose to live in. I see big potential here. The region needs to be attractive for young, innovative and creative people, to be considered as the best place where to stay. It needs them to run their entrepreneurship or to set-up the family. We have a great location. We are just 50 minutes from Prague and couple of minutes from other big markets - Germany and Poland. We have great nature, a source of talents and the Technical University. But we are a "sleeping" city. We don't encourage enough the international community to come and stay here. I believe Liberec is the region with promising future as a centre of technology, not only a city of automotive workers.
Thanks for answers and we look forward to the SEW 2018.