The “Start-up Report 2017” is the first attempt to systematically examine what is regarded as an increasingly important driver in the Czech economy and business environment. The project is being led by Keiretsu Forum, the largest international network of angel investors in the world, and PerfectCrowd, a Czech-based market research consultancy. Along with partners including DLA Piper Prague, CzechInvest, the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, Komerční banka, Innogy and Grant Thornton, they will collect and analyse data relating to the Czech Republic’s start-up environment.
The goal of the project is to launch long-term research that will continuously map the development of the start-up scene in the Czech Republic for investors, entrepreneurs and the public.
Miroslav Dubovský, Country Managing Partner and Head of DLA Piper's Corporate and Commercial Practice in Prague, said: "Fully informed research like that found in ‘Start-up Report 2017’ can contribute to fostering dialogue, offering ideas to help start-ups develop and improve the general business environment, as well as help to better understand young entrepreneurs and their investors."
Better research, for example, could help bridge the existing dichotomies in the thinking of start-up owners and entrepreneurs regarding the state of the business environment in the Czech Republic.
"Start-up players are generally more optimistic and look on the bright side, believing the business environment in the Czech Republic is not so dark, and see it as innovative and inspirational. Entrepreneurs, on the contrary, perceive the environment as much more corrupt and poor on financial resources," said Martin Boček, Head of Research for PerfectCrowd.
In reality, the Czech economy has sufficient capital for start-up investment, but most of this is currently being used to fund "conservative" investment opportunities.
“Start-up investment is still considered to be rather risky, but we expect this approach to change over time,” added Miroslav Dubovsky. This view is supported by the fact that 75 percent of all today’s start-ups in the Czech Republic have only been registered since 2014, whilst only seven percent of start-ups have been up and running for more than five years.
The Czech public perceive the start-up industry as a relatively new phenomenon, with more than a quarter of respondents stating to not know the term "start-up" at all.
"The Czech start-up industry is very cautious, both on the part of investors and start-up players. Failure is regarded as something to be ashamed of rather than as a valuable learning experience. In the US an unsuccessful start-up business can still be seen, unlike in the Czech Republic, as a positive statement for a potential employer or business partner," said Petr Lemoch of Keiretsu Forum, an investor network that initiated the idea for the project.
"With the ‘Start-up Report 2017’, we have begun a project series where we want to try to compare the acquired data over time. As investors, we are interested in not only how the perception of the start-up industry is changing, but also whether an eventual failure is a motivator for the start-up to embark on something new or not," Lemoch concluded.
According to the survey results, among the most well-known start-ups in the Czech Republic are Letgo, Zonka, Uber, Rohlík.cz, Airbnb and Kiwi.com.
Download the complete Start-up Report 2017 in Czech.