Review of the all four cohorts in Slovakia

slovakia1INOVA NOVA, n.o. is a partner of the B-innovative project. It is a non-profit organisation and its activities are mainly focused on regional development, the support of entrepreneurship and innovation. In the frame of the B-innovative project INOVA NOVA, n.o. has planned to realize four cohorts of seminars focused on entrepreneurial support.

The first cohort was held in 2012 in the capital of Slovakia, in Bratislava and was divided into three days. The first cohort started with a launch event. There we presented the background of the project, the methodology and its goals. Then we continued with the first three seminars. The first one “Business idea formation and vision creation” was lectured by Alexander Cimbaľák, co-owner and CEO of ACE Enterprise Slovakia, a successful IT company from Bratislava. On the next seminars we also had successful entrepreneurs or managers as lecturers.  At the first cohort about 22 delegates participated, but we only received few business concepts.  
The second cohort  organised by the Slovakian partner of the project was held in the middle of Slovakia, in Banska Bystrica. The seminars were realized in cooperation with the Faculty of economics of the University of Matej Bell. We used the same methodology like in the frame of the first cohort in Bratislava. During the first day we had 33 participants and for the second day 36 people have attended the seminars. As usual the cohort started with the seminar “Business idea formation and vision creation” which was lectured by Mr. Tomas Lodnan, CMO of the young successful IT Company TrashOUT. Participants were impressed by Mr. Lodnan, as he told them his own experiences with developing the business idea and the creation of the company vision. He also explained them what the most important things are for presenting their business ideas and concepts.     
The possible young entrepreneurs were also very interested in the seminars which focused on “Competitor analysis” and “Costing and pricing”, which were lectured by Mr. Anton Brcka, a partner in the company VSA. 
The last seminar “Raising investment” was realized together with the Award Ceremony of the Business Concept Competition on 30th of April 2013. The seminar was lectured by Mr. Lodnan, as his company TrashOUT was supported by a business angel. Mr. Lodnan explained to participants how risk and venture capital are running in practice as this is important in order to further develop their businesses. The award ceremony was a kind of discussion as we received 29 business plans together but only few of them were very good. We now still are in contslovakia2act with the delegates to help them in further developing their business concepts.
The third cohort of the B-Innovative project was organized at the east part of Slovakia, in Kosice, the European capital of culture 2013. It is the second largest city in Slovakia with several universities and with good potential for start-ups. We did some organizational changes in the project; we have run 5 seminars instead of 8. The seminars were held at the University library of the Technical university of Kosice. The first seminar “Company creation” was lectured by Peter Mazerik, head of innovation in Tatrabanka.
On 29th of October we conduct the third seminar “Costing and pricing”. There the practical point of view and experiences of Mr. Peter Mesaros were presented. He is the owner of VÚSI, a research institute of construction informatics. Mr. Mesaros is also working as an associate professor at Technical University in Kosice.We had from 20 to 26 participants on each seminar of the third cohort. We conducted the Award ceremony which again was like a discussion. We received 12 business plans together, three of them were very good and succeeded to the final round of the Business competition.
Our last cohort was again realized in Kosice in cooperation with the Student’s parliament of the University of Economics. This cohort also contained 5 seminars, but we run it in 3 days. At the first two seminars we had about 35 delegates, than the number dropped to about 20 delegates. However, they had nice business ideas, so we expect nice business concepts from the delegates. We have prepared an online-system where the delegates can submit their business plans. We are testing this system in order to make the project more sustainable. We will run an Award ceremony at the end of June so we hope to receive interesting business concepts.