Friday, April 26, 2013

I’m selfish! I want the Czechs, Austrians and Hungarians to succeed…

I’m a startupist in Slovakia and I’m really selfish. I want the startups in Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary to succeed… Globally, to hit it really big!


Because most of them are really nice people, who realize that big part of their success comes from the community they live in. And they are willing to give back. To share their mistakes and successes and help others in the community to succeed as well.

But best of all, they don’t see the borders. They know that from global perspective, Bratislava, Vienna, Budapest, Brno and even Praha could become one strong startup community. And that only by combining the talent and resources of these local communities can we create an ecosystem capable of competing with the big shots in Silicon Valley, New York, Berlin or London.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a train from Budapest to Bratislava, where I was at a presentation of Adam Szomlai, the CEO of Prezi. Adam’s story is not only inspiring, but he is also one of the kindest CEOs I have ever met. You feel you have his 100% attention and goodwill when you are talking to him. He is a Hungarian, who is making it really big from Budapest. And he is willing to go for lunch with a no-name guy from Slovakia to give him advice about his startup…

Three days ago I was in Vienna, where I met with Juergen Furian, the co-CEO of Pioneers. Now if you want to learn anything about what it means to think big, to aim for the moon shots, go talk to this guy. You will hardly find a more crazy (in a good way ;) and energizing guy. Juergen and his team at Pioneers are some of the key “pioneers” in building the bridges among our local communities.

Our way of working and thinking at Instando was hugely influenced be people like these. We are a completely different team now than we were a year ago. Although still with the same people…

Each of the cities has plenty of these inspiring people. People who know what it takes to succeed in a big way and are willing to give back to the community. And not just their local community.

I encourage you. If you want to succeed, wish only the best to your fellow startups in Czech Republic, Austria or Hungary. (and of course in Slovakia) And go, take the train and travel to meet these people.

I made a promise to myself that I will make at least one trip per week to one of these cities. And I will do whatever I can to help build the bridges. Because I’m selfish and I want to succeed.