This summer, EBN Member South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) is celebrating 15 years of supporting entrepreneurs in South Moravia region (Brno, Czech Republic).
JIC was created in 2003 and became EBN Member the same year. Since its establishment, JIC has supported over 300 companies whose combined revenues have reached nearly 30 billion Czech Crowns (around €1 billion), and who has helped employing almost 6,500 workers. The support JIC has been providing to the entrepreneurs in South Moravia has played a major role in boosting the region’s economic growth and competitiveness.
How did all start?
JIC’s inception as one of the main projects of the Regional Innovation Strategy of the South Moravian Region (RIS) was conceived as a long-term plan aimed at increasing southern Moravia’s competitiveness.
The initial business model draw inspiration from Western countries, in particular Dutch province of Limburg, where one of JIC’s first mentors, Jean Severijns (Dutch), managed innovation policy:
“At that time, I was completely astonished by the initial motivation and enthusiasm of the people who were behind the creation of JIC. Seeing now how the innovation centre looks after 15 years, I have to say that its growth is incredible. I don't mean in terms of size or number of employees, but growth in terms of sheer professionalism. Being an important member of European structures such as, for example, EBN (European Business & Innovation Centre Network), has also surely helped” said Jean Severijns, praising JIC’s growth for the past 15 years.
Team responsible of JIC's foundation
From a regional project to a certified EU|BIC supporting businesses
15 years since the foundation and 5 years since becoming certified EU|BIC (2013), JIC has become a hub for many entrepreneurs in the region. By offering high-quality services through its main programmes (JIC ENTER, JIC STARCUBE, JIC MASTER and JIC PLATINN), JIC supports entrepreneurs at any stage of development. JIC’s pool of business experts, FabLab and strong bond with investors and corporates, among them ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, Honeywell, AVAST, Konica Minolta, Y Soft and Microsoft, created a perfect ecosystem for any entrepreneur coming from the region to build their business and professional network. However, JIC’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship goes beyond regional economic development:
“Not only do we want to see our region successful, but also the entire Czech Republic. Our vision is an open innovation ecosystem which is home to globally successful entrepreneurs and which inspires the world,” says JIC ‘s director Petr Chládek.
A proof of their willingness to adapt their services and sectors to the current market is the recent creation of the ESA BIC managed by JIC and CzechInvest, providing access to their facilities, consulting and advisory services to the startups entering Brno Space Incubator.
The best witnesses of JIC’s success - JIC’s client companies
How do you measure the impact of a business support organisation? By assessing success of startups and SMEs they have supported, and JIC is home to many successful companies:
Kiwi.com is an internet-based flight tickets search engine that enables users to combine various airlines. It was founded by Oliver Dlouhý as the company Skypicker in 2012. After developing a unique algorithm, over the next four years it saw sales increase by 7 %. becoming the fastest-growing tech company in Central Europe in 2017.
GINA Software has been developing a mapping system for mobile devices that enables navigation through difficult terrain, coordination of rescue teams and the efficient exchange of geographical information. GINA Software helps save lives in the Czech Republic and dozens of other countries. Starting out as a student project, thanks to JIC and its programmes, they have managed to get a professional company up and running.
Congratulations to JIC for their impressive track record on their 15th anniversary and we wish them even more success in the future!
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