Takeoffs to help start-up businesses for the second time

  • Experts from T-Mobile and partners of the Takeoffs project will share their know-how with start-up businesses
  • Forty-two regional winners and one winning national project will be awarded prizes in the total value of nearly CZK 5.5 million, financial support for their business and priceless expert consultations
  • More than forty winners of the last year’s edition are now successfully developing their businesses
  • More than 300 ideas competed in the Takeoffs project in 2011

Prague, 15 May 2012 – T-Mobile has announced the second edition of the project called Takeoffs to support start-up business. Everyone who plans to embark on this journey and submits an application in the competition will benefit from support by experienced experts from the mobile operator and specialist partners: Seznam.cz, KnowHowKlub, Neocont and Zalozfirmu.cz. Three winners from each region will receive prizes in the value of CZK 70,000 or 250,000. Together with long-term consultations in the field of marketing, setting up companies and online marketing, this should help them significantly with starting their businesses. This year, T-Mobile will again help 42 businesspeople to stand on their own feet.

“Becoming a freelancer can be a step into the unknown. On the other hand, particularly when being unemployed for an extended period of time or due to a dramatic change in the economic situation, there is often no other way. Start-up businesses can make many mistakes in the beginning; it can be hard – and that’s why we are here. We will consult with them on how to deal with the authorities, how to create a good campaign, how to communicate with customers and how to register a logo. The key factor for success is not only investments but also knowledge and experience,” says Petra Pavičová, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at T-Mobile. 

This year’s edition of Takeoffs is again organised in partnership with the Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic (UTM) whose knowledge of local circumstances is indispensable particularly in the regional part of the competition. Experts from the UTM will become members of regional juries, local and municipal authorities will then help with promoting the competition in the respective towns and municipalities. 

Course of the competition
From 15 May to 15 June 2012, everyone who started their business in the past 12 months, or is planning to start a business, may submit their application in the regional rounds of the competition. Competing projects will be evaluated by regional juries composed of representatives of T-Mobile, successful businesspeople from the respective regions and partners of the project. In some regions, jury members will also include successful participants of the first edition of Takeoffs. The opinion of the local partners on activities beneficial for the particular town will be the key criterion for the selection of regional winners, as juries will not focus only on the viability of the project but also on its benefit for the local community.   

Workshops will be held in nine cities during summer, at which all participants will have an opportunity to consult with experts in the individual fields: dealing with the authorities, business thinking, general marketing, online marketing, etc. The representatives of the UTM will present the forms of support for start-up businesses. Last year, the workshops attracted more than three hundred participants, with 130 participants attending the workshop organised in Prague alone. These seminars are free of charge and are open to the general public (although originators of projects competing in Takeoffs have priority). It is only necessary to register in advance at www.rozjezdyroku.cz.

A total of 42 winners will receive prizes in the total value of CZK 5.5 million to facilitate the launch of their businesses: notebooks, telecommunications and marketing packages from T-Mobile and Nokia Lumia 610 handsets donated by Nokia. All winners will also have an opportunity to consult their everyday problems with experts in marketing, business and sales skills and business strategy. Such consultancy would otherwise cost them thousands of crowns per hour.  

Winners of the regional rounds can look forward to participating in the final voting by the public, which will bring them publicity and thus more prospective customers. 

Takeoffs 2011
A total of 343 ideas competed in last year’s edition of the Takeoffs project, from a family honey farm and preschools to a landkite board manufacturer. The expert jury in South Bohemia sent Marie Žvaková, who runs Dvojkola.cz, a bicycle rental shop in České Budějovice, to the finals. She then won the Prize of the Public. Marie Žvaková has since expanded her rental shop, repaid her loan and started to distribute bicycles around the whole region. “The Takeoffs project helps us with promotion – people already know about us; articles about us have been published, as one of the prizes was creation of promotional materials and internet advertising.” 

More than 5,000 votes were cast in the final voting of the public on the internet. The expert jury then decided to award its prize to RestartSkateboards, a Turnov-based skateboard manufacturing business owned by Adam Pelc and Štěpán Malý. An overview of all the finalists of last year’s edition of Takeoffs can be found here

About the Takeoffs project
The project registration form and detailed information about Takeoffs, including the competition criteria and detailed rules, are available at www.rozjezdyroku.cz

The competition has two rounds: an expert jury will pick 14 winners in the regional rounds. The public will then vote for the most appealing project at www.rozjezdyroku.cz. The top project will receive an additional CZK 100,000 as a financial injection to help its originator start his or her business.

About the Company

T-Mobile Czech Republic, a member of the international telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom, is with its almost 6.2 million customers the number-one operator in the Czech market. T-Mobile is an integrated operator: in addition to converged telecommunications services, it offers TV and comprehensive ICT solutions. It provides outstanding services in the high-speed network, which was proved repeatedly by benchmark testing performed by umlaut (former P3) with Best-in-Test seal.

T-Mobile Czech Republic places emphasis on taking a responsible approach to the environment and society. It adheres to fair business practices, helps beneficial applications and services to see the light of day, supports non-profit organizations, small businesses and individuals, and lends a helping hand whenever crisis situations arise. The company’s employees serve as volunteers in many places across the entire Czech Republic.

More information about the company is available at www.t-mobile.cz, www.t-press.cz (the portal for journalists), www.t-mobile.cz/pomahame (information on the company’s CSR activities) and www.rozjezdy.cz (T-Mobile Takeoffs of the Year – a program to support small businesses).

Contact details of the press unit: press@t-press.cz.