Prague, 9 February – The first year of the Takeoffs start-up business competition organised by T-Mobile culminated today with the awarding of the final prizes. iDnes.cz portal readers voted the tandem bicycle rental of Marie Žvaková from České Budějovice the most appealing project. The expert jury selected Restart skateboards, a Czech manufacturer of handmade skateboards. Both projects will receive another CZK 100,000 in cash on top of more than CZK 200,000 in prizes from the regional round.
Internet users could vote for their favourites from 5 December to the end of January and this opportunity was used by more than five thousand people. The application of the winner Marie Žvaková mentioned not only renting unconventional tandem bicycles, but also manufacturing them to order, as well as being able to use tandem bicycles as part of rehabilitation for the visually impaired. Ms. Žvaková is a cycling enthusiast and she took into consideration how cycling-friendly her local area is when choosing her place of residence.
Other promising projects narrowly missed being selected by the voting public – for example the Prague organisation Seppia, which offers healthcare e-learning to non-professionals, and the aforementioned Restart skateboards of Turnov.
Conversely, the evaluation by the expert jury was not based on personal preferences. The jurors were interested particularly in the given projects, the depth of knowledge possessed by the entrepreneurs concerned and their motivation for starting their own business. The project that most successfully met all the criteria was Restart skateboards. Champion skateboarders Štěpán Malý and Adam Pelc had set up the company together to produce unique hand-made skateboards. They boldly replaced the universally used Canadian maple with Czech ash. They plan to conquer the European market with their Czech boards.
The amount of CZK 100,000 can be invested by both projects at their discretion next year, whether in production or in office equipment, payment for services and the like. The only condition is to spend the money within one year from its disbursement.
Support to all participants
More than 300 start-up businesses signed up for the 2011 edition of the competition. In the course of autumn they were able to take part in seminars where experts familiarised them with promotion, business strategy and dealing with the relevant authorities. In recent weeks, a Facebook site for the participants of the project and their fans was launched, where they can share their experience, proudly display their achievements and advise each other.
However, support for these businesspeople provided under the Takeoffs project does not stop here. Everyone who entered the competition with their projects received the opportunity to discuss their daily problems with T-Mobile experts from various fields, such as HR, PR, marketing and other areas, throughout the year. The advisers, lecturers and jurors worked on the project, providing consultations and advice free of charge.
The premiere edition of Takeoffs is ending, but the organising team is already working hard on the next edition. Takeoffs 2012 will be announced as early as in the spring. Specific dates will be published on the project website at rozjezdyroku.cz and on Facebook.
“This year’s edition of Takeoffs was a takeoff for us, too. We have gained a lot of experience. We thank the participants for their feedback and we anticipate that the next year will be even better. Personally, it was a surprise for me that Czechs are so full of ideas and enthusiasm for business. At the same time, I am pleased that the first year of Takeoffs confirmed that this activity is meaningful,” says Petra Pavičová, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at T-Mobile.
Facts about the Takeoffs project
Organised by T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s., Takeoffs 2011 is the first annual edition of this project to promote small businesses.
A total of 343 applications were submitted within the project (abridged abstracts of all competing projects are available at rozjezdyroku.cz.).
Prizes worth over CZK 7 million were distributed.
More than 300 beginning entrepreneurs took part in the workshops.
The final voting involved a skateboard manufacturer, a driving school, a family honey farm, an advisory centre to promote community life, several kindergartens and English learning centres, a lady giving remedial classes to children with learning disabilities and a maker of T-shirts with drawings of castles and chateaux.
The winner of the Prize of the Public was selected by more than five thousand people in internet voting.
The next edition of the project – Takeoffs 2012 – will be announced this spring.
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: email@example.com.