Brno was once famous for its textile industry. But its decline in the late 20th century meant that the Czech Republic’s second largest city had to reinvent itself.
Twenty years ago a new business center was established in Brno. JIC (South Moravian Innovation Center) was one of the first technological incubators in the eastern part of the European Union.
Today, its success has made it a magnet for entrepreneurs and companies with an international perspective.
In JIC’s history, the few hundred companies that have passed through our services…have a turnover of around €700 million,” said Michal Veselý, JIC Marketing Director.
IDEA StatiCa started from scratch 12 years ago at JIC. Specialists in concrete and steel connections, it is currently one of the world leaders in its industry with more than 6500 customers.
“JIC helps you get started,” Juraj Sabatka, CEO of IDEA StatiCa, told Euronews. “What is more valuable and comes next when you work with JIC is consulting. [aspect]. This is talking to the community and [using the] Special services that JIC provides, meaning they’ll be able to review your business plan, review your go-to-market model, review your development operations, and help you do that.”
JIC has contributed to the creation of more than 3500 skilled jobs since 2003. Its total budget exceeds 12.5 million Euros, of which 72% was financed by the European Cohesion Policy.
One of the slogans of the group is ‘entrepreneurship for a better world’. JIC supports start-ups such as Tierra Verde, which specializes in environmentally friendly cleaning products. They started by selling organic soap. They currently sell 250 items.
Jan Čillík, CEO of Tierra Verde, told Euronews: “Currently, JIC is assisting Tierra Verde with two projects. One focuses on automation, the second on sustainability. And JIC, let’s say, [the] European market for Tierra Verde.”
To encourage and increase entrepreneurial awareness, JIC now provides training sessions for future business leaders. Workshops and events are organized in cooperation with Czech universities and we hope to encourage young people in the region to develop ideas that will make a positive difference in the years to come.
“What kind of values do we impart to students? “I think it’s a dare,” said Veronika Rejšková, a team leader from the JIC Student Development team. “At the same time, their own choices, a freedom as to what to do, and maybe creativity, they can come up with something really new, something that no one has heard of before”.
In recognition of its achievements thus far, JIC has been nominated for the 2022 REGIOSTARS Award, which celebrates Europe’s best EU-funded projects under cohesion policy.