ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe


Supporting Startups as a Way to Digitalization Josef Horák The aim of the presented study was to identify possibilities and recommendations on the basis of which it would be possible to streamline government support for startups in the Czech Republic. The basis for this study was the “best practices” of selected EU Member States. A startup is a business plan whose main goal is to satisfy market demand through unique and innovative solutions that allow investors to achieve high profitability compared to the usual business plan implemented in the field of small and medium-sized enterprises. Although this form of business is also very risky and many business plans or intentions may not always succeed, there are a number of important business entities that were first created as startups and in a very short time grew into national or multinational corporations (Uber, Lime, Spotify, Minecraft, Candy Crash, Fishbrain, etc.). Due to the high business risk, startups face limited access in the area of external financing through their own or external sources. These entities do not have the possibility to obtain a short-term or long-term bank loan or to finance their activities through an initial public option (IPO). Unfortunately, if the founders do not have a sufficient amount of their own funds or do not find a creditworthy investor, it may happen that a number of potentially viable startups will never see the light of day as it is impossible to secure funds to start their business activities. The European Union recognizes the high potential in the field of startups. For this reason, it seeks to effectively support them through various programs and activities (eg COSME program, European Union Structural Funds, Enterprise Europe Network Startup, Europe Road Show and European SME Week). The analysis reveals that all EU Member States have signed up to support startups on their territory; however, there are significant differences between them in the quality and scope of support provided, not only in financial terms but also in terms of legislation. At the same time, there are significant differences in consulting activities (accelerators or incubators), which is provided to startups through government institutions. The main goal of supporting startups from the perspective of the European Union is to increase economic growth in individual member states of the European Union and at the same time create new jobs that will lead to a reduction in unemployment in the union. An equally important reason is the

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