Prague conference brings together smartest investors in Czech startup sphere

Scheduled to take place in late October, the Engaged Investments conference gives people a chance to learn from the most seasoned Czech startup funders. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.10.2023 15:04:00 (updated on 02.10.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

The upcoming Engaged Investments conference in Prague, which brings together well-known investors in Czech startups, promises two days of valuable insights, networking, and interactions with important figures in the startup world.

Organized by DEPO Ventures, an investor in early-stage startups in the Central and East European region, the event is scheduled for Oct. 24 and Oct. 25 at the Kaiserstein Palace in Prague. With a line-up of international financiers, including U.S. investor Marvin Liao, Irish tech entrepreneur Mary McKenna, and British investor Keith Grose, the conference aims to provide a platform for knowledge exchange and networking opportunities.

A multi-day program, showing how investors invest

"We've invited experienced investors to the conference who have a track record of successful investments in startups. These investors hail from regions with mature startup ecosystems. Although venture capital firms and angel investors are growing rapidly here, they can still learn from well-known names," says Petr Šíma, a partner at DEPO Ventures.

This year's conference distinguishes itself by spanning two days. The first day, known as the Startup Fair, will showcase startups from the portfolios of participating investors, ranging from pre-seed to Series A (the first major fundraising round companies partake in after the seed, or preliminary, stage). The second day will primarily cater to investors, featuring panel discussions on topics like traditional venture capital funds, angel syndicates in Central and Eastern Europe, and the impact of macroeconomic shocks on the region's venture capital landscape.

Marvin Liao, a partner at the venture capital fund 500 Startups, is known for his investments in over 400 early-stage startups from around the world. Mary McKenna, after selling her online education startup Learning Pool, became an angel investor supporting European startups. Keith Grose is an active angel investor with a background in fintech, crypto, and hardware sectors, with previous experience at Google working on projects like GPay and Google Wallet.

Adam Kočík, Managing Partner at J&T Ventures, expressed enthusiasm for the event, saying: "There aren't many events in Prague focused on representatives of venture capital funds and angel investors. That's why we are delighted to be part of building a high-quality and prestigious event for the global investment community, right in the heart of Central Europe."

The conference enjoys support from key players in the venture capital ecosystem, including J&T Ventures, Presto Ventures, OTB Ventures, Baltic Sandbox, and Credo Ventures.

In addition to the panel discussions, smaller rooms will host workshops and roundtable discussions on various investment trends and areas. Topics will include impact investing, military and defense industry discussions, and space technology investments, among others. Discussions will also focus on supporting investments in the Czech Republic and abroad.

An investor pass can be purchased for EUR 380. Full information on pricing details and program information can be found on the official website.

Start-up growth in Czechia

The Czech startup scene has gained more attention and investment in recent years. For example, in 2019  the median valuation of a Czech startup was CZK 55 million. Last year, it was CZK 136 million.

In early 2022, Productboard, a Czech company, achieved unicorn status by securing USD 125 million (about CZK 2.9 billion) in Series D (typically companies' largest fundraising rounds) funding, valuing the company at USD 1.73 billion. Despite some later layoffs, Productboard remains well-funded.

Czech startups in 2022: The data

  • Czech startups in 2022 received a total of CZK 46.5 billion in investment
  • Last year saw 48 percent more investments in Czech startups compared to 2021
  • The median value of one investment in Czech startups was CZK 30 million
  • The most valuable Czech startup of 2022, tech firm Around, was bought for CZK 6 billion
  • Data, AI, and e-commerce are the most common fields in which startups operate
  • The average selling price for a Czech startup last year was CZK 1.2 billion
  • The average total investment in a Czech startup last year (excluding exits) was CZK 338.9 million


Last year, Mews, a SaaS software developer for hotels and hospitality, raised USD 185 million in a Series C round, partially backed by global bank Goldman Sachs. Although it didn't quite reach unicorn status, Mews is now valued at USD 865 million, thanks in part to the need for hotels to modernize their operations during the pandemic.

Ataccama, another rising star, secured USD 150 million in funding from Bain Capital. The data tools developer aims to become a unicorn by 2024 and is considering a potential listing on the US Nasdaq stock exchange.

Tatum, a startup in the blockchain and web3 development space, received USD 41.5 million in funding. While it shows promise, its growth may not have met all expectations.

Manta, known for its data lineage and flow scanning tools within corporate IT systems, raised USD 35 million in a series B round, boasting investors like SAP, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Senovo. 

The Engaged Investments conference aims to provide a valuable platform for learning, collaboration, and networking within the startup investment community. Whether you're an experienced investor, an aspiring one, or a startup founder seeking funding, this conference in the heart of Central Europe offers a unique opportunity to gain insights and forge valuable connections.

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