Mamavis project supported by the Innovation Centre of the Usti Region dominates nationwide ‘Nastartujte se’ competition
In the sixth annual ‘Nastartujte se’ competition, which is organised by Komerční banka, the Mamavis project of Martina Štefanková from Klášterec nad Ohří took first place and the grand prize of 300,000 CZK. From the Startup Go incubator programme all the way to the ‘top’, Martina has worked closely with the Innovation Centre of the Usti Region (ICUK).
Of the 45 projects registered in the competition, the panel of experts chose Mamavis, which produces innovative compresses and wraps inspired by those developed in the 19th century by Vincenz Priessnitz. The uniqueness and novelty of the products lies in a practical and comfortable design based on the traditional Priessnitz wrap, i.e. the combination of three layers into one. Moreover, because the wraps are multipurpose, they can do far more than the Priessnitz wraps of old. Martina came up with the idea after the classic wet handkerchief and plastic bag failed to deliver the results she was hoping for. She applied for a utility patent and set to work building a business. In the beginning, she had nothing but her intuition to go on, but she later applied for the StartUp Go enterprise incubator programme, which helped her develop a business plan, expand her team, and secure initial investments.
‘Thanks to the incubator, my expanded team and I gradually transitioned from amateurs to professional businesspeople,’ says Martina, adding: ‘In 2017, I established cooperation with the Innovation Centre of the Usti Region, applied for the incubator, and took first place in the final presentation event known as Startup Go Grill. That was a big boost in the development of my business.’ In winning the ‘Nastartujte se’ competition, she secured a substantial financial prize. ‘I’m definitely going to put the 300,000 CZK in cash and 200,000 CZK in services towards building the business. We want to continue expanding, so that’s where the money’s going,’ explains Martina.
The ICUK also helped Mamavis achieve another success – it was ranked among the top eight biotech projects in the global Startup World Cup competition. ‘We’re always happy to see projects we’ve supported and assisted succeed. Currently, Martina Štefanková’s project is preparing to expand further and has done very well in both national and global competitions. The degree of success Mamavis has accomplished makes it an exceptional project, but I trust there are going to be increasingly greater numbers of similar projects generated by our incubator programme,’ says ICUK director Tomáš Siviček optimistically.