Geosense, the story of successful UNYP MBA graduates

Authors: JUDr. Jan Zvoník, MBA and Ing. Ladislav Čapek, MBA

If they had decided not to study MBA at UNYP, they would probably never have met and or started their business. Here is the story of successful UNYP graduates.

Ladislav Capek and I started our MBA at UNYP in 2008.  I think that UNYP offers the best value for money out of all MBA schools in the Czech Republic. I was very satisfied with the  level of courses on the programme. We met interesting people, both students and teachers, which was one of my most important personal reasons for starting to study MBA. It was about meeting people. We, the two founders of our company, met on the UNYP MBA course, and after a couple of months we found out that we had a similar view of business and that we both wanted to start something new. And this, I think, is the approach UNYP encourages in its students. I see the MBA as a step to change the course of one´s career.

We found that we had common ideas regarding business and Ladislav had an idea in his mind to start an IT company in the field of geoinformation. I liked the idea (because I love maps) and in 2009 we started to take this seriously. At the end of 2009, we both quit our jobs in multinational companies and we founded a company called Geosense s.r.o. (www.geosense.cz) in December 2009.

The main customer group we wanted to target were municipalities. The first year was really tough and we had to reevaluate almost every business expectation we had. We focused fully on developing one great product instead a map-based information system for municipal asset management. But at the end of 2010, after one year, we had only two customers. But we kept going because we saw there was a potential and the numbers rose slowly. Then during the second half of 2011, we suddenly somehow passed some sort of a tipping point and from then on the sales started to grow very fast.

We became established as one of the leaders of the market, we are number one in users (almost 2000 municipalities are using our solutions out of total of 6400 in the Czech Republic), and we are one of the most in-demand employers in our field  - we would bet THE most in-demand but we are humble guys. This also attracted some incredibly talented people. So we grew from 2 to almost 30 people. We founded a daughter company in Slovakia a year ago and the story is very similar.

We always had bigger ambitions and as we had both spent some time in the USA we wanted to try the US market. It was a long shot for us until a year ago. We were selected as one of the companies with big technological and business potential by Czechinvest and we spent half a year in Silicon Valley. We had the opportunity to meet many extremely interesting people and companies and to see what´s cooking in the technological centre of the world, including in Google. Our office was located in the Rocketspace tech incubator in downtown San Francisco and we got an offer to join Techstars -  one of the top tech incubators in the world based in Boulder, Colorado. Our mentor worked for former Google CEO Eric Schmidt... so many interesting meetings and so much valuable experience. We also saw that what we do was really really good and that the market opportunity for our products in the USA is huge. We have local contacts, and so we set up a company in Nevada to serve the local market, and we hope it will be another great part of our story.

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