About the acceleration program

Challenger Urban:Creative is an intensive acceleration program for teams or starting companies that are developing an innovative product or service with the potential to contribute to the development of Košice. It helps them use their potential, gives them the opportunity to grow and establish cooperation with the City of Košice and future customers.

We know the participants of Challenger Urban: Creative 2021!

We´ve selected twelve teams and startup companies developing an innovative product or service that aims to improve the services or quality of life of residents and visitors of the City of Košice.

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How will it benefit the participants?


Group workshops with mentors from the field of law, finance, sales and presentation skills, product building or UX.

Individual mentoring and coaching

Individual consultations with experts in the range of 6 + 6 hours per participant.

Company growth

Opportunity to address potential customers, get to know their needs and establish cooperation with the City of Košice.

Free of charge

All activities within the program are free and “equity-free”.

Opportunity to present oneself

Participants present their product or service during the public Demo Day event.

Prize for the winner

During the Demo Day, the expert jury will select the winner of the program, who will receive a prize of EUR 10,000 and a package of services from the program partners.

What does the acceleration program consist of?

Every team and project that has successfully passed Bootcamp,
moves on to the acceleration program, during which it
undergoes a rich program full of workshops
and individual consultations with mentors in three sprints:


May 3 – 5, 2022

Objective: Understanding the customer, internal processes during product development and selection of a suitable business model.

Program of the first sprint:

1. Workshop: Business Model Generation

Milan Čapka, Chief Innovator, Milan Innovation services

  • Prepare yourself to successfully pitch investors about your business model.
  • Learn the differences between business model, business plan, and revenue model.

2. Founder Story

Mária Virčíková, CEO and Co-founder, Matsuko | Holographic Communication

3. Workshop: Market sizing, trends, and competitive analysis

Jaroslav Lupták, Managing Partner, Neulogy Ventures

  • How to identify the right market in terms of size, growth, trends & catalysts
  • Understand your market (TAM/SAM/SOM, trends and drivers, basic competition analysis)


June 14 – 16, 2022

Objective: Understanding the criteria of corporate growth. While in the first and second sprints, startups focused on product development and marketing, in the third sprint, they will gain the knowledge necessary for the company’s growth.

Program of the third sprint:

1. Workshop: Sales

Katarína Šimková, Founder and CEO, DEAL Factory

2. Workshop: Are you fundable?

Andrej Dula, Founder and CEO, Rezztek

  • In this workshop, we will cover the basics and also more advanced methods of how to be successful when fundraising.

3. Workshop: How to avoid lawyers in startups

Juraj Šándor, Head of SK Desk, Sparring
Roman Žňava, Legal Mind, Sparring 

  • Corporate setup
  • Founders relationship
  • Intellectual property
  • Equity compensation
  • Team contracts
  • Doing business


May 24 – 27, 2022

Objective: Align the product with market needs and gain the first test users or customers.

Program of the second sprint:

1. Workshop: Content marketing 101

David Miller, Co-founder, Red Basket

Part 1

  • What is content marketing and why you should care
  • The power of storytelling
  • What good content looks like & practical tips
  • Q&A

Part 2

  • Key messaging workshop

2. Presentation: Vision of Košice 2.0

Michal Hladký, Director, Creative Industry Košice

Startup roast

3. Workshop: Think like Merlin, act like Indiana Jones – agile approach to strategy and growth

Victor Dubrovin, Strategy Consultant, Dubrovin Consulting

  • What do you need to know about strategy
  • Key challenges with strategy
  • Strategy and DNA of the company
  • Effective strategic process – how to setup and maintain
  • People and Social side of strategy
  • Role of the leader in strategy
  • 5 strategic choices cascade

DEMO DAY (June 28, 2022)

Košice, Slovakia

The competitive presentation of the participants in the acceleration program takes place with the participation of investors, companies, representatives of the City of Košice, the media and the public.

5:30 – 6:00 PM Registration of Participants

6:00 – 6:15 PM Opening Speech
Jaroslav Polaček, Mayor, City of Košice
Peter Kolesár, Partner, Civitta Slovakia

6:15 – 8:00 PM Startups Presentations

Jury Members
Marcel Gibóda, Deputy Mayor, City of Košice
Michal Hladký, Director, Creative Industry Košice
Andrea Basilová, Co-founder, Sensoneo
Michal Nešpor, Partner, CB Investment Management

8:00 – 8:30 PM Keynote Presentation
Michaela Kršková, Chief Innovation Officer, Government Office of the Slovak Republic

8:30 – 8:45 PM Award Ceremony

Who are the mentors?

The participants of the acceleration program are led by professionals with many years of experience and demonstrable results in the areas of:

Getting to know the customer
Product development and UX
Entrepreneurship and startups
Marketing a sales
Finance and investments
Law and intellectual property
Presentation skills and communication


First names coming soon!


Michal Hladký

Creative Industry Košice Linkedin

Get inspired!