Explore the journey of MyCello, a cutting-edge startup from Přerov in the Czech Republic, which earned a notable third place at the Creative Business Cup 2022 Global Finals. Co-founder Jan Tobolík provides an insightful account of their experience, as MyCello aims to reshape the music industry with their inventive 3D-printed electronic cellos. In this interview, Jan delves into the challenges and opportunities encountered during the competition and highlights the invaluable lessons, connections, and growth that resulted from their participation.
Can you briefly introduce your startup, MyCello, and describe how your participation in the Creative Business Cup impacted your startup's growth and development?
We are MyCello, a startup from Přerov in the Czech Republic, and we are engaged in developing and producing electronic cellos on a 3D printer. Our vision was to change the world of music and provide cellists with an instrument that is more affordable and practical for everyday use. Participating in the Creative Business Cup competition was challenging as a fledgling startup. We didn't have much experience presenting internationally. However, what we did not lack was a great belief in the uniqueness of our product, which was noticed by the jury, and we ended up winning an excellent third place. It helped us a lot in terms of PR and certainly sounds perfect for dealing with suppliers or potential investors!
Can you share your experience and key takeaways from the Creative Business Cup, how the connections and interactions with other participants contributed to your personal growth, and what advice or feedback you received that helped you reevaluate or adjust your business model or strategy?
There are many experiences and moments from the Creative Business Cup, but I was most impressed when people met us in the yard and called out to us from afar - you are the ones from MyCello, right? Amazing project. It's still with me to this day, and every time I think of CBC, that memory returns to me. Although we were rivals, we all supported and admired each other's work. Innovative ideas, drive, diligence, and often life stories. In a team like that, you feel that nothing is impossible, and the limits are only in your head. That's what I take away from my whole stay in Copenhagen.
Everyone liked the idea of our project very much and appreciated the presentation, including the demonstration of the physical product. We definitely got a lot of valuable advice. The most important one was to focus on something other than the product itself when communicating with customers but on the problem that the product solves. That was a huge AHA moment for us.
As a Creative Business Cup alumnus, what message would you like to share with potential participants about the value and benefits of attending the Global Finals?
Definitely go for it! Do not wait for the right moment when your strategy or product is 100% perfect. There will never be a suitable time. But a few days in Copenhagen will move you up a few levels. You will gain valuable contacts and, most importantly, the experience of an international competition that is non-transferable. Words can't describe it. You have to experience it. We wish you the best of luck!
Some of the recommendations and advice from investors and partners were big AHA moments for us. As part of the win, we got consultations with other experts on topics we were burning about. They advised us on how to increase brand awareness or jumpstart international sales, and we also used them for our needs. Overall, I rate this as one of the best events of its kind in the world. At first, I couldn't believe we won, but then Ondra and I threw our hands up in joy and gave ourselves a high five. Within moments all the weight was off us, and we enjoyed it to the fullest.
Lastly, can you share some advice for budding entrepreneurs?
Being adaptable is one of the most important things we have learned on our journey. As a startup, you will face many challenges and unexpected obstacles. First, the key to success is to be able to adapt when necessary. Second, build social networking relationships and don't hesitate to contact other.
Jan Tobolík, Co-founder of MyCello