December 9, 2021

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Vacuumlabsu CEO Matej Ftáčnik: Entrepreneurship is a way to change things around you

Vacuumlabsu CEO Matej Ftáčnik: Entrepreneurship is a way to change things around you

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Matej Ftechnik heads Vacuumlabs, whose fintech solutions have been hacked around the world. As he says, entrepreneurship is a way for him to improve things around him and move society forward.

Vacuumlabs is one of the most successful Slovak technology companies. Matej initially worked as a consultant and later joined the team of co-founders with a vision of making it a global company.

Vacuumlabsu CEO Matej Ftáčnik. Source: Refresher / Ľubo Baran

As a young man, he devoted himself to science, specifically physics. Why did you finally choose a business path?

You have always attracted me to do business. I like if I can change things around me, and doing business is one way I can do that. I can create a product or service that attracts and continues to work with customers. I have always loved business, especially in the IT sector, where I studied computer science. At first I had a smaller IT company. Then we started joint work with other partners, which was so successful that we established the first startup accelerator in Slovakia. The vacuum cleaner era came after that.

In 2012, he co-founded Coorking, and two years later, he founded an accelerator for startups. Support and investment in new businesses was in Slovakia at first. How did this idea come about?

It was an interesting period around 2009 or 2010, when there was very positive energy around startups and people saw opportunities in the business. First, many startup camps started popping up, where there were very few people in the beginning. These activities then grew to fifty to a hundred people and the performance of the startups was regularly discussed.

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We met on various occasions in Bratislava, Kosice or even in Prague. However, we did not have the space to meet regularly. With a few friends and business people, we decided to create such a first joint business – The Spot, which for years worked on a bungalow under KC Dunaj Club. We talked about what startups are, how they work, and how to invest in them, and that naturally led to the creation of the first ever accelerator.

Matti Vtachnik became CEO of Vacuumlabsu in May. Source: Refresher / Ľubo Baran

Was The Spot where you passed your knowledge to the founders, or was it also about allocating investments?

The Spot was a non-profit organization operating with donor money. Only then were we able to create an accelerator, the investments of which have already ranged from 30 to 100 thousand euros.

Which of the well-known startups come from this period?

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What will you learn after unlocking?

  • How did you manage to make a Slovak startup a global success?
  • Why did Vacuum Labs choose to focus on FinTech technologies?
  • Why did they decide to create the first LGBT+ bank in America?
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Photo: Refresher / Oppo BaranPreview image: Refresher / Oppo Baran