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OSKAR REWARDS ENTREPRENEURS WITH SMART IDEAS

20. May 2004

Jan Smolik, a man whose dream is to produce Czech skateboards capable of competing against foreign products, emerged as the winner of the 13th Chair, a contest by Oskar for the best business idea. Smolik will receive a 777,000 Kc reward granted to help him get his business off the ground. A total of 10 original business ideas made it to the finals of the 13th Chair contest. A professional panel of judges was faced with a difficult task. "We had to decide which idea was the best: whether producing skateboards, special means of transportation, ergonomic chairs, car PCs or operating a chain of ice cream vending machines," says jury member Karel Greif of Felber Kristofori & Greif, an agency commissioned by Oskar to organize the contest.

Jan Smolik, a man whose dream is to produce Czech skateboards capable of competing against foreign products, emerged as the winner of the 13th Chair, a contest by Oskar for the best business idea. Smolik will receive a 777,000 Kc reward granted to help him get his business off the ground.

A total of 10 original business ideas made it to the finals of the 13th Chair contest. A professional panel of judges was faced with a difficult task. "We had to decide which idea was the best: whether producing skateboards, special means of transportation, ergonomic chairs, car PCs or operating a chain of ice cream vending machines," says jury member Karel Greif of Felber Kristofori & Greif, an agency commissioned by Oskar to organize the contest.

"We received a total of 250 entries - enough to fill three cardboard boxes. Selecting the 10 best ideas for the final round was far from easy," says Igor Prerovsky, Vice President Brand & Communications at Oskar, adding: "I believe any of the 10 finalists could have won because all of the ideas were very interesting."

"Eventually, the contest was won by someone who demonstrated a great deal of determination and courage to pursue his goal," Prerovsky adds, pointing out that prior to the results announcement, the contest winner was heard saying that skateboard production was his lifelong dream which he'd pursue even without winning the financial reward in the 13th Chair contest. (Attached to this press release is a video file).

However, a reward went also to the remaining 9 finalists. Each of them received a voucher for an educational course worth 7,777 Kc and a mobile phone from Oskar.

Projects that advanced to the 13th Chair contest finals

Project name Author City
Bicycle stand Milan Hájek Děčín
Gluten-free groceries catalogue Tomáš Veleba Litvínov
Vitty seats Karel Motalík Zlín
Use of alternative heat sources Milan Velc Jihlava
Ultralight helicopter Tomáš Novák Prostějov
Recumbent bicycle Petr Kopec Praha
Skateboards Jan Smolík Praha
Car PCs Lukáš Novák Brno
Ice cream vending machines Milan Řeřicha Písek
Mobile cafes Jakub Teplý Nové Město nad Metují

The 13th Chair contest was preceded by the Daring Dozen, a documentary series about daring small and medium-sized business owners aired by Prima TV early this year. Oskar's objective for the contest was to enable beginning entrepreneurs to sit on the imaginary 13th chair alongside those who managed to get their business ideas off the ground. In the final round, entries were evaluated based on 3 criteria: creativity, feasibility and ranking on a scale of 1 to 10. The 17-head jury was composed of the entrepreneurs depicted in the Daring Dozen series, two representatives of Oskar and 3 representatives of the organizing agency.