First year at Eastside

In spring 2014 a small party of people from Košice, the one behind Košice’s Startup Weekend a few small Hackathons, decided to reopen the closed coworking Eastcubator as a space where young people would meet, work and create. After lenghty and difficult reconstruction full of both kind and unkind moments the new Eastcubator has officially been open in October of the very same year. Time went fast and and few weeks ago we had a merry ( yes – merry is term diplomatic enough to describe it ) celebration of this project’s first brithday. Now we can look back to what we actually did the last year.

First birthday of Eastcubator
The sober part of our birthday/christmas party in Open Space… what came next is clear to those who have been here. The others are lucky we plan to throw such party every year 😉

Home sweet home

One of our first and to this day still one of the greatest challenges is the reconstruction of spaces, we managed to get from our kind city. The look and overall disposition never stopped changing especially because of increasing needs and rising number of members.

caffeine bar reconstruction
We reconstructed that grey space into our great Caffeine Bar
The small office has evolved into a Workshop full of meetups and seminars
Open Space
And just out of this we managed to build our well know Open Space 🙂

Find two more people like you and you will change the world

During the first months of our existence it was only a couple of us founders that kept the Eastcubator warm with our presence. Let’s be honest – it wasn’t easy. Months dedicated to reconstruction came as time thrown out of the window while sitting alone in an empty space. It took about 8 months of work until it finally started coming alive. The waiting paid back though. Thanks to our patience we can gloat with 25 new members that joined us – you can see them here every day working on their projects or tasks from remote employers. Our core consists of developers, designers and bizDevs.

You can come and have chat with guys working on Excalibur, Fixer, the whole team of Petrinec Technology, developers of Ticketware, guys from Passbus who also manage the Eastcode Sessions, or the newly joined team of California based startup Groupsolver.

Our Open Space is more and more known as a crash site for those travelling through Košice so besides those few guys, who are in every day working on their apps you can meet almost anybody here. Free coffee remains as the main attraction!

Open Space všedný deň
Few shots of regular days in our Open Space

Just keep things going

Since the very beginning we have been looking for different ways to make Eastcubator renown, especially when it comes to Košice and eastern Slovakia. We are not supporters of blunt spamming with meaningless seminars but even caring for quality and legacy for the visitor we managed to throw more than 25 events (including the colossus named Startup Weekend Košice).

Just few weeks after opening we accepted Learn2Code to our ranks and since then they produce more and more new developers and designers with their twice-a-week workshops, Creative Industry has shared part of their workshops with us and one of our greatest passions has come to be the april’s local Startup Weekend. We are just starting with preparations for the upcoming one and it is going to be even better the the last year’s best (yes – still the one in Košice)

Few weeks ago we had an opportunity to participate in first big Hackathon in Košice organized by guys from T-systems Slovakia. We have been there, we lended a hand where we could and we found new magenta friends – cool people and we just click together very well. Btw it was the greatest Hackathon taking place is Slovakia so far – “145 attendees, 20 consultants and 5 judges” speaks for itself.

It is how you treat your inferiors that defines you the best

The very existence of Eastcubator would not be possible if it wasn’t for wallets of it’s founders and friends who believed in us. Maybe that’s why it is so natural for us to help those whose future needs help to happen.

Marek Lavčák shares his knowledge of entrepreneurship with boys who grew up in local foster home, we help university students with their theses and we devote our free time to anyone who seeks advice in world of business. If there is something we don’t know, we simply learn it together with you.

Our partners from KPMG granted us few opportunities with their iKids, whom we helped to think like businessmen and present their ides like pros. (Hi-five to Skybrakes and T3L teams.)

Our friends from Žilina loved our Startup Weekend so much that they decided to ask us for help with promoting their own instance. This paragraph would have no meaning if we said “no”.

In last few months we established some communication with elementary and high schools where we discovered tons of space for positive changes. We look forward for it even more than you do.

Coincidence is our platinum partner

You know how it works – friends have friends, those have other friends and some of them work here and there, for example as assistens in european parliament for congressmen that are interested in startup ecosystem in Slovakia. Our friend – the assistant – mentions to her boss that something is going on in Košice and that he should look into Eastcubator. There is not much else to look into when it comes to east and startups anyway…

The congressman boards the plane to Košice and sits right next to american ambassador, who after short conversation decides that he wants to see us too, since he is visitng Košice anyway (because his functions reached its end and he is having a goodbye party here). American ambassador’s assistant luckily remains the same and when he brings the successing ambassador to visit Košice few months later, the first thing on schedule is to check up on Eastcubator’s progress. We have been of course busy – leveled up the space, gained more members, new experience and stories – we made an impression.

We have also been visited by british ambassador who has been advised to visit us by no one else than the american one.

Our own effort in gaining recognition made us prepared for these unexpected visits – if you ever need help with entering the foreign markets, we have a friend or two 😉

And last but not least…

…we would love to mention all those who helped us get on our legs and grow as we did.

The Spot with it’s two years advance for lending us a hand in the beginnings and for priceless know-how and support in establishing a startup hub.

KPMG together with Kenneth Ryan and Anna Filippova gave us first insights in more serious levels of entrepreneurship and world of investments. They also helped us with reconstruction and events organization.

Administration of Košice – Old town didn’t turn their backs on us either. They gave us a marvelous space and they never hesitate when we need help with space for larger events.(for example almost 100 visitors at Jozefa Mihál’s presentation).

T-Systems for invaluable help with furnishing our spaces and good friends from IT circles.

Everyone who lended a hand in reconstruction, event organizing or simply paying us a visit.

And we never forget our golden rule “The coffe is, always was and will be free here” – thanks to Labaš!

This is just a brief review of what we managed to achieve with our Eastsiders for the last year. It is not a little and as true dreamers we are going for a lot more… but that’s for some other time.

Happy new year 2016 to everybody!

For last 10 years I've been working as a remote full-stack designer skilled equally in both printed and digital designs. Besides regular design jobs I spend lot of time developing complex concepts and architectures with focus on visual contribution. Most of my time I devote to Eastcubator, where you can meet me anytime - just ping me beforehand :)

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