Typical profile of Czech startup founder according to KAYA VC

Václav Ryšlink, the Analyst at Prague-based venture capital fund KAYA, has provided research on Czech startups to make a portrait of the typical founder. It is based on the data on 211 startups and 362 founders from the Czech Republic that had previously received funding from a local VC fund or abroad. AIN.Capital selected the key insights. 

  • Of the 362 founders, there were only 12 women (3.3%). This ratio is almost five times smaller than the percentage of global unicorns (startups with a valuation of over $1 billion) founded by women.
Images: KAYA’s Medium blog
  • The research shows that Czech startups were most commonly founded by a single founder, at 43.8%. Second place was a two-person team with 38.5%.
  • More than 52% of Czech VC-backed founders received funding for their first company. But there are two main observations about this. Firstly, it’s quite possible that this number is actually much smaller in reality because people don’t always share such information. Secondly, even though the position of a founder is quite specific, there are many senior positions that can serve as very good preparation and are not included in this statistic.
  • Only 16.6% of founders from the Czech Republic have not completed a university education. 56.3% of founders have a master’s degree and 9.0% even have a doctoral degree. The most sought-after field of study for founders at university is then computer science (43.2%), followed by economics (13.9%) and management (11.8%).
  • An initial letter from the first half of the alphabet can ensure the first position in many alphabetically ordered lists. The analysis shows the letter ‘C’, ‘M’, or ‘S’ occur most frequently as initial letters in the names of all current global unicorns. 
  • The letter ‘S’ clearly dominates the Czech startups and is then followed by the letters from the beginning. Finally, for both Czech startups and global unicorns, it seems like the letter ‘J’ is not popular at all.
  • As for founder names, there was no surprise. The most common names fairly closely follow the general distribution of first names in the Czech Republic. Among them are Jan, Martin, Tomas, Petr.


Founded in 2010, KAYA is an early-stage VC fund with roots in CEE, investing in intrepid founders in Europe. VC fund KAYA focuses on energy, tech, and real estate fields. The venture capital fund made 27 investments and launched the latest fund of over €70 million.

Recently, KAYA led the pre-seed $1.05 round for the Prague-based health tech startup Upheal to develop a platform for mental health professionals and participated in a $4.8 million seed round for Czech-founded startup Supernova.