Mission of the Czech School of California is not only offer a comprehensive education in the Czech language, history, geography and culture, but also to nurture the growing Czech community in San Francisco and the Bay area. As we move forward, we would like to guide new families coming to this area and help them with settling down in the U.S. What are the ups and downs of the new adventure called life in a completely new country? You might read about all of this in our new guest posts series called “Our move to San Francisco and my life with ‘Startup Guy”.
Helena Soukupova and her family recently moved to the Bay area. Her story is familiar to many of us – they moved here because of her husbands work. But moving the whole family with two young kids can be challenging. So Helena decided to write a blog about her interesting journey. And we decided to help with translating this blog, so now everyone can read it. From now on, every first Tuesday of the month new blog post will appear on our site. We hope you will enjoy these guest posts and will maybe even learn something new along the way. If you wish to reach out to the author herself, please contact her through her original blog at: http://blog.dokalifornie.cz/
Starting a Startup
I decided to start writing this blog to share my experiences over the last two years. I will be very glad if this helps anyone who is relocating to the US, or considering it :-). In addition to blogging about our experiences, I will reveal our tricks, as well as our problems and our solutions! .
And how did it all start?
In winter 2013, my husband Tomas walked home from work every day with a strong feeling that something must change. He saw no progress, no opportunity, and no future with his company. So he decided it was time for a change. And believe me, after 11 years in one company, this was a big one.
He had a good job. He had a good salary. His company was a technological leader, but he really needed a total change – not just a change in position or company.. And because I love him and he has always supported me, I told him – DO IT :-}.
I suggested that he look for a new job with another company. But he didn’t want a new job, he wanted his own company. He wanted to build new IT products by himself.
That was a really big moment. Then he learned that one of his colleagues – Dusan – had the same idea, so they decided to build their own new product together. They decided to start a startup:-]
Dusan and Tomas had big plans. They believed that everything would be SUCCESSFUL (and you can’t build a new product without this feeling). They worked 16 hours every day. They brought their families and friends along for the ride. This was the moment that PORTADI was born.
It was fantastic. PORTADI was promoted in newspapers and on online IT sites in the Czech Republic, as well as on some US portals. So it was exciting, but also a little terrible – the fact was that PORTADI wasn’t earning any money.
And how was our family life? Every evening the guys talked together via Skype. They planned their product, discussed strategy, etc. And our first target was – a Big and Famous Accelerator.
In Spring 2015 Tomas went to Berlin to give a presentation about PORTADI for Microsoft Ventures Accelerator, and he was successful. PORTADI, as a startup, received an offer to be a part of this Accelerator. This was a big deal for PORTADI.
Tomas and Dusan moved to Berlin for 4 months. I stayed with my children alone in Pilsen and Dusan’s wife Petra stayed alone with their children in San Jose in California. We saw Tomas every 14 days, but Petra and their children could speak with Dusan just through Skype.
We believed that this startup would change everything, and they did find some investors, but after four months nothing changed. There were many meetings and many takers. But in the end, nothing happened.
Then in 2015, we decided together that we needed to put the guys back in real jobs and we needed them to earn some money.
Despite these disappointments and struggles, very happy moments were also to come. Tomas received a great job offer from a big company. We made the decision that we would move to Vancouver, Canada. We started to arrange everything for the move. And to that end I must say that big companies do have a strong and professional process for relocating!
And at that very moment we received an offer: “ GUYS, YOU ARE GREAT! YOUR PRODUCT IS AMAZING AND WE WANT TO BUY IT!!! AND WE NEED BOTH OF YOU HERE IN SAN FRANCISCO!”
And, it was that moment when our story about relocating to California began. How did it go, and what did we need to do? Everything will be in this BLOG :-]