Prague, 28 February 2023
Jakub Havrlant, founder of Rockaway Capital, an investment group whose mission is to develop the digital economy through building, investing in and acquiring internet companies, has been awarded the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 Czech Republic title. In evaluating , the independent jury, composed mainly of winners from previous years, appreciated not only the entrepreneurial spirit of this year’s winner, but above all his efforts to create long-term value and societal benefits through his activities, including a sustainable approach to business.
Internet companies such as Invia Group, Heureka.cz, Košík.cz or Euromedia Group are brands that have quickly become leading players in their fields and have managed to win the favor of customers used to traditional shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, Jakub Havrlant contributes to the development of promising digital start-ups through the Rockaway Ventures Fund. Among other things, he invests in projects in the Czech Republic and Europe based on their positive impact on society and the environment. The motto of Jakub Havrlant’s group is „Here are the lions“. He suggests that there are still plenty of unexplored possibilities in his world, whether it is business itself or initiatives in the field of sport, culture or education.
„I would like to thank you very much for receiving the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 award in the Czech Republic. I see the victory as a reward for the long-term work of all of us and it is a sign for me that everything we do together with our colleagues is good and we will certainly continue to do it,“ said Jakub Havrlant, the winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 Czech Republic, after receiving the trophy.
„Jakub Havrlant is an example of an entrepreneur who combines a bold vision with a strong pull on the goal. It took him ten years to build a pan-European investment group with a number of successful brands. I am sure that he will be a very strong competitor to the winners from other countries in the global final of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition in Monte Carlo,“ said Martina Kneiflová, Managing Partner of EY Czech Republic. „The twenty-third edition of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition was again different in many respects from the previous ones. This year, many family businesses in the Czech Republic focused on traditional craft production entered the competition. Some even became regional winners.“
„The world and the environment in which we live are undergoing a number of fundamental changes, especially in the last year. Sharp fluctuations in energy prices, instability, uncertain supplies of materials or services. This makes it more difficult than ever to succeed. Unfortunately, many companies and entrepreneurs have had to close down in the last year. I am therefore very pleased that this year we can be part of the celebration of entrepreneurship and the best it has to offer – creativity, perseverance, determination, will, emotion, enthusiasm and, last but not least, inspiration that can help others,“ said Maciej Galant, CEO of BMW Czech Republic s.r.o.
„I am pleased that the nominated entrepreneurs are people who have ambitions to succeed beyond the borders of the Czech Republic. Although only one will become the EY Entrepreneur of the Year, and he or she will subsequently advance to the international round of this competition, I have absolutely no doubt that all the nominees will succeed in global markets and thus inspire others,“ says Tomáš Salomon, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Česká spořitelna, and adds: „The success of Czech entrepreneurs and companies and their final products on international markets is a key condition for our transformation from a cheap labour economy to a high added value economy.“
This year’s finalists of the competition and candidates for the title of EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 of the Czech Republic are:
● Pavel Stodůlka – GEMINI Eye Clinic a.s.
● Pavel Louda – LOUDA holding a.s.
● Marcel Klaus – KLAUS Timber a. s.
● Marek Vašíček and Otakar Šuffner – FTMO s.r.o.
In addition to the main award, winners were announced in other categories as every year:
Marek Vašíček and Otakar Šuffner from FTMO s.r.o. became EY Technology Entrepreneurs of 2022.
The EY Start-up Entrepreneur of 2022 trophy was awarded to Linda Šejdová and Tomáš Zahradník from snuggs.
For 17 years, EY has also presented the Socially Beneficial Business Award. The EY Socially Beneficial Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 was Martin Loučka from Centrum palatywativní péče, z. ú.
For the seventh time in the history of the competition, this year the Czech Television Business Contribution to Culture and the Arts Award was presented to Radek Hegmon from Egoé a.s.
The MF DNES and iDNES.cz Readers‘ Award for the Best Business Story of 2022 went to Karel Šimánek and Tomáš Hubínek from BigHub s.r.o.
Jakub Havrlant will be the national representative in the global competition, which is announced by EY in nearly 60 countries around the world and whose winners are selected by independent juries according to uniform criteria. The EY World Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced in June this year during the gala event traditionally held in Monte Carlo.
Partners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 competition
The official car of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 competition is BMW Czech Republic s.r.o. The main partner of the competition is Česká spořitelna a.s. The competition partner is SAP. The main co-organizer is the daily MF DNES and iDNES.cz. The main media partner is Czech Television, while the other media partners of the competition are Forbes magazine, Seznam Zprávy and CZECH CRUNCH. The competition is supported by the CzechInvest agency and the Social Responsibility Association. The competition is held under the auspices of the Czech Chamber of Commerce.