Velvet Innovation Conferences

Velvet Innovation

Velvet Innovation Conference brings together people from companies, public and research institutions, universities, NGOs, and the creative industry. Our mission is to inspire and connect people dedicated to innovation without demolition. Meet like-minded international innovators and get inspired by industry leaders and #brnoregion success stories.

About Conference 2023


15 November 2023

Hotel Passage, Lidická 23, Brno

This year, we go broader and deeper. What must we do to ensure our region's prosperity and sustainability? The Velvet Innovation Conference's 2023 edition considers the various shapes sustainability may take, from green solutions to ethical investing to workplace well-being. Choose from 9 sessions featuring the best of the region, panel discussions with experts, and case studies of inspiring local and international companies.

We have given special attention to networking – apart from the essential coffee breaks and afterparty, start-ups can join a dedicated speed networking session. To champion innovation in every aspect of life in #brnoregion, we venture outside the conference for the first time with side events by our partners.  


Side events

Velvet Innovation is all about collaboration, and #brnoregion is full of exciting places and people with something to say. Our mission is to spread the umbrella of Velvet Innovation to highlight fresh perspectives and connect different worlds. Join our side events related to innovation, technology, or creativity. 

Made by Fire

17.11.2023 0:00:00
Husova 536, 662 26 Brno
Moravian Gallery in Brno, Museum of Applied Arts

Velvet Innovation Conference @ social



    We picked the most exciting student projects, start-ups, scale-up success stories, and innovation leaders you can be proud of. Vote in pitch contests and show your support. 


    International guests, case studies, and experiences no money can buy. Learn from industry experts and make the most of their stories.  


    Meet fellow innovation fans and put your heads together. Seize the opportunity to connect with the most prominent players in the region at a single event.  
    12:00–13:00 Registration and coffee
    13:00–14:15 Opening session (Main stage)
      Official welcome

    Petr Chládek (CEO, JIC), Markéta Vaňková (Mayor of Brno), Jan Grolich (Governor of the South Moravian Region)
      Keynote + Panel discussion 
      Sustainable prosperity of the region 

    Working with the future involves dealing with uncertainty, blind angles, and cognitive biases, while also taking calculated risks and monitoring key vectors of change. Futurist Daria Krivonos will discuss the future of a sustainable society, considering planetary boundaries and the balance between work, life, health, and purpose for citizens in the 21st century. Her lecture will highlight how a region with a strong heritage and recent history can innovate and become a part of the European sustainability agenda.

    Daria Krivonos (CEO, Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies), Jan Grolich (Governor of the South Moravian Region), Ondráš Přibyla (CEO, Facts on Climate Change), Daniel Prokop (sociologist and founder of PAQ Research)

    Moderated by Martina Pouchlá
    14:15–15:00 Coffee break
    15:00–15:45 Pitch sessions (Main stage)
      Emerging Innovators

    Every year, young entrepreneurs from Brno University of Technology, Masaryk University, and Mendel University compete for funding and mentorship for their start-up projects. Show your support for local emerging innovators on a path to make their mark on the world.  

    Innovation Leaders

    Meet the movers and shakers of #brnoregion. A line-up of short pitches will introduce the most exciting recent innovation initiatives from South Moravia that came to fruition over the past year.  

    Moderated by Jiří Hlavenka (Councilor for Science, Research and Innovation, South Moravian Region, Investor) 
      Panel discussion (Parallel stage 1)
      Funding the Future 

    Join investors in exploring the future of the angel and venture capital scene, considering current events and the changing landscape of start-up investing. Let’s examine how the period of economic uncertainty and geopolitical factors impacted valuations and investment willingness. We will discuss how the criteria for selecting start-ups for investment are evolving, consider the rise of impact investment as the new norm, and how it's reshaping how investors evaluate opportunities and measure success. 

    Eva Arh (Partner, 3VC), Karel Obluk (Partner, Evolution Equity Partners), Vít Horký (Founder & Investor, Czechfounders)

    Hosted by Miloš Sochor (Managing partner, Y Soft Ventures)

      Case studies + Q&A (Parallel stage 2)
      Finding Business Opportunities in ESG

    YSoft and CTP have both successfully integrated ESG principles into their business model. We will examine how to leverage sustainability and social impact to drive growth, enhance customer loyalty, and create value for stakeholders. Learn from companies that have used ESG as an opportunity for their business and learn from their experiences and best practices. Join us as we explore the growing importance of ESG in the business world and discover how it can be a powerful driver of innovation, competitiveness, and impact.

    Václav Muchna (CEO, Y Soft), Adam Targowski (Group Head of ESG, CTP) 

    Hosted by Petr Holík (Facts on Climate Change)

    15:45–16:30 Coffee break
    16:30–17:15 Panel discussion (Main stage)
      Future of Mobility

    Join us for an insightful discussion on the future of mobility, exploring the policies on the national and EU levels versus the business and everyday reality. We'll examine the latest trends and technologies shaping the future of transportation, including modes of transportation such as electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and mobility-as-a-service, as well as new technologies such as hydrogen propulsion. We will hear from industry leaders and political representatives and explore how they navigate the complex and ever-changing mobility landscape.  

    Michal Závišek (General Manager, Honeywell Technology Solutions)

    Moderator TBA

      Panel discussion (Parallel stage 1)
      Unlocking the Benefits of Corporate/Start-up Cooperation

    Learn from real-world examples and gain actionable takeaways to enhance your business partnerships. Draw inspiration from a case study of successful cooperation between a local start-up and an international corporation. Representatives of start-ups and corporates will share insights and strategies for successful collaboration, including navigating cultural differences, managing expectations, and fostering innovation. 

    Kateřina Manley (Head of Investments, Seed Starter of Česká Spořitelna), Philippe Souidi (Vice President, SAP.iO), Vít Rašovský (CEO & co-founder, Invanta), Jan Skoták (Associate Vice President & Regional Centre Head, Infosys) 


    Hosted by Lucie Kanioková (Business Innovation Manager, JIC)
      Fireside chat (Parallel stage 2)
      Scaleup Success Stories of the Year

    The scale-up superstars of 2022 will let you on their business secrets. In the informal format of a CEO-to-CEO chat, we will get to know the companies that took business media by storm last year and learn what constituted their success, who helped them on the way and their attitudes toward sustainability.

    Petr Palas (Founder, Kentico &, Petr Janošík (Founder & CEO, Smartlook)


    Hosted by Jiří Tobola (Mentor, ScaleUp Board member, JIC) 
    17:15–18:00 Coffee break + Speed networking
      Meet Your Next Investor/Business Partner

    Find the match made in heaven for your start-up solution. This speed networking session will allow you to meet with the investor or corporate business partner of your choice. Start-ups can register to join the session in the month leading to the event. 

    18:00–18:45 Pitch session (Main stage)
      Start-up Spotlight

    A showcase of the most promising start-up companies from #brnoregion with a great ambition to grow. Vote for your favorite start-ups and remember their names; you will hear about them in the future! 

      Panel discussion (Parallel stage 1)
      Future of Work

    Will we finally work less but smarter? Join us in a discussion exploring the impact of automation and digitalization, the reality of work for the next generation, and the skill set of the future. We will unpack how employees are coping with the current situation in the workplace and what the future holds for new recruits. 


    Hana Ducháčková (Global Strategic Intelligence Lead, The Adecco Group), Tomáš Ervín Dombrovský (Head of Analysis, Communication & Relations, LMC)


    Hosted by Filip Dřímalka (Founder, Digiskills & Digitask)
      Case study + Q&A (Parallel stage 2)
      Profit with a Purpose: Lessons from sustainable companies

    Get insights from companies that have earned their success with sustainability at the core of their business. We will examine sustainable business models in two case studies and discuss the specifics with industry experts. We will discuss featured projects' origins, challenges, how they are doing in the market today, and where they see opportunities in the future. 

    Jan Čillík (CEO, Tierra Verde), Mark Kirwan (CEO & co-founder, Positive Carbon) 

    Moderator TBA

    18:45–19:15 Break
    19:15–20:00 Closing session (Main stage)
    Final remarks

    Speakers TBA
    20:00–22:00 Afterparty
    Refreshments + Networking 

    Where and when?

    Date & Time

    November 15, 2023 / 12:00


    Hotel Passage, Lidická 23, 602 00 Brno

    How to get there

    by tram to station Antonínská

    Gold Partners

    Silver Partners



    Media partner


    Velvet Innovation Conference @ social