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At the beginning of April, a workshop for students organised by the Klub of Investors was held at the University of Economics in Prague. In the course of the workshop, three members of the Rockaway team shared their views on the matter. Here is what they had to say.
Robert Chmelař, Investment partner and Deputy CEO, presented Rockaway’s strategy and explained how we see the current portfolio. When taking questions from the audience, he was asked whether there is any firm that inspires Rockaway: “I wouldn’t want this to come across as being arrogant, but I think that what we do at Rockaway is unique. I don’t know of any firm that has the same concept of combining large firms, which we call Local Champions, with start-ups that have global aspirations. And, furthermore, the ability to work with external financing.”
The Rockaway Ventures start-up division was represented by Jakub Daxner, who described the five principal criteria of a successful founder and gave a behind-the-scenes look at Rockaway’s decision-making process when selecting firms to invest in and which firms leave us unconvinced: “The answer to the question: Why do you want to resolve this problem? That is an important moment for me. Every start-up has to have a well-founded “BECAUSE”. That is something that holds them together at the times when things don’t go well. And those times come faster than they think.”
Adam Kolesa addressed the topic of the founding of Mall Group and the turnaround at Mall. “We don’t want to just acquire firms and then turn them around in the standard, traditional way when you cut costs, set rough KPIs and then quickly sell. For us, it’s about creating value in firms and helping them grow, even at the cost of actively getting involved in their management and putting in a lot of work.” This is how Adam described his work at Mall Group, to which he dedicates as much of his time as possible.
The event concluded with a presentation of the Rockaway Academy internship programme, which is debuting this year. Thanks to a series of meetings with students, which culminated at the University of Economics, the number of people interested in summer internships exceeded expectations and in the final rounds of interviews, ten talented young people are currently applying for the opportunity to spend the summer at Rockaway.