On the Promoting Enterprise portal we are talking to the entrepreneurs on the 33 Under 33 list. This Secrets of Success initiative aims to shine the spotlight on a selection of successful young entrepreneurs, documenting their stories in an effort to inspire others to consider entrepreneurship as a career path. Today it is the turn of young Czech entrepreneur Pavel Bortlík.
Pavel is from the Czech Republic and is a graduate of the Brno University of Technology. His heroes are Iron Man, Spiderman and his beloved wife, and his mentors are his parents, grandparents and his whole family. He puts his entrepreneurial spirit down to the fact that he used to play Age of Empires II when he was a child, and found the opportunity to build and conquer to be life changing. His company Acam Solution s.r.o. is active in the area of automation and robotics.
Where did you get the idea from?
As a child, I used to play strategy games like Age of Empires on my computer. I think that the desire to build and create has remained with me in real life, and business is a strategic game with a tangible result for me. When I was 18 years old, I founded my first company, when I installed photovoltaic panels on houses during my studies. Then I started studying at Brno University of Technology. My field was automation, so developing a business with a focus on automation was a logical choice.
How old were you when you first decided you would start your own business?
At the age of 18, I founded my first company to install photovoltaic panels on houses.
How did you get it off the ground?
Hard work, less sleep, stubbornness, belief in a job well done, taking small steps at a time, support from family and friends.
Who did you turn to for help?
I have always had the support of my family. I always turn to my father and, even though most consultations end in an argument, it is always a very beneficial experience for me. And, of course, to my beloved wife, who always tells me her opinion.
Describe some of the obstacles you faced as a young person starting out in this business.
When I founded my first photovoltaic panel company, I was a kid and I looked like one. Therefore, it was very difficult to gain the trust of either customers or suppliers. Seven years later, when I founded the ACAM solution with my great business partner, I was in the same position, because with our customers, mainly from the automotive sector, you are a child even at the age of 35, and we started supplying them at the age of 25.
So, you can imagine what I had to overcome. Fortunately, I always took every obstacle as a plot device that makes the story more interesting, and I overcame it.
How do you define success?
I consider the greatest success of my business to be the fact that my suppliers, customers, and mainly my team put their trust in me. Without them, I would only be a visionary, but they give me confidence and motivation.
What was the most challenging aspect of setting up your business?
To get the first contract, to get the first supplier, to get the first employee, to get the first capital.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The greatest reward is the realisation that we were able to overcome the first obstacles, build a perfect team and now we are building on a solid foundation.
What are the future goals of your business, and how will you go about achieving it?
To keep building a love brand in which people will be happy to create, and to keep values such as extreme innovation, quality work and professional responsibility for our products.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Be innovative, be honest, be patient, trust your instincts and have fun doing what you do.
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- Publication date
- 10 February 2023
- Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
- Promoting Enterprise - categories
- Secrets of Success
- Promoting Enterprise - tags
- SME AssemblyentrepreneurshipEntrepreneurs