“We don’t believe in borrowing money from someone. We believe in making money.” – Ondrej Homola disrupts education with virtual reality

Ondrej Homola comes from Czech Republic. He is a co-founder and CEO of Lifeliqe – a tool for learning science with virtual and augmented reality. Currently, it is used by 15,000 schools around the world. The database consists of 1000 3D STEM models that his company has created and will soon allow other people contribute their designs as well. ‘Think of it as a YouTube for Virtual Reality’ – Ondrej explains.

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How did Ondrej and his team start their partnership with Microsoft? How did Ondrej’s company approach schools and convince them to start using virtual reality in classes? How do schools react to such a new concept? How is Ondrej financing his business and why is he avoiding raising money from investors? What were the reactions to Lifeliqe in Czech Republic? What were Ondrej’s beginnings in Silicon Valley and what were his first days in America and NYC when the hurricane Sandy hit? How is he managing to run the company in USA and Czech at the same time?

Watch the interview and hear Ondrej’s impressive story!

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Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • Partnering with Microsoft was a big strategic milestone for Ondrej’s company:

    “When we had a chance to meet Steve Ballmer, we said that we will bet everything on this card, because this is our last chance to be a part of the big game in mobile.”

  • There wasn’t really much understanding in Czech Republic about what they did:

    “We’ve been receiving a lot of push back. People were really like ‘Yeah, that’s cool, but who cares.’ or ‘I saw that milion times before.’ and I used to say ‘Actually no, we are probably one of the few companies in the world doing that.’”

  • In Ondrej’s opinion, the rush in raising money in Silicon Valley became insane:

    “I don’t really get this mindset of some kids here which is all about next funding round, evaluation, relationship with investors. I think it’s all about business and serving customers. This is also what we’ve learned – trying to understand that there are some things that are so cool about Silicon Valley, and that there are some things which I’m not buying.”

  • It’s hard to be an immigrant:

    “It’s definitely out of the comfort zone, because you are here without your friends. Also, being here means like you’re working 24/7. Weekends are no fun because this is not your family, or if you have friends, it’s still different than having those in Czech Republic.”

  • Although it’s hard, Ondrej would not move back to Czech:

    “[In Silicon Valley] you feel kind of like on drugs. It’s usually exhausting, but also so much energy is coming from the market by meeting great people.”

  • This is what Ondrej says is their current strategy for growth:

    “Finding the right partners. Because when you are a small startup with 35 people you really have no chance to approach those [big B2B] customers directly.”


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