With the worldwide Imagine Cup finals taking place right now, it is a good time to look back in the rear view mirror and see how we have been evolving as a start-up in a time of fantastic opportunities for technology specialists like us – despite the current economic challenges…
We hope that our experience can inspire other young people, students and IT enthusiasts like us to realize their ideas and dreams.
For those who don’t know us, GINA is a software that improves mission control and tactical communication in the field and it is intended for rescuers and professionals operating in the field. It is proven to be an effective technology particularly during national disasters.
In 2009 we were studying IT at the University of Technology in Brno in Czech Republic, when we started to develop the project which is now our company. Our idea was simple. What we know now, and we did not know then, was how a simple idea and the motivation to compete in the Imagine Competition would change our lives.
It all started in January 2010, when an earthquake hit Haiti and shook up the rest of the word. At the time, we were already working on a solution which could be extremely useful during such crisis situations and could help save lives. Immediately we contacted a humanitarian organization planning a rescue mission to Haiti and thanks to our collaboration we were able to provide the rescuers with first versions of GINA for their mission. The project got kicked-off from then onwards. You can watch the video here.
Out of the many opportunities offered by the Imagine Cup competition, it is hope and inspiration that helped us develop the GINA project so quickly. Imagine Cup not only gave us the initial inspiration to solve a tough problem: coordinating disaster response. Imagine Cup also provided the ideal platform to kick-start our project, develop right technology, and the confidence and support to evolve the project into our company GINA Software.
A couple of years on, many things are happening, and keeping us busy!
Last year we participated in a global competition called Galileo Masters (European Satellite Navigation Competition), which is organized by several companies including the European Space Agency (ESA). It is one of the most prestigious competitions in Europe focusing on solutions which integrate space technologies.
After winning our national round, alongside other international teams including teams from Spain, Italy and even from Taiwan, we proceeded to the final round and we are happy to say that we were selected among 40 other projects out of almost 400 at the early stage of the competition!
We also won our seats in an international research project of ESA called Artes20. In a nutshell, the ARTES 20 IAP programme represents the application and service activities of ESA’s Telecommunications and Integrated Applications (TIA) directorate, including application primarily arranged around Health, Safety, Transport, Energy and Development. In this initiative, we were taking part in an international consortium to evaluate usage of technologies, (including GINA’s technology) in view of improving safety of visitors to winter resorts.
Also recently, we have established an official cooperation with national emergency fire fighters in Czech Republic, enabling us to make a difference in emergency actions during the recent flooding in our country.
Now, we are still the development stage our business, taking it one step at a time. We are still working hard on establishing new and key partnerships all around the world, to keep on growing.
All we hope for is to continue making an impact on the world around us, so that the people take advantage of the solutions we have created. We realize now how much this competition helped us get where we are today. We will certainly watch the worldwide finals LIVE on July 11th here to find out about the great projects this year’s finalists have created. Come watch with us!
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