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Patron GO: Transforming Personal Finance – An Inside Look

In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, stories often begin with a blend of passion, frustration, and a bold vision to challenge the status quo. For Lukas and Jiri, the founders of Patron GO, their journey from corporate roles to startup pioneers is a testament to their determination to revolutionize personal finance.

From Corporate to Startup Pioneers

Lukas's journey into startups diverged from his corporate background. With a history in sales within international transport companies and later leading the B2B division at Alza, the largest Czech e-commerce website, Lukas developed a keen understanding of user behavior and needs. It was during his tenure at Alza that Lukas first dipped his toes into the startup world, laying the groundwork for what would become Patron GO.

Meanwhile, Jiri's entrepreneurial spirit ignited in 2010 when he founded the largest financial comparison website in the region, Witnessing the imbalance between financial institutions and consumers, Jiri saw an opportunity to empower individuals with smart online tools. This passion continued with Patron GO, a natural progression of his mission.

Motivation from Challenges and Experiences

The catalyst for Patron GO arose from their collective experiences and challenges in their previous roles. Lukas's tenure at Alza, where he led the B2B team and created various loyalty systems and tools, provided him with insights into user needs. His success with a loyalty gamification platform, which garnered over two million registered users, laid the groundwork for Patron GO.

Similarly, Jiri's frustration with the exorbitant fees and lackluster services of financial institutions fueled his desire to bring about change. As he said - I clearly saw that key financial players are charging extraordinary fees, most of them are providing lousy services and are reluctant to innovate. That has to change. Giving consumers the power to use bank data to press for better and cheaper services is the answer. When we realized with Lukas that open banking can change the balance of power, we did not hesitate. Together, they embarked on a mission to combine gamification, innovation, and banking data to create Patron GO—a free app designed to optimize users' finances.

Empowering Users with Patron GO

At the heart of Patron GO lies a mission to address the declining financial literacy and the daunting landscape of financial products. Through personalized suggestions and a user-first approach, the app offers solutions to improve users' financial well-being. From reducing utility bills to optimizing investments, Patron GO aims to simplify and enhance users' financial management. Are you overpaying on electricity bills? Do you have disposable income which could increase in value if invested correctly? Patron GO is the only app on the market that offers specific solutions which can usually be implemented in just one click. We believe that Patron GO can improve users’ financial health and pick and choose the most suitable financial solutions for them.

Envisioning the Future of Fintech

Looking ahead, Lukas envisions Patron GO as a catalyst for positive perceptions of financial services. With Patron GO, I want to introduce a kind of automation in finance, similar to how assistance services work when your car breaks down. Nowadays, almost no one fixes their car themselves; they simply call for help and others take care of it. The same must happen in finance. With an emphasis on failing fast and iterating, Lukas and Jiri navigate the uncertainties of entrepreneurship with resilience and adaptability. Their founder superpowers—Lukas's innovation and adaptability and Jiri's deep industry knowledge—serve as pillars for their success.

Overcoming Challenges and Recognition

Despite the challenges of bureaucracy and funding, Patron GO has flourished, boasting over 250,000 users and earning recognition as the Startup of the Year in the CEE region. As mentors, Lukas and Jiri pay it forward, sharing their experiences and expertise with aspiring founders.

We exchange experiences across fintech’s in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as through the portfolio of our investors' companies. There's plenty of experience to draw from. Naturally, I try to pass on my strengths such as user journey, loyalty, and gamification to others. I believe that any project can be successful; you just have to nail the user journey :). My business partner Jiří even lectures about fintech at universities! – according to Lukas. 

Luckily, the Czech market is rich in successful tech founders. I had the privilege to know some of the best. Two of them even founded a unicorn, which is really hard to do in the CEE region given its smallish size. Being a fintech pioneer is a commitment. You need to pass on the enthusiasm and the determination to others, so that financial services will one day catch up with other industries – as Jiri said. 

A Blueprint for Success

In a landscape ripe for disruption, Lukas and Jiri's journey with Patron GO serves as an inspiration—a testament to the power of innovation, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of empowering change.

Aspiring founders take note: embrace the fail-fast mentality, prioritize user-centric innovation, and surround yourself with talent. With dedication and vision, you too can carve a path of impact and success in the world of entrepreneurship.

Feeling inspired by Lukas and Jiri's entrepreneurial journey?

Perhaps it's time for you to embark on your own startup adventure. Apply now for the 7th edition of the School of Pioneers and join an exclusive community of over 300 alumni who have collectively raised almost 220 million PLN in funding. This edition focuses on innovative business ideas in the health tech industry, aligning with Goal 3 of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda—promoting good health and well-being through the use of artificial intelligence. As part of the program, all selected participants will have the opportunity to attend a series of free business workshops held in Poland and the Czech Republic (Prague), receive mentoring, and pitch their ideas to a jury comprising representatives from VC funds, business angels, and more. Additionally, the authors of the top three ideas will receive cash prizes, with 50,000.00 PLN awarded to the winners and 30,000.00 PLN to each of the two distinguished teams.

Don't miss this chance to turn your innovative ideas into reality! Check our website for more information: 

Weronika Mystek

Departament Rozwoju Innowacji PFR

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