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Y Soft Ventures Employee Equity Handbook: Helping Czech Entrepreneurs Start Employee Equity Programs

Y Soft Ventures
Lukáš Konečný
Principal, Y Soft Ventures
The Employee Equity Handbook guides Czech entrepreneurs in creating an employee stock allocation program.
 
Few things are more emblematic of a startup culture than employee stock ownership. The opportunity for employees to obtain a small stake in the company, allowing them to reap a part of the value they help to create, is a key piece of startup DNA.

Basically, it is considered a necessity for US-based startups, yet still an enormous challenge for most European startups due to complex and less favorable legal and tax frameworks. Add a lack of experience with setting up and running such a program, and the result is that significantly fewer European startups offer their employees the chance to become shareholders. And, if they do offer a program, they reserve a smaller share for their employees than their American counterparts.

Unfortunately, that makes it harder for them to compete for talent, retain key members of staff, efficiently motivate their employees, and build a strong organizational culture in times when more and more employees are interested in employee equity when joining a startup.

At Y Soft Ventures, we strive to deliver on the promise of genuinely smart money. When we partner with a startup and its founders, we aim to provide much more value that “just” the financial investment – we offer guidance in all the key business areas, from strategic and financial management to sales and marketing to manufacturing and global operations. The topic of employee equity programs resonated with the founders of our entire portfolio, so we just had to dive into it.

After spending several weeks researching the subject matter, analyzing the structures entrepreneurs might use to implement such a program in the Czech settings, the key parameters and how to set them up, and how to communicate the initiative to their employees, we delivered a workshop to our portfolio founders, but we did not want to stop there. The information we presented was rather unique – no one in the Czech Republic had created such a detailed analysis of employee equity programs, at least not publicly. Therefore, we decided to share it with the public and make it available to anyone who is interested.

The result is the Employee Equity Handbook – a Czech guide to employee shares, stocks and their alternatives, which anyone can download on the Y Soft Ventures website.

The purpose of the Handbook is to help Czech entrepreneurs properly structure employee equity programs in their companies in a way that corresponds with their needs and expectations. It outlines the options they have when considering the various legal frameworks, details each alternative’s tax implications, advantages and disadvantages and gives several hints as to what else to consider when implementing an equity program.

We believe that these insights are valuable to anyone in the Czech Republic who runs a business and has ambitions to become a global success. Sharing them is our way of supporting the Czech entrepreneurial ecosystem, taking Y Soft’s know-how and experience, both good and bad, and allowing others to learn from it.

To support the release of the Handbook and to share it with as many people as possible, we organized two events in cooperation with Impact Hub Prague and JIC – South Moravian Innovation Centre in Brno, where a few dozens of entrepreneurs had the chance to learn more about employee equity programs in Czech companies and discuss the issue.

  

  
 
Those who participated in the events or read the Handbook got a taste of what working with Y Soft Ventures is like. Very often the mentoring can be much more valuable than the investment itself and we are proud that the founders in our portfolio decided to partner with Y Soft Ventures exactly because of the value we provide.

Download the Employee Equity Handbook – a Czech guide to employee shares, stocks and their alternatives. The Handbook is written in Czech.
 
Lukáš Konečný
Lukáš Konečný
Lukáš is the finance guy at Y Soft Ventures. Apart from making sure that everything runs smoothly at the VC arm of Y Soft Corporation, he works with the invested start-ups and supports them not only in financial matters. When not working, he likes to unwind with good music, either listening to it or playing one his (bass) guitars.
 
View all posts by Lukáš Konečný

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