Avast Software celebrates moving into a beautiful Silicon Valley-style work place.
The grand opening of the new Avast headquarters, held in Prague on Thursday night, was a gala event for employees, friends of Avast, international journalists, his excellence Andrew H. Schapiro U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Chairman of the Board John Schwarz, our two co-founders, and other honored guests.
Opening the event on a stage set up in the expansive lobby of the new building, CEO Vincent Steckler summarized his last 7 years with the company. When he started, Avast was still a start-up in many ways with only 3 products, 40 employees, and occupying a modest building. There was no board of directors or proper company structure in place.
Since Mr. Steckler took the helm of the company, Avast has become a global force in security software and delivered award-winning products to consumers, small businesses, and enterprise.
“We are extremely proud of how far we have come,” said Steckler. “Avast is on more computers than any other security software, and we are just getting started.”
Looking towards the future, Steckler said to a rapt audience, “The Internet of Things has led to an entire new era of security concerns, which Avast is well-poised to address for our customers.”
Avast’s presence in the U.S. is growing
Ambassador Shapiro described the success of Avast in Czech Republic and beyond its borders. He said, “Avast has been extremely successful here, but what you might not know is that Avast is also the most successful tech company from the Czech Republic in the U.S.”
He spoke about Avast’s growing presence in Silicon Valley which will attract new talent and accelerate its growth stateside.
“Currently there are more than 15 million Avast customers in the U.S. and there is still an enormous opportunity,” said Ambassador Shapiro. “Tech will continue to connect us as we discover new ways to help our citizens, and make the world a safer place.”
Grandmaster Garry Kasparov challenges 11 players at once
Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov was Avast’s special guest for the evening. The highlight of his visit for gala guests was watching him play against 11 opponents simultaneously. Five lucky Avast employees and 6 guests were chosen to be the Grandmaster’s opponents. It took Kasparov less than one hour to decidedly defeat each of the star-struck opponents, however no players were beat in less than 20 moves.
Guest player Alex Barrasso, five-time winner of the U.S. Championship for Blind Players, said, “For any chess player – whether you’re a casual player or a serious player – just to get the opportunity to sit across the board from someone like him, who is perhaps the greatest player ever to live, is an honor.”
Guests treated to behind-the-scenes tours and demonstrations
Beside the 6 meter wide staircase that connects the floors of Avast, experts from different areas set up demonstrations and hands-on activities for guests. Avast for Business showed how simple it is for SMB’s with limited resources to use our free, cloud-managed security product to protect their devices and customer data. Avast Mobile Security analysts set up a café scenario and showed guests what a hacker could see on unsecure Wi-Fi hotspots and how connecting with Avast SecureLine VPN can keep you save.
The showstopper of the evening was the Avast Virus Lab. The new monitoring wall shows attacks against Avast users happening in real-time and how many threats are blocked by Avast. In the last 30 days, as Virus Lab Analyst Michal Salat explains, Avast blocked 1.590 billion attacks against our users.
Party on the 7th floor
After the building tours, demos, and chess challenge, the party began. The food was plenty and delicious, and the drinks flowed until the wee hours of the night.
The 7th floor is the fun floor, complete with canteen, recording studio, cinema, video arcade, and a quiet area with the library and hammocks for a quick power nap. No napping was going on this time, as partiers mixed and mingled to the sounds of a DJ spinning the sounds and constant conversation.
The Avast Grand Opening was a great way to inaugurate our new beautiful headquarters. For more pictures, please visit the Avast Facebook gallery.