India-Croatia Startup Bridge Initiative Presented: Connecting Startups More than Ever Before

Daniela Rogulj

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This digital platform forms a bridge between entrepreneurs with the technological infrastructure to run joint projects. It is the basis for all future bilateral programs to improve the startup ecosystem between India and Croatia.

On this occasion, the Croatian Agency for Small Business, Innovation and Investment (HAMAG-BICRO) and Startup India presented the India-Croatia Startup Bridge to strengthen Croatian-Indian cooperation, i.e., trade and economic cooperation between Croatia and India. The initiative was presented on Monday, December 20, at the BIRD Incubator, moderated by Željko Krizmanić, BIRD leader.

Participants were addressed by the Indian Secretary of the DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India), Shruti Singh.

“Indo-Croatian Startup Cooperation is the first step between our two countries to promote technology and share knowledge jointly. This bridge will act as a reference point for startups in any country to expand into another market and provide a platform for startups to show their innovations to a global audience.


The Ambassador of India to Croatia, Raj Kumar Srivastava:

“It is a wonderful feeling to achieve something as planned, despite the challenges of this pandemic. We embarked on this journey exactly one year back to start connecting the Indian and Croatian innovation ecosystems from the bottom up, today reaching an important milestone in establishing something tangible to ensure future growth. This startup bridge between India and Croatia would enable Croatian startups to take advantage of 3S (speed, scale, sensitivity), defining the Indian ecosystem and strengthening cooperation within 3T (talent, technology, and trade) between our two countries. There is also great potential for building partnerships while promoting innovation for the global good.”

Aastha Grover, Head of Startup India, stated that she is convinced that India-Croatia Startup Bridge will strengthen cooperation between the startup ecosystems of the two countries.


From the Croatian side, Vjeran Vrbanec, President of the Management Board of HAMAG-BICRO, addressed the gathering.

“I believe that the India-Croatia Startup Bridge will be the foundation for all programs to improve the startup ecosystem between India and Croatia. Creating a network of startups, mentors, entrepreneurs, business investors, and support institutions will enable us to jointly highlight the importance and potential of the growing startup community in Croatia and thus enhance the innovative potential of the region in partnership with India.

Bojan Batinić, Director of the Directorate for Internationalization, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (Croatia), said that Croatia recognizes that startups have a critical role in the economy.

“They create new products or services and new business models. Therefore, it is essential to continuously improve the ecosystem to enable the creation and growth of startups. This event will enhance the possibilities of partnership between Croatia and India and open space for further cooperation between Croatian and Indian startups.”


Držislav Škeljo, Minister Counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in India, said that this initiative, to launch a bridge of cooperation between new Croatian and Indian companies (Croatia-India Startup Bridge), is a valuable step forward in opening new ways of collaboration and deepening current Croatian-Indian economic relations.

“For Croatian companies, this could create many business opportunities in one of the world’s fastest-growing large economies.”

Finally, the guests were addressed by Matija Ražem, Senior Vice President of Infobip, who has worked with the Indian startup ecosystem for many years and offered Infobip’s experience for future initiatives organized within the India-Croatia Startup Bridge.


More information on the India-Croatia Startup Bridge initiative is available at the following link:

The main goals of the India-Croatia Startup Bridge initiative:

– Knowledge sharing: comprehensive guides and tools to help startups assess technology expansion and transfer opportunities
– Networking opportunities: connectivity between startups, mentors, investors, and incubators in relevant sectors from both countries
– Organization of joint programs: one-stop-shop: the platform will host all ecosystem programs; from lectures, panels to exchanges of startup experiences
– Capacity building platform: access to and registration for events, competitions, and workshops in both countries in partnership with coworking spaces

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