Croatia’s Foreign Entrepreneurs: Matthew, from London to Zagreb, Alzheimer’s Research, Digital Marketing

Total Croatia News

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July 29, 2019 – Pioneering Croatian medical research into Alzheimer’s detection is just one of the hats Matthew Elliott is wearing in Zagreb since making the switch from London.

Continuing our look at the foreigners who are trying to make it in The Beautiful Croatia, meet Matthew Elliott. While not strictly an entrepreneur, we decided to include him in this section because he is doing something VERY interesting. 

First and foremost, why Croatia?

Why not? It wasn’t long after Brexit was decided (still a sore subject) and I fancied a new challenge, as well as increasing my skillset from purely editorial to marketing and PR. The fact there was more than a week of sunshine a year also helped to confirm my decision.

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INTRO YOUR BUSINESS, what is it you do?

I work for Manning Global as a Digital Marketing Specialist in the heart of Zagreb and also run their blog page, as well as all of their social media. I’m also involved in an innovative medical freelance PR project (also in Zagreb) that helps to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease – more on this to come in a separate article, but there is some more information at the end of this interview below.

What (if any) bureaucratical issues have you encountered and how did you overcome them (i.e. any advice to the would-be entrepreneur?)

The amount of paperwork here is insane; you always need to fill in a form just to fill in the next form! Seriously, the amount of bureaucracy is on another level and puts off many entrepreneurs from starting their own business. My advice to any would-be entrepreneurs would be to ensure you truly know the market before taking the plunge, as it’s a lot of upkeep from an administrative point of view.

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How is your product or business perceived in the Croatian market?

Well. As we’re based in recruitment, staffing and managed services, it’s nice to provide a service that helps the Croatian economy flourish and keep the labour force in this country.

What were the opinions of your friends and community, were they supportive of your idea, or…?

I’m pleased to say that all of my family and friends supported my decision to leave Blighty and emigrate… probably because they knew they’d get a nice holiday out of it! 😉 On a serious note, they were all fully behind me; they knew I needed a new challenge and to sample a different culture. I already had a few friends that had taken the plunge (one lives in the States and another in Spain), so I spoke to them before and they more than alleviated any fears I had.

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What are some of the greatest challenges you have faced in business in Croatia?

Apart from all the paperwork? Well, the language is proving pretty tricky to master, I must say. Plus, the economy being what it is, the salary here doesn’t truly represent the work being undertaken. Sometimes it’s very disheartening to think about what you could be earning back home in the same industry, with the same amount of experience and skillset.

If you knew then, what you know now, would you have come?

Yes, I still would have. Although sometimes it’s been an almighty struggle – both from a cultural and financial point of view – I met the woman of my dreams and am the happiest I’ve ever been in; both in the boardroom and the bedroom.

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What are 3 things you love about Croatia?

The weather; you get ACTUAL seasons here… the coffee; seriously, have you tasted it?… the sea; I’ve never seen a more beautiful shade of blue in all my life!

What are 3 things you would like to see improved in the business climate in Croatia?

Wages paid on time would be a good start. Streamline the admin, oh and give employees an incentive to work for you; people should invest in people.

How is it working with Croatians in terms of a business mentality?

Sometimes it’s a struggle, especially for someone used to the London rat race. Now I know why there’s no ‘Coffee to Go’ here in Zagreb; Croatians like to take their time, which is all fine and well, but when it comes to deadlines and career progression, this starts to become a problem.

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11. Advice for foreign entrepreneurs thinking of coming to Croatia?

Yes, know your market, know your customer, oh and be sure to pack a good pen ‘cos you’re gonna need it for the paperwork!

And now, for a little more on that Alzheimer detection project. There will be much more information about this exciting Croatian medical research work coming soon, but here is what we can tell you now:

Intro to Check My Brain

Check My Brain is the only medical test which numerically estimates your risk to enter into a symptomatic phase of Alzheimer’s disease. The results are reviewed by expert physicians. Check My Brain is the most simple test available in the world: 20 hairs. 20 seconds of your time. This method is based on the most modern and most reliable stem cell approach and the results are visible only to you, protected by Check My Brain’s online platform.

About the inventor…

Check my Brain is the brainchild of the Head of the Laboratory for Stem Cells in Croatia,  Prof. Dinko Mitrečić, MD, PhD.  Prof. Mitrečić has vast experience in the management of international projects aimed to discover innovative therapies for brain diseases. He is involved in the European advocacy of brain research and innovative therapeutic technologies: he is the head of Laboratory for Stem Cells in Croatia, General Secretary of the Croatian Brain Council and is an expert member of the Management Board of European Joint Program for Neurodegenerative diseases.

The need for Check My Brain

Check My Brain is a breakthrough in medical diagnostics. It’s a simple, innovative medical test based on the most recent discoveries in medical research that aims to help millions of people worldwide. By obtaining neurons from just 20 of your hairs, Check My Brain is able to give the precise numerical estimation of the risk for entering into a symptomatic phase of Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the brain. 

Current treatments can only slightly slow down the progression of brain diseases, and thus patients depend highly on the care from family and specialised institutions. One major reason why we’re currently unsuccessful with the treatment of brain disease is lack of simple test for detecting disease in its early stages. The brain is almost impossible to access, since it is positioned underneath the skull, hidden behind the blood brain barrier. This means blood tests or scans cannot detect brain disease in its early stages. 

By using stem cell technology we will transform your hair cells into your own brain cells. They will allow us to detect possible early signs of developing brain disease. If we were to observe any abnormalities, we will then be advised to perform more detailed testing in the clinic. If your disease is detected in the early stages, you will be treated immediately, in order to postpone the progression. 

Partners of Check My Brain

Check My Brain is part of Omnion Research International. At Omnion Research International, we specialise in providing dynamic scientific solutions in the field of neuroregeneration, neurorestoration and biotechnology. We use advanced research techniques and our Biomedical Research Lab possesses the necessary technology to explore and investigate scientific hypotheses. 

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You can connect with Matthew through the various channels below.
Are you a foreign entrepreneur trying to make it in The Beautiful Croatia who would like to be featured in our TCN series (see other entrepreneurs here)? Contact us at [email protected]


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