BIRD Incubator will Make Croatia a Development Center for AI in Europe

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BIRD Incubator to make Croatia one of the development centers for AI
BIRD Incubator to make Croatia one of the development centers for AI

November 3, 2020 – BIRD Incubator, the first specialized incubator for artificial intelligence and analytics in Croatia, wants to attract ambitious teams from all over the world to work and live in Zagreb.

A new digital nomad opportunity in Croatia is underway. Namely, BIRD Incubator will be opened in Zagreb, and it will enable teams to develop innovative solutions in the field of data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Applications for teams and projects have already started.

The acronym BIRD actually means Business, Intelligence, Research, and Development. It is the idea of the Poslovna inteligencija (Business intelligence) company, which has been focused on the development of IT solutions in the field of analytics for 20 years. Now, they want to enable the development of ideas with this incubator to others.

They want to support not only Croatian teams, but also those from the entire region, Europe, and the world.

“Our goal is that in a few years, start-ups and ambitious teams from all over the world contact us and wish to come to Zagreb in our incubator because they will have the conditions, mentors, technological support, but also a lifestyle that would be attractive and provide them with maximum results,” said Dražen Oreščanin, President of the Management Board of the Poslovna inteligencija, for ICT Business.

After all the preparations, BIRD Incubator will open its doors on January 15, 2021, by which the selection process for the registered teams will last, and it will cover 450 square meters in the very center of Zagreb.

“We decided to start our incubator and innovation center at the beginning of next year. In the premises where we are, the opportunity opened up to get an additional 450 square meters of space and we decided to open our BIRD incubator for analytics and artificial intelligence. Preparations for the opening are underway, and so far we have agreed on the support of various partners and mentors who will help the participants of the incubator in their activities,” said Oreščanin, who is also a mentor.

He is accompanied by Davor Runje, Luka Abrus, Bernard Grum, Ratko Mutavdžić, Davor Aničić, Marijana Šarolić Robić, and many others. Technology support, such as cloud space, will be provided by IBM and Microsoft, while industry partners are United Group and Atlantic Group, on whose business cases teams can work on if they do not have their own idea.

The incubator offers complete infrastructure for teams – workplace, meeting rooms, education center, open space for meetups and hackathons, and support of leading mentors in the industry. In this way, they want to make Croatia one of the development hubs for AI in Europe.

“We want teams with good ideas from the domain of analytics to know that there is a Zagreb BIRD incubator where they can come and present their ideas. If it turns out to be good, we want to allow them to bring this idea to life through our resources,” explained Lidija Karaga from Poslovna inteligencija for the Woman in Adria portal, who will also be a mentor along with Oreščanin.

Recently, the first project was selected to be supported by the BIRD incubator in its further development. It is a project named Turistico, an AI chatbot that represents a travel assistant and offers personalized entertainment for all ages, which is awarded second place at the Open Data Hackathon 2020 competition. Other teams and projects can apply on their website.

What distinguishes BIRD Incubator from many other incubators in Croatia, says Oreščanin, is their effort to be the best in the world in what they do, and with the help of CRO AI association, which brings together Croatian AI companies, their goal is to put Croatia on the world map in that area.

“We know that there are a lot of smart people, good ideas, brilliant teams that do good things and that is why we decided to create a platform through which we will enable them to grow and develop and thus give our socially useful contribution,” Karaga said.

To read more about business in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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