Croatian Startup Factory Richer for New Programme

Lauren Simmonds

croatian startup factory

November the 2nd, 2023 – The Croatian Startup Factory is now richer for a new programme which makes entering foreign markets possible.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, having a lightbulb moment and coming up with a bright idea is only a fraction of what it entering the often choppy entrepreneurial waters entails. To be able to successfully “swim” in that competitive world, a lot of knowledge and skills are needed. Ambitious people eager for entrepreneurial success get this right through the first and largest acceleration programme in the country – the Croatian Startup Factory, run by the Zicer Zagreb Innovation Centre.

Numerous examples testify to how just useful the programme is. BiteMe is just one of them. Luka Mujkić, co-founder of a food startup that has marketed its ten energy and organic cookies on ten markets in four years of being in operation, says that they themselves were part of the Croatian Startup Factory.

An intensive programme

They didn’t get money through the programme, but, as Mujkić pointed out, they got knowledge and contacts. That is enough for success out on the market, as well as a message that you don’t have to be the winner of the Croatian Startup Factory to succeed. “It’s really important to be persistent,” explained the co-founder of BiteMe to the newly elected eighth generation of Startup Factory teams, which were publicly presented last week.

The teams, all fourteen of them, offering a wide range of ideas and solutions, are now embarking on an intensive two-month programme that includes workshops, lectures and mentoring. At the end of the programme, on December the 19th, three of the best will be selected and will share a cash prize of 30,000 euros between them. The rest of the 120,000 euro fund provided by the City of Zagreb will be distributed this year, as a novelty of the programme, by the teams of the first generation of the Global Growth programme.

The programme began after listening to the needs of the market

Frane Šesnić, director of Zicer, says that they started the programme after “listening to the needs of the market” and that ”it’s aimed at more mature companies up to five years old, and our goal is to help them internationalise their business,” explained Šesnić.

As for the programme, in which each of the six companies will receive 20 thousand euros, companies well known to the market were selected. BiteMe is one of them, among them are also RoMB Technologies, Sportreact, Protosfera, Bitreport and Flaster. Mujkić from BiteMe noted that he will use the money for further expansion into the DACH market, that is, into Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

In addition, they will invest in going to trade fairs, which are excellent for making new connections, potential clients, and observing the competition. How useful such fairs can be, Mujkić says, is best evidenced by their participation in the international food industry fair Sial in Paris last year, where they concluded a very lucrative deal.

New clients

Zagreb’s RoMB Technologies, which develops innovative autonomous vehicle technology intended for production and logistics companies, also plans to invest money from the Global Growth programme in going to trade fairs. “The fairs are part of our strategy for entering foreign markets, and we’ll accompany that with a marketing campaign on social media,” revealed Damjan Miklić, founder and director of RoMB Technologies, and Ena Miloš, the company’s business manager. They also pointed out that they too are targeting the DACH market. Currently, their smart forklifts are used in company facilities on four markets – Croatia, China, Italy and Lithuania.

While the companies of the Global Growth programme will get to learn and invest in winning new clients and markets, those in the Croatian Startup Factory programme will learn how to run a company as successfully as possible. Among this year’s ideas, there’s definitely no shortage of those who could follow the example of more experienced colleagues from the past.


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