First Dalmatian Startup Acceleration Programme Coming This Autumn – thurs

Lauren Simmonds

April the 20th, 2023 – The very first Dalmatian startup acceleration programme is set to launch in autumn this year, and Digital Dalmatia (Digitalna Dalmacija) is planning to provide the Dalmatian startup scene with a much needed spring in its step.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, Digital Dalmatia is currently busy arranging the launch of the first Dalmatian startup acceleration programme in the City of Split. The plan is for the programme to be launched this autumn, more specifically in October, and negotiations are currently underway with several foreign partners.

The goal, as explained by Damir Brcic, the head of Digital Dalmatia, is to provide the young Dalmatian startup scene with further education, mentoring and ultimately capital. In order to provide them with all of this, they’re in negotiations with various European acceleration programmes and a few VC funds.

Brcic has stated that over more recent days, they signed an agreement on cooperation with the well known Slovenian VC fund Silicon Gardens, they are also negotiating with Digitalhub from Bonn in Germany and Silicon Castles from Austria, and Startup Wise Guys were also their guests recently. It is a multiple award-winning European and African accelerator and VC fund that has invested in more than 350 startups in their early stages of development since 2012, when it was founded in Estonia by technology entrepreneurs.

Digital Dalmatia pointed out that this year, Startup Wise Guys has a massive 25 million euros available for investments in startups in their early stages of development, and that their acceleration fund is especially dedicated to areas where startups don’t have sufficient access to capital, such as the region of Central Eastern Europe, which includes the Republic of Croatia.

Razvan Suta, Startup Wise Guys’ business expansion manager in charge of Central Europe, arrived at the agreement regarding the launch of the first Dalmatian startup acceleration programme in Split with Digital Dalmatia, a project initiated by Split-Dalmatia County to encourage the development of the blossoming ICT sector.

“I’m delighted with the ideas, the teams and projects that I had the opportunity to see. I’m already thinking about the next steps to launch these young startups on the global market,” said Razvan Suta.

Damir Brcic from Digital Dalmatia explained that they have been actively working on the creation of young startups for four years now through three different startup programmes – Student Entrepreneurship Projects, StartIT Academy and GrowIT competition. He pointed out that to date, they have educated more than 50 teams, of which almost 20 have opened a company or trade.

“Now is the time to launch them on the international market, and for that we need cooperation with experienced foreign investors and accelerators,” he said. In cooperation with them, Split should soon receive its first acceleration programme, which should help Dalmatian startups, through education, mentoring and investments, to confidently step into foreign markets.

“The startup scene in Dalmatia is gradually becoming richer, and there’s no shortage of quality teams and projects. What is currently missing is an accelerator, which would enable all these startups to learn, grow and further develop in Split, without the need to develop their businesses elsewhere outside the country,” Brcic pointed out.

The Dalmatian startup acceleration programme could be a tailwind for the development of the startup scene and ecosystem across Dalmatia, which still lags behind Zagreb, and in which Include’s Ivan Mrvos stands out.

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