Croatian Innovation: Digitalna Dalmacija Portal and New Startups Presented in Split

Daniela Rogulj

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Organized by the GrowIT project of ICT County, which aims to consolidate and encourage the IT startup scene in Split and the county, a TeamUP LIVE event for networking startups was held on Wednesday in PICS @ FESB at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FESB) in Split. Dalmatinski Portal reports that at the event, the new startup platform was presented, and an innovative electric bicycle and tourist guide by Ljubičić Technology from Runović.

Damir Brčić, the ICT County project manager, spoke about the Digitalna Dalmacija portal, saying that the initial idea was to present the startup community to the general public so that all institutions, financiers, or anyone who can, would help build that story. Also, the mission is to connect startups, encourage their cooperation, and unite all the news that is of interest to startups, for example, about incentive tenders, i.e., to keep everything concentrated in one place.

“We in the ICT County project, which is part of Digitalna Dalmacija, have decided to support startups in our county vertically. For the second year in a row in cooperation with Lean Startup Croatia, we are working on an 8-week StartIT academy. Of the 15 teams, seven founded companies and were given space at the SPINIT center. The next project is GrowIT with a budget of almost one million kuna to help startups in two categories – young startups (first prize of 70,000 kuna and 7 prizes of 50,000 kuna) and startups up to 5 years old (prizes of 250,000, 200,000, and 100,000 kuna),” explained Brčić added that valuable training was organized as part of the GrowIT project.

The most dynamic part of the event was the premiere presentation of the electric bicycle ‘Guide-B,’ an innovative product of the young inventor and entrepreneur from Runović / Imotski Mario Ljubičić and his technology startup Ljubičić Technology for which he twice won the Grand Prix at the international innovation fair Arka in Zagreb.

“It all started with an attempt to develop our own electric car in the yard of our house in Imotski in 2017, almost without tools, and ended with an electric bicycle, which is also a tourist guide. Last year, we developed our third, latest final model of the ‘Guide-B’ bike that perfectly fits all terrains with its looks, performance, and comfort. We have several models of that bike, and the price ranges from 2,400 to 3,000 euros. Everything is done in Runovići and our development center in Imotski, and the processing center in Posušje (BiH). One Swiss and one Italian company invested in our production. The bike reaches a speed of 25 km / h, which is a legal limit and can be ridden from 60 to 160 km, depending on the terrain, has a versatile application of routes, locations, and domestic indigenous offer of Imotski in several languages,” pointed out the 23-year-old Ljubičić, a student in Dubrovnik, adding that the bicycle has a built-in alarm system that will work for up to 20 days in case of theft.

Ljubičić Technology came on the market in March this year, already has over 100 orders and today employs up to 12 people at three locations, depending on the need, while the owner and director Ljubičić has, as he says, the lowest salary of all.

As part of the networking of members of the platform through TeamUP, four Croatian startups were presented. Petar Starčević from Clastr, Mario Mrkša from grabAhome, Ivan Voras from Equinox Vision, and Zlatko Kovačić from DotYourSpot spoke about their IT projects.

Zlatko Kovačić, director of the company DotYourSpot, which develops new digital solutions for its customers, told the caterers that their goal is to create a system that will solve all the problems of reservations in catering facilities and their management systems. The waiter can have information about what you are allergic to and what to offer you through the app.

“We deal with QR price lists used by over 70 restaurants. When booking, we have developed the ’emergency’ option that, in bad weather, the application arranges tables within the facility and cancels some reservations. The mobile application provides an overview of all restaurants, nightclubs, and events for buying tickets in Croatia. We are trying to expand this service to the whole of Europe and beyond,” said Kovačić. He added that this whole success story started in his grandparents’ apartment, then the impetus of the ICT County arrived, and today they have business premises.

Petar Starčević is from the startup Clastr, an application intended for gamers who do not have good enough hardware. They provide support directly with a ‘peer-to-peer connection, and gaming computer owners are paid for their rent.

“People don’t know that 80% of gamers don’t have access to the latest games because their hardware isn’t good enough. We connect them to an external server that gives them that capability. What is our advantage over the competition is that we reduce the distance between the server that is a gaming computer and the user and thus create a better user experience,” said Starčević and added that their users are mostly ‘casual’ gamers.

Twenty-five-year-old Mario Mrkša, founder and director of grabAhome, a company with eight employees, works on an online platform for booking accommodation in Croatia for accommodation longer than 30 days for those who go to study or work in other areas.

“The problem with current agencies and online platforms is that the prices of such rentals are high, and renters are uneducated. Our platform is the solution, everything is online, and we offer landlords to check accommodation through our agents or professional photos or video tours. We also offer online signing of contracts through the platform, a guarantee that the accommodation is as advertised,” Mrkša explained, adding that their most promising clients are students and digital nomads who work online from anywhere in the world.

Ivan Voras of Equinox Vision works on an interactive gamified content platform in augmented reality.

“It is about putting virtual 3D content in physical locations, for business purposes. For a start, we focused on hotels, travel agencies, and creative marketing agencies, although it can be applied to various other industries. The thing with us works so that those interested put the content on the platform, and we do the technical details. The platform is global, and the idea is that anyone with ideas and capabilities can create augmented reality content without dealing with the technical details that we solve. It can also be various shops,” said Voras, adding that the younger generations are already demanding such an augmented reality.

For more news about everything made in Croatia, be sure to follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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