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ZIP launches crowdfunding campaign to fuel investment in Europe’s start-up region
ZIP, first start-up incubator in Croatia, is raising £50,000 via leading European equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs. The funds will be used to make small seed investments into the best start-up teams to go through ZIP, which has previously helped four generations of Croatian start-ups achieve revenues and customers.
Mihovil Barančić, co-founder of ZIP and president of the Croatian Angel Investors Network (CRANE), said crowdfunding could finally bring much-needed finance to talented entrepreneurs in central and eastern Europe.
“The region has phenomenal entrepreneurial talent and potential but a serious lack of funding options. This is a small initial amount to raise but nevertheless it is a very important step not only for ZIP, but for the entire Croatian and regional ecosystem as we continue to showcase our potential.
“With a successful crowdfunding campaign, we will finally be able to fund some of the best Croatian teams, and attract many more from neighboring countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia, to Zagreb.”
This will be the first time that ZIP has made financial investments in the start-ups it assists, adding funding to a package of support which includes office space and mentoring for the most promising teams from the region.
ZIP’s funding drive has been backed by the programme ‘s global network of partners and mentors.
Sherwood “Woodie“ Neiss, a principal with Crowdfund Capital Advisors and one of the creators of the American JOBS act, which could pave the way for equity crowdfunding in the US, said:
“I met the founders of ZIP on a visit to Croatia in 2013 to talk about the global crowd finance movement. At Startup Camp Rijeka, I was impressed with the high potential of Croatia’s entrepreneurs. To see the ZIP team bringing crowdfunding and crowd investing to these entrepreneurs means more innovation, businesses and jobs for Croatia. This will be an exciting time for Croatia.”
ZIP is the first start-up program outside of the UK to raise investment via Seedrs, which is based in London but recently opened up its platform to start-ups across the EU.
Jeff Lynn, co-founder and CEO of Seedrs, said he is excited to see the potential of crowdfunding to reach beyond its UK origins to Croatia, the newest EU member state.
“As the leading European equity crowdfunding platform, Seedrs is proud to be working with ZIP on this exciting campaign. We are committed to providing entrepreneurs with an easy way to raise money from hundreds of investors without running into any administrative stumbling blocks,”
“There is significant, untapped enterprising activity — and the corresponding potential returns for investors — to be found right across the central and southeastern European nations. Croatia seems to have an exceptional combination of ambition, creativity and skill that will lead to great companies emerging in future years.”
The crowdfunding campaign launched today on Seedrs and will be open for up to two months.