Hvar, June 16th 2013 - With the patronage of the President of Republic of Croatia, prof. dr. sc. Ivo Josipović, Startup Island conference has been held in the city of Hvar. Conference was organized by Zagreb Entrepreneurship Incubator in collaboration with BICRO / Enterprise Europe Network, and with support from sponsors Erste Bank, .ME Registry, DN Capital, Agrokor, mStart and Astra financije.
Conference gathered leading representatives of the startup community from “New Europe”. Ivo Špigel, ZIP co-founder, opened the first day of the conference, followed by appearances and lectures of renowned entrepreneurs and investors, as well as panels in which more participants discussed various topics. Regarding the panel “Corporations in look for innovation”, it was interesting to hear Natalia Burin, the former head of eBay affiliate program and mentor in the 500 Startups accelerator, advising startups who want to cooperate with large companies, to seek specific department in the company as well as specific employees within that unit to offer help with their problems in work and with optimizing their business processes.
Presentations were followed by a dynamic interaction of the audience, who participated with great interest. Also, they were very excited having a large 4-hour break scheduled in the middle of the day, during which they could enjoy swimming and sunbathing on the island of Hvar, or talk with foreign investors in an informal atmosphere, trying to impress them with their startup projects. Evenings also didn’t lack content and socializing on the beautiful terraces along the town’s waterfront.
The second day of the conference started with presentation by Nenad Marovac, investor and co-founder of venture capital fund DN Capital, based in London, who explained to the youth how to get access to investors: “As a manager of venture capital funds, I am used to being harassed at every turn, I accepted it as normal part of my job. The most important thing to me is that in every opportunity when you pitch your startups, you have key metrics and performance indicators prepared in order to quickly get an idea of where you are with your project.”
Later in the day attention was drawn to Startup Island Pitch Battle competition, where startups from Central and Southeastern Europe measured their forces. Winner, Miha Ciglar from Slovenian startup Ultrasonic Audio Technologies has won a cash prize of 1337 Euros, participation in the London Showcase with paid travel expenses and accommodation, as well as two tickets for Pioneers Festival in Vienna. Second place went to Ana Kolarević from startup Sizem, which is currently under incubation in ZIP, and aims through mobile applications to help women in choosing the right size and shape of bra . German Raffaela Rein won the third place with startup Wiz Unite: e-Learning platform with offline support component for learners of the courses.
With announcement of the winners, first Startup Island conference was successfully completed and even better one was announced for the next year.