This year marks the end of a five-year program period during which the Slovene Enterprise Fund has supported a number of programs for startups and also provided funding through financial instruments such as P2, SK75 and SI-SK. The Fund's team, together with relevant ministries, is already actively preparing the updated startup program.
(L to R) Manfred Lepej, Ana Vele and Nina Urbanič
More than 700 projects supported by P2 in 16 years
Manfred Lepej and his team are responsible for the popular P2, which is designed to support companies in the most sensitive development phase, up to one year old. He is proud to say that in the 16 years of its existence, P2 has supported more than 700 innovative startups that have received around €40 million in financial incentives.
Startup incentive now €72.000
P2 has evolved over 16 years in line with experience and needs. Two major changes are expected compared to previous years. The first is the amount of funding per company, which is expected to increase to €72,000. The second change is the average number of companies supported per year, from the current 40 to an expected 30 per year.
The SK portfolio has less history
Unlike P2, SK programs, which include SK50, SK75, SK200 and SI-SK, have a shorter history, says Nina Urbanič. In total, 108 companies were supported with convertible loans (SK50 and SK75) amounting to €7.65 million and 23 investments with equity instruments (SK200 and SI-SK) amounting to €7.055 million. As an indication of the ambition of these companies, they have raised an additional €13.98 million from private investors for their growth and development.
Basing the new proposal on feedback and experience
In addition to the financial instruments, the Slovene Enterprise Fund is also planning to revamp the programs of content support, which is now known as Startup Plus Programs. Ana Vele is leading the planning of the transformation.
An evolution, not a revolution of content support
Ana emphasizes that the new program will be an evolution of the existing one, not a revolution. The proposal being developed will be based on four pillars, namely:
Promotion of the Slovenian innovative startup ecosystem.
Support services for potential innovative startup entrepreneurs and existing innovative startups.
Administrative and professional support.
More will be announced later this year
As all three experts pointed out, the programs are still in the planning phase and their content is subject to change. They are convinced that the updated programs will give the Slovenian startup ecosystem a new boost and comprehensive support for further growth.
Content support for recipients of P2, SK75 or SI-SK financial products under the "de minimis" scheme is co-financed from the Slovene Enterprise Fund and the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund. This is implemented on the basis of the Content Support for Funds Recipients (SMEs) Programme in the 2018-2023 period, under the Operational Programme for the Implementation of the European Cohesion Policy 2014-2020.