Bird Buddy is Slovenian Start: up of the Year 2021

Day 17. June 2021

The fourteenth Slovenian Start: up of the Year award 2021, goes to the Bird Buddy team, which created a smart bird feeder - a modern birdhouse with a food container and a detachable module that includes a built-in small video camera with a microphone and sensor for motion detection.


The final event of the Slovenian start: up selection in 2021, which took place at Ljubljana Castle this year and could be watched live via the Start: up Slovenia's Facebook page, announced a new recipient of the crystal statue - the Bird Buddy team.


It was the Bird Buddy team that made the best impression on the prestigious 11-member international jury of experts, which had to choose from five finalists: Bevo, Bird Buddy, Maestro Amadeus, RingoX and SeaVision.


The members of the jury who selected the winner:


  • Jure Mikuž, South Central Ventures, Managing Partner, Slovenia
  • Gregor Rebolj, Silicon Gardens Fund II, Slovenia
  • Maja Tomanič Vidovič, Slovene Enterprise Fund, director, Slovenia
  • Tomaž Kostanjevec, SPIRIT Slovenia, director, Slovenia
  • Aleš Pustovrh, Fil Rouge Capital, Partner, Slovenia
  • Jure Knez, Slovenian business club, Slovenia
  • Kat Borlongan, La French Tech, Director, France
  • Alexandre Massart, Blend Ventures, Founder and Investor,UK
  • Matej Guid, Instatext, Co-founder and CEO, Slovenia
  • Jan Bormans, European Startup Network, CEO, Belgium (TBC)
  • Jasmina Henniova, 3TS Capital, Investor, Austria


The jury evaluated the candidates according to four criteria, namely: successful confirmation of the product value on the market; acquisition of investments by domestic or foreign investors; competencies, dedication, experience and organization of the team; and potential for rapid growth in foreign markets.


Maja Tomanič Vidovič, director of Slovene Enterprise Fund, co-organizer of the project, said, "We are glad that the best have won and that many new opportunities await them in the new era of entrepreneurship. Post-pandemic, sustainable development is more than ever about caring for the environment and climate, for our health, for our children, for the elderly, for healthy food and for healthy cities and villages. Sustainable development will drive our development in the years to come, so I am proud that the national start up competition of the year is also producing new businesses that are pursuing these goals. "


Winners - Bird Buddy


Bird Buddy is a smart bird controller, the basic set of which includes a modernly designed bird house with a food container and a detachable module, which includes a built-in small video camera with a microphone and a motion sensor. The sensor detects the arrival of a bird and notifies the owner of the controller via a wireless connection and a mobile application. You can take a photo of the bird through the app. With the help of artificial intelligence, the application recognizes the type of bird, allows users to edit and share photos of birds and offers advice on suitable food for individual species of birds.


Rok Huber, SEF, the winners and Andrej Čuš, state secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology


Bird Buddy is realizing its vision of garden gamification with a smart birdhouse, which was initially offered as part of the Kickstarter campaign, where they raised 4.2 million euros in just over a month.


The core team operates in Slovenia and is the station of their first employees. The determination of both founders to selflessly and to the best of their ability help other entrepreneurs in our country is clearly visible from the number of public appearances they have made in recent months, where listeners are always impressed by the concreteness and usefulness of advice. Accessibility, willingness to listen and help, and the ability to keep their feet on the ground despite the success, are the qualities with which the founders, Žiga Vrtačič and Franci Zidar, represent the exceptional added value in the Slovenian business space.


Winning the Slovenian Start: up of the Year title in 2021, Žiga Vrtačič said, “We are very happy to be recognized in Slovenia, because only in this way will we be able to attract the best colleagues. This is a wonderful way for Slovenia to find out about us, not just the USA. "​





The Slovenian Start: Up of the Year Award is a project of active stakeholders in the Slovenian startup ecosystem. Their role is to participate in the nomination of candidates for the award and the domestic and international promotion of the finalists and the recipient of the title "Slovenian Start: up of the Year". The main organizer of the project is Start: up Slovenia, and the co-organizers are the traditional Slovene Enterprise Fund and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. 




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.


Slovenian Start:up of the Year SEF Ministry of Economic Development and Technology
Izvedba: Mojdenar IT d.o.o.