Slovenia will be represented by 11 national startup stars at the Central European Startup Awards 2016 Grand Finale!

Day 17. November 2016 posted Stanislava Vabšek

In Technology Park Ljubljana, we presented 56 Slovenian startups and stakeholders of the Slovenian startup ecosystem, and chose 11 best one amongst them that will represent us at the esteemed Central European Startup Awards 2016 Grand Finale event as national ambassadors. This will be hosted on 1 December by the Ljubljana-based ABC Accelerator. According to the voting of the 5 members of the national jury and the results of the public vote, Slovenia will be represented by the following at the big CEE regional finals: Young Entrepreneur Institute in the category of best co-working space, product SK75 of the Slovene Enterprise Fund in the category of best accelerator or incubator programme, Dawn of Play in the category of best independent games developer, Homey in the category of early stage startup, Chipolo in the category of best IoT startup, and Invoice Exchange in the category of best fintech startup. Eurosender will be the Slovenian representative in the category of best user experience, Blub Blub will represent us in the category of best social influence, and Jure Mikuž from RSG Capital in the category of investor of the year. Alja Isaković is in the category of the most influential woman of the startup ecosystem, while GoAvio will represent Slovenia in the category of startup of the year. In the competition for winning on the level of the CEE region, we will be able to support all the listed Slovenian representatives with public voting, which will open on 16 November. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the CESA 2016 Grand Finale event will also “hear the Slovenian anthem”.
All 11 Slovenian representatives will compete for the win at the level of the CEE region on 1 December 2016 at the Central European Startup Awards 2016 Grand Finale event, hosted by the Ljubljana-based ABC Accelerator. The brightest regional stars will compete for the final victory within the Global Startup Awards 2016, which will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 9 December 2016.

Event of startup enthusiasts and esteemed partners

Central European Startup Awards (CESA) is a series of events in countries of Central and Eastern Europe, highlighting and promoting the best innovators and startup stakeholders, first on the level of individual countries, then on the level of the entire CEE region, and finally within the global network of Global Startup Awards. The event was started by a team of startup enthusiasts from Denmark and Hungary, and is supported by partners such as Google, IMB, Amazon, SAP and others. This year, SAP Slovenia supported two competitive categories, namely for the most influential woman of the startup ecosystem and the startup of the year, in which we’ve chosen Alja Isaković and the startup team GoAvio as Slovenian representatives.

10 countries and more than 700 nominations in 12 competitive categories

This year, CESA saw participate Slovenia but also Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia, which contributed more than 700 nominations in 12 competitive categories. The entire competitive procedure at the national, regional and global level has been organized for the third year in a row, and Slovenia has participated for the second time. Last year, the CESA Slovenian national finals were organized by the Ljubljana-based ABC Accelerator, which is this year’s Grand Finale Partner. That’s why the Initiative Start:up Slovenia took over the organization and implementation of the Slovenian finale this year, while the ABC Accelerator participated as a partner and supporter of the national competition.

National jury members

The best 11 Slovenian ambassadors in 11 competitive categories (Slovenia didn’t participate in the AI/Chatbot category this year) were determined by public voting as well as by votes of the national jury, which this year included Branko Drobnak, president of the Business Angels of Slovenia club, Jakob Gajšek, ABC Accelerator cofounder, Marjana Majerič, Technology Park Ljubljana deputy director, Tanja Kožuh, Primorska Technology Park director, and Urban Lapajne, organizational leader of the Initiative Start:up Slovenia.
SAP Slovenia the sponsor of two categories 
Candidates in the categories of the most influential woman of the startup ecosystem, and startup of the year, were also evaluated by the director of SAP Slovenia Gregor Potočar and Rok Magister, leader of cloud solution sales for SAP Central and Eastern Europe.

Ambassadors that will represent Slovenia at the CESA 2016 Grand Finale

1. Category of best co-working space
  • Young Entrepreneur Institute rents a virtual office and working spaces in its co-working space as well as provides a comprehensive palette of quality services, supported with rich experiences in the field of founding companies and legal, accounting and other business consultancy.
  • The shortlist of this category included KIKštarter, Kreativnica, Poligon Creative Centre and Development Cooperative Tkalka. 
2. Category of best accelerator or incubator programme
  • Slovene Enterprise Fund’s SK75 product, encompassing a convertible loan in the amount of 75,000 € and the accompanying accelerator programme Start:up Geek House is devised to give innovative startups with potential for rapid growth an opportunity to find their product/market fit in the shortest possible time. In the last four generations of startups (from autumn 2014 to spring 2016) the fund supported altogether 41 companies with the SK75 investment. These companies thus jointly received 2.65 million € of invested resources and additionally collected 1.5 million capital from private investors.
  • The shortlist of this category included the Savinja Region Incubator, Katapult, Ljubljana University Incubator, Slovene Enterprise Fund’s SK200 product, and the University Development Centre and Incubator of Primorska.
3. Category of best independent games developer
  • This category only had one nominee, who automatically became the winner. This was the team Dawn of Play, which consists of determined gamers who create innovative and fun computer games with a lot of enthusiasm and passion.
4. Category of the best early stage startup
  • The team developing the Homey application is trying to attract users to do household chores in a fun way. Especially American moms love it, but the app is also interesting for Slovenian families.
  • The shortlist of this category included, Blub Blub, Feelif and Ulla Labs.
5. Category of best IoT startup
  • Chipolo, developing and globally selling the loudest Bluetooth seeker of lost items, which finds your misplaced keys, wallet, phone, purse, computer … in only a few seconds.
  • The shortlist of this category included CarLock, DS Meritve, Nexto, OOSM, Scoutee, Zenodys.
6. Category of best fintech startup
  • Invoice Exchange is an online platform, allowing small and medium-sized companies that supply blue-chip and government companies to sell their invoices and purchase orders on an exchange and receive immediate payment in return.
  • The shortlist of this category included Homey, Kripto and Toshl Finance.
7. Category of best user experience
  • Eurosender is a web-based platform for sending packages to any EU destination. With Eurosender, ordering transport or delivering packages is simple, reliable and cost-effective.
  • The shortlist of this category included Beeping, Doctrina, InRange, Nexto, OOSM.
8. Category of best social influence
  • Blub blub is a team of digital experts and speech therapists who revolutionize the way children learn to speak and how speech therapists do their job.
  • The shortlist of this category included Feelif, Invented4, Mali junaki, Smart Futuristic, SmartNinja.
9. Category of the most influential woman of the startup ecosystem
  • Alja Isaković is the founder of the Europe Code Week movement, former startupper in the company CubeSensors, and a PhD student and assistant at the Ljubljana Faculty of Computer and Information Science, where she participated in research in the field of e-learning. She is dedicated to creating nice user experiences, and she wants for her work to contribute to technology becoming more humane. But above all she wishes to see even more women on the Slovenian and global startup scene who are excited about modern technologies.
  • The shortlist of this category included Anita Lozar, Cica Gajić Grabovac and Sanja Zepan.
10. Category of investor of the year
  • Jure Mikuž is the founder and director of RSG Capital, the first and most successful Slovenian venture capital fund, into which established Slovenian companies, such as Gorenje, Sava, Kolektor, FMR, Instrumentation Technologies and others have invested their capital.
  • The shortlist of this category included Aljoša Domijan (Aguatera), Gregor Pipan (XLAB), Kolektor Ventures, Niko Slavnič (IQBATOR).
11. Category of startup of the year
  • Team GoAvio is developing the web platform for connecting low-cost flights with train and bus transport. Thus they can offer the final users and big online transport finders, such as Skyscanner, information about the cheap(est) possibilities for getting to a desired destination.
  • The shortlist of this category included Adora Med, Blub Blub, Chipolo, Feelif, Gotoky, Ulla Labs.
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For more information call or write to:
Stanislava Vabšek, mobile 031 707 204,
CESA 2016
Communications and PR Start:up Slovenija
Izvedba: Mojdenar IT d.o.o.