Startup Plus: Learn About Vertical Accelerator Programs to Grow and Develop Your Startup

Day 7. July 2023 posted Anemari Pediček

The world of technology is constantly changing and innovative startups play a key role in creating new ideas and solutions. This is where vertical accelerators play a very important role, encouraging and accelerating the growth of startups in different industries. For this reason, the Slovene Enterprise Fund pays special attention to the development of vertical accelerators that enable entrepreneurs to grow, develop, connect with established companies and provide specialized group trainings. This year, the Startup Plus program is running four vertical accelerator programs covering areas such as hydrogen, health technologies, hardware and Web 3.0.


1. Promotional vertical accelerator in hydrogen technologies

As the Fund aims to promote the development and production of low-carbon hydrogen, a vertical accelerator in that field was implemented by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia in cooperation with the Technology Park Ljubljana. 


Discover the power of hydrogen technologies in Slovenia 

At the conference The Hydrogen Industry in Slovenia – Where are we and where are we heading?  we met with top experts such as Simon Štrancar from Quantum energy, Vekoslav Korošec from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Simon Ferjuc from Tetida and Rudi Pajtnar from KCSTV and immersed ourselves in their world.


International hydrogen conference at CCIS

Round table

A great opportunity for startups and scaleups


One of the success stories is the startup company ReCatalyst, which has managed to seize opportunities and achieve great success. This year, the company also won the honorable title of Slovenian Startup of the Year.

Watch their promo video as one of the finalists for Slovenian Startup of the Year 2023.



It is an innovative company spun off from the Institute of Chemistry to develop, manufacture and sell the next generation of catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells. Its technology represents an important option for the decarbonization of transport.


ReCatalyst winning the Slovenian Startup of the Year 2023 award 

2. Health.Tech.Growth

Health and the promotion of healthy lifestyles is an important area for future innovation. In order to support and promote these innovations, the Slovene Enterprise Fund, in cooperation with the Technology Park Ljubljana and the Ljubljana University Incubator joined forces. 


Health.Tech.Growth program

The success of the vertical accelerator is confirmed by several success stories. The most prominent is the case of entrepreneur Darko Đurić from the startup DTs Hub, who managed to attract a private investor through the program and received a significant co-investment from SI-SK.


Darko Đurić

3. HardwareSTART

The vertical accelerator program called HardwareSTART is aimed at Slovenian hardware startups. The program focuses on providing support in critical phases such as product testing, prototyping, prototype improvement and mass production launch. 


Participants have access to a large number of machines that they can use to develop their products.

HardwareSTART conference

Photo source: Zavod mladi podjetnik (Young Entrepreneur Institute)


4. Web3 Accelerator 

The Fund has also identified many opportunities for startups in the area of Web 3.0 technology. That's why they have supported the Web3 Accelerator program, which is designed for startups that want to gain new skills in using these technologies, successfully position their company for the challenges of the future and benefit from mentoring by experienced developers. 


Web3 workshops

Aiming for continuous improvement of vertical accelerators in the future

Going forward, the Fund's successful practice of vertical accelerator programs will continue. These will include a variety of promotional activities, networking opportunities, extensive training and education, as well as valuable expert advice. Read an interesting short interview with Ana Vele from the Slovene Enterprise Fund to learn more about the plans to expand into new sectors and the support available.


the interview and the extended article (in slovene)


In addition to vertical accelerators, a number of Startup Plus programs are available to recipients of financial incentives


The Slovene Enterprise Fund does not only support its portfolio companies with financial products, but it also provides a number of other cutting-edge entrepreneurial products with the Startup Plus. These include Sales Accelerator, Startup Clinic, Deep Tech Hub, Growdigital, Podim Conference, HardwareSTART and many others. These programs perfectly complement the financial products P2, SK75 and SI-SK, which provide Slovenian startups with between EUR 54,000 and EUR 600,000 in startup funding.




The program 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.


Vertical accelerators Startupplus SEF METS StartupSlovenia
Izvedba: Mojdenar IT d.o.o.