We are starting this year’s autumn round of SK startup financing! Join the family that already has 67 innovative companies

Day 29. August 2017 posted Stanislava Vabšek

Three introductory events, taking place in Ljubljana, Maribor and Nova Gorica on 4, 5 and 6 September, will launch this year’s autumn round of financing startups with 75,000 € and 200.000 € of seed capital from the Slovene Enterprise Fund (SPS). Just like before, SK75 and SK200 investments are intended for innovative startup companies with rapid global growth potential. They are accompanied by intense content support in the form of accelerator programmes and collaboration with startup mentors chosen from the ranks of established entrepreneurs and investors. The deadline for registering for the pre-selection procedure of this year’s autumn round is 11 September. At the same time, for the first time ever, we are publishing the names of all companies that recently concluded the process of obtaining spring SK75 and SK200 investments. The family of existing 61 SK startups is consequently six SK75 teams richer – ASMJ (product Moveo), Stork (product Baby Stork), Coinhab, Fastcast, Proventus (product Tomappo), and E-upravnik. The recipient of this year’s spring SK200 investment is the company SmartPA, which had obtained the SK50 investment in autumn 2014, but this time convinced with a new business model and a daring plan for international expansion.

Favourable and accessible form of financing

The results and feedback from those Slovene startuppers who have already received an SK75 or SK200 investment show that the convertible loan in the amount of 75,000 EUR and the public equity investment in the amount of 200,000 EUR are some of the more favourable and accessible forms of obtaining startup capital. Both financial products from SPS give entrepreneurs the opportunity to quickly and effectively test the key assumptions for business development and sales growth as well as financing global expansion. At the same time, the products enable entrepreneurs to actively prepare for bigger investment rounds of Slovenian or international venture capital funds, or entering an accelerator.

Slovenian startup of the year on the importance of a support environment and SPS investments

The actual meaning of SK investments, which are an important part of the Slovenian support environment for startups, was recently well-illustrated by Jernej Mirt, co-founder and CEO of VIAR – recipient of the SK75 investment in the generation of spring 2015. “I see us purely as a product of the Slovene support environment. We practically grew together with the Initiative Start:up Slovenia, with the SK investment, bootcamp programme, and the Savinja region incubator and the Start:up Celje community … The Slovenian support environment is here for a reason. You can’t force anyone to use it, but I would definitely recommend it, because I know that we would be at 30% of our current success today if we hadn’t been members of this environment,” said Mirt in an interview conducted when VIAR received the title Slovenian Startup of the Year 2017 at the PODIM Conference. 

Viar team, Jernej Mirt (first right), source of picture: Dnevnik.si

Are you looking for capital for accelerated sales growth or global expansion?

All entrepreneurs looking for capital to conclude the “product-market fit” stage and accelerate customer acquisition (SK75 product) or to finance global expansion and professionalize the company (SK200 product) are invited to join us at the roadshow event in Ljubljana, Maribor or Nova Gorica

Comprehensive information on financing possibilities

At the introductory (roadshow) events, we will give participants a presentation on the entire proceedings, conditions, timeline and all other details of SK financing, as well as on the opportunities for obtaining private investments with business angels, venture capital funds or corporate investors such as Kolektor, Iskratel, Telekom Slovenije, Pošta Slovenije, Zavarovalnica Triglav and Zavarovalnica Sava. 
Just like in previous years, we will invite entrepreneurs who have already obtained an SK75 or SK200 investment, so that they can share the experience they had with such forms of financing. The participants will learn about the importance of lean and agile methods for the development of products and companies, as well as about the offer of the local startup support environment.
Roadshow events are free and are also open to all those individuals and teams who have only started thinking about their startup and, as such, aren’t actively looking for an investment yet. 

New SK stories confirm the basic purpose of financing

Four startups of the seven that obtained this year’s spring SK75 or SK200 investment – that is Coinhab, Datafy.it, Fastcast, and E-upravnik – confirm the basic logic of SPS in financing startup companies. Namely, there exists a logical transition of companies between products P2, SK75 and SK200, and active collaboration of startups with independent private investors as well as support or accelerator programmes at home in Slovenia or abroad. 

Six new SK75 startups from the generation of spring 2017


ASMJ, under the brand Moveo, develops apps that solve the problem of a lack of exercise in kids.
Their current mobile game uses augmented reality to motivate kids to start doing exercise outside, discover their environment and learn about various educational topics while doing so. The app was developed in collaboration with the esteemed American university MIT, they acquired the first users in Boston at the start of the year, and in September, they’ll start marketing the game in the US-based accelerator Propeller. 

In spring 2015, Coinhab successfully obtained the startup grant P2 and placed in the finals for the Slovenian Startup of the Year award.
During this time, the team developing the eponymous platform for collective construction of residential buildings started to generate revenue. They have 10 projects set up in the joint amount of 13.5 million euros, and their database currently contains 475 real-estate seekers who are prepared to invest altogether 90 million euros through the Coinhab system.

E-upravnik, under the brand ETOS, is developing innovative solutions for autonomous management of buildings, residential neighbourhoods and cities. 
By using advanced technologies and electronic resource management, they are stablishing the perfect connection between users, software solutions, and smart equipment. Their current achievements include the development and successful testing of a very complex product, obtaining the support from SPS (first P2 financing, then SK75) and the ABC Accelerator (5th programme), and discussions for entering the Austrian and German markets.

Fastcast developed the eponymous online platform for commercial film production, specializing in the optimization of the discovery and management of talents and filming locations across the world.
They first obtained startup funds with private investors, they also gained experience in the 4th programme of the ABC Accelerator, and they will use the SK75 investment to finance marketing and sales activities in Germany and the neighbouring countries. They currently have more than 25 thousand users on the side of talents, and more than 150 production houses and agencies in Slovenia and the region. 

Proventus is developing a comprehensive digital assistant for gardening called Posadi.si or Tomappo, which already has around 23,000 enthusiastic users in Slovenia and Italy. 
It is primarily intended for amateur younger users, but older users happily use it as well. It is also interesting for gardening centres, because it offers them an effective way to promote sales. In 2014, the team trained in the accelerator TechPeaks, and currently they are preparing for a mass march onto the Italian market. 

Every sixth couple in the Western world faces the problem of infertility. That is why Stork developed the solution Baby Stork, including a measuring device Buddy, and an app, as well as the option of personal couples counselling. 
It is a solution that takes an established method of natural family planning – measuring body temperature and parameters in the user’s saliva – and upgrades it into a user friendly and effective solution. Its potential was also recognized by Iskratel, which will finance the first serial production, and an established distributor that wishes to market the solution on European markets.

New/old recipient of the SK20 investment

In this year’s spring cycle, SmartPA obtained Slovene Enterprise Fund’s public equity investment. The company had previously received an SK50 investment in autumn 2014 for its big-data business contact browser called Datafy.it. 
In a good two years of ups and downs, getting to know the market, trends, and new business opportunities, the team of Datafy.it radically pivoted and changed its business idea. With it, they convinced not only SPS, which is entering the company with an SK200 investment, but also a group of angel investors from Slovenia, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, France, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. Today, the company is establishing itself on the global market as the leading provider of digital business information and sales services in the region and further. They are establishing themselves as a one-stop shop where clients that realize that marketing 2.0 is on the rise can obtain information about companies from 200 countries across the world, about people in these companies, and about their creditworthiness ratings. 

Successes of existing SK startups!

With recipients of spring SK75 and SK200 investments, the family of SK startups grew to altogether 67 companies. Even amongst the teams that obtained the investments in the past two years, there are quite a few whose successes stand out from the average: 
In June, the Homey team was chosen as one of five best startups at the 38-86 conference in Nashville, where they persuaded the jury with rapid growth of paying users. They are also amongst the best one hundred startups in 2017 according to the online medium TechCo.
The Beeping platform is quickly and successfully expanding to Croatia, they obtained 60 new employees, achieved 30% sales growth, and currently count 10,000 users of their service.
Invoice Exchange is in accelerated growth, but they also achieved the highest value of (one) sold receivable, which amounted to 440,000 euros. 
Chipolo is introducing new products to the market at an accelerated rate, and is establishing itself on the US market. They moved the manufacture of new products to China, and they are looking for sales reinforcements.
The team of RibiskeKarte.si is successfully conquering the Austrian market and achieving 100% growth in web sales.
Team Simarine is quick to obtain new customers and strategic partners. They’re expanding their distribution network across Europe and successfully penetrating to the US. 
Since obtaining the SK investment, the CarLock team has nearly tripled the number of paying users and is expanding its team of employees.

For more information about the achievements of companies from the SK community, write to us at stanislava.vabsek@startup.si or call us at +386 31 707 204. 

Timeline of this year’s autumn round

Startups that will contend for a convertible loan in the amount of 75,000 € or public equity investment in the amount of 200,000 € in this year’s autumn round will have to submit the application for the pre-selection process by 11 September 2017 at the latest. 
Participation in the pre-selection process isn’t obligatory, but it is recommended, because companies can obtain 40 from 100 points for the needs of the SK75 tender, and up to 35 from 100 points for the needs of the SK200 tender. The entire timeline for this year’s autumn investment round is presented in the table below:
  SK75 SK200
Submitting pre-selection applications 11 September   11 September     
First stage of pre-selection (first personal pitches) 21 September  21
DEMO DAY preparation 27 September 13 November
DEMO day (obligatory personal pitch) 3 October 16 November
Tender application 6 October 6 October

Get in touch with us!

If you have any additional questions or dilemmas before registering or participating at the roadshow event, write to us at info@startup.si. If you wish to be informed about all current events, new opportunities, and stories from the Slovenian startup ecosystem, subscribe to our e-news!
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