About the Slovenian START-UP Ecosystem

In 2012, the leading stakeholders of the innovative environment set up the Initiative Start:up Slovenia to form and strengthen national programmes aimed at promoting entrepreneurship.

Together with key stakeholders of the ecosystem, we wrote the Start:up manifest – the fundamental national strategy - and created and upgraded the following programmes:

From local and national to regional

Start:up cities
Slovenia has a lot of cities that can boast with educated and daring talent, rich history and a diverse culture. The programme Start:up Cities brings together key local stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem with the goal of ensuring sufficient support to entrepreneurial talents at the local level and their inclusion into national programmes.
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Start:up Slovenia
The Initiative Start:up Slovenia is an open platform, led by Venture Factory from Maribor and Technology Park Ljubljana. It carries out national programmes for encouraging entrepreneurship meant for three groups: business teams in the phase of forming their business idea, start-ups, and companies preparing for global growth.
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Start:up Alpe Adria
The programme Start:up Alpe Adria is led by key Slovenian, Italian and Austrian subjects of the innovative environment with the goal of allowing start-ups to enter markets abroad more easily, supporting them when forming international teams, exchanging knowledge, and promoting the Alpe-Adria region as an entrepreneurship hub on the global scale.
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100% Start:up Forum
The forum 100 % Start:up is meant for start-up companies and everyone who wishes to collaborate with them. At the event, we present the offer of public and private support programmes as well as first-hand start-up stories. Private investors seeking promising start-ups are also in attendance.
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Start:up Roadshow
Start:up Roadshows take place across all Start:up cities with the purpose of presenting products for accelerating and activating entrepreneurship in Slovenia, spreading the entrepreneurial mind-set and conveying crucial knowledge from the field of business model development and effective business idea pitching.
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Start:up of the Year
The national competition Start:up of the Year is part of the broader national campaign Start:up Slovenia. The goal of the competition is to motivate talents to launch a company as well as to recognize the best Slovenian teams, business models and start-ups, to support them, connect them with investors and promote them to the general public.
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PODIM Conference
The international PODIM conference is one of the largest conferences in the Alpe-Adria region, annually bringing together all key stakeholders of the regional start-up entrepreneurial ecosystem in two days of an intense programme. In the year 2014, more than 600 participants from more than 10 countries attended the conference.
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Searching for the problem - solution fit

Start:up schools & DEMO DAY
This is the key part of the pre-selection process of the competition Start:up Slovenia, which is meant for start-ups in the early stage of finding their problem/solution fit. The teams polish their business models and prepare for the DEMO day. Points from the assessment are a prerequisite for obtaining the start-up grant P2 of the Slovene Enterprise Fund.
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The P2 grant
The tender P2 offers start-ups a possibility to obtain a grant of up to 54,000 EUR and a soft loan of up to 20,000 EUR. The grant is meant for companies in the early development stage, when they are looking for their problem/solution fit. A prerequisite for obtaining sources is participating in the pre-selection process of the competition Start:up Slovenia.
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Start:up school plus
As part of the systematic support of start-up companies in the early development stage, we will offer a special module, Start:up School Plus, at which the participants will acquire basic entrepreneurship knowledge as well as become part of the national entrepreneurship community.
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Finding the Product/Market fit

Start:up weekend & SK75 DEMO dan
The Start:up weekend is intended for start-ups that are in the phase of finding product/market fit and have applied for the product SK75. The points from the SK75 DEMO day are important for obtaining a 75k € convertible loan of the SEF and for participating in the additional bootcamp programme.
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Product SK75
The product SK75 of the Slovene Enterprise Fund offers a convertible loan in the amount of 75,000 EUR to companies looking for their product/market fit. The companies can also participate in the additional intensive educational, consulting and mentoring programme.
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SGH Bootcamp
SGH Bootcamp is an intense 3-month long educational programme for acquiring the latest knowledge for building a lean and agile company. It’s a programme carried out by Slovenian subjects of the innovative environment in collaboration with the best operators in the Slovenian start-up ecosystem.
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Co-working space
Start:up Geek House is a co-working space primarily meant for ambitious, daring, innovative and entrepreneurial talented individuals. A co-working space can be rented to anyone working on their prototype, MVP or strategic plan, as well as to those who are searching for first customers or have maybe even started doing business already.
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Getting ready for Global Growth

Investor readines & SK200 DEMO day
The 2-day investment preparation event is intended for start-ups registered for the SK200 product, contending for an investment in the amount of 200,000 EUR and for help with global growth. The latter actually presents a challenge to a lot of start-ups that have already found their product-market fit.
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Product SK200
The product SK200 of the SEF offers an equity investment in the amount of 200,000 EUR to start-ups that have already found their product-market fit. It also offers them participation in an intense accompanying educational programme that helps with global growth and includes mentorship by experienced start-uppers and entrepreneurs.
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Go:Global for Growth
Go:Global for Growth is a systematic accompanying educational programme with experienced entrepreneurs from Slovenia and abroad. Its purpose is to help recipients of public funds professionally organise their company and start global growth. The programme is an integral part of the Go:Global Slovenia accelerator.
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Entering accelerators abroad
The Go:Global Slovenia programme also organises one-on-one entrepreneurial mentoring and consultations, as well as meetings and advice concerning joining the best foreign accelerators such as Seedcamp, Y Combinator, Techstars, Wayra and others.
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Establishing contact with investors
Go:Global Slovenia also offers entrepreneurs access to a network of Slovenian and international investors, as well as active promotion both in Slovenia and abroad, including access to various international global hubs.
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Programmes of Initiative partners

Silicon Gardens Fund
Since 2010, Silicon Gardens has been uniting some of the successful Slovenian high-tech companies and individuals who share common values of open communication, mutual help and modern views on entrepreneurship. In 2014, an angel seed capital fund started working under the wing of Silicon Gardens.
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Company 30Lean unites experienced experts who use lean start-up methodologies to help start-ups and larger companies develop market-successful products.
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Microsoft Innovation Center
Microsoft has developed programmes for supporting innovative start-ups, with the purpose of contributing towards reaching the goals in the field of innovativeness and increasing competitiveness. By collaborating in different initiatives, they wish to support activities that directly influence economic development on the local level. 
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The Hekovnik start:up school organises niche programmes for technological entrepreneurs, geeks and academics. Their programmes ensure successful development and fast market breakthrough of innovative business ideas.
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COINVEST is a platform connecting regional high-tech projects with the emerging innovative ecosystem. Its activities aim to develop an ecosystem that would help prospective projects obtain the necessary assets: capital, access to market, managerial skills.
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CEED Slovenia is part of the international network of CEED centres in 14 countries, uniting more than a thousand entrepreneurs. It organises various programmes for growing companies with global ambitions. Their programmes differ depending on the stage of company growth and focus mostly on skills and and knowledge.
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ABC Accelerator
ABC is a Slovenian start-up accelerator based on a system of mentoring, connecting and global expansion. ABC is meant for start-ups and small companies, offering them seed capital, mentorship, business space, connections and global expansion. In exchange for the services offered, ABC obtains an 8 % company share.
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The mission of SmartNinja is to help people discover and develop talents and skills in the modern IT field. The skills that will help them find a job more easily – or even create it! For that purpose, they organise courses of web and mobile programming, graphic design, project management, digital marketing, the internet of things and more.
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Ustvarjalnik is an entrepreneurial incubator or, as we like to call it, an entrepreneurial sandbox. Everyone who is making their first steps on the path to becoming an entrepreneur is welcome. The main goal of Ustvarjalnik is to motivate as many young people as possible to give entrepreneurship a chance.
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RSG Capital
RSG Capital provides services in the field of venture capital for companies in the early development stages: partner networking and partner search, convertible loan, covering specific project costs, help with finding external financing for individual projects (fundraising) and giving advice for preparing and leading projects.
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Internet Week
Internet Week Slovenia shares news and events of the Slovenian start-up community through regular weekly messages and online social networks. It is also very active in organising various events, such as Startup CRAWL, IWS and others. 
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Mladi podjetnik
The mission of mladipodjetnik.si is to promulgate entrepreneurship amongst youth and all those who would find entrepreneurship an interesting career path. They inform, help, advise, connect and announce. They organise workshops in many entrepreneurship fields and for various target groups. 
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Design Forward (DsgnFwd) is an accelerator for entrepreneurs with global ambition, passion and a clearly designed business idea. It provides them with the seed capital and help with company launch as well as helps them design a communication identity, user experience and brand.
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The Startaj.si portal is a project of Business Daily Finance and is intended for everyone interested in entrepreneurship, education and career development. The portal is designed in a way that encourages as much collaboration as possible with all the players of the entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem.
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Nova KBM Business Centre
Nova KBM, the second largest Slovenian bank, knows that young companies face many dilemmas at the beginning of their business path. That is why its offer includes the services of the Nova KBM Business Centre, which actively participates in the Start:up Slovenia project and is the general sponsor of the PODIM conference.
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Imagine Cup
Imagine Cup is an international competition in the field of innovation, technological solutions and development, initiated by Microsoft, in which college and university students from all over the world take part.
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Start:Up Slovenia 

Initiative Partners

  • Technology Park Ljubljana
    Technology Park Ljubljana was established in 1995 as an organisation representing a supportive and stimulative business environment of the highest quality, enabling the development of technological entrepreneurship of the highest level. More
  • Tovarna podjemov
    Venture Factory, member of RAZ:UM, is an important element in the system of business support in north-eastern Slovenia. It focuses on supporting innovative ideas of professors, young researchers and students from the University of Maribor with the aim of developing succesful spin-off businesses. More
  • Primorska Technology Park
    Primorska Technology Park is a stimulating business environment for innovative companies and ambitious individuals and groups who are developing new products and services with high value added. We provide infrastructure and business growth programs. More
  • Regional Development Centre
    RCR operates as a regional development agency for the Zasavje region. RCR's main focus is to accelerate business, economic and human resources development. RCR established an efficient and contemporary supportive environment for fostering development activities of the SME sector. More
  • Technology park of Pomurje (PTP)
    PTP is a center for innovative and knowledge-based companies in Pomurje. We assist you with the applicative development of new products and services, launching start-up and internationalizing your company. Together with external professionals, we offer you a multidisciplinary approach and quality. More