Thanks to its first two unicorns and a potent startup community which is increasingly standing out in the Southeastern Europe region, Croatia is becoming attractive to foreign investors and is even considered to be the next European Silicon Valley.
Following on this trend of increased interest and being the country’s first unicorn who is heavily invested in the regional startup ecosystem, Infobip has joined forces with the US-based Google and Goldman Sachs in creating and piloting an innovative mentorship program, providing local startups with access to world’s leading tech and finance experts.
We decided to pilot this project with Croatian startups as we noticed a pattern of almost unlikely – but outstanding success stories. The data shows remarkable results for the up-and-coming Croatian tech sector. Croatia seems to be on a path that’s very similar to Estonia and Israel in the earlier days of their ecosystem, so the timing to engage with this particular group of young entrepreneurs feels very opportune.
Jared Cohen, Co-Head of Applied Innovation and President of Global Affairs at Goldman Sachs
The Scale|Croatia mentorship program is open to all Croatian-based startups who are members of the Infobip Startup Tribe.
In its first year, founders from 16 Croatian startups have received access to a four-month mentorship program, enabling even faster and better-quality development and scaling of their businesses. Among these startups is Orqa, a world leader in developing FPV goggles for drone pilots.
The program opened access to a completely new level of expertise for Croatian startups, which unfortunately cannot be found at home. To be specific, we found it extremely useful to gauge the experience of Google in the field of product management, as well as the experience that Goldman Sachs has in listing tech companies on world stock exchanges. We are extremely grateful to Infobip and the Infobip Startup Tribe for everything they are doing for the regional startup ecosystem, and I hope that other large local companies will be inspired by this.
Srđan Kovačević, co-founder and CEO of Orqa
Scale|Croatia was launched in June with an on-site event in New York City, in Offices of both Goldman Sachs and Google, where participants had an opportunity to listen to experienced speakers from both companies. The founders also got dedicated mentors with whom they can consult on various aspects of business development – product development, fundraising, marketing, sales and other fields.
We are very pleased that, through the Scale|Croatia, we can help domestic startups reach global leaders such as Google and Goldman Sachs. The fact that such large companies recognized the potential of our startup ecosystem is validation for us at Infobip, but also an important honor for the tech sector in Croatia, which positions itself as a new European tech hub, the European Silicon Valley alike. I wish much luck to all startups in the program and I am convinced that they will use all the opportunities it brings them.
Nikola Pavešić, Director of Startups at Infobip
Currently, the startups are halfway through the program, and positive results have already been reported. The Scale series, if proven successful with the Croatia edition, will serve as a blueprint for other regions across the globe as well.
Interested in joining the Infobip Startup Tribe and becoming a part of these types of initiatives?