It is by a surge of excitement and deep satisfaction that we compose this summary of the 7th edition of Balkan Venture Forum in Zagreb on December 3-4, 2015 at Hypo Centar. We are still under the impression of the amazing 2 days spent with our guests in a pre-Christmas spirit in the wonderful Zagreb.
Brought together by the belief in innovation and entrepreneurship, 450+ people from different locations in the Balkans and Europe took part in the leading innovation forum on the Balkan. Among this huge number of attendees were 60 accredited investors from the region and 71 startups! Can you believe just how great the extent of this event was!? On top of that, this year through our collaboration with the World Bank we also hosted the Pioneers of the Balkans’ finals, which added great value to the diversity and quality of our top-notch agenda.
Speaking of it, we had excellent speakers who covered a variety of hot topics, including blockchain, digital mobility, eCommerce and payments, business angels partnerships and many more. Apart from the interesting discussion panels and keynotes, breaks were also highly appreciated as during them guests had the unique opportunity to become familiar with the products and services of the exhibiting startups taking part of the Innovation Showcase. Fantastic pitches, international networking, great food and drinks, growing acquaintances, and cool music were predominant part of the event. And did we mention our beautiful hostesses? A picture is worth a thousand words:
The main highlight of the event was, of course, the BkVF Startup Competition. Having carefully picked the most promising startups from the region and the best jury members, we simply knew we couldn’t be wrong for expecting excellent pitches followed by exciting questions from the jury. To our great joy, however, expectations were exceeded to a level of high interaction and humor between the startups and the jury.
The three pitch sessions were focused on the following topics:
- Consumer & Mobile: Moj Budget, MOBILEone, Content Creator App, Homey, Meridda, Hool
- SaaS & B2B & Marketplace: Pointme, BudoFinder, Harmonia, Opfolio, Travabled, Intelligent Commerce
- IoT & Life Sci: Hospital Cube, Ultijack, MetaBio, Smart Optometry, Canelio, Vendotel, PARK
We closed this edition of Balkan Venture Forum with the Winner Ceremony, announcing the top 5 Best Presentation Awards. The criteria for winning the award were:
- Business potential
- Team experience
- Technological merit
- Competitive position
- Partnering interest
- Project profile quality
Winners of the Best Presentation Award are:
Smart City at your service
Vendotel is the first operator of a smart city platform based on a self-service kiosk network. €4.5M private investment in R&D. 200+ kiosks sold, that generated €11M turnover to clients in three years. Started roll-out of a 2000+ device network in Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, to be operated by Vendotel. Raising a growth stage investment to become the global digital platform for convergent self-service kiosks.
Ultijack is an ultimate gadget jacket for outdoor experience .It has an incorporation of new tehnology in it ,and a bag , an it is multifunctional. Designed for making life easier.
Dog Training Revolution
Of 92 million dog owners in the US, 13 million are currently training using non-smart clickers. We believe only mechanical is not good enough so we created Canelio clicker: the first smart dog training device, and accompanying platform. We took a product already used and sold globally and reinvented it.
Travel community for people with disabilities.
TravAbled.com is a travel advisor for people with disabilities that offers services for a greatly underserved niche market of 300 million travelers worldwide, who always travel with their companions and spend more than able-bodied visitors on average, yet still struggle to find confirmed information about real accessibility of desired destinations.
Get everyone in your family doing their chores!
Homey is for families, who are dissatisfied with using paper charts and sticky notes on their fridge for organizing and assigning chores. The market is huge, but we’re focusing on wealthy USA families, where we already got traction without any marketing costs (6000 moms from USA follow us on Instagram, and we have 500 families from USA signed up for beta). So many families fight about chores, and we’re here to solve this.
On behalf of the whole Balkan Venture Forum team, we would like to congratulate all of the startups for earning the highest jury scores on their pitch at the 7th edition of Balkan Venture Forum in Zagreb! We are very proud we had the chance to meet them and help them present their startups in front of 60 accredited investors in the region. Additionally, we remain open to offer our support in the upcoming stages of development by means of creating valuable connections with investors that are relevant to their field.
Last, but definitely not least, we would also like to express our immense gratitude to the man who ensured our startups had a pitch-perfect and our agenda flew as smooth as possible – Peter Hopwood!