21st & 22nd of May
Maribor, Slovenia
Monday, April 30, 2018

This year once again, 20 startuppers from Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary are coming to PODIM with support from the Office for Slovenians Abroad!

Slovenian-speaking startup entrepreneurs are important for strengthening national consciousness and the linguistic and cultural identity of Slovenians who live beyond the borders of their motherland. That’s why the Republic of Slovenia’s Office for Slovenians Abroad, headed by minister Gorazd Žmavc, this year once again decided to offer all-inclusive participation at the PODIM Conference to 20 Slovenian-speaking startuppers who are living and working in Austria, Italy, Croatia or Hungary. After last year’s valuable experience, which gave 29 young founders, cofounders or startup team members with Slovenian roots the opportunity to acquire new knowledge, make new acquaintances and do business, a rich programme is once again awaiting Slovenian-speaking startuppers who are taking advantage of this special offer by the Office for Slovenians Abroad. At this year’s PODIM, this offer is also supported by the Slovene Provincial Economic Union from Italy, Slovenian Business Association from Austria, Association for Civil Society Development EU Korak from Croatia, Slovenian Raba-country from Hungary, and the Faculty of Management from the University of Primorska, Slovenia.
 
“National consciousness is also strengthened through economic independence, which is why successful economic activity of the Slovenian diaspora is also important for strengthening the national, linguistic and cultural identity of Slovenians who live outside the borders of their motherland. Young Slovenian startuppers from the neighbouring countries are incredibly important in this, which is why this year once again, we are giving them the opportunity to attend the biggest and most influential startup conference in the Alps-Adriatic region for free. We wish to connect them with young successful entrepreneurs, experienced mentors, esteemed speakers and investors from Slovenia, the region and the world. We also wish to enable them to meet Slovenians from other neighbouring countries, because that can be a big and important experience for them. Such activities are also compliant with the set strategy of economic collaboration between Slovenia and the autochthonous Slovenian diaspora in the neighbouring countries until the year 2020,” is how minister Gorazd Žmavc explained the background of last year’s and this year’s PODIM participation of the Office for Slovenians Abroad and Slovenian-speaking startuppers from abroad.

Minister Gorazd Žmavc having lunch and conversing with young startuppers from neighbouring countries

Daylong startup school, rich conference activities and lunch with the minister

This year's programme for startuppers from the neighbouring countries will, like last year, include participation in the daylong startup school, organized the day before the official start of PODIM in collaboration with the Faculty of Management and prof. Mitja Ruzzier. It will also include tickets for both days of the PODIM Conference, covering the costs of accommodation and food, and organized transport. Just like last year, minister Gorazd Žmavc will welcome the participating startuppers from the neighbouring countries on Tuesday, the first day of the conference, and treat them to lunch in the Habakuk hotel. The highlights from last year’s lunch and gathering of minister Žmavc and startuppers can be found here. You can see the varied and fun activities from last year’s daylong startup school at this link.
 
 
 Highlights from last year’s startup school
 
Integrating capital and human resources and strengthening competitiveness

According to Gorazd Žmavc, the Office for Slovenians Abroad is supporting such projects with the purpose of encouraging integration and coordination of capital, knowledge, experiences, human resources and various activities that strengthen competitiveness and create new economic streams in areas populated by the Slovenian diaspora and in the Republic of Slovenia.
“This way, we wish to contribute our share to the vision of more homogenous economic collaboration between Slovenians abroad and their native country, whereby special emphasis is given to the economic collaboration between Slovenia and its neighbouring countries – Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia. In this, certain club activities are a rather outdated working method, so our challenge is to encourage younger generations to collaborate and engage in activities in collaboration with their motherland,” explains minister Gorazd Žmavc.

Connecting Slovenians from different regions abroad is also a big and important experience for them,” said minister Gorazd Žmavc at the end of last year’s PODIM programme.

PODIM as an effective platform for support, integration and connection

The Office for Slovenians Abroad and other partners of the project -  Slovene Provincial Economic Union from Italy, Slovenian Business Association from Austria, Association for Civil Society Development EU Korak from Croatia, Slovenian Raba-country from Hungary, and the Faculty of Management from the University of Primorska, Slovenia – recognized the PODIM Conference as a very effective platform for quality support and integrating startuppers from the neighbouring countries into the Slovenian, regional and international business environment. “That is why we are happy and proud that this year, for the second time, we are collaborating with the Office for Slovenians Abroad and other partners, thus offering startup entrepreneurs from the neighbouring countries the opportunity to connect with the Slovenian, regional and global startup scene, including established investors, corporate representatives, speakers, and all other PODIM participants who can help young startups on their journey to success,” said Matej Rus, head of Initiative Start:up Slovenia, which is the main organizer of PODIM, together with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Slovene Enterprise Fund.
 
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At this link, you can find more information about this year’s offer, with which we wish to attract a bigger number of Slovenian-speaking founders, co-founders and startup team members living and working in Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary.