15th & 16th of May
Maribor, Slovenia

PODIM Challenge


PODIM Challenge is an investment platform for connecting selected early-stage startups with investors, and strategic corporate partners. It is an entry point and selection filter for startups to obtain a PODIM startup ticket and to gain access to PODIM 1:1 Arena with 500+ meetings and pitching competition with special prizes.

Who is it for?
Primarily for startups from the European Adriatic and Western Balkan regions that haven’t yet received a bigger series A investment round and as a rule aren’t older than 5 years.

What is the main prize?
The best startups at the PODIM Challenge pitching competition will be awarded with all-inclusive tailor-made programmes in global startup hubs such as Silicon Valley or London.


The application process 

Meet the PODIM team and the main PODIM Conference partners (accelerators, investors, corporate representatives …) at one of the roadshow events happening all over the European Adriatic & Western Balkans countries.

Apply for PODIM Challenge until 23 March 2018 at the latest and make sure that you select the appropriate industry on the application form! 
A special PODIM Challenge jury will select 200 most promising startups from the region and inform them on how to obtain the PODIM Startup Ticket and get the opportunity to compete at the PODIM Challenge pitching competition.
All selected startups will be presented in a special PODIM Startup Catalogue that will be distributed to all PODIM investors, corporate representatives and speakers two weeks before the conference and will also be used as a tool for organizing 1:1 meetings. 

DOWNOLAD the PODIM 2017 Startup Catalogue

After you claim your PODIM Startup Ticket, the PODIM team will inform you about all the pitching and networking opportunities in the PODIM 1:1 ARENA, where we plan to organize 500+ one-on-one meetings between startups, investors and corporate representatives. 
An important part of the PODIM Challenge is the on-stage pitching competition. The winning team will be awarded with an all-inclusive one-week business trip to the one of the global startup hubs with a networking programme in the total value of 10,000+EUR.

PODIM Challenge Industries

All startups that apply for PODIM Challenge must categorize their business and select up to three industries that their products or services are involved in. All PODIM Challenge Industries will be listed in the application form and here is a quick preview of them: 

  • Business and Productivity (communication, collaboration, IT equipment and infrastructure, education and knowledge management, business and productivity apps, data aggregation and services, data security and privacy, marketplaces and exchanges platforms, marketing and advertising apps, tools and platforms ...)
  • Energy and Utilities (energy efficiency, exploration and production, waste management and recycling, infrastructure and distribution, commodity trading ...)
  • Financial Services (banking, accounting, insurance, currency, blockchain, cryptocurrency, investing and wealth management, lending, payment solutions, money transfers ...)
  • Life Science and Agriculture (drugs and pharmaceutical industry, food, agriculture and farming, health tech, medtech, health care, health care devices and platforms ...)
  • Lifestyle and Entertainment (media and content, social networks, leisure, travel and tourism, sport, wellness, fitness, gaming, toys and gadgets, personal devices and apps, fashion, clothing, personal care and growth, real estate and interior design ...)
  • Materials and Manufacturing (production processes, materials research and science, sensing and automation, design and engineering, supply chain management, maintenance and services, construction and building ...)
  • Mobility and Transportation (automotive, rail, ship, aerospace, maintenance, infrastructure and distribution, logistic goods and services, storage ...)

PODIM Challenge Partners 2018

This year, we are once again joined by strong corporate partners looking for connections with startups:   








2018 Alpe-Adria co-organizers: Venture FactoryTechnology park LjubljanaKWFBuild!Friuli Innovazione 

2018 Partners: Centre for European Perspective (CEP)South Central Ventures



Investors & Corpos at PODIM Challenge 2018

Enis Hulli
500 Startups Istanbul, Turkey
Chuck Goldman
Sky Ventures Group, USA
Nina Dremelj
Business angels of Slovenia, Slovenia
Aleksander Kopač
Business angel, Slovenia
Csaba Kákosy
Day One Capital Fund Management, Hungary
Dóra Branyiczki
Day One Capital Fund Management, Hungary
János Tóth
Day One Capital Fund Management, Hungary
Dan Lupu
Earlybird Venture Capital, Romania
David Braun
DASHR, Germany
David Prais
Cofound.it, UK
Aleksander Tönnisson
Buildit, Estonia
Nuno Gonçalves Pedro
Strive Capital, USA
Mike Sigal
500 Startups, USA
Czech Republic
Jan Habermann
Credo Ventures, Czech Republic
Markus Lang
Pioneers Ventures, Austria
Alexandre Massart
Blend Ventures, UK
Carlos Eduardo Espinal
Seedcamp, UK
Brian Flynn
FounderPartners, USA
Matjaž Bavdek
Business angel, Slovenia