Croatian Business Angels Network (CRANE) has carried out its regular election meeting. In the ceremonial hall of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, the business angels were welcomed by Mario Antonić, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, who had stressed the importance that CRANE has for the development of the entrepreneurial scene in Croatia. Mirka Jozić, the head of the City Office for Economy, Labor and Entrepreneurship of the City of Zagreb had pointed out the excellent cooperation between CRANE and the City of Zagreb regarding the EBAN WU conference 2016 and announced upcoming joint projects which are yet to be discussed. Vjeran Vrbanec, the CEO of HAMAG-BICRO, invited the business angels to continue cooperating with the agency as the most important segment for supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, and to put forward their suggestions on providing encouragement to the start-up companies.
CRANE’s assembly has accepted the financial and operational reports from the President, and elected the new Board composition for the following mandate period (2017-2019) which will include the current members Hrvoje Prpić, Saša Cvetojević, Damir Mujić and Adrian Ježina as a new member. Ježina is a famous name in the business world and is mostly known for founding B.net, as well as for being VIPNET’s Board member for several years. Although being a new member of CRANE, Ježina has already invested in its first startup – Nanodiy. The CRANE’s assembly expressed their gratitude to Dalibor Čvek, CRANE’s former secretary and to Mihovil Barančić, the former President and Board member for their long-standing engagement. In the past two years, CRANE’s members have invested in a dozen startup companies and plan to increase that number. Also, a legal framework for encouraging investments into start-up companies and the whole sector is being expected.
“I want to thank CRANE’s members for having trust in me to run another mandate. This time my honor and responsibilities are even greater since the majority of CRANE’s members are already acclaimed and successful entrepreneurs and individuals. In two years, CRANE has achieved great things and continues to raise the bar every year. The cooperation with international institutions such as EBAN is also excellent, and our organization of EBAN Winter University 2016 conference was proclaimed the best one in the history of EBAN” said Davorin Štetner, the President of CRANE.
That CRANE’s members have doubled in the past two years, and that CRANE (which was founded in 2008) is one of the oldest European organization of business angels were also emphasized at the meeting.
After the CRANE’s annual meeting, the first Startup Wednesday of the year on the topic of financing startups and small businesses was held in front of the crowded hall at the Croatian Chamber of Economy. The fact that all the seats were reserved in just a few days tells a lot about the great interest on the subject which is why the live stream of the whole event was ensured.
A panel discussion which was moderated by CRANE’s board member Adrian Ježina, was carried out in the first part of the event. The panelists were Frane Šesnić, the director of Development Agency Zagreb, Mirela Đuran, the manager of micro-entrepreneurs in HBOR, Tomislav Pašalić, the director of HAMAG-BICRO’s Sector for Financial Instruments and Jure Mikuž, the managing partner in the South Central Ventures. Startup Wednesday continued with the lecture held by Marko Ćapeta, the board member of Bulb Technologies in charge of business development who explained how they attracted an investment worth 2 million Euros from South Central Ventures. A special addition to the Startup Wednesday was the presentation of the Kickstarter campaign for Unique Travel Set that enabled its founders Rašeljka Maras and Katarina Džale to launch their product into the global market.