Yesterday, the CEE Unlimited Roadshow was held in the premises of ZICER, organized by the Austrian Business Angels Network – AAIA in cooperation with the Croatian Business Angels Network – CRANE.
Welcoming speeches were held by the director of ZICER, Frane Šesnić and Lisa-Marie Fassl, the coordinator of the CEE Unlimited project, and CRANE President Davorin Štetner.
The conference also included a panel of entrepreneurs: “FROM ZERO TO HERO”, attended by CRANE President Davorin Štetner and members of the Management Board Hrvoje Prpić and Saša Cvetojević, and Dawid Rylski of Speedinvest.
The main topic was to describe the current startup situation in Croatia and ideas to improve it. The ZICER Center itself has significantly contributed to it, because it has over 100 Croatian startups under its roof and, in this environment, all of them have the opportunity to collaborate, exchange ideas and networking.
The conclusion was that there is currently a lack of Venture Capital funds in Croatia, so it is difficult for startups to raise significant capital after they have secured business angel investments. Dawid from SpeedInvest expressed a willingness for investing in Croatian startups, but he admitted that the startup community was still in the very early stages and it would take some more time for VC funds to be included.
A member of the audience asked a question along the lines of: “Do business angels need to invest in pursuit of profit or in pursuit of social impact?”
Panel members agreed that these two things should be separated. The main goal of a business angel is an investment aimed at making a profit, as it enables him to invest further and help other people with the resources they need.
At the end of the program, a pitching competition was held with 4 startups (Luana, Res Maritimae, Marketers graphic and Floornap) who were competing to win the opportunity to pitch their idea in Vienna at “Investor Day 2019”.
The winner of this round of the competition is Res Maritimae with a new type of life jacket that allows people to stay in the water for longer, repels shark attacks and has a built-in GPS locator so the rescue team can locate the person in distress as soon as possible. The most interesting part of this idea is the shark repelling property of the vest, namely, that Res Maritimae uses the poison of an exotic fish that the sharks, according to the pitchers, can smell from a mile away.