Start-ups – by Hrvoje Prpić
Croatia is a small country but with one of the oldest business angels organisation in Europe. Croatian Business Angels Network (CRANE) was founded in 2008 by Hrvoje Prpić, Damir Sabol, a VC fund Poteza Ventures, a government agency and Initium organisation.
Since 2008 there were numerous successful (and unsuccessful) start-ups in Croatia:
- Rimac Cars (approx.. $300-400m)
- Farmeron (10% of the USA market)
- Photomath (30-40m downloads)
- Once Football (€150k EBITDA for 2015)
- Trillenium (successful crowdinvesting campaign in 2015, £200k raised)
- And many others
Currently there are 40 incubators and accelerators in Croatia, but only a couple of them are at the same level as the other European competitors:
As all the start-ups are orientated to the global market, most of them moved their offices out of the country but still keep the development departments in the country. Croatian education favours technical subjects and Croatian labour market lacks business people in favourite to developers which can still be find in adequate quantities.
Croatia can still offer very affordable investments in start-ups as the market is still not saturated as in the rest of Europe and definitely not as in the USA.
There is also an opportunity to open a top class accelerator as the whole region from Albania, over Serbia, Bosnia and the rest of the ex-YU countries is tending to Croatia as an entry to EU. There is a 20-30m people market with a very educated work force, and still very affordable.