The Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZŠEM) co-organized the Start-Up-Wednesday with the Croatian Business Angels Network – CRANE and through dynamic and informal communication advised students on how to secure money from business angels at the very beginning and what support is available from state institutions to finance business ideas.
“On one hand we have the measure of self-employment, and on the other hand we have the European Social Fund, from which 13 billion kuna will be used to boost the development of self-employment. When I came to the Ministry, 70 percent of people who were on vocational training went to the state and public sector. The first activity was to redefine the active employment policy, so today you can get 55,000 kuna to start your business and you can immediately take two people into vocational training so you can get up to $70,000 plus their minimum wage for a year ” said Marko Pavić, Minister of Labor and Pension System. He shared with the students his personal experience with starting a business, but also announced that he would like to invest in a mentoring program of people who are self-employed.
Among other things, the assistant to the Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Ana Mandac, said that HAMAG-BICRO has secured European funds through which micro-businesses and small businesses can get a loan of up to EUR 50,000 at a rate of 0.5 to 1.5 percent.
Davorin Štetner, president of CRANE, also shared his personal experience and told the audience what to expect when investing in startups. “In the beginning we are of course looking for a way to make money; Statistics say that eight out of ten startups fail. We put in money, networking, other services, and in return we get shares. We get something that is currently worth zero and that is just potential.” said Štetner.
Ivan Jelušić, the creator of the u:plug – a smart socket that in two years entered 15 markets – explained how he went from having an idea to realizing it and turning it into a successful business. This innovator has launched a number of other successful products, the latest being video glasses that are used to control unmanned vehicles and aircraft. The team is currently working on numerous other products, most of them from the medical spectrum.
At the end of the event, startups had the chance to present their ideas that included beach umbrellas with safes, a customer service ordering system via Facebook chat, a video game based on a true story, a digital agency platform, and a series of ideas and products of a young company that deals with creative production with a focus on holographs.
All the lecturers were available for questions to the students, and a common conclusion was that the foundation of realizing ideas is a high-quality education that this business school certainly offers.
“Today we already have about three thousand alumni working in all sectors of the economy – not only in Croatia but also abroad. ZSEM stands out with being the first internationally accredited business school in Croatia and its international component, which certifies that we offer high-quality programs,” said the Director of ZSEM, Zoran Barac, PhD.