The multinationals have announced a new partnership with Infobip to develop an innovative mentoring program for Croatian startups. The country, which has a population of more than 4 million people, has already created its first two unicorns, and its vibrant startup community is expanding nationally and internationally in the region of South-East Europe and within the EU. This is Infobip, the leading global platform for cloud communications, which was founded precisely in Croatia.
All Croatian startups who have participated in Infobip's Startup Tribe program are eligible for the Scale-Croatia program, which has enabled a faster and more efficient development and scaling of their businesses.
Google and Goldman Sachs will provide specialized mentors to startup founders, who will be able to counsel them on a wide variety of topics related to business development, including products, fundraising, marketing, sales, and other fields.
"We are very grateful that Scale|Croatia allows Croatian startups to connect to established corporations like Google or Goldman Sachs," said Nikola Pavei, Head of Startups at Infobip. "The fact that these big corporations recognize the potential of our startup ecosystem is a validation for us but also a significant honor for the Croatian technology sector, which is positioning as a new European technology hub, the European Silicon Valley."
Scott Carpenter, the project manager for Google Jigsaw, has stated that for those who manage the program, "it is an honor to participate in the Scale-Croatia mentoring program, to enhance the technological ecosystem in this developing European hub, and to associate ourselves with innovative companies in the region."
According to Jared Cohen, Goldman Sachs' co-director of applied innovation and global affairs, "we decided to test this project with Croatian startups, because we saw a pattern of stories with great possibilities but little means." The data shows remarkable results for the up-and-coming tech sector in the Baltic country, which appears to have a similar journey to that that the Estonian and Israeli tech ecosystem once had.
Most of the 16 startup founders attended the launch in June, including Orqa, based in Osijek, a world leader in the development of FPV goggles for drone pilots.
OrqaSran Kovacevi's co-founder and CEO declared that the project has opened up access to a completely different level of expertise for Croatian enterprises that cannot be found at home. We found it helpful to measure Google's product management expertise as well as Goldman Sachs' capability in listing technology companies on international stock exchanges.”
The startups are halfway through the Scale program, which if successful with the Croatian version, will serve as a model for other regions of the world. Through the Scale-Croatia, "we can assist national start-ups to go so far, something that was previously almost impossible at Infobip's founding".