All speakers

Dr. Andrej Fištravec /Mayor, Municipality of Maribor Steli Efti /CEO, Alex Iskold /Managing Director, Techstars, New York City Poornima Vijayashanker  /Founder at Femgineer Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva /WE EXIST Reinvention Agency Gary Whitehill /Founder, Entrepreneur Week & The Relentless Foundation Rune Theill  /Co-founder, Rockstart Igor Tasic /CEO, Startup Europe Week Piotr Bucki /CMO, X Ventures Stephen Mooney /CEO, Synoptic Technologies Howard Kingston /Co-founder, Adludio Katalin Lakatos /Business Development Manager, PR Newswire Dr. Jens Pippig /Founder & Managing Director, ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator Daniel Kraus /Director of Platform Product Management at HERE maps Daniel Cronin /PODIM 2016 host / AustrianStartups Matt Hart /Creator, BetterIdeasFaster mag. Maja Tomanič Vidovič /Director of the Slovenian entrepreneurship Fund Matej Golob /Co-founder, 30Lean Jaka Levstek /CEO, D·Labs Damir Sabol /Co-founder, Microblink Rumen Iliev /Partner, LAUNCHub Danijela Divac /Product & UX Strategist, D·Labs Igor Panjan /CEO & Founder, SmartPA Jakob Šušterič /CEO, MESI Majda Dodevska /Co-founder and CMO, Scoutee Joanna Alpe /CEO, Makelight Interactive Bojana Zupanič /Talent Director, Danfoss Pavel Škerlj /CIO, Petrol d.d. Mateja Zavadlal /Director, Sportina Bled d.o.o. and Sportina Zagreb d.o.o. Marko Javornik /VP/GM Mobility & Travel, Comtrade Group Sonja Šmuc /Executive director, Managers’ Association of Slovenia Jure Mikuž /Managing Partner, RSG Capital Dejan Roljič /Co-founder and director, ABC accelerator Matevž Medja /co-founder and CEO, Gigodesign Dilyan Dimitrov /Founder, Eleven Bart Lorang /CEO and founder, FullContact Herwig Springer /CEO Corporate Development, i5invest Jan Habermann /Partner, Credo Ventures Nicholas Bartlett /Business Angel Kevin Dykes /co-founder and CEO, RetentionGrid Žiga Godina /Head of marketing and PR, Swich Julien Coustaury /Founding partner, Fil Rouge Capital Michael Schuster /Partner, SpeedInvest Matej Zalar /CEO and co-founder, Visionect Tim Luft /Director, VR Simulation Systems Dr. Enej Kuščer /Co-founder and CEO, Acies Bio Ltd. Boštjan Bregar /CEO and co-founder, 4th Office Attila Szigeti /COO, Drukka Startup Studio Fredrik Andersson /CPO, Bonnier Business to Business Marko Gaćeša /CEO and co-founder, Drytools Mitja Mavsar /Co-founder, Blub Blub Peter Frankl /Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Finance Julij Božič /Country Leader, IBM Slovenia Franc Matjaž Zupančič /State Secretary, SVRK Valter Leban /Member of the Board of Management, Kolektor Group d.o.o. Primož Škerget /UX Designer Generalist, D·Labs Tilen Travnik /Co-founder in partner, D·Labs Christian Benger /The Regional Minister for Economics in Carinthia, Austria Laszlo R. Czirjak /Co-founder & Managing Partner, iEurope Capital Peter Pohar /Group Technical Lead, D·Labs Tatjana Zabasu /Partner, RSG Kapital Jakob Gajšek /Co-founder & Head of Venture Relations, ABC Accelerator Aleš Pustovrh /Co-founder & Program Manager, ABC Accelerator Karolina Łopacka /Investment Analyst, UKTI Óscar Ramírez Muñoz /CEO and co-founder, Startup Commons Global mag. Matej Rus /Manager, PODIM Prof. Dr. Peter Stanovnik /IER, Slovenia Paul Pöltner /Co-founder & Managing Director, CONDA Martin Henk /Co-founder, Pipedrive Aljoša Huber /Founder, IntelPlan Timotej Šooš /Slovenia Development Strategy Lead, Government of RS Zsuzsa Várhalmi /Deputy Director, EIT Digital Budapest László Gulyás /ARISE Europe lead, EIT Digital Prof. Dr. Boštjan Antončič /Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana Marta Turk /Chief Project Manager Prof. Dr. Miroslav Rebernik /EPF, UM Jernej Močnik /Executive Director, NKBM Urban Lapajne /Project manager, Start:up Slovenia Initiative Matija Goljar /Founder and CEO, Ustvarjalnik Mitja Poljšak /Founder and CEO, PricePilot Petra Kovič /Journalist and copy editor, DELO Matej Delakorda /Group Leader, CEED Jure Verhovnik /Director of projects, IRP Tomasz Krajewski /President of the Board, SkyCash Gregor Rebolj /Founder, Silicon Gardens



Steli Efti Linkedin profile

Steli Efti is CEO and Co-Founder of (a platform that makes calls, sends emails, and conveniently automatically tracks all activity) and ElasticSales, where he helps thousands of startups succeed in scaling their sales efforts.

He is an alumni of Y Combinator (they helped making companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, 9gag, and more). His company has received funding from Spark Capital, SV Angel, Start Fund, and Omidyar Networks as well as several notable angel investors.

Besides firing half his team by singing Bye Bye Baby from ’N Sync, Steli also published a lot of interesting articles, from “Why Startups Need To Visit Their Customers” to “Hiring for Startups: How to Recruit the Un-recruitable!“.

Alex Iskold
Techstars, New York Linkedin profile

Alex Iskold, the managing director of Techstars New York, one of largest tech accelerators in US. An investor and serial tech entrepreneur who has founded and sold two companies, including, most recently, GetGlue, a television social network. Now, an engineer by training, he is on a mission to help create next generation of amazing startups and valuable companies in New York City and to contribute his part in building the global network of entrepreneurs around the world.

His work in the past includes founding GetGlue – a leading social TV network, acquired by in 2013, creating one of the most exciting startups in NYC, which was backed by Union Square Ventures, RRE Ventures, TimeWarner Investments and Rho Ventures, winning the 2011 Mashable Breakout Startup of the Year and being named to Hollywood Reporter 2012 Digital Power 50. He also started a company called Information Laboratory, which was acquired by IBM in 2003 and built new grid computing technology at DataSynapse, acquired by TIBCO, 2009.

His current obsessions include startups, building products, venture capital, books, yoga, and running. In the past, he was obsessed with poetry, teaching, complex systems, engineering, TV, blogging and red wine.

Poornima Vijayashanker
Femgineer Linkedin profile

Poornima Vijayashanker is an entrepreneur, engineer, author, and speaker who has made her mark on the tech world.
A graduate of Duke University, Poornima was the founding engineer at Mint where she helped build, launch, and scale the product until it was acquired by Intuit. Following the acquisition, Poornima went on to launch Femgineer, an education company for tech professionals and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to build software products and companies.
Poornima speaks at industry events around the world and has authored the book, How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products, and Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking with Karen Catlin. Having served as the EIR at 500 Startups, Poornima has also lectured at her alma mater’s Pratt School of Engineering.

Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva
WE EXIST Reinvention Agency Linkedin profile

Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva is renowned 'Queen of Reinvention' or 'Reinvention Guru', as Ventures magazines like to call her. She is also an inspiring and successful entrepreneur and business owner, educator, speaker and author, specialized in reinvention and sustainable development.
As a business owner, Nadya oversees a group of companies active in real estate, investment and consulting. As a consultant, Nadya has helped such organizations as The Coca-Cola Company, ENRC PLC, IBM, CISCO, Erste Bank, Henkel, Knauf Insulation, Vienna Insurance Group and many others to reinvent their products, processes and leadership practices.

As an educator, Nadya personally contributed to the development of nearly 5,000 executives from over 60 countries and 20 industries. She served as the Coca-Cola Chaired Professor of Sustainable Development at IEDC-Bled School of Management, an executive education center based in the Slovene Alps, where she continues to teach courses in leadership, strategy and sustainability. She is also a renowned TEDx speaker, where she delivered three inspiring talks in Austria, Slovenia and the US.
In addition to IEDC, Nadya has taught in other business schools, including CEDEP in France and IPADE Business School in Mexico. She also serves as the President of Challenge:Future, a global student 'think-do-tank' and innovation competition that unites 35,000 members from 242 countries and territories. 

As an author, Nadya has written two books. The first is “Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage” in 2011 and the second “Overfished Ocean Strategy: Powering Up Innovation for a Resource-Deprived World” in 2014. She also contributed to five others books. 

Gary Whitehill
Entrepreneur Week & The Relentless Foundation Linkedin profile

Garry Whitehill is a globally renowned entrepreneur, mentor, philanthropist and advisor to Fortune 100 companies and government leaders, leveraging the experience he accumulated in a variety of roles that empower entrepreneurs and the disruptive innovations they seek to bring to the market.
In 2009, he founded Entrepreneur Week (EW), a fast-growing global entrepreneurship ecosystem scaled to four continents. So far more than 500 world renowned entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders have been to EW events and shared their stories, resources and connections with more than 6,000 entrepreneurs, a group responsible for more than $8 billion in annual revenue.
As a by-product of EW’s success and the knowledge he accumulated along the way, he was invited to join advisory roles at some of the most well-known companies in the world, including AOL and Dell. In Dell, he served as a founding advisor of the Dell Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Program, the first in history at a Fortune 50 company, while he simultaneously developed the Dell Innovators Credit Fund – a $100 million commitment to encourage innovation, bolster speed-to-market and job creation.
Gary is a member of the AOL Small Business Board of Directors, Astia Global Board of Directors and a nominated Delegate for the United Stated at both the Young G20 and G8 summits as well as an advisor to many government leaders and politicians, globally known corporations, incubators, venture capital funds and start-up companies in the process of obtaining investments.
Gary is currently laser-focused on building a new software product BURST that provides a principled approach for empowering the masses to bend the world to their vision while concurrently de-risking the investment process for angel investors and venture capitalists by an order of magnitude. Doing so produces more effective outcomes for entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers as well as unlocks a multi-trillion-dollar ecosystem of value. 

Rune Theill
Rockstart Linkedin profile

Rune Theill is the co-founder and alumni network director at Rockstart Accelerator from Amsterdam, Netherlands. As an active investor and supporter of startups he won the Dutch Startup Award as the "Best Investor" in 2012 and 2013.
Rune serves as an advisor to many startups, such as 3D Hubs, Crowdyhouse, CoffeeStrap, Bomberbot, Songvice and NuGames Studios Sweden AB. He is also a board member at coding and app building startup and a jury member at Venture Cup.
His skills include design thinking, lean methodologies, e-commerce, sales and marketing, product development, user experience, design, social media marketing, fundraising, go-to market strategies, leadership and team inspiration.

Howard Kingston
Adludio Linkedin profile

Howard Kingston is co-founder of Adludio (former Future Ad Labs), the world’s leading sensory advertising platform. Adludio's clients include iconic Fortune 500 brands such as Unilever, P&G, Sky, Nestle, RedBull, Paypal, BBC & many more. Adludio was named ”Hot Company of the Year” at Festival of Media Global and Festival of Media Asia Pacific, were awarded the MOMA ”Best User Experience” award and Lions Eurobest Innovation award.
An active member of the UK’s start-up scene, Howard was named in this year’s Silicon 60 - a who's who of London's tech scene, was selected to be part of the IIBN's 'Future Leaders' program and was appointed to Durham University's MBA advisory board. Howard writes regularly for the Huffington Post and his blog Startup Remarkable.
Prior to this he was Head of Marketing for We R Interactive (now acquired), a venture backed social gaming startup that grew to 6 million users in its first year. Passionate for connecting with fellow entrepreneurs, he mentors entrepreneurs at General Assembly London.

Dr. Jens Pippig
ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator Linkedin profile

Dr. Jens Pippig is the Founder and Managing Director of the ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator. Before that, he was leading the Group's strategy department. Prior to that, Jens spent eight years at McKinsey & Company in Berlin and specialized in e-commerce, private equity, and retail.
He also founded two successful companies in the field of market research and employer branding in Sweden. Jens studied economics at Witten/Herdecke University where he obtained his PhD. He also studied business administration and economics in Stockholm and at Harvard.

His selected speeches include such events as Pioneers Festival, Collision Conference, Heureka, European Pirate Summit, The Royal Jungle, hy!, Die Initiale, Startup Istanbul, How to Web, EBSpreneurship, START Summit St. Gallen and many more.
Dr. Jens Pippig expertise include Management Consulting, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Market Research, Media, Online, Digital, E-Commerce, Broadcasting, Advertising, Acceleration and Incubation programmes.

Daniel Kraus
HERE Linkedin profile

Daniel Kraus is a startup veteran and Director of Platform Product Management at HERE maps, which is building a location cloud to power the maps of the future. In his current role he’s responsible for the vision, strategy, and execution for the global HERE Platform, powering almost 50 billion global monthly transactions.
In recent years, Daniel has held a variety of senior positions within the HERE organization (formerly NAVTEQ/NOKIA), including heading up the company’s Global 3D data products in Chicago.
Prior to joining HERE in 2009, Daniel worked for a variety of startups in the digital content space, including two that he founded. He also spent five years at Microsoft, where he was responsible for the company's next-generation 3D content authoring system for film and games production.
Daniel holds a B.S. in Physics and M.A. in Philosophy from Fordham University in New York, and serves on the boards of several startups, including Notizo AB (Sweden), and Metareal (Canada).
Daniel currently lives in Berlin, and enjoys travelling, snowboarding, and Aikido in his spare time. 

Matt Hart
BetterIdeasFaster Linkedin profile

Matt Hart is a globally renowned Innovator, helping clients such as BBC, Cancer Research UK, Cisco, MTV, O2, Sony Music, Spotify, Telefonica, Unicef, Unilever, Warners and others to start, build and grow the widest possible audience.
Matt has more than 20 years of experience in designing and leading global innovation programs across three disciplines of innovation: new product development, creativity in people and cultural transformation.
He is the creator of the proprietary method called Accelerated Innovation: marrying science with art to inform a simple project narrative that envisions success, whilst facilitating the freedom to accelerate progress. He is also an innovator of a new proprietary approach to Fan Innovation called the Cone™, which deeply understands the propensity of audiences to engage with entertainment passions, resulting in targeted fan strategies, intelligent insights and creative ideas that stick with the widest audiences.
Matt is also the creator of an online Acceleration Innovation toolbox called Better Ideas Faster and the co-founder of a new accelerated learning platform called Vidleos.
These 20+ years of experience coalesce into his core purpose of helping prepare and support next-generation global problem solving through developing next-generation global problem solvers.

Joanna Alpe
Makelight Interactive Linkedin profile

Joanna Alpe had a misspent youth photographing the biggest acts of the 00s like Bjork, Rage Against the Machine, Dizzie Rascal, Kasbian, Arcade Fire and many many many more. A few companies later, she led the founding of Makelight - an innovative mobile special effects & audience insight platform that turns people into pixels in 2012. She won Makelight a place in Telefonica's prestigious Wayra UK academy in 2012, the Red Bull Amplify accelerator in 2013 and has led the company to win multiple Event Technology Awards for their breakthrough Live Event Technology. 

She has negotiated deals for Makelight with global brands such as Vodafone, Vice Magazine, Pernod Ricard, Channel 4, Nokia, Samsung, SXSW and many more. Under her leadership, Makelight was named in the Startup’s 100 list in 2014 and she was personally named as one of the Top UK Digital Innovators for her achievements founding Makelight. She has raised investment in the UK and in Silicon Valley and now works exporting Makelight Mobile Special Effects to the USA and beyond. She was also a member of the Tech Crunch Disrupt winning hackathon team in 2015.

Splitting her time between San Francisco and London, she can usually be found grabbing a mocha in the Mission or Hoxton while watching reruns of Jem and the Holograms on her inappropriately sized phone.

Bart Lorang
FullContact & Linkedin profile

Bart Lorang, Born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, is a proven entrepreneur, executive and manager in the global technology industry. He is active in the startup technology community as an investor, mentor, writer and speaker. He began his technology career by achieving his first exit at age 16 and his second exit with Dimension Technology Solutions, at age 29. His wife Sarah’s immaculately-organized address book served as his inspiration for starting his third company, FullContact, in 2010. Bart has since grown the company to over 75 employees with offices in Denver, Dallas and Riga, Latvia.

Bart serves on the board of Colorado Technology Association, Rapt Media, and Education Funding Partners.

In 2012, Bart was recognized as the Colorado Technology Association’s Technology Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2013, Bart was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist and was named by ColoradoBiz as one of Colorado’s Top 25 Young Professionals.

Bart is a regular guest on FOX Business channel and has been featured by ABC, CNN, NBC, FOX News, MSNBC, Forbes, FastCompany, Yahoo, Inc Magazine and TechCrunch.

He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado in Boulder and an Executive MBA from Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, where he graduated with the highest of honors.

Bart lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Sarah, son Greyson, and their dog Parker. He is a die-hard Broncos, Rockies, Buffs, Nuggets and Avalanche fan and loves to ski, golf and read.

Kevin Dykes
RetentionGrid Linkedin profile

Kevin Dykes is co-founder and CEO of RetentionGrid. He is a career B2B software entrepreneur in cloud, SaaS, SMB marketing automation.... and an American living in Berlin, Germany. Kevin has been involved in building web technology companies since 1996 - with a primary focus on Product, Go-To-Market, strategy and growth.

A builder of badass teams and an ongoing learner how to build new companies in smarter, leaner, faster ways. He had his share of entrepreneurial success and failure which he experienced through various companies/startups:

Currently: co-Founder / CEO of RetentionGrid: a data-driven customer retention automation platform serving more than 9,000 e-commerce businesses in 59 countries who manage over 20 million consumers in 187 countries.

Previously: Co-founder / CEO of AVARI: a personalized marketing engine for email platforms and marketing clouds which was acquired by LiveIntent in October 2015. A spin-off of RetentionGrid. Co-Founder of a rules & workflow-based API automation platform which made it really dead simple for developers to do amazing things without writing code. Co-Founder / CEO of ScaleUp Technologies: the developer of a self-service cloud management platform for providers of Application Centric Cloud Solutions and Cloud Storage.

He thrives on mentoring entrepreneurs with the gory details of times both good and bad to help increase their chances of success.



Dr. Andrej Fištravec
Municipality of Maribor

Andrej Fištravec got his bachelor degree at the Faculty of Social sciences, University of Ljubljana and received his PHD from the Phylosophical faculty of the University of Maribor. He worked as an assistant and university teacher at the University of Maribor. For some time he was employed in the Maribor unit of the institute of education and lastly at the institute for development of social responsibility. He is currently the mayor of the municipality of Maribor. 

Igor Tasic
Startup Europe Week Linkedin profile

Igor Tasic is currently the CEO of Startup Europe Week, the largest entrepreneurship related event in Europe (with 200+ cities in 40+ countries and 400+ co-organizers), focused on bringing together regional development officers, entrepreneurs, and local ecosystem leaders to build momentum on how EU regions can successfully support / impact entrepreneurs. He also serves as strategy consultant at Barrabés Next, a leading innovation / management consulting firm. Finally, Igor is an active startup advisor, mentoring multiple entrepreneurs both in Europe and Latin America.
Previously, Igor was the founder and CEO of Atlantico Partners, a strategy-consulting firm supporting companies around the world to do business in Brazil and vice-versa. He was also a senior associate at the global strategy management consultancy Booz & Company and prior to that, he has held several executive positions at various multinational companies, such as DuPont, Telefonica, Votorantim, and Itaú with assignments in Latin America, USA, Europe, and the Middle East, working in a wide range of sectors.
In addition, he is also a recognized author and lecturer with publications in the fields of entrepreneurship, strategy and marketing, having currently an op-ed column on international go-to-market strategies at “Pequenas Empresas Grandes Negócios” magazine, the leading Brazilian entrepreneurship and SME publication. Recent international keynote engagements include the “Brazil Business Summit” at IESE Business School (Spain) and “The New Multinational” at FGV (Brazil).
Igor is currently pursuing a PhD in entrepreneurship at the Complutense University of Madrid. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and FGV-EAESP, a BA in Business Administration from FGV-EAESP as well as a BA in Economics from University of São Paulo (FEA-USP). He also concluded specialization courses in entrepreneurship at the Harvard Business School, advertising account planning at the Miami Ad School and international marketing at the University of Texas.


Piotr Bucki
X Ventures Linkedin profile

Piotr Bucki from Poland is an expert on new era commnunications – inbound marketing, public relations, growth hacking strategies, discovering zeitgeists and personas.
He is popular and sought-after trainer, lecturer, teacher, journalist, coach, manager and entrepreneur. Piotr is best described as a modern day Hermes – a great researcher, combining different inspirations to come up with new solutions or collecting ideas and merging them into new ones.
He helps companies hone their message using cognitive science and neuropsychology. Always puts theory into practice when helping companies from Poland, Slovenia, Chile, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Australia. He also constantly learns to stay up to date with new trends and research.
He works in marketing and R&D in difrenet companies and projects arond the globe, but he also teaches at three different Polish universities. His main areas of interest are UX, visual communication, PR and marketing strategies, but he is also very well known in the world of startups for its excellent pitching coaching sessions.

Stephen Mooney
Synoptic Technologies Linkedin profile

Stephen Mooney is the CEO at Synoptic Technologies, helping to accelerate the adoption of global innovative SME's by leading companies. Synoptica combines big data analytics and deep learning to help corporations uncover the right solutions and deploy them as part of their corporate innovation strategy.
Stephen is an entrepreneur and executive with a track record of successfully growing early stage startups to investment and exit. He has helped to generate new accounts and partners in existing and greenfield markets in North America and Europe.
He also serves as UKTI's Global Entrepreneur Programme as one of its Dealmakers to help bring high quality foreign direct investment to the UK and as an advisor to SetSquared, the EU's leading business incubator and serving as a non-executive director in the tech sector.
Previously as a co-founder of Carbonetworks he has developed a strong understanding of business issues relating to sustainability and has created an extensive network of individuals and corporations looking to improve global sustainable performance.

Katalin Lakatos
PR Newswire Linkedin profile

Katalin Lakatos is an expert in PR and corporate communications at PR Newswire and helps companies in the CEE region to improve their PR communications, increase international brand awareness and reach their target audience around the world via effective press release distribution.
PR Newswire is the world’s leading corporate news distribution company, possesses over 60 years experience of unparalleled market knowledge of the global media. Katalin introduces PR Newswire’s international press release distribution service to make the PR managers’ job easier and more effective.
Focusing on the technology/startup sector, Katalin can consult on either how to write a good press release, organise a successful international press release distribution or promote your crowdfunding campaign.


Daniel Cronin
PODIM 2016 host / AustrianStartups Linkedin profile

Daniel Cronin is a passionate entrepreneur, lecturer, presenter and keynote speaker. He wrote his thesis on Mobile Marketing, became a founding member of the full-service app-agency allaboutapps (a joint venture of i5invest and runtastic) and advises several startups.
Daniel is Co-Founder and Member of the Board of AustrianStartups (a non-profit to strengthen the entrepreneurial eco-system) and lectures at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, the Vienna University of Technology, the Vienna University of Economics and Business as well as the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt.
In October 2015 he joined the Board of the WWG – Österreichische Werbewissenschaftliche Gesellschaft / the Austrian Association of Advertising Sciences and in January 2016 he became founding member of startup300 – an early-stage accelerator.
He has hosted more than 100 events on Startups including Pioneers Festival, one of the leading Startup-Events in Europe and was the presenter of the Austrian version of Shark Tank, "2Minuten, 2Millionen – die PULS4 Startup-Show” on national TV. He also hosts his own YouTube-Channel, “The Startup Espresso,” were he talks about Startup-Basics and need-to-knows.

mag. Maja Tomanič Vidovič
Slovene Entreprise Fund Linkedin profile

Maja Tomanič-Vidovič, BA in Economics and journalism, started her career as a journalist on RTV (Slovenian public broadcaster), where she covered the field of economics. In 1998 she took the post of a government advisor at the Ministry of Small Business and Tourism.

In 2000 she was appointed as the state undersecretary for Small Business in the Ministry of Economics. During this time, she actively followed the economic developments in Podravska region, especially in the field of small business and entrepreneurship. Since 2000, she has been working with Gea College, a private faculty for entrepreneurship, and DOBA – Faculty of Applied Business and Social Studies Maribor. She is a professor of entrepreneurship and financial management of small businesses.

Since 2007 she has been the director of the Slovenian entrepreneurship Fund, a public institution established to better facilitate funds for small and medium sized businesses.

Matej Golob
30Lean Linkedin profile

Matej Golob is a computer geek who was drawn into the world of sales and business development through long international career in IBM, from which he disembarked right into startup world.

TEDx events organizer who is taking networking passionately seriously. MBA valedictorian, founder of 30Lean, enabling mature organizations to run internal lean startup incubators. Fighting hypotheses and failing all the way to disruptive success.

Jaka Levstek
D·Labs Linkedin profile

Jaka Levstek is a seasoned manager, Internet veteran and entrepreneur who built and sold his first small business at 20. Starting from a marketing communications background but with additional vast experience in operations roles, Jaka strengths are identifying market opportunities and building a team to take hold of them.
Prior to his current position he held management roles in a range of industries, including telecommunications, oil & gas, entertainment and consumer IT services, mostly in Slovenia, EU.  One of the biggest achievements was that he succeeded to attract first big investments from Asia into Eastern Europe (NTT Docomo invests in Telargo, 28.6M€).
Jaka has a special focus on service businesses, both online and offline. Whether it be running a local market leader in domains and hosting (and sold it in 2012), building a completely new innovative service (SAAS for fleet management) or running a fast growing product-development consultancy, he has managed or created regional market leaders.
Jaka is looking to secure a position in a fast-growth services organisation, where he can bring immediate and strategic value and develop current skillset further.
Due to his digital marketing experience, Jaka is a guest lecturer at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Lugano, Imperial College, long-standing mentor at the most renowned startup incubator Seedcamp and an active lecturer on entrepreneurship in the CEE region.

Damir Sabol
Microblink & Croatian Business Angel Network Linkedin profile

Damir Sabol is a serial entrepreneur based in Zagreb, Croatia. He is the founder and CEO of Photomath, one of the most popular educational apps in the world.

He has technical background – a degree in Electrical Engineering /Computer Technology from the Zagreb University. He was the founder and long-time CEO of Iskon, the first private internet service provider in Croatia, VC-backed company which was sold to Croatian Telecom in 2006. Damir is also the co-founder of Microblink, a mobile computer vision company, Croatian Business Angel Network and ZIP startup incubator in Zagreb. 

Rumen Iliev
LAUNCHub Linkedin profile

Rumen Iliev is a Partner at LAUNCHub, a 9 mio seed fund, focused on investing in bright entrepreneurs from the SEE region. Rumen co-manages portfolio relations and selection process and he works closely with the LH Investees.

Before joining LAUNCHub, Rumen had his own business consultancy practice focused on solving business issues and helping established multinationals to achieve various business goals. Now, he is fully focused on finding the best startup teams and helping them grow fast.

Danijela Divac
D·Labs Linkedin profile

Danijela Divac is a creative thinker, motivator, an enterprising product manager, designer, mentor and coach. She comes from more than 15 years of experience in the digital product industry with laser focus on users. Her experience ranges in products and services across a variety of domains, including HR, health, toys and edutainment, biotech, advertising and online learning. 

Danijela is currently focused on developing Product and UX competency working along side development teams and clients around the world. She is mentoring and coaching product teams in defining what is the best product to develop and why in alignment with the business goals. In addition, she is guiding teams in establishing collegial and efficient cross-functional processes. She proposes that clear and solid processes are the cornerstone of positive company culture and work environment people love.  

Danijela is currently based in Ljubljana, Slovenia and in her free time enjoys travel, hiking, dance, bikram yoga, and regional cuisine.

Igor Panjan
SmartPA Linkedin profile

Igor Panjan, CEO and team leader of, is an organizer, motivator and startupper who understands that sales are a process and not a matter of artistic inspiration.

He started his entrepreneurship path in 2007 as an external consultant in a large international logistics corporation. He gained experience in the leadership management field and continued his business path in 2011 with the project iGostinec and iHotelir (*iCaterer and iHotelier), into which he personally invested and led the development of electronic menus for restaurants and hotels. The Smarthousekeeping project, meant for optimizing business processes in hotel management, developed from this.

Due to the needs of the Smarthousekeeping project, they completely organically developed the smart web browser of business contacts, which many customers in Europe, USA and even China are excited about today.

Jakob Šušterič
MESI Linkedin profile

Jakob Šušterič has entrepreneurship in his heart. He founded MESI at the age of just 22 and is now pursuing his dreams – bringing user experience from consumer electronics to medical devices. Even though he studied at a Faculty of Electronics, his passion was to establish a company and bring an innovative product to the market. 

In his previous job, he was responsible for certification and standardization. Accordingly, he understood the importance of following high quality requirements from the outset and managed to get ISO certification in the company’s first year and half.

His dreams mean everything to him and so does MESI. He is closely involved in the company´s strategy, management and international sales. Ask him about the company's vision and you will see him in action, feel the energy and see the passion in his eyes.

Majda Dodevska
Scoutee Linkedin profile

Majda Dodevska is a former journalist and editor, and a communications expert with over 12 years of experience in media, public relations, marketing and event management. 

She is a co-founder and CMO of Scoutee, a sports tech startup from Slovenia that has developed the world's first connected speed radar gun. Scoutee solution empowers athletes by allowing them to measure, record and analyze their performance, and share their talent with the world. 

Majda also holds workshops and guest lectures on crowdfunding and public relations for startups, where she shares her extensive experience she gained throughout her career, including Scoutee's successful Kickstarter campaign. 

Before co-founding Scoutee, Majda was head of PR and Marketing at the largest Slovenian electricity distribution company Elektro Ljubljana. There, she learned the critical importance of communication while leading all company communications during one of the biggest natural disasters in Slovenia that left large part of the country without electricity supply for weeks in 2014. 

Prior to this, she was a journalist and editor at the largest Slovenian newspaper Delo, and later moved to the PR and marketing department of the same media house. 

Apart from this, she has also organized a series of high-profile events, and has chaired panels at regional events and several international conferences.


Bojana Zupanič
Danfoss Linkedin profile

Bojana Zupanič's biggest professional challenge is how to enable future growth of corporations by creating the environment where rapid innovation and daily operations can co-exist. Her passion is creating the workspace, where people grow and have fun. She is excited what Future of Work might bring. Therefore at Danfoss they often experiment with new approaches in unleashing people's potential, just like they did at the 24Idea event, a start-up-like event for their employees. No wonder their engagement is record high and business results superb.

Pavel Škerlj
Petrol d.d. Linkedin profile

Pavel Škerlj is CIO at Petrol d.d., Ljubljana with over 20 years of experience in IT. He is a digital believer who is always adapting to fast moving technology trends while managing core business projects, preparing stable and efficient IT and business architectures with a focus on business strategy execution and innovation. 

His experiences are derived from leading IT department in different Slovenian companies (Petrol, Vzajemna, KD KD Group, DZS). Through years he became a leader and strategist with a passion for transformation. He is a forward thinker who loves catching on future IT solutions connecting business and technology to build new products and services and most of all changing the management through innovations. Finding simple solutions to complex problems, to identify new opportunities, to improve everything that can be improved, to make things happen is his mission. He is also known for his change leadership acts, people management skills, project management and teamwork.

His focus in Petrol is divided on two core things. The first one is the development, improvement and governance of all Petrol IT solutions through prioritization of many active projects. On the other hand, he also acts as an "entrepreneurial disorganizer" providing "organized chaos" with the idea to open Petrol toward new options like agile and digital business. He was a big promoter to set up the startup innovation development into the company and he is now part of the core team working on Petrol digital transformation.

Mateja Zavadlal
Sportina Bled d.o.o. and Sportina Zagreb d.o.o. Linkedin profile

Mateja Zavadlal manages Sportina Bled d.o.o. and Sportina Zagreb d.o.o. at Sportina Group, a fashion retailer which represents more than 50 globally known brands across every price range and has more than 310 stores in the region of South-East Europe. As General Manager, Mateja is responsible for running all the facets of the business on the Slovenian and Croatian markets. She has a proven executive management track record and over 8 years of experience driving sales growth in the retail and tourism industries. Prior to managing Sportina Bled and Sportina Zagreb, Mateja was in charge of Sportina Tourism, where she led the establishment of a new business unit consisting of four hotels in Bled. Mateja also worked as Financial Manager at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. Mateja developed her entrepreneurial skills already during her studies. Her first project was obtaining funds for the reconstruction of an old homestead into the Pliskovica hostel. 

Currently Mateja is working on the transformation of Sportina Group into a customer-centric company focusing on employee satisfaction by applying innovative entrepreneurial corporate culture.

Marko Javornik
Comtrade Linkedin profile

Marko Javornik is an expert in software technology innovation and digital transformation. With more than 20 years of experience, he has led large scale software technology projects developing global business solutions in various industry verticals, including financial services, energy management, automotive and travelling. Marko is an enthusiastic believer in forming strong partnerships based on the principles of Open Innovation. Currently, he holds the position of VP/GM Mobility & Travel at Comtrade, one of the largest IT companies in South East Europe. Marko’s area of focus is on reinventing auto mobility by bringing advanced back-end technology to the market to enable new concepts of Mobility as a Service, such as car sharing, ride sharing and shuttle services. He has published several thought provoking articles on how the automotive industry will be disrupted with significant changes in the business models and user experience.

Sonja Šmuc
Managers’ Association of Slovenia Linkedin profile

Sonja Šmuc, is in her third mandate as the executive director of the Managers’ Association of Slovenia, through which she is dedicated to the development of Slovenian managment and encouraging competitiveness of Slovenian businesses. Within this association she is also specialised for business ethics and female managment. 

Sonja is a member of multiple organisations like the acreditation comitee of DUTB, the council of gender equality of RS, Advisory Comittee on Equal Opportunities for Men and Women at the European Comission, as well as comitees for business awards: Manager of the year, “Gazela,” “Zlata nit,” Female Manager friendly enterprise, marketing manager, hr manager, etc..

She is also the awardee of the Chamber of commerce OE Ljubljana for her inovation Entrepreneurs in a company, co-author of the book controlling export risk and author of more than 600 business articles.

Not only did she study at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, but also abroad, at Stanford, Vienna’s Wirtschaftsuniversität and at IEDC - business school of Bled.

Jure Mikuž
RSG Capital Linkedin profile

Jure Mikuž has established RSG Kapital, the first Slovenia-based VC Fund, raising private commitments mostly from domestic industrial investors such as Gorenje, Sava, Kolektor, FMR, Instrumentation Technologies and others. He serves on several boards of the investee companies, including CeltraTAB Systems and MountVacation.
Jure is actively promoting entrepreneurship and regularly holds lectures on finance and fundraising procedures for the start-up communities in Slovenia and across the Balkans. Prior to establishing RSG Capital he was a deputy head of asset management in KD Group and stock broker on the Ljubljana stock exchange.

Dejan Roljič
ABC accelerator Linkedin profile

Dejan Roljić is cofounder and director of the new ABC accelerator that aims to connect innovative startups with bigger established companies in all of South-East Europe.
Roljić also has first-hand experience in the inner workings of acceleration programmes, as his company Formtaste innovations had been accepted into the Amsterdam-based Startbootcamp. Formtaste created Printie – a multifunctional vending kiosk where users can print, copy and scan. The integrated service brings personalised advertising with access to a broad range of consumers.
The young entrepreneur is founder of Shanghai Summer School, where ambitious students learn the Chinese language, get to know the culture and discover business opportunities of the huge market. He has been leading the summer school since 2011 and so far, 204 students have already taken part.
He studied at the University of Ljubljana at the Faculty of Engineering, but he also attended The Entrepreneurial University in Munich and the University of International Business and Economics in Shanghai.
He is also the initiator of the charity action Bread for a friend (“Kruh za pr’jatla”) which gives customers in bakeries the option of buying additional bread for those who can’t afford it.  

Matevž Medja
DsgnFwd Design Accelerator Linkedin profile

Matevž Medja is the co-founder and CEO of the company Gigodesign, which became one of the leading Slovenian design companies. Gigodesign collaborates with the best companies in the region, such as Studio Moderna, Elan, Fructal …
Matevž is the recipient of several national and international awards from the field of advertising and design, namely Red Dot and Designpreis Deutschland. Company Gigodesign and its partners Robert Antunovič from Boulder in the USA and venture capital fund RSG Capital launched a DsgnFwd Design Accelerator that helps young companies develop a product and put it on the market in 100 days.

Dilyan Dimitrov
Eleven Linkedin profile

Dilyan Dimitrov is one of the founders of Eleven Acceleration Venture Fund – a EUR 12 million seed fund investing up to EUR 200,000 in early stage startups, and focused on the region of CEE.

Prior to joining Eleven, Dilyan has more than ten years of experience in the investment sector, working for the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund in the period of 1999-2001, at Bedminster Capital Management between 2005 and 2012. He has worked on transactions for more the 100 million dollars in Bulgaria and the region of Central and Eastern Europe, including investments in media, healthcare and financial services.

Dilyan has experience with banking, as part of ING Bank (2001 – 2003) and corporate management, serving as CFO at one of the largest business services companies in Bulgaria (2003-2005).

Herwig Springer
i5invest Linkedin profile

Herwig Springer, a highly recognized and experienced Valuation and Deals expert, has worked in Corporate Finance as well as Deals Consulting since 2005 advising a multitude of clients ranging from SME to multinational corporations.

A graduate from Vienna University of Economics and Business Herwig started his career at PwC in Frankfurt focusing on company analysis and valuations. In the course of numerous transactions he supported his clients with financial modelling and market analysis services.

After having returned to Austria in 2007 Herwig expanded his scope throughout the deals continuum including business planning, due diligence, valuation and M&A advice among other services. In 2015 Herwig joins i5invest as CEO responsible for Corporate Development and M&A.

In addition to his management functions he authored various publications in economic literature and he still is a frequent speaker and trainer at Deals and Corporate Finance conferences.

Jan Habermann
Credo Ventures Linkedin profile

Jan Habermann is a co-founder and partner of Credo Ventures, an early stage focused venture capital firm based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Jan started to engage in venture capital after one of the software companies he co-founded was acquired by a strategic investor in 2003. He was thereafter involved in several transactions as an advisor completing a variety of deals and assisting with fundraising for startups.

Before starting Credo Ventures Jan served as an Investment Director for Polish venture capital firm MCI Management where he was responsible for investments in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Nicholas Bartlett
Receipt Bank Linkedin profile

Nicholas Bartlett is a young entrepreneur so not surprisingly his passion is creating new and successful business ventures. Fortunately they have all gone well so far. In 2009 he founded his first e commerce business which grew to become the NZ market leader within 12 months, he then sold the business 6 months later and moved to Melbourne, Australia where he repeated the successful formula and sold in February 2013. Prior to moving to Melbourne, he co-founded a global software company called GeoOP which he also funded and lead as it's CEO. The business really found its feet in the Australian market and slowly but surely it matured into something truly special. In 2013 it raised over 12 million NZD before listing on the NZ stock exchange on October 30.

He is now based in Slovenia with his wife Tamara and they are looking to connect with passionate people in the tech and entrepreneurial community.

Žiga Godina
Swich Linkedin profile

Žiga Godina, a copywriter with silver national award in english language and passionate towards extreme sports and books. Has worked previously as a hairdresser, bartender, call operator, head of security, head of marketing and PR. As an avid reader and news addict, he started copywriting and ghost writing short stories, poetry, scripts for commercials and articles for underground media.

He joined Lutman Design Studio in Ljubljana as Head of Marketing and PR for the launch of a tech product Swich wireless charger. The Kickstarter campaign with successful results made it possible for Žiga to enter the world of startups and crowdfunding. From there on he likes working for various companies as a freelancer, currently involved in a new project.

He likes to deal with projects from the beginning, straight from the point where there is much space for imagination and creativity. Currently involved in setting up a brand new radio station and magazine, doing some creative writing on the side and preparing the way to found his own company.

Julien Coustaury
Fil Rouge Capital Linkedin profile

Julien Coustaury has over 20 years of relevant experience in manufacturing and services, much of it at CEO level. He has worked in more than 80 countries across five continents and participated in over $1.7bn of purchase, sale and financing transactions.

More recently with his partner, he invested in more than 40 early stage ventures, mainly focusing on B2C software with some HW exception like H20Pal, the first hydration tracker on the market. As part of the founding team of Double Recall, Julien attended YCombinator S11 class.

Julien currently serves on the board of Symvaro, H20pal and Europronet. He holds a master’s Degree in Telecom engineering. Julien is an avid wakeboarder and never says no to a good glass of Bordeaux wine.

Michael Schuster
SpeedInvest Linkedin profile

Michael Schuster has worked in the IT industry the past decade, riding the startup rollercoaster on a daily basis. From starting the first commercial bloghoster in Europe, over to semantic technologies for collaboration, media companies and social media monitoring he has a broad experience in the daily life of a young tech company. Through his background in Computer Science, Economics and Business Administration he is able to work with startup teams and founders to get their product ready for prime time, address customers early in the life cycle and help build a team with the necessary skills.

Matej Zalar
Visionect Linkedin profile

Matej Zalar is a Startup entrepreneur in love with everything containing a microprocessor. He studied economics and high-tech management in Slovenia and Finland.

Currently he is a co-founder and CEO at Visionect ltd., a Slovenian startup company developing tablet devices based on electronic paper technology. Visionect received many international awards and was backed by both Angel and VC investors. Today Visionect is a development partner of EPSON and E Ink holding and has customers in many companies across the world.

Tim Luft
VR Simulation Systems Linkedin profile

Tim Luft is a Digital Media entrepreneur located in the West Midlands. Tim has also supported in the commercialisation of serious games and 3D simulation. Tim is the co-founder of woote, a 3D/Games simulation showcase/ tech Spa, business conference and corporate events venue located in Hadley Park East, Telford. Tim is also a Director of a Virtual Reality Technology Business and regular speaker at international conferences.

Dr. Enej Kuščer
Acies Bio Ltd Linkedin profile

Dr. Enej Kuščer is the co-founder and CEO of Acies Bio Ltd., a biotech company focusing on contract research and development for Pharmaceutical industry.

He has a PhD in biotechnology based on research on molecular biology of anti-cancer drugs in a Cambridge University spin-out biotech drug discovery company Biotica Technology Ltd. and University of Ljubljana. In addition he is also the co-founder and Vice president of Business angels of Slovenia - the first formal Slovenian business angel club.

Boštjan Bregar
4th Office Linkedin profile

Boštjan Bregar is the CEO and co-founder of 4th Office, a company based in London and Ljubljana. 4th Office is about providing the next generation workplace where knowledge workers can focus on what is important using their own intelligent assistants that help them eliminate information overload. Boštjan is passionate about how technology can empower entrepreneurs to make their businesses more efficient and profitable, as well as solve the age-old work/life balance problem.
He started his career as a software engineer at Hermes SoftLab, at one time the largest independent nearshore outsourcing provider in Central Europe. He was later promoted to Director of projects and became a member of the Management Board responsible for business development. In 2002 Boštjan founded and led StorScape, which was recognized by a leading industry analyst as the newcomer of the year in the storage resource management space.

Attila Szigeti
Drukka Startup Studio Linkedin profile

Attila Szigeti is an entrepreneur, COO of Drukka Startup Studio - the fastest growing venture builder in the CEE region - and author of several publications about the startup studio model.

His most recent project is the Startup Studio Playbook, which is the World's first professional book on this topic, coming in May 2016. He is also co-founder of Startup Leadership & Management initiative - a community focusing on the human side of startup building - and mentor at several startup events.

At Drukka, Attila's responsibilities include building and nurturing investor relations, recruiting top entrepreneurial talent, sourcing new startup ideas, growing the organization, supporting the CEO.

Fredrik Andersson
Bonnier Business to Business Linkedin profile

Fredrik Andersson is Chief Product Officer of Bonnier Business to Business, the B2B division of Scandinavia’s largest media company – Bonnier Group. Bonnier Business to Business has business activities in 10 countries in Europe with operations ranging from business news media to decision support tools and digital education. Fredrik is in charge of driving strategic product and business development in the group internally as well as through external partnerships and acquisitions.

Prior to joining Bonnier, he worked at the Swedish Military Intelligence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He holds a Master’s degree from Lund University’s School of Economics and Management.

Marko Gaćeša
Drytools Linkedin profile

Marko Gaćeša has more than 10 years of software development involvement with passion of establishing communication highway between engineers, sales teams and customers. Excelles in understanding customer business needs, industry trends and defining technology driven solutions. Built development teams and led them through a journey from initial client requirement to working product (problem to solution) while using C/C++, .net, Java, Scala, JavaScript based tech stacks.

Mitja Mavsar
Blub Blub Linkedin profile

Mitja Mavsar is a UX designer with over 14 years of experience. He also recently co-founded Blub Blub, a product that engages children into oral motor exercises. Through his career he has worn many hats. He was head of UX at D·Labs and Information Architect at Innovatif. He is a TEDx speaker, Interaction Design Teacher at Middlesex University, SeedCamp mentor, Consultant to Y Combinator companies and author of 20+ articles for computer magazines.

Peter Frankl
Finance Linkedin profile

Peter Frankl, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Finance daily newspaper, studied journalism at Ljubljana University and also trained at Stanford University in the USA. He has worked at the Finance newspaper since its inception in 1992. He was Editor since 1994, becoming its Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief in 2006. The newspaper is owned by Swedish publishing multinational Bonnier Business Press, which issues business newspapers in ten countries. Before working for the Finance he worked for the Gospodarski vestnik magazine and the Delo newspaper. He has contributed columns to the Saturday issue of Delo, the Dnevnik newspaper and the Institutional Investor business monthly from the USA.

Julij Božič
IBM Slovenia Linkedin profile

Julij Božič is distinguished by years of experience and achievements in information and communications technologies, and long-standing experience in marketing, sales and management. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics (Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana), having upgraded his knowledge and was awarded the MBA title at the University of Warwick, UK. Julij joined IBM in 1999 as a product manager, continued to work as key account manager and later assumed the position of a software sales manager. From September 2013 he is in a position of Country leader for Slovenia and Bosnia & Hercegovina.

In his work, he remains focused on ideas that go beyond frameworks. About himself, he says that he is an "out of the box thinker", who is successfully leading his team in achieving business goals. His personal motto is: “If you don’t go, you don’t have a story”.

Julij is a member of numerous business and economic interest groups in Slovenia, such as AmCham Slovenia, the Manager Association and IEDC, where he uses his experience and knowledge while consulting as a mentor many young talents – future representatives of the Slovenian economic environment.

He is a father of two children.

Franc Matjaž Zupančič
Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy Linkedin profile

Franc Matjaž Zupančič is State Secretary at the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy since 20 November 2014. He is an international economist with over 30 years of experience in management. Previously, he worked as an associate in an expedition company, a programmer, an information analyst (Van Leeuwen Buizen B.V.); he was engaged in the development of a contract development system (Heineken BV) and building of an IT system for central administration of movement and storage of merchandise (Philips NV). He also headed the education department and gave lectures on informatics (Volmac) and actively participated in putting in place a new system for determining pension rights (Bureau voor Duitse Zaken).

Prior to being appointed State Secretary, Mr Zupančič worked as a partner in the Dutch company ZuGg BV where he contributed to international development projects in urban and rural regions throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

Valter Leban
Kolektor Group d.o.o.

Valter Leban, a member of the managment board of Kolektor, started his career in Kolektor 30 years ago. In his rich career he has dealt with many different fields, including establishing an informational infrastructure, managing manufacturing companies, operative excellence and the principles of a lean company, internationalization of the group, establishing new business model and lately with digitalization as one of the strategic directions of Kolektor.

An industrial engineer with MBA knowledge, a “change manager” by belief, believes that every organization has to adapt, innovate, test new things and constantly follow challenges.

It is his opinion that working in a world renowned company, which is undoubtedly Kolektor, is at the same time, luck, a challenge and a responsibility. Especially if one is held accountable for managing important business fields of the whole group. Growth is embedded in Kolektor’s DNA, and the group will try to achieve this also in the field of industrial internet of things and innovation in the field of digitalization. This is also a challenge that Mr. Leban will deal with for the next few years.

Primož Škerget
D·Labs Linkedin profile

Primož Škerget has his formal background in Visual communications and has been working in this field for the last 5+ years. Already at the University he acted on a few of his ideas and transformed them into startups.

Currently he is a lead UX Designer Generalist at D.Labs where he has an opportunity to work with a variety of clients on variety of domains which has broadened his skillset. He has been involved on many mobile and web projects providing services for the entire app or just sections of the app. His latest passion is in understanding processes and how to create the best design flow end-to-end. In his free time he enjoys brewing beer, tasting wine and playing drums.

Tilen Travnik
D·Labs Linkedin profile

Tilen Travnik is a 15-year veteran in managing Internet projects. Combining an MBA in Entrepreneurship and a range of certifications from Scrum Alliance, he is uniquely skilled to boost development processes of corporations and start-ups alike. He has successfully converted management and operational teams to agile in over 20 companies in the last 5 years and is currently a development advisor in 5 of them. He also holds a biotech engineering degree. But that's more of a hobby.

Christian Benger
Republic of Austria

Christian Benger, the regional minister for Economics in Carinthia, entered politics in 2014 and took over departments for economy, tourism, agriculture and culture. Before that he worked as a successful entrepreneur and forestry engineer. After finishing his study of forestry at Vienna’s BOKU University, he gained experience in the field of market communication at the reputable agency Saatchi & Saatchi and OMV. In the year 2000 he took over his parents’ forest estate and founded a technical office for forestry and woodcutting. As the regional minister for economics, he puts his attention to startups and the creative economy.

Laszlo R. Czirjak
iEurope Capital Linkedin profile

Laszlo R. Czirjak, Co-Founder, Co-Managing Partner at iEurope Capital, a private equity/venture capital fund management firm. Investment and board role experience includes successfully building businesses in services, Internet, software, manufacturing and media including: ATech, Autohop (sold to BlaBlaCar), Tjobs, Vatera (sold to Naspers), Wunder and many others. Earlier was Managing Director at Bankers Trust Company/BT Alex Brown in the London Investment Bank. Also current or past Chair roles at American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary, Fulbright Foundation Hungary, United Way Resource Foundation, and Columbia University Club. Received an MBA and BS in Industrial Engineering, both with honors, from Columbia University in New York.

Peter Pohar
D·Labs Linkedin profile

Peter Pohar is Group Technical Lead at D.Labs. He is working in software industry for more than 15 years now, mainly specialised in web technologies. In the past years he worked with a variety of clients with startups. In addition he launched his own startup and has a wealth of important lessons learned to share.

After joining D.Labs he worked on more than 15 different projects, helping companies and their products with his lead, technical and product expertise.

Tatjana Zabasu
RSG Kapital Linkedin profile

Mag. Tatjana Zabasu joined the company in the beginning of 2007 and actively participated in the shaping of the company and establishing business and investment processes of the company. She is a member of the managment board of TAB Systems and procurator at ShoutEm and Efos. Before she joined RSG Capital she participated at acquisitions and mergers of companies, due dillligence and company valuations as a consultant of business finance at Deloitte. As a guest lecturer she lectures at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana on entrepreneurship, actively participates in entrepreneurship events as a mentor and is a part of expert juries of contests on business ideas.

Jakob Gajšek
ABC accelerator Linkedin profile

Jakob Gajšek is dedicated to building the ecosystem. He is seeking people interested in cooperating in the creation of a borderless community of startups and entrepreneurs. In his free time, he likes to pick up a good book, visit an art gallery, or learn more about bespoke tailoring and fine scotch. Feel free to talk about this, also!

Aleš Pustovrh
ABC accelerator Linkedin profile

Aleš Pustovrh is the co-founder of ABC accelerator as well as a researcher in the field of innovation. He is particularly interested in open innovation systems, innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises as well as policies for supporting innovation. As a member of the Institute of Socio-Economic and commercial evaluation of the Faculty of Economics, he occasionally takes an active role as a consultant in setting up and evaluating public policies. In the future, he wants to deepen the understanding and functioning of the triangle - Science Innovation - Entrepreneurship.

Karolina Łopacka
UK Trade & Investment Linkedin profile

Karolina Łopacka as a member of the UKTI Inward Investment team is responsible for four markets: Poland, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. Currently, she supports more than 50 companies in their efforts to expand their business to the UK. The range of free services offered by UKTI Inward Investment includes: assistance in obtaining contacts and financing, access to market research, as well as legal and administrative information. In addition, innovative companies can count on participation in a mentoring programme.

Karolina works as a junior business analyst at A.T. Kearney - a global management consulting company. Previously, she worked in both the private and public sectors. Karolina graduated from the Law Department of the Catholic University of Lublin, and from Texas A & M University where she studied international economic development.

Óscar Ramírez Muñoz
Startup Commons Global Linkedin profile

Óscar Ramírez Muñoz is a serial entrepreneur, Co-Founder and CEO at Startup Commons Global, a global company that enables e-infrastructures for cities and governments to manage, measure and monitor SMEs & Startup Ecosystems. He is currently helping governments at different levels in Europe, North America and Asia through training, consulting and startup ecosystem digitization.

Óscar is an international professional with 8 years of personal entrepreneurship experience, combined with 10+ years of additional experience developing and coordinating startup support services for more than 500 organizations (SMEs and startups). He proactively shares all his learned lessons, failures and successes as volunteer in different types of public and private organizations aimed to boost entrepreneurship and startups best practices.

mag. Matej Rus
PODIM Linkedin profile

Mag. Matej Rus is university lecturer of entrepreneurship. He focuses his time on a teaching and research career that he started in 1996 at Economic-business faculty of the University of Maribor, as well as on his consulting service for entrepreneurs. In 2001, he co-founded the University Incubator Tovarna Podjemov, which is one of the key elements of the support environment for entrepreneurship and a mechanism for the transfer of innovations from research institutes. Tovarna Podjemov is also the initiator of the national Initiative Start:up Slovenia that they are leading in cooperation with Technology Park Ljubljana, a strategically connected partner, as well as many other partners. In the last few years, he is co-creating the international initiative Start:up Alpe-Adria, that is creating a united cross-border startup ecosystem. The goal is to make it recognizable on a global scale. In addition, he is also the organizational leader of the international conference  Podim , expert European Startup Monitor Tracker as well as the leading author of a handbook and tool for business planning.

Prof. Dr. Peter Stanovnik
IER, Slovenia

Dr. Peter Stanovnik is a researcher and former director of the Institute for Economic Research. He is a Member of EADI – European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes; Member of the Slovenian Association of Economists; Member of IMD Alumni Club, IMD Lausanne; Member of the council for R&D and innovation (Statistical office of Republic of Slovenia).

Paul Pöltner
CONDA Linkedin profile

Paul Pöltner is a typical jack of all trades. Paul studied software engineering and internet computing as well as information management at the technical university in Vienna, in addition to business administration at the Business School of Vienna. In 2001 he set up an IT service provider business, which he managed successfully for several years and sold in 2008. Subsequently Paul began his career at TPA Horwath as a Trainee Tax Adviser. As Co-Founder and Managing Director Paul is “the brain behind” CONDA.

Martin Henk
Pipedrive Linkedin profile

Martin Henk is a serial startup entrepreneur and co-founder of a simple CRM software called Pipedrive. He started building CMS based websites in high-school to pay for his computer gear. He co-founded an online booking startup with his college friends while studying Advertising and Media in Tallinn University. After going through one of the more public Estonian startup failures with United Dogs and Cats as the CTO he ended up co-founding Pipedrive.

Aljoša Huber
IntelPlan Linkedin profile

Aljoša Huber is the founder of IntelPlan. Before that he was the CEO of Svetloba d.o.o. He started his career at Pošta Slovenije in the section for international mail traffic, where he among other things established a system for measurement of the quality of postal services, developed services with added value, and was gradually promoted to director of marketing and director of service development. In twelve years he organized and optimised a number of processes and departments as well as contributed to the development from a manufacturing organization to a market-oriented one. He has a master from economics and is currently working on his Ph.D.

Timotej Šooš
Government of the Republic of Slovenia Linkedin profile

Timotej Šooš is currently leading the efforts of the Government of Slovenia to develop Slovenia’s long-term vision and development strategy Slovenija2050. He is a career diplomat who recently returned from his post at the Mission of Slovenia to the OECD in Paris. He believes the rise of a networked society has resulted in open, complex, dynamic and networked challenges that require new problem solving strategies. He is passionate about participating in the process of successfully addressing them, because complexity without direction paralyzes.

Until November 2014 Timotej Šooš was a Special Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was also Digital Diplomacy Coordinator at the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director of the Young Bled Strategic Forum. His previous appointments include Adviser to the State Secretary, and Junior Adviser at the Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the UN in New York.

Timotej has participated in various projects on communication of complex scientific concepts. Recently, he was awarded the Marshall Memorial Fellowship by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Zsuzsa Várhalmi
EIT Digital Budapest Associate Partner Group Linkedin profile

Zsuzsa Várhalmi, Deputy Director of the EIT Digital Budapest Associate Partner Group, graduated as a French teacher in 2005 at Eötvös Loránd University and completed her doctoral studies in 2008 at the University of Debrecen. In 2010, she started to work at Eötvös Loránd University as a Joint Programmes Coordinator at the Rector’s Office, Department of International Education and Mobility. She joined the EIT Digital Budapest APG as an Education Manager in 2012 and was appointed Deputy Director responsible for education and international relations. As a Deputy Director, Zsuzsa Várhalmi manages joint educational programmes of the EIT Digital Budapest APG and has a key role in coordinating EIT Digital’s networking initiative called Outreach Programme, which involves 21 countries across Europe.

László Gulyás
EIT Digital Linkedin profile

László Gulyás is regional lead of EIT Digital's ARISE Europe program in Central and Eastern Europe. His professional history for 15 years has been divided between higher education, research and ICT business practice, in about equal parts, with a mission to bring cutting edge scientific results to the market and vice versa, to let practical needs of ICT companies be known in higher education. After receiving his PhD from Loránd Eötvös University, Budapest, he worked at the same institution, at Harvard University and at the Central European University. He also held management positions at various startup and SME companies. Dr. Gulyás has authored 70+ articles and participated in and co-managed 7 successful European projects (from FP6 to H2020) and 11 Hungarian R&D grants.

Prof. Dr. Boštjan Antončič
UL Linkedin profile

Bostjan Antončič is Professor of Entrepreneurship. His main research interests include corporate entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial networks, entrepreneurial personality and international entrepreneurship. He has authored or co-authored fourteen books (eleven of them in the area of entrepreneurship) and various scientific research articles. His papers were published in many academic journals. In addition to research and teaching, he is involved in entrepreneurship and sports (world champion in the sailing class Soling in 2008).

Marta Turk
META Linkedin profile

Marta Turk is a renowned entrepreneur, who is putting most of her time to the problem of a low number of female entrepreneurs. To help solve this, she established an association for the development of female and family entrepreneurship called META, that helps women start and develop their business.

Prof. Dr. Miroslav Rebernik
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor Linkedin profile

Miroslav Rebernik is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business Economics, head of the Department for Entrepreneurship and Business Economics, and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor. He was a visiting professor at the Portland State University and Fulbright research scholar at Babson College. In 1993, he set up entrepreneurship education at the University of Maribor and established the research program on Slovenian entrepreneurship. He manages the team creating the Slovenian Entrepreneurship Observatory and leads the Slovenian team for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.
He has been leading the national research program Entrepreneurship for Innovative Society for the last 12 years and is permanently running and/or cooperating and consulting for different projects in the area of small business and entrepreneurship. He is head of the International Entrepreneurship Conference PODIM and member of the Working group on "Policy-relevant Research on Entrepreneurship and SMEs" organised by the European Commission. His research and consulting activities are in the area of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education and promotion, evidence-based policy making, innovation and entrepreneurship policy, and building start-up ecosystems. In 2014, he was nominated as a European ENSR fellow.

Jernej Močnik
NKBM Linkedin profile

"We at NKBM are happy that Podim developed into one of the main events in the field of entrepreneurship and innovations in the Alps-Adriatic region. The conference encourages the development of original business models and innovative ideas that are urgently needed in the modern competitive business environment. The general sponsorship of this important event is a part of our business vision, as we realise the important contributions of the start-up community to the development of the economy. Our bank is an important partner of small and medium sized companies. We are increasingly more aware of the importance of including the bank in the very early stages of companies."

Urban Lapajne
Start:up Slovenia Initiative Linkedin profile

Urban Lapajne is a Startup Enthusiast, Evangelist and Mentor. Passionate about sports in mother nature. Hater of haters.

At the moment he is 100 % focused on putting together this years PODIM Conference - the coolest startup event in Alps - Adriatic Region.

PODIM Conference is a great opportunity for startups, investors and corporations. Contact me with ideas for partnerships, cool speakers or topics suggestions.

Matija Goljar
Ustvarjalnik Linkedin profile

Matija Goljar, while he was in primary school always announced: "When I grow up, I'm going to be an astronaut." Coincidentally, after failing chemistry in high school and writing articles on public speaking and unsuccessfully attempting a Guinness World Record, he landed in a family company where he was supposed to work as an accountant. At about the same time, he was invited to lecture schoolchildren on Entrepreneurship, and he has been addicted since. His entrepreneurship club grew to Ustvarjalnik in 5 years, an entrepreneurship sandbox, that contains 50 entrepreneurship workshops at Slovenian high schools. This twentysix year old, who hasn’t yet been able to fly to space, is now transmitting a message of unwavering courage and perseverance to young generations of high schoolers.

Mitja Poljšak
PricePilot Linkedin profile

Mitja Poljšak, a programmer and software engineer who worked for various startups (Mimovrste, DLabs, Peerindex...), now a founder and CEO of PricePilot, a yield management platform for salons, that brings advanced booking solutions (dynamic pricing, demand prediction, advertising automation) to local business brands and salon chains.

After an initial product validation in Slovenia, they are now entering beauty industry's most promising Asian market (operations managed out of Singapore). The startup has recently been backed by a regional pre-seed fund Silicon Gardens, angel investor and entrepreneur Jugoslav Petković and former SportRadar's Managing Director of Sales Erik Lorenz, who is now running PricePilot's Asia expansion.

Petra Kovič
DELO Linkedin profile

Petra Kovič is a journalist and copy editor of Cultural crumbs, who is challenged by the events of business. Culture in business? If there was more of it, the Radio could follow the motto: “a good name is better than riches.” She was a journalist at Val 202 for fifteen years, today she is the editor of the business monthly THE WORLD OF CAPITAL, a part of the daily DELO. 

Matej Delakorda
CEED Slovenia Linkedin profile

Matej Delakorda is a sociologist and a man of many talents, interested in sustainable social changes. He is a digital enthusiast, team leader and connector of community at CEED Slovenia, part of Alumni School for leaders from Warsaw, and program manager and moderator at TEDxCelje. He is a longtime editor of the nonprofit TV and community media Studio 12, for some time also an editor of the expert magazine HRM. He spent many years in training in London, where he learnt skills of team dynamic, leadership, and communication. They say he asks too much, but that makes him a better listener. He likes computers and phones that work faster than he can type.

Jure Verhovnik
IRP Linkedin profile

Jure Verhovnik is a MSc. in Economics and Business. At present, he is employed at IRP Institute for Entrepreneurship research as director of projects. He is managing Entrepreneurial University Incubator "Tovarna Podjemov" (Venture Factory), strongly involved in managing and organising annual international conference "PODIM" as well as other events. He is an expert for entrepreneurship and innovation programs, an experienced consultant in business planning and strategy development and a researcher in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation. Jure Verhovnik has long-time experience in cooperating with SMEs, experiences in working on EU and governmental projects and also in co-operation with EU experts. He has published a guide "EU Funds".

Tomasz Krajewski
SkyCash Linkedin profile

Tomasz Krajewski is a goal oriented person who believes that if you do something that somehow helps people with their daily duties - the people will eventually notice and your solution will succeed.

That is why he works at SkyCash - the biggest and best mobile payments system in Poland.

Gregor Rebolj
Silicon Gardens Linkedin profile

Gregor Rebolj is the founder of a new startup called Kyuriosity Inc. He is also the founder of the Silicon Gardens fund that aims to help startup founders grow their teams, ideas, and businesses at the very beginning of their journey and enable them to compete on an international stage. Previously he was the managing director of Mobile Development at Sportradar AS for four years as well as the managing director of Klika d.o.o. for twelve years.