From Idea to Market: Insights from Croatian entrepreneurs

Does everything start with an idea? The answer is unequivocally yes. However, the journey from idea to market isn’t without its challenges. It’s not just about bringing the idea to market; it’s about solving a problem that our (future) users have, and which we want to solve with our idea.

he Pathway from problem to market can be illustrated figuratively like this:

PROBLEM (user’s problem) -> IDEA (solution to the problem) -> MARKET (our future users)


According to the Oxford Dictionary, an idea is a thought or proposal about a possible course of action. Since the idea stands between the problem and the market, it’s typically essential to test numerous ideas to solve the problem before entering the market. After ideation testing, we then step into the market.


What if we lack a problem or don’t have ideas?


People often aspire to start “something of their own” but encounter a barrier when they either can’t define the problem well enough or lack an idea to solve it. In such cases, entrepreneur and Smion co-founder Filip Stipančić offers guidance:


  • Surround yourself with a community and environment radiating creativity, positivity, and a forward-looking attitude.
  • Observe global changes, as new opportunities arise from these shifts.

Product Development vs. User Development


After defining the problem and subsequently the idea, we embark on product development. This phase unfolds between the idea and entering the market. In simpler terms, during this period, we test our idea.


Simultaneously with product development, we delve into user development. We define the profile of people facing the problem, verify if our assumptions hold, and ensure our solution aligns with the user’s problem. After that, we create the market and build our business.


How does this process look in the real world? In the following text, we bring you tips shared us by Croatian entrepreneurs at the 2nd Online BizHach Startup Caffe webinar on the topic “From Idea to Market”, which took place on October 7, 2020.

From prototype to final product


Ivan Jelušić, founder of ORQA d.o.o., specializing in low-latency video transmission for drone and autonomous vehicle control, shares his entrepreneurial journey. The business idea emerged from identifying flaws in existing solutions. Initial capital investments in the early stages of business development were high, considering that the solution involved a combination of hardware and software. However, the team was aware of the risks associated with launching such (hardware) products into the market, given that there is only one chance to get it right. To reduce the risk and test their idea before entering the market, Ivan and his team created a hardware prototype of the solution. Although, by definition, a prototype implies that it may not work, their business journey proved to be correct and launched them among global players in the industry.

Ivan emphasizes the importance of timing – their naive approach to business development ahead of others became a competitive advantage.


From personal problem to market


Each of us has a problem for which there is currently an insufficient solution in the market. If we recognize that problem and have an idea of how to solve it, we are on the right path to the market. Martina Karalić, owner of BooLaba, a natural cosmetics production business, began her entrepreneurial journey during pregnancy. Unable to find satisfactory natural and ecological cosmetics on the market, she started creating products for herself, then for family and friends, and eventually for the market. Martina highlights the importance of various institutions and networking events for support, motivation, and exchanging ideas in the early days of entrepreneurship.


Martina also underscores the significance of authenticity and staying true to oneself for recognition – as she puts it, “the business is an extension of yourself.”

From the desire for freedom to entrepreneurship


The common motivation for entering entrepreneurship is the desire for freedom and breaking away from the limitations of corporations and hierarchical structures. Adding youthful enthusiasm and recognizing what one excels at, the journey to something unique begins. This was the starting point for Boris Rauša’s entrepreneurial story. Together with colleagues, he founded Bamboo Lab d.o.o., a company offering web development and marketing services. Boris acquired his first international customer through networking, delivering high-quality services to survive in the market, with word-of-mouth subsequently playing a crucial role.


An idea on its own is worthless, and everything depends on what you will do with it. Launch new things quickly, listen to user feedback, and improve internal processes to ensure customer satisfaction — says Boris.


Event recap


If you are interested in more tips on how to go from idea to market or what factors make some companies successful, we share them in the recording from the 2nd Online BizHack Startup Caffe event ‘From Idea to Market,’ which took place on October 7, 2020, in a live broadcast.


In the upcoming 3rd Online BizHack Startup Caffe webinar ‘Startup Toolbox,’ we will discuss available tools for idea development and business management, as well as the startup ecosystem in Croatia. The event will take place on October 21, 2020, at 5 PM, and you can find more information at the link.


The other BizHack Startup Caffe events

bizhack startup caffe live webinar

This was the second in a series of 5 BizHack Startup Caffe events. For more information about other events, check HERE.


Recent post