There’s a wise saying that the world is not inherited from our ancestors but borrowed from our descendants. In the spirit of these thoughts, we began and ended the past year by developing skills and ways of thinking in the youngest. Health, green technology, and sustainable food production were the words we frequently uttered during programs and heard through team pitches that concluded them. To reminisce about our favorite moments and share them with you, we’ve compiled a brief overview of the projects that made positive changes last year.
This year, we organized, executed, and completed a total of 15 projects and 3 meetups across 4 countries, leaving a mark in the development of innovations in healthcare, agriculture, food technology, IT, and green technologies.
This effort provided support and education to the startup, entrepreneurial, and academic communities in applying tools for effective development of new products and services, involving over 900 individuals, current or future entrepreneurs, during 2022.
Below is a brief overview of projects, meetups, workshops, and education, hoping to convey some of the emotions we experienced during these projects.
As part of the projects, we conducted a total of 82 workshops. Since this number is too large to delve into each one, here are some of the most interesting.
The first workshop took place on January 10 as part of the StartMeUp Burch 2022 project, marking the beginning of a successful year. The competition was adapted to a hybrid format, and to avoid monotony, an innovative gamification concept was introduced. For each task, activities and missions were created on the platform, and participants were assigned points. Participants, in the process of developing their ideas, became part of a game in a hunt for points.
The last workshop of the year was held on December 10 through the VetroChallenge project. Vetro Challenge emphasized the importance of sustainable waste management and the role of glass packaging for elementary school children.
At the end of the challenge, students created six final solutions that they had the opportunity to present before a professional jury. Teams will have the chance to further develop their solutions even after the competition, and what they learned here, they say, will be remembered for a lifetime.
The year both began and ended with the youngest, involving more than 12 schools and over 250 children under the age of 18 in projects throughout 2022.
This allowed them to access information not typically covered in formal education. Through satisfaction surveys, an average of 95% of students indicated a desire for more similar educational programs, and they would readily recommend them to their school friends.
The most numerous group in our activities were young people aged between 18-25, comprising just over 40% of all participants in our workshops, projects, meetups, or education.
Through projects for young entrepreneurs, 24 teams with just over 60 members completed pre-incubation programs and reached the final Demo day. Noteworthy projects include:
- Empowering Women and Agrifood
- Get Started in Health Innovation
- GreenTech Entrepreneurship Challenge
During these projects, teams received over HRK 200,000 for the further development of their projects, and a significant number of them began generating their first revenues in this year.
Continuing the tradition of organizing meetups for the community, this year, in collaboration with partners, we successfully organized three meetups:
- TeamUp x Health
- TeamUp x Agrifood
- TeamUp x Web3
TeamUp Meetup is a unique event designed to connect early-stage startups with their first co-founders, collaborators, and employees. It also provides an opportunity for individuals interested in trying startup entrepreneurship.
Participants demonstrated that Croatian startups are on par with global ones, and companies whose topics were the focus of our meetups presented their everyday challenges on the panel. We discussed burning topics across three industries, offering interested parties a way to get involved and find a career in numerous early-stage startups.
Through TeamUp, many new acquaintances, business partnerships, but also friendships, were formed. In the coming year, we don’t plan to stop, so we’ll continue to hold TeamUp meetups in 2023. We invite you to follow our social media on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to stay updated on future events.
Lessons Learned and Future Plans
This year’s innovation events consolidated the knowledge and experiences of all participants, both learners and instructors and mentors. As always, through our activities, we sought to leave a mark in the development of innovation, entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial knowledge in Croatia, contributing to the creation of a healthy economy.
Through conducted projects, we always aim to view problems as challenges that we solve using already available or internally developed methodologies. We teach all participant groups, from the youngest to the oldest, by considering their individual needs with a personal approach. Through years of experience, this working method has proven to be an excellent practice, supported by the feedback of our users.
“All workshops were extremely interesting, motivating, and, what I liked a lot, interactive. We were constantly involved in various tasks and quizzes, making the lectures dynamic and enjoyable. Miro and Filip are excellent lecturers; besides having knowledge, they know how to present and convey that knowledge to others. I would recommend these workshops to everyone, even if they are not currently thinking about starting a startup or their own business, because they will learn how to approach a problem and systematize it. And who knows, maybe it will motivate them to try entrepreneurship.” – said Dora Mlinarić, a participant in the “Small Incubation School” project.
In the coming year, we want to continue some of the projects on solid foundations but systematically dedicate ourselves to solving new challenges in sustainability, social inclusion, and neglected sectors in Croatia.
Behind Everything is a Well-coordinated Team and Reliable Partners
Knowledge increases when shared. So does inspiration. We experienced this in every event, workshop, hackathon, competition, and in our team. Although small, our projects often outgrew us, and their results exceeded the expectations of many.
We want to express our gratitude to all partners, sponsors, mentors, and participants in projects, meetups, workshops, and education – more than 900 who were with us in this challenging and successful 2022!
It was a great joy to follow the first steps of promising entrepreneurs and their further growth and development, as well as their collaboration with other stakeholders in our activities. We celebrate their successes together and want to tell them that they motivate us every day with their will, desire, and perseverance!
You can view the year in review in a video here.
Do You Want to Be Part of the Change?
Encouraging positive changes is one of the main missions of Lean Startup Croatia. Creative and ambitious people make changes with their ideas. Therefore, every new idea, project, or initiative inspires us, and we are always open to collaborating on new projects.
If you want to be part of the world of change, have the desire and ambition to help create and sustain new ideas in our market, feel free to reach out.
P.S. More entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, and opportunities are sent in the Innovation Bento Box, to which you can apply here.