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The first Diamond Lab in Split was a sparkling success!

Nikolina Kukoč

Nikolina Kukoč


This past weekend the first-ever Diamond Lab was concluded in Split. This two-day Design Thinking workshop is ideated and organized by Silicon Castles, while its Split edition was supported by the Faculty of Economics, Business, and Tourism of the University of Split, the team from the Student Business Incubator Split, Danube Tech Valley, and Globsec, in addition with us from Split Tech City.

It was the first such workshop held in Split and, judging by the energy we could feel when we dropped by to see how it was going – it probably won’t be the last!

After the application process was concluded, there were enough participants to form six teams. And not just any teams – they were all hardworking, engaged in the program of the workshop, and most importantly willing to better themselves and their projects day after day.

This is promising for the future, as well, as these projects should be developed further even after the completion of the Diamond Lab.

The first Diamond Lab Split focused on the following areas: Culture & Tourism; AR, VR, XR – Metaverse & Web3; and GreenTech. Participants were also allowed to incorporate and combine different focus areas into one project.

These are the teams, and their respective projects, who can proudly state they were the ice-breakers for this particular workshop:

  • BeBee – a project which aims to digitally optimize beekeeping and honey production using AI
  • Charter Guide – a mobile app for planning charter trips
  • cleAIners – a project developing drones and an AI model for cleaning solar panels
  • GoodnessChain – this project aims to combine donations, blockchain technology, and NFTs
  • MatchKO – an app that helps people find missing teammates for sports, and provides a one-stop shop for organizers of competitions with an incorporated AI model for matching players
  • Qubed – providing data compliance solutions to SMEs worldwide with a focus on GDPR

During the first day of the Diamond Lab Split, the teams had a day filled with engaging exercises and innovative design thinking methods. They were encouraged to think outside the box and approach challenges from new angles. The wealth of knowledge and expertise shared by the Silicon Castles faculty present here in Split was invaluable for everyone involved.

The teams also shared that the collaborative spirit was the highlight of the Diamond Lab’s immersive learning experience.

The second day, held on Saturday, brought with it some more in-depth work on the selected projects for all the teams, getting expert input on all they’ve done so far – such as prototyping, market research, business model, etc. – as well as the final push of this intensive two-day Design Thinking workshop in the form of creation of a video which the teams used for presenting their project to the Diamond Lab Split jury.

Before the final presentation which brought with it the decision on the top three teams, we spoke with the organizers for a bit and got their impressions on Split’s first Diamond Lab: “There are some very interesting ideas!

And some teams are already getting serious about them – registering domains and building good prototypes. We love the dedication and are happy with how the first edition of Diamond Lab in Split turned out!”

And as it turns out, the Silicon Castles team was rightfully proud of all the Diamond Lab Split teams!

This was proven during the final video presentations accompanied by questions from the Diamond Lab Split jury members: Maja Ćukušić (EFST), Catherine Ogilvie (Silicon Castles), Andreas Spechtler (Silicon Castles), Toni Trivković (Split Tech City), and Lana Ugrčić (Student Business Incubator).

The teams were well-prepared and answered the questions with ease, so the jury had the tough task of choosing the top three teams. However, a decision had to be reached, no matter how difficult it might have been.

And all six teams made sure to make it very difficult with their innovative ideas!

In the end, the top three teams of Diamond Lab Split are:

  1. MatchKO
  2. BeBee
  3. cleAIners

The winning team won a 5-hour workshop and will be admitted to participate in Silicon Castles‘ Startup Executive Academy 2023, while the second and third place also won workshops with the Silicon Castles team that will help them further develop their ideas.

The first Diamond Lab Split may have concluded with a dinner party with all the participants, but its innovative energy, as well as the budding startups it produced will surely keep shining on!

We’d like to congratulate the top three teams, as well as all the other participants, and every member of the organizing team for making the first-ever Diamond Lab Split a success! We’re happy we got to be a small part of this story that helps strengthen and further build Split’s startup ecosystem.

Onwards and up! 🙂

Photos: Silicon Castles


About author:

Nikolina Kukoč

Researching is woven into my DNA, but I am a musician at heart. Interested in too many things and always curious. Forever in love with Split and enchanted by people who teach me new things. When I am not creating content about Split's tech community, you will find me in singing rehearsals, somewhere in nature, in the theater, or with my head stuck in a book. I do my best to live by the verse from the opera "Fedora" by Umberto Giordano: "Love forbids you not to love."

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