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It was magical! And you can say we are biased to state that, but #STCFestival was – in a word – magical!
Throughout the three days of our Festival of Technology and Entrepreneurship over four hundred visitors were in attendance. They all varied in age and experience, and – this year – also in their nationality.
Because, as promised last year, we added the International Day with content and networking in English.
During the entire Festival we all had one goal in common – to come together as a community to be inspired and learn from one another.
So, we can definitely say that #STCFestival showed once more that Split is much more than what meets the eye. More than just a sunny city full of history. More than just a tourist hotspot.
It is an international city with a vibrant tech community and it’s filled with entrepreneurial potential!
The Festival was opened with welcoming words from Toni Trivković, founder and president of Split Tech City, on the first day of the program.
This was followed by two great and program-packed days in Croatian that showcased all the richness of the local community – with the focus on tech but also going beyond that.
But what we are particularly interested in here is the International Day of the Festival.
We started the day with the panel discussion “How to start a global tech business in Croatia?” This question was answered and even profoundly discussed at some points by the following entrepreneurs who made it “out there” in the global market right here from Croatia: Frane Borozan (SysKit), Marko Kovač (Repsly), Morten Smalby (GetByBus), and Bruno Stojaković (PlaySafety).
They shared their experiences and know-how under the watchful guidance of our moderator, and long-time Split Tech City volunteer, Michael Freer (Ensoco). They also answered some quick no-thinking-just-say-it questions that Michael pulled out of nowhere. Some answers definitely made a lot of the audience laugh! 🙂
After that ice-breaker, we took a deep breath with Daniel Skoblar. Being the first certified Wim Hof Method Instructor in Croatia, there was no one better than Daniel to help us unlock breathing as our personal superpower.
With on-point explanations, coupled with some breathing exercises, he managed to shine a light on the importance of breath as a tool in improving everyday life – at work, as well as personally.
Next up on stage was our very own Prashant Vaz. We say “our very own” because he moved to Split, so he’s basically a local. “Start an agency and plan a successful exit strategy” was the title of his lecture.
Targeting up-and-coming entrepreneurs, as well as seasoned professionals, Prashant’s extensive and varied business experience was recognized, despite some technical hiccups that disabled the projector from projecting his presentation – and it was a really great presentation – on the screen.
Nevertheless, Prashant was a hit among the youngsters who, immediately after his lecture, swarmed him for more tips and basically spent an entire first networking session in his company. We’d say that’s a win, despite the faulty technology! 🙂
After we concluded the first big break and somehow managed to detach ourselves from the fabulous ambient of the musically enhanced networking in the Mediterranean pine forest, it was time to continue with the program.
This time the stage was reserved for Omer Chehmer who carved exactly two days in his busy schedule and flew all the way from Israel to show us how to achieve success through data-driven culture. Omer is a passionate entrepreneur and product manager with extensive experience.
He is also the co-founder of Bookaway Group, a platform that sells bus, ferry, and train tickets. Throughout his lecture, we had the chance to learn a lot about the implementation of a data-driven culture, how it aided his business, and how it can be applied to aid any entrepreneurial venture.
After our deep dive into combining data and business culture, it was time to see how creativity, entrepreneurship, and hard work mix together. 🙂
We did this with Suren Markosian, and we did it laughing! Laughing at his fantastic entrepreneurial stories and learning so much about out-of-the-box thinking while you’re also working hard, and how this particular combination can help us in entrepreneurship, but also in life.
A serial entrepreneur at heart, Suren has successfully built and scaled several large consumer businesses in Silicon Valley, including Epic! – the largest digital reading platform for kids.
He admitted he couldn’t fit all of the interesting and educational stories he lived through in one single lecture, but hearing about even this little bit of his long entrepreneurial journey meant a lot to many in the audience.
Suren’s lecture also brought the official program to its end. But there was still time for networking and building those valuable connections. The DJ added some tunes, the bar staff some drinks, the night was young,… and who knows what new venture will come out of that night! 😉
We have given a lot to this event, but we felt that the return was, similar to last year, greater than what we gave in the end. It is that power of a community coming together, as it did during the Festival of Technology and Entrepreneurship, that brings great satisfaction and happiness to all of us. That is ultimately the reason why we do what we do.
We must bring your attention to the fact that we would have never been able to pull this off on our own.
Without our sponsors AGILO, BitcoinStore, and GetByBus. Without Vaso and Cipa in charge of tasty food and drinks, and Josip Škiljo manning the stage as an MC. Without DJ Matthew Bee who spiced up the networking with some really great music.
Without all our lecturers, panelists, and moderators who selflessly gave their time and expertise for the betterment of our community. And – the cherry on top – to our volunteers who were the stars of this show hidden in the shadows and who made everything run smoothly.
A heartfelt thank you to all of them! 😀
Lastly, we can promise you this: our work for Split’s tech community will continue and we’re already looking forward to the next #STCFestival!
p.s. We have a witch on our team, that’s why the rain evaded Split for three whole days even though the forecast said otherwise. 😉