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Meet Morten Smalby, CEO and one of the co-founders of Split’s startup company GetByBus and also one of the international professionals who have chosen to call Split their home.
Born in Randers, Denmark, living away from home wasn’t a novelty for Morten because he lived in Germany for almost ten years before moving to Split in 2004. Therefore, he was used to living outside of his home country. But what brought him to Split?
“By nature, I am an adventurous soul. I visited Split the first time as part of a workshop and really liked it, so I did not hesitate long when my colleague suggested we set up a business here.”
Visiting a place and falling in love with it is one thing, but we always like to know what makes foreigners stay in our town. Morten gave us his reasons: “Quality of life is just great here! The climate is perfect, people are friendly, and there are lots of opportunities, so it kind of feels like an ongoing holiday.
In Split you basically have everything, but the city still does not feel big. Everything here is easy-going. I like the fact that you have so many great and beautiful places nearby which you can visit on a short day trip.”
While Morten has for sure found his home here, there are some suggestions he has for people who are considering moving to Split from abroad:
“Get used to the speed of things here. Don’t stress about things going at a slower pace than you are used to, one day you will come to appreciate it.”
Considering he came here 17 years ago, finding information online about everyday things wasn’t as easy back then. Therefore, Morten relied on locals being helpful with all the information he needed.
The local tech community wasn’t so connected back then, either, and finding information about it would have been difficult: “When I moved here, there was no tech community. If I moved here today, it would be very easy to find information.”
Another thing Split gave to Morten is the idea for GetByBus which was born from his experiences of life here. So, coming here has certainly changed his work a lot: “I opened my first ever company when I came to Split. That for sure changed my work. As a company owner, I had to deal with a lot of stuff I have never dealt with before.”
Coming to Split and starting a business here had its challenges. Morten admits that it was very complicated to get all the paperwork in order – for example, his working permit was a folder full of documents.
However, with a little help from locals, he managed to resolve even this obstacle. If you are considering following in his footsteps and starting or doing business in Split, Morten has one piece of advice:
“The road might be bumpy, but if you are persistent and patient, you will get there.”
To wrap this interview up, we asked Morten two quick-response questions:
What do you love about Split as a city?
“Old town, Marjan, Žnjan.”
Things you love about Split’s people?
“They are easy-going, friendly, reliable, and skilled.”
We’re happy Morten has found a home in Split and its people!