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The second edition of STup! international university startup competition was a great success, making Split the global stage of university entrepreneurship once more.
The competition started with the Opening Ceremony at the grand amphitheater of the University of Split’s Faculty of Economics on June 18th. The welcoming speech was given by the Dean of the Faculty of Economics in Split, Prof. Dr. Sc. Maja Fredotović. Afterward, the judges and competitors were greeted by Dr. Sc. Leandra Vranješ Markić on behalf of the University and Ela Žižić on behalf of the city of Split and the mayor.
Upon the conclusion of the opening ceremony, the judges took the stage and briefly presented themselves and the institutions and companies from which they come.
The nine judges of STup!2021 all come from different countries, and they have as many similarities as differences when it comes to the personal business paths they’ve gone through so far.
During the first day of the competition, the 35 teams from all over the world were divided into 4 pitching groups.
At the end of each 5-minute pitch, three judges had the opportunity to ask questions within 5 minutes to request further explanation or clear out any doubts they had after hearing the contestants’ presentations. All teams received valuable feedback from the judges that will certainly help them in the further development of their ideas.
Initially, six teams were supposed to proceed to the finals.
However, the quality of the teams was shown even during the first day, forcing the judges and the organizers to add two more teams to the final round.
Therefore, 8 teams got the opportunity to further impress the judges during the second day of the competition.
The eight finalists pitched their startup projects in this order on the second day of STup!2021:
After all the finalists delivered their pitches, and while we were waiting for the judges’ decision, Nikola Pavešić, director of the startup ecosystem at Infobip, joined the broadcast and talked to the moderator about how Infobip grew from a small startup in Vodnjan, to Croatia’s first “unicorn” and a global giant that launched its own startup assistance and education program – the Infobip Startup Tribe.
While we were learning about Infobip’s Startup Tribe, the judges had to deliberate on the final placement of all 8 teams. Not an easy task, but in the end, they came to the mutual decision on the following:
We want to offer our congratulations to all the participants who were a part of STup!2021, especially Alumnio, dock.me, and Makabi Agritech who won the top three places.
The quality, diversity, and innovativeness of all the finalists at this year’s competition was truly impressive and judges really had a tough job in choosing the top three.
The Alumnio team from the University of Ljubljana is working hard to provide new aluminum alloys that will be lighter and stronger. Alumnio QC is a novel ultra-high-strength aluminum alloy used by the EV market to make transport units lighter, stronger and recyclable.
The dock.me team from the University of Split is working on solving the problem of choosing a marina anchorage or a specific boat mooring within the marina, using a web application and a network of sensors in marinas. Each dock in the marina has a sensor for detecting the entry of vessels, and the skipper can use the application to choose a free dock in the selected marina.
The Makabi Agritech team from the University of Zagreb is developing new technologies using the agro-ecological approach to provide plants with nutrition and protection in order to reduce the use of agrochemicals in agricultural production and encourage the production of functional, healthy, and quality food.
Awards for the winners and finalists are the following:
In addition to the prizes for the top three teams, Ensoco also provided 6 months of free Startup consulting to the “Best Idea Stage Startup” of their choosing – EasyPass (University of Belgrade).
As in its first edition, the STup! competition contributed to the networking of startup teams with representatives of entrepreneurial institutions and investment funds who were present in Split, as well as with their peers, making STup! an excellent entrepreneurial and startup event.
In addition to the competition-related activities, this year the members of the local startup and business ecosystem had a chance to network with the international judging panel at the SPI Business Talk meetup, making the local ecosystem one of this year’s winners, as well.
We never know what new ecosystem growth can come from the exchange of knowledge and ideas that are so common for networking events.
The organization itself was challenging this year because the event was held in hybrid form, so the organizers from Student Business Incubator had a difficult task ahead of them. However, they managed the whole ordeal with great success and professionalism – excellent work, SPI team!
We’re also happy to learn that their hard work did not come without an additional award: after the STup! competition was concluded, the Student Business Incubator signed a cooperation agreement with Startup Campus.
Startup Campus is an entrepreneurial accelerator based in Budapest and London which specializes in preparing startup companies for internationalization of business and preparation for investment. Their direct cooperation with the Student Business Incubator will significantly strengthen the local startup ecosystem and entrepreneurial community.