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STup! was a combination of youth, innovation, learning, and lots of fun!

Nikolina Kukoč

Nikolina Kukoč


We already brought you some amazing news from STup!, but now let’s talk about how amazing STup! was this year. In its third edition, this fantastic university startup competition gathered a whooping 42 startup teams from 21 countries and 16 different universities.

All of that right here in Split during the two competition days on Friday and Saturday!

You may think: “42 startups!! That must have been a tedious first day of pitch after pitch, after pitch,…” You’d be wrong!

Because not only were most of the startup ideas very interesting, but the resident STup! MC, Michael Freer, made sure to keep us all entertained, as did the judges with some tough – we heard someone in the audience also say “juicy” – questions. 😀

Coupled with enough coffee breaks and a lunch break that we all used for networking and getting to know each other better, the first day flew by very quickly despite its packed schedule.

The pinnacle of the first day was of course the announcement of the finalists.

And, similar to last year, the judges did not think 8 will do, so they added two more. This brought the number of finalists to 10. This just illustrates the quality of STup! as a competition, as well as the potential the competing startups have.

The ten finalists were: Voicit, Barter, Peasy, Evala, Peko Produce, Origin, RückMal, Hagamos Hogar, Metabelly, iReason.

They were the ones who got the chance to pitch again on the second day of the competition. After the party on Friday where they had the opportunity to get some more feedback from the judges, but this time outside of the competition hall and in a more informal setting. 😉

While the second day had only a quarter of the pitches compared to the first, it was still an eventful day because we all started our morning with two excellent talks delivered by two of the judges: Maciej Kraus and Andreas Spechtler.

The talks were another learning opportunity for all startup teams in attendance because both Maciej and Andreas also referred to the things they observed during the previous competition day.

These two talks were followed by the final showdown. Ten startups, ten pitches, and ten follow-up sessions when judges got to grill them with the aforementioned juicy questions. Edge of the seat material, indeed!

It definitely wasn’t easy for the startups pitching, but we who were just observing had a great time. 😀

Upon the conclusion of the final pitching session, we had a chance to listen to and learn from another amazing lecture delivered by Veronica Kirin, as well as from a business panel discussing universities and innovation.

After that, it was time for the judges to discuss together all that they’ve seen and heard and come to a decision about the winner.

Not an easy task, we must admit!

This is what they decided in the end…

STup!2022 winners:

  1. Metabelly – Personalized nutrition project based on gut microbiome analysis
  2. RückMal – Extension for tables that makes them electronically adjustable by height
  3. Voicit – A platform that automates meeting data

The winners won the possibility to participate in the “Startup Executive Academy” run by Silicon Castles, a strategic business accelerator from Austria with fully covered travel and accommodation costs, as well as participation and presentation at Wolves Summit in Poland, the largest business conference in Central and Eastern Europe, also with fully covered travel and accommodation costs.

The winners of special Infobip prizes in the form of Infobip services were:

  1. Peko Produce – Platform for delivery of surplus fruits and vegetables at up to 40% reduced prices, which contributes to the fight against food waste and promotes access to healthy food – $ 20,000.00
  2. Barter – An app that helps you find items that you need in your vicinity, in addition to earning by renting things you don’t use every day – $ 15,000.00
  3. Origin – Foodtech startup from Malaga that turns algae into food for human consumption – $ 10,000.00

EIT Urban Mobility in Croatia (Invento Capital Partners) announced the winner of the mobility category. The selected startup won a two-month preparation for an EIT acceleration program that can bring an investment of 30,000 euros to the selected startup. The winner of this category is Split’s startup Peasy.

The fantastic people who managed to come up with these tough decisions and also offered very valuable mentoring and excellent advice to the competing startups throughout the competition are: Maciej Kraus, Jon Steinberg, Alena Hloba, Gergely Balázs, Tessa McIver, Stevica Kuharski, Andreas Spechtler, Iva Rakocevic, and Veronica Kirin.

STup! would also not be possible without the Faculty of Economics in Split, the University of Split, and the Alliance of the European University of the Seas (SEA-EU), who are instrumental in helping out the Student Business Incubator with the organization of this competition, as well as without the support of the City of Split and the Split-Dalmatia County through the project ICT Županija.

In addition to STup! supporters who offered valuable awards for winning startup teams that we listed above, it is also worth mentioning the competition partners from the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) and BA-COM who financially supported the organization of this year’s STup!.

Furthermore, Dalmacijavino – Pipi provided tasty drinks for participants throughout the two days, while the Split Tourist Board made sure our international guests had unforgettable experiences here in Split, and Promet Split provided support with free transportation for all participants during the event.

In the end, we would like to congratulate the Student Business Incubator for one more amazing international event they brought to our city.

They don’t like it very much when we praise them because they prefer the work they do to be their praise, but they will have to deal with it: Student Business Incubator, you were spectacular! 🙂

It’s not easy to realize an event like this, even though you make it look like it is. Hats off to you for STup! and all that you do for the startup ecosystem in Split!

To wrap it up, just a rocket full of good wishes at the end: the entire Split Tech City community wishes all 42 startups lots of success with future development and growth!

p.s. We can’t wait for STup!2023!! Just sayin’… 😉

Photos by: Student Business Incubator


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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