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STup! 2024 was a kick of spectacular energy even without the actual electricity

Nikolina Kukoč

Nikolina Kukoč


The ending of last week brought with it another edition of STup! international university startup competition.

And, as usual – we were there in person to witness this event full of youthful energy and innovative spirit! 🙂

Student Business Incubator of the Faculty of Economics once more brought this competition to life. This was its fifth edition and once more it was part of the University Green Digital HUB project.

STup!2024 was also supported by the City of Split, the European Maritime University Alliance (SEA-EU), the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR ), and the Croatian Agency for Small Business, Innovation, and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO).

And once more, the Great Amphitheater at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Split became the melting pot for innovative ideas, nail-biting competition, and also lots of fun! 😀

As is customary with STup!, the two days of this competition turn the city of Split into the stage for innovations, new technologies, and ideas, with which university projects try to secure the attention of renowned experts, potential clients, and investors.

STup! always aims to enable competitors and visitors to connect, improve entrepreneurial culture, and exchange ideas and experiences on an international level.

And this year was no different because STup! brought together local and international startups, entrepreneurs, representatives of incubators, accelerators, companies, and investors, so, in addition to competitors, programs intended for young innovators and startups were presented.

30 selected startups from 18 countries around the world presented their ideas and competed for the main STup! 2024 top 3 spots, as well as the top three spots in the Infobip Awards.

This year, the university startups that were part of STup! competed according to the following categories:

  • Robotics
  • AI and IoT
  • AgriTech
  • Food and Bioeconomy
  • MarTech
  • Energy and Environment
  • EdTech
  • Tourism and Creative Industry
  • Medicine and Quality of Life

While the jury members, experts from the world of entrepreneurship and investment management from Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, the UK, France, Spain, Serbia, and Croatia, had a tough job in selecting first the chosen finalists on Day 1 and then the top 3 startups on Day 2 of this year’s STup! competition.

So, it’s worth listing these STup! 2024 jury members who tackled this difficult task:

  • Arjan Goudsblom – co-founder and director at Preneurz.Amsterdam
  • Alexander Bernhard – co-founder and partner at Impact Hub Stuttgart
  • Kristina Čorić – project manager at HdM Startup Center
  • Tamas Szeker – co-founder and partner at iScale HUB
  • Iva Rakočević – director at Kavedon Kapital
  • Gergo Gulyas – Head of Operations and Strategic Partnerships at OUVC Venture Studio
  • Konstantin Mirin – CEO at Postindustria
  • Karoly Szanto – Director at OUVC Venture Studio
  • Rafael Ventura – vice-rector for social information and entrepreneurship at UMA
  • Kimberley Waechtler – Coordinator for International Relations at UBO
  • Ana Milićević – operational director at the FON Startup Center
  • Maja Čukušić – vice dean for science and international cooperation at EFST

In addition to the competitive part where startup teams will present their ideas, STup! competitions always bring interesting lectures and panels as an additional learning opportunity for young startup teams. This year was no different. 🙂

On the first day, we had the opportunity to listen to Alexander Bernhard deliver a talk on the topic “How to Be an Impact Entrepreneur” and an interactive panel discussion on the topic “The Role of Universities in Supporting Local Startup Ecosystems”.

On the second day, we shortened the wait for the winners’ announcement with the interesting lecture given by Rafael Ventura Fernandez: “What Would Maslow Say to the Startup CEO”.

The entire two-day program of this year’s STup! competition was led by Pinija Poljaković and Michael Freer who kept the entire packed competition schedule running smoothly, as well as engaged the audience with many things – from tips and tricks of startup life and presenting publicly to memes and jokes.

This dynamic duo truly was the energy that kept STup! 2024 going! 😉

The jam-packed first day was concluded with the announcement of the finalists: DELTAsort, Moveably, VeriTag, StudyBridge, GrodiTech, PowerPop, Journo, SignVox, Chamois, Dokumento, and Nexus. They proceeded into the STup! Day 2 round of pitching.

In the end, the best team overall chosen on Day 2 took the title “Best University Startup 2024” and as such ensured numerous awards. Together with the prize fund, the best startup also received direct participation in the famous TechBBQ conference.

Special awards were provided by Infobip, a global IT and telecommunications company. The top 3 startups chosen for the Infobip Award got €7,500.00 for the winner, €5,000.00 for the runner-up, and €2,500.00 for the third-place winner for the use of Infobip’s communication technologies.

As luck (or lack of it) would have it, while we were on the edge of our seats for the announcement of the winners, a huge regional power outage left us without electricity for quite a long time delaying the announcement even more.

Kudos to the organizing team from the Student Business Incubator for staying calm and adapting on the spot to handle the STup! 2024 wrap-up even without actual running power. You guys truly demonstrated the adaptability needed in the startup world!

So, check out the startup teams who aced STup! this year!

Infobip Awards:

  1. Moveably
  2. DORI
  3. StudyBridge

STup! 2024 Top Startups:

  1. DELTAsort – Best University Startup 2024
  2. SignVox
  3. Moveably

In addition to the valuable prizes, it is worth noting that the organization of this year’s STup! was also supported by the company Ledo, which provided its products for the participants, and the company Promet Split, which provided transportation for the participants during the event.

We also need to note that STup! this year was part of the University Green Digital HUB project, co-financed from the funds of the Erasmus+ program.

The main goal of the project is to strengthen the digital, green, and entrepreneurial skills of students, university startups, and university employees, and to strengthen the capacity of higher education institutions in the field of teaching for the digital and green transition.

We really enjoyed this two-day display of innovation, entrepreneurship, and groundbreaking ideas that happened at STup! international university startup competition. Congratulations to all the winning teams and all the competing teams – your enthusiasm, innovation, and hard work made this event a huge success.

And big, big BRAVO to the Student Business Incubator team on realizing another great edition of this competition! 😀

Onwards and up, young ones! 😉

Photos: 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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