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Photo credit: PODIM

The most influential startup conference in the Alps-Adriatic region, PODIM Conference, organised by Start:up Slovenia, again took place in Maribor. Its 2019 edition, which was also its 39th, was held in Hotel Habakuk on 21st and 22nd of May 2019. As the key regional event, that annually gathers the best startups and other stakeholders from the Alps-Adriatic and Western Balkans regions in one place and connects them to the global ecosystem, PODIM serves as an effective platform for investing in the most promising startups from the region.

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Photo credit: PODIM

This year, there were around 160 hand-picked start-ups from more than 30 countries, more than 100 investors from all over the globe, and more than 200 corporate representatives from the region. The event was attended by more than 1000 most active startup enthusiasts from more than 30 countries. Urban Lapajne, PODIM team member and Start:up Slovenia community coordinator, emphasizes: “We don’t want to get bigger than that. We are limiting the number of participants to 1000 because this is our advantage. As this is a boutique event, the attendees can actually come into a direct and personal contact with investors from the global ecosystem; this is at the similar startup and tech events that host up to twenty thousand participants practically impossible.”

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Photo credit: PODIM

In addition, what they are particularly proud this year, says Urban Lapajne, is that this year the 1:1 meetings between the regional startups and the investors grew from 500 last year to the incredible number of more than 900 meetings in two days this year. “This is our record and certainly this number is the best added value of the whole conference, what was also confirmed in feedbacks we received from the attendees. It is into a really great benefit for our regional participants that they are able to hold 20 to 30 meetings per day with key investors, stakeholder and corpos for establishing partnerships.”

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Photo credit: PODIM

For the 12th year in a row, PODIM was the stage for the final award ceremony for the Slovenian Startup of the Year, which highlighted the best Slovenian startups. The award went to Hurra Studios, a startup creating Mali junaki, personalized children’s books where the customer can define the name, gender and appearance of the main character. As the winner, the Hurra Studios gets the all-inclusive tailor-made programmes in global startup hubs, such as Boston, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Lisbon and Vienna.

PODIM Conference traditionally takes place in the Habakuk Hotel, which lies on the slopes of Pohorje and is a ten-minute scenic drive away from the Maribor center. The organisers of PODIM note that they have been a loyal buyer of Habakuk for many years in a row »because of Habakuk’s excellent conference facilities, warm hospitality and top-class service.«

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