Between 21st and 22nd May Maribor hosted PODIM, one of the largest and most influential start-up events in the region. Over 150 selected start-ups (or scale-ups) from 33 countries presented their fresh ideas to 1,000 participants (the number is limited) coming from investment funds, corporations or various institutions, supporting the start-up development. PODIM includes a number of events, including conference, workshops, deal-rooms with one to one meetings, and last but not least, the PODIM Challenge, a pitching competition. The challenge was won by Croatian start-up AdScanner and their solutions for data-driven TV advertising.
PODIM is also the stage for the final award ceremony for the Slovenian Startup of the Year. This year's award went to Hurra Studios, a startup creating Hooray Heros, personalized children's books sold in five European markets and the USA.
Another interesting start-up event took place in the first half of May. A start-up train travelling from Ljubljana to Bulgarian capital Sofia and back. During the four days long journey 15 Slovenian and 10 Bulgarian teams of young entrepreneurs developed their ideas with the help of mentors. The ideas were presented at the Launchub investment fund upon arrival to Sofia, where the best projects were also rewarded by the sponsors. The main award went to the Speck project, noise cancelling earphones for extreme noise environments. Speck also received the award for the most innovative idea. The award for the socially most beneficial idea was received by the project Help, which focuses on helping elderly people with their household chores. The award for the best product went to multiple use children's tent Oli.