Lifestyle

Silicon Valley of the Mediterranean: Split Tech City Links Tourism and Technology

By 1 October 2018

October 1, 2018 - Split is well recognized on the tourist map of the world - and it could even be marked as the Silicon Valley of the Mediterranean. Local IT experts say that Split can and must become a city where technology and tourism meet, and we’re already well on our way there. Meet Split Tech City, the first formal association of the Split-based technology community which launched in February this year.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports on September 28, 2018, that Split Tech City currently has a total of 42 members, and since their very beginnings, they have partnered with Split-Dalmatia County. The foundation of Split Tech City was kicked off by Startup.hr, which has gathered and linked Split IT professionals for 10 years. Startup.hr has so far linked more than 700 individual members and companies, organized more than 100 meetings, and held dozens of free educational workshops and lectures. Startup.hr was founded by Toni Trivković, the president, and Antonio Šerić, the vice president, in 2014.

The Split Tech City team has already achieved many of their goals, thus strengthening this technological community and promoting Split and this region on the IT map of the world. 

“This year we were one of the co-organizers of the first major technology and tourism conference, TNT Split. The conference brought together and presented products and technologies that enhance our most important economic activity - tourism. The topics of the lectures were about the current technological solutions in tourism, and they also talked about how tourism would look in the next ten years. This conference was organized in cooperation with ICT County and Cezar.hr, and the conference is planned as a long-term project,” says Toni Trivković.

Women in Tech

The editor of the portal Tomislava Saša also points out that Split Tech City has even begun working on raising the issue of the lack of females in IT and technology professions.

“By organizing Women in Tech Split Meetups, Split Tech City is working to connect women working in the IT sector, encouraging them to exchange experiences and collaboration. These meetups include high school students, as well as women already employed in the technology sector. It is with this generation of connectivity that we want young girls to have role models, because who can better motivate them than women coming from the technology sector?” said Saša, adding that every month, through articles, they promote women who are employed in the IT sector and their stories, to popularize such interests with girls and encourage them to go in this direction if they have an affinity for it. In September, the Women in Tech Meetup hosted a lecture on the EU's Obzor 2020 program.

Job listings

It should also be noted that information is provided on the website for employment opportunities.

“The section where job ads are located is valuable to both employers and those looking for a job. Posting a job ad for Split Tech City members is free. Those looking for a job now have local IT and technology jobs in one place,” they added. 

Toni Trivković also stresses that one of the priorities is connecting members, as well as supporting members for their activities.

“The Split Tech City community currently consists of 24 local businesses, 3 associations, 3 co-working spaces, and 14 individuals. The members are connected and the members themselves are highlighted as an important item, with the goal being to exchange experiences and cooperation. The members are able to perform together through institutions with common requirements and suggestions. Split Tech City also supports members in their community-based activities in every sense. This is best seen through media support. All events are announced in our calendar. We are working on the constant promotion of our members, especially the activities that work for the community. Each activity is accompanied by articles as well as live streams. So on our YouTube channel, we have more than 100 hours of video content of various lectures and workshops,” says Trivković.

Split Tech City also participates in foreign conferences to share their experiences there. The members of this association attended The Next Web conference in Amsterdam, where Split Tech City, as well as the city of Split as a tourism pearl and a city with technological potential, were present in conversation with other visitors and exhibitors.

What do they write about?

Split Tech City mainly writes about the local technology community, about members, their projects, as well as projects from other local technology companies. They also write about other associations, and presented the work of the "Darovići djeca" association, as well as the Summer Science Workshop in Split and the Split Youth Club.

“We announce all local events and conferences, from DUMP Days to SHIFT conferences. We also present the activities of the ICT counties project, primarily the EDIT program, intended for elementary and high school students. Young people are also encouraged to volunteer, so we present where they can volunteer, and invite them to join Split Tech City as volunteers. Given the range of topics, if someone has a story for us, let us know,” said Saša.

Source of information for foreigners

Split Tech City also has an English version on their website, which serves as a platform for foreigners thinking of coming to Split as digital nomads or for permanent residency. It also advises those who are thinking about starting a business in Split.

“Foreigners often come up with different issues. The contact person within Split Tech City for foreigners thinking about moving to Split is Michael Freer, who moved to Split two years ago from England, and is not planning on leaving. Michael is working on the steady promotion of Split as an ideal place to move for people in the technology sector. Since you can work from anywhere on the planet, why not choose a good climate, the sea, great food, and what foreigners often notice, even better hosts?” said Toni and Tomislava. 

Their plans?

Furthermore, Toni Trivković points out that the main goal of Split Tech City and all of its members is free education, lectures and workshops to guide young people towards highly paid technological occupations.

“Young people should be offered additional content, lectures and workshops on topics they are interested in, as well as topics and concrete technologies that are closely related to the local labor market. They should be motivated and should be shown how to operate globally from Split and be given examples of people who have succeeded,” he emphasized and added that he will hold educational and motivational lectures and workshops. The topics to be included will be related to development, design and business. Some of the planned projects concern motivating young people to develop their business ideas. What has been concluded through talks is that young people are not motivated and think that it is impossible to launch anything in Split.

"We will, therefore, introduce them to people who have started their own businesses, so that young people could see that something is possible,” emphasized Trivković. He also invites all other local technology and IT companies to join them.

“Our goal is to create, retain, and restore talents and involve all companies, institutions and individuals in building a local technology sector. That is why Split Tech City is open to anyone who wants the same,” concluded Trivković.

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