Saturday, 25 June 2022

ACAP New York: Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster and ACAP Sign Cooperation Agreement

June 25, 2022 - The Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP) during the 6th Annual ACAP Conference in New York last weekend.

The Cluster and ACAP have been cooperating for two and a half years, and the signing of this Agreement marks the beginning of a new joint pilot project aimed at developing and launching an integrated medical and wellness program in Croatia for the American market, primarily the Croatian diaspora. This program will include personalized wellbeing and wellness programs aimed at long-term changes in health and lifestyle. With implementing this program, Croatia wants to position itself as a top international destination for health and quality of life. The signing of the Agreement was also attended by Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports, who expressed support for this business cooperation and further emphasized the focus on health and wellness tourism as a significant segment of sustainable offer and development.  


The Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP) gathers an international network of 2,000+ professionals across industries and academic communities. Sixteen chapters worldwide foster the ACAP mission of advancement for Croatian-American and Croatian professionals. ACAP also welcomes individuals of non-Croatian heritage who are active in the Croatian community. ACAP has endeavored to connect and inspire Croatian-American professionals from the USA and around the world to exchange ideas and engage in business collaboration while preserving the cultural heritage and stronger cooperation with Croatia. Their cooperation with the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster began in 2019 during the stay of the ACAP Medical Tourism Committee and six postgraduates of Tuck School of Business – Dartmouth University, with the intention of talking to stakeholders in health tourism in Croatia and implementing the so-called Tuck's project to collaborate on health programs for the American market.  


The cooperation agreement was signed during the 6th Annual ACAP Conference in New York, in which the Cluster participates with the support of the Kvarner Region Tourist Board. During the conference, all attendees had the opportunity to listen to the presentation "Croatia: World Destination for Healthy Living and Healthy Aging" as a part of the workshop of the ACAP Medical Tourism Committee, held by the President of the Cluster, assist. prof. Vladimir Mozetič, MD, PHD, MHA. The sixth annual conference organized by ACAP, entitled "An Evolving Mindset: Innovation, Collaboration, & Sustainability " was a strategic direction for the next decade through networking, learning and sharing ideas with more than 300 professionals active in the Croatian community in the USA, Croatia and throughout the world. The main speakers of this year's program included the most prominent Croatian business leaders and innovators: Mate Rimac (Rimac Group), Silvije Kutić (Infobip), Robert Herjavec (Herjavec Group and Shark Tank) and Pete Radovich (CBS Sports).  

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 24 June 2022

6th ACAP Conference in New York: Silvio Kutić Announces Further Growth of Infobip in US

June 24, 2022 - The sixth annual conference of the Association of Croatian-American Professionals (ACAP) in New York gave the opportunity to the leading Croatian entrepreneurs to present their successful companies and projects to representatives of global investment companies.

The co-founder and CEO of InfobipSilvio Kutić, in a fireside chat with Iva Vukina, managing director in Goldman Sachs, told the inspiring story of a company that grew from a Vodnjan startup into the first Croatian unicorn. 

"Croats who are part of the US technological and financial community are not sufficiently familiar with the domestic entrepreneurial scene. That is why such events and informal socializing are important in order to get acquainted with the numerous opportunities that we have been developing in Croatia. Infobip has been present in the US market for a long time, and our plan is to further grow and take the lead, which is why it is important for us to further meet customers and expand the network of contacts - said Silvio Kutić, CEO and co-founder of Infobip. 


The annual ACAP conference entitled ‘AN EVOLVING MINDSET: Innovation, Collaboration & Sustainability’ was also attended by a large number of domestic startups whose projects have attracted significant interest from potential investors.  - It is great that a lot of Croatian startups that have global potential are present at ACAP conference. This is an ideal opportunity to introduce ourselves to the American market and our expatriates who are active and want to boost the domestic tech sector. I believe that an important goal for all of us should be to connect domestic startups with global venture capital funds that can help them further expand in the US market - added Nikola Pavešić, director of startup ecosystem at Infobip and project manager of Startup Tribe. Infobip's Startup Tribe program provides startups with product, logistics, and mentoring support, opening the door to faster development through its network in the USA, but also in other markets in which they operate. 

Sunday, 19 June 2022

ACAP 2022: A New York Room Full of Croatian Excellence

June 19, 2022 - The Association of Croatian American Professionals conference, ACAP 2022, has been an unqualified success. So much excellence in just one room in New York City. 

A lot of my Croatian friends laugh at me when I am positive about the future of Croatia. I can understand why, after the disappointments and dashed hopes they have been forced to endure of the 30 years since that hard-won independence. The corruption, nepotism and emigration was certainly not part of the deal they thought they were signing up for in developing a newly independent country. 

One thing I have learned about Croatians is that positive new initiatives are mostly embraced by skepticism. Something might worked wonderfully in every other country in the world, but in Croatia? 

But things are changing, and I genuinely believe that. Overcoming that skepticism and turning the mindset into a positive direction is one of Croatia's key challenges, but - at least from where I am sitting - I see more and more bright spots, new initiatives, success stories, and a strengthening of the eco-system of Croatia 2.0 to realise that we are an a path of change. 

Being a fly on the wall in a room in New York this week was probably one of the best snapshots of how far Croatia has come, and an indication of the direction it is heading. So many examples of Croatian excellent in so many sectors came together and networked, bonded, and connected. My social media feed and inbox has been flooded with positivity from New York these past few days from the ACAP 2022 conference. 

So who was there and speaking? The ACAP 2022 Facebook page did a great job keeping us all updated. Congrats to the organisers and participants - the future of Croatia is looking just a little brighter. 













For more news from the Croatian diaspora, follow the dedicated TCN section

Monday, 7 October 2019

Sponsor a MBA Student on Medical Tourism Research Trip to Croatia

October 7, 2019 - A hands-on collaboration between Croatia and its diaspora via ACAP to bring one MBA student to Croatia for medical research. 

Ties between the Croatian medical tourism industry and the diaspora are strengthening, particularly in Cleveland, where the recent ACAP diaspora conference included a medical tourism panel. Also announced at the same time was the first-ever European Patient Experience and Innovation conference in Dubrovnik next year, which will be organised by Bagatin Clinic from Zagreb with a presentation by Cleveland Clinic. 

But there are several other initiatives strengthening ties and bringing mutually beneficial rewards. Among them is an initiative to fund an MBA student to visit Croatia for Medical Tourism research and study, and a fundraising campaign is currently underway and will last another 7 days. More information on the project below:

Healthcare has proven to be the biggest struggle in many countries. Croatia, the vacation destination on the Adriatic, is no exception and shows great promise to providing affordable healthcare to both its citizens and visitors. The country's modern clinics and pristine beaches have the potential to draw tourists for exceptional medical care, at modest prices, with phenomenal results.  The ACAP Medical Tourism Task Force has spent countless hours discussing and organizing a manner in which we, as Croatian diaspora, can support our homeland. We are now moving forward with multiple ongoing initiatives, including a project in the works with a group of Ivy League MBA students to help us develop the plan for launching pilot Health and Wellness programs in the coming three years. Help us take advantage of this cost-effective consulting resource to provide us with a vacation destination that can cure us both mentally and physically at a reasonable price.

Croatia, known as a breath-taking paradise, has taken the world by storm as a top vacation destination. The beautiful coast and never-ending local hospitality add to the allure of the small country on the Adriatic Sea. Over the past decade, Croatia has made strides towards a better country, and world-class health care. As the people of Croatia continue to work towards these goals, we ask that you help us, friends of Croatia, make just as great of an impact. The Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP) Medical Tourism Task Force (MTTF), in conjunction with students from an Ivy League MBA program, are laying the groundwork for a better Croatian healthcare system.  Please help support this cause.

ACAP is a member-driven, non-profit organization that focuses on sharing knowledge and expertise around matters that are of concern to Croatian and Croatian-American organizations. The ACAP MTTF was established in 2016 by a group of volunteers to advance initiatives aligned with both member expertise and issues of strategic importance to Croatia, and its citizens. 

Two key initiatives involved are: helping establish Croatia as a go-to destination for medical tourism and establishing a comprehensive cancer center. Croatia—attracting more than 18 million tourists yearly—has great potential to grow in medical tourism but has not had the proper foundation. Furthermore, in 2018 there were a total of 25,221 new cases of cancer among men and women in Croatia. The Croatian cancer center would aim to increase Croatia’s five-year cancer survival rates by 20%.

After years of planning, researching, and organizing, the MTTF has found the perfect organization to lay the groundwork for both medical tourism and cancer center initiatives. An Ivy League research university has provided MBA consulting expertise to corporate, government and non-profit clients in 60 countries since 1997 through a highly competitive program. The team, along with their faculty advisor, will spend 1000+ person-hours to provide us with in-depth analysis and recommendations to help make our ideas a reality. 

Focus areas would include: 

Identify, define and understand the target markets for these services; roughly quantify the demand for services based on the needs of the target market. 

Map the medical tourism ecosystem in Croatia to identify critical interdependencies, existing capabilities, risks, and potential partners.

Define the initial set of services to be offered. The focus will be on taking existing work, extending it and "packaging" it for key target audiences (patients, investors, and partners). 

Provide insights through relevant case studies of organizations who have successfully (or unsuccessfully) implemented similar programs. Define partnership needs and criteria for identifying and evaluating potential partners (specifically private clinics); test criteria through initial vetting of potential partners. 

Delineate the phases of development and resources required for scale-up over three years; identify the next steps of work to be done following the completion of this project. 

Project Outline - October 2019 to January 2020

5 students, 1 faculty advisor

Required travel: December 2-20, 2019

Costs will cover lodging, flights, meals and incidentals allowance and ground transportation

For more information, and to donate, click here

To follow the latest from the Croatian medical tourism industry, click here

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

ACAP Presenting Croatian Medical Tourism Potential to Diaspora, US Market

September 25, 2019 - Last week's ACAP diaspora conference in Cleveland was another step forward for Croatia's medical tourism industry. TCN catches up with Ognjen Bagatin, who moderated the medical tourism panel. 

The big news, of course, we have already published - an agreement of cooperation between Bagatin Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, which will result in Europe's first Patient Experience conference to be held in Dubrovnik in March - organised by Bagatin with presentation by Cleveland Clinic. You can read more about that here


Ognjen Bagatin, the main driving force to establish Croatia's medical tourism industry on the global stage, is just back from the ACAP conference in Cleveland, and we had time to catch up at yesterday's Croatia 365 conference at the Zagreb Sheraton, where he gave me an overview of the medical tourism panel which was a key component of the Cleveland conference. 

Bagatin stated that there were two main goals:

⦁ Show the American Croatian society in US that Croatia has a great potential in this area, but also that we have points of excellence in some area of medicine and attracting large number of international patients/clients (Kvarner, Zagreb, Split) in areas of dental, orthopedic and rehabilitation, aesthetic surgery and non invasive aesthetic treatments, ophthalmology and medical wellness.

⦁ We shared there is opportunities for ACAP members (there are 1400 of them) for investments and getting involved in market development in Croatia, and that now is the right time to invest. This is an emerging market (just like tourism was 20 years ago)  

Our panelist shared success stories from the field and in different sectors:

Mate Car, Phd, assistant minister have shared that the legal framework is done, which means safety for investors, and that Ministry of Health is working on a working group to work on EU funding for next phase of EU funding – 2021-2027.

Marcel Medak, president of HGK health tourism group (and the director of Bizovacke Toplice), shared that now is the right time to invest because there will be an opportunity to invest in public speciality hospitals that are going to be presented soon for investors. This is a big opportunity for investors. Also he mentioned that his rehabilitation clinics had a 30% increase of foreign patients this year and that they are expecting the further growth in the future.

Marinko Rade, MD, Phd, awarded scientist and director of public orthopedic and rehabilitation hospital in Rovinj, shared that every year the Austrians insurance is raisng the quantity of people who they send to their clinics and that they are planning to invest 17 mil $ into further development of their hospital and health tourism in Rovinj. He is a young leader that we need to keep in Croatia.

Vladimir Mozetic, MD, Phd, shared info about Kvarner Cluster and what did they have been doing as a cluster in the last 5 years. Kvarner has 85,000 foreign patients every year, and 80% of them are for dental services. He was sharing how you can succeed with clusterization and branding yourself as a destination of health. He also shared that if you come one week in Losinj you will extend your life for 1 year, so come and try it.

Last but not least, an ACAP member Jeana Havidich, anesthesiologist from Dartmouth Hitchcock medical center, shared that together with TUCK Dartmouth MBA students she will do a project for developing Health and medical tourism in Croatia.  Tuck Dartmouth InSight Global consulting program and Kerry Laufer (project leader) are coming to Croatian in Fall 2019.   They really have done a phenomenal job and made a solid reputation within the international business community.   This is a huge thing for Croatia because their project are featured in Delta magazine throughout of USA.

We also shared why Croatia has a great potential and it is because we already have a market:

⦁ >20 mil. tourist in last two years

⦁ 7% of them are health motivated (according to TOMAS research)

⦁ The private health sector is growing 12-15 % every year

⦁ The industry of health and medical tourism will have an annual growth of 15-20% which is amazing  


(Ognjen Bagatin, left, with Cleveland Clinic CEO and fellow Croat, Tom Mihaljevic).

To follow the latest from the Croatian medical tourism story, follow the dedicated TCN section

To learm more about Bagatin Clinic, click here.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

ACAP's Rocking Croatian Excellence Conference in Cleveland Seeks to Connect Businesses

CLEVELAND, AUGUST 14, 2019 – The Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP) is hosting their fourth annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio from Sept. 19 to 22, 2019. The ACAP conference will bring together professionals from all facets of the U.S. and international professional community.

The Croatian Chamber of Economy (Hrvatska Gospodarska Komora) is organizing a delegation of Croatian businesses to attend the conference and to participate in a Business–to–Business (B2B) meeting. ”This is a tremendous opportunity for Croatian businesses to connect with businesses in Cleveland, across the United States and throughout the world. We’re excited to see what this venture with the Croatian Chamber of Economy might bring,” says Mario Jurcic, vice president, ACAP Cleveland.  

ACAP and the Croatian Chamber of Economy are jointly organizing the B2B meeting and are looking for companies in the United States, Croatia and around the world to take part in the event. Any type of industry is welcome to participate—from the arts to technology to engineering to food and beverage and everything in between.

The B2B meeting will consist of presentations and speed networking where companies can learn more about each other and make possible business connections. The meeting is scheduled to take place in Cleveland on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. The location is to be determined. 

To date, Croatian companies that will be in Cleveland for the B2B meeting represent a wide range of specialties such as: aerospace, automobile, construction, education, information technology, metal and plastic manufacturers and companies specializing in smart city solutions. Croatian businesses are looking for American partners for ventures in the Croatian, European Union and North American markets. 

“As a business owner, I know how valuable this meeting is. It can put businesses on another level and enable them to break into markets in different parts of the world for global expansion,” says Mario Jurcic, vice president, ACAP Cleveland. 

To register for the B2B meetings, please email Mario Jurcic at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 12 p.m. (EST). To purchase conference tickets or for more information, please visit

Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP)The Association of Croatian American Professionals is a non-profit organization bringing together professionals, business leaders, academics, students and community organizers. Their mission is to foster leadership, collaboration and to promote the advancement of issues relevant to the Croatian-American community. In four years, ACAP has expanded to 16 chapters in the United States and Croatia with 750 members, and growing, worldwide. Visit for more information. 

Croatian Chamber of Economy (CCE)The Croatian Chamber of Economy is an independent professional and business organization of all legal entities engaging in business. CCE has been promoting, representing and protecting the interests of its members in Croatia and abroad for over 165 years.

The Chamber consists of the headquarters in Zagreb and 20 county chambers. Functionally, the CCE consists of 11 departments dealing with the respective branch of the economy, 63 professional associations and 33 affiliations. Apart from this, within the CCE acts the Permanent Arbitration Court, Conciliation Centre, Court of Honor and CCE Office for Areas of Special State Concern.


And here is the earlier event announcement for the conference.

Are you ready to rock Croatian excellence?!

The Association of Croatian American Professionals has an action-packed weekend planned for our fourth annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio - the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - from Sept. 19 to 22, 2019.
The ACAP conference will bring together professionals from all facets of the U.S. and international professional community—such as diplomats, scientists, travel agents, artists, engineers, medical professionals, attorneys, journalists, business executives, social media specialists, accountants, as well as a delegation from Croatia’s Chamber of Commerce.

Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, Cleveland Clinic CEO and President, has committed to be a featured speaker. 

Conference weekend activities include:

Thursday, Sept. 19: tour of Cleveland Clinic, evening welcome reception

Friday, Sept. 20: day-long conference, gala dinner and awards, downtown Cleveland afterparty

Saturday, Sept. 21: Croga (yoga to Croatian music), Croatian handmade market, Cleveland tours, evening fundraiser, night out in downtown Cleveland

Sunday: farewell reception, additional local event: mass at St. Paul Croatian Church

Join us at ACAP#2019 where we'll show the world how much Croatians and Cleveland rock!

For more information or to purchase your tickets, please visit

To follow the latest from the Croatian diaspora, follow the dedicated TCN section

Monday, 6 May 2019

Tickets Now Available for Largest Croatian American Professional Conference in North America

Association of Croatian American Professionals host four-day event in Cleveland, Ohio to Rock Croatian Excellence

CLEVELAND, MAY 6, 2019 – The Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP) is hosting their fourth annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio from Sept. 19 to 22, 2019. The ACAP conference will bring together professionals from all facets of the U.S. and international professional community—such as diplomats, scientists, artists, engineers, medical professionals, attorneys, journalists, business executives, social media specialists, accountants, as well as a delegation from Croatia’s Chamber of Commerce.

Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, Cleveland Clinic CEO and President, has committed to be a featured speaker.

“ACAP conferences bring together a vast array of professionals of Croatian descent. It’s amazing to see all of the innovative individuals with Croatian roots get together to educate one another, share ideas, network and make new friends,” says Marko Zoretic, President, ACAP.

The conference commences with a welcome event the evening of Thursday, Sept. 19 at the American-Croatian Lodge in Eastlake, Ohio, the heart of the Cleveland Croatian community since 1984. The day-long conference and evening gala and award dinner will take place on Friday, Sept. 20 at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower. The remainder of the conference activities—meetings, business spotlights, sightseeing and social activities—will take place in downtown Cleveland.

Sightseeing activities include: tours of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and local craft breweries. A fundraiser in conjunction with the National Federation for Croatian American Cultural Foundation (NFCA), to benefit the Croatian Special Olympics, is planned for Saturday, Sept. 21.

The conference theme is Rocking Croatian Excellence — a play on Cleveland being the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and ACAP’s social media hashtag #CroatianExcellence.

“We look forward to the hosting the fourth ACAP conference in Cleveland where we’ll show the world how much Croatians and Cleveland rock,” says Biljana Lovrinovic, President, ACAP–Cleveland.

To purchase your tickets or for more information, please visit

Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP)

The Association of Croatian American Professionals is a non-profit organization bringing together professionals, business leaders, academics, students and community organizers. Their mission is to foster leadership, collaboration and to promote the advancement of issues relevant to the Croatian-American community. In four years, ACAP has expanded to 12 chapters, including Cleveland, in the United States and Croatia with 750 members, and growing, worldwide. Visit for more information.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

ACAP Croatian Medical Tourism Task Force Meets in Cleveland

March 30, 2019 - An important meeting for the emerging Croatian medical tourism story in the diaspora heartland of Cleveland, as the ACAP medical tourism task force meets to see how to strengthen health tourism ties with the Homeland.

As Croatia looks to advance its medical tourism story, the role of the diaspora will be crucial. As recently reported, the Croatian diaspora last year sent more back to the Homeland in remittances than Croatia welcomed in foreign investment, some 2 billion euro in total.  

International experts agree that Croatia has the potential to be in the top 10 medical tourism destinations in the world in the next ten years, and while few would argue about the quality of the healthcare and service in the private sector, promotion and marketing are some way behind. 

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With more than 1.2 diaspora (40% of the total) in the United States alone, developing strong relationships between the diaspora in the USA and Croatia is a sensible and solid strategy. That potential partnership is especially true in Cleveland, home to 50,000 Croatians, as well as the renowned Cleveland Clinic, whose current CEO Tom Mihaljevic is Croatian. 

What better location, then, for a gathering of the Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP) and its medical tourism task force, which met today after a successful first gathering in Washington DC last year, as reported previously by TCN

Today's meeting included Croatian Ambassador to Washington Pjer Simunovic.

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“I’m extremely excited about the possibility of having students involved with healthcare in Croatia.” Kerry Laufer, Director, Onsite Global Consulting, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

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“We can learn from healthcare facilities like Cleveland Clinic. They can teach us methods to make the patient experience better.” Ognjen Bagatin, CEO, Bagatin Clinic in Croatia.

Bagatin, the most active proponent of medical tourism in Croatia on the international, was clearly pleased at the progress made, posting later on social media:

What a great day with #acap Medical Tourism Task Force in #Cleveland??? we made some great plans for an Annual meeting organize by @acapcleveland From 19th to 21st of September in Cleveland???? See you all there? #croatiandiaspora #medicaltourism #healthtourism #tie

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For the latest news in the Croatian medical tourism story, follow the dedicated TCN page

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

3rd Annual Croatia-American Professionals Conference Attracts 40 Speakers, 300 Delegates

Keynote speeches focused on the challenges and opportunities facing the Croatian diaspora and how to expand influence in meaningful ways.