Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Croatian Gin Wins Best in World for First Time in History

The Croatian gin 'Old Pilot's Gin' has been awarded the London Dry Gin Trophy 2019 at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London!

“What can I say, I was literally jumping from joy. Then we checked the official website a few more times because we couldn't believe our eyes. Hold on; we won the best gin trophy in the world! Well, we can't believe it yet!”

Hrvoje Bušić and Tomislav Anadolac have every reason to be excited, for their Old Pilot's Gin has just achieved the biggest success at the prestigious IWSC competition in London, reports Jutarnji.hr on July 31, 2019.

Namely, Bušić and Anadolac are behind a unique gin belonging to the London Dry category, which, on Tuesday, was named the best in the world thanks to the London Dry Gin Trophy 2019. Thus, in addition to a gold medal at the IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition), Old Pilot’s Gin won the trophy for the best London Dry Gin. Jutarnji added that all gold medals re-enter the competition and the best of the best are selected, with the winner being the only one in the world. 

Better yet, this is the first time that a Croatian product has won a distilled trophy at the competition, which has been held since 1969.

However, their success is far from accidental. Although on the market just over a year, in 2018, Old Pilot's Gin was named the best Croatian craft gin, while at this year's San Francisco Spirits Competition they won the gold. The mentioned international competitions are indeed the two most important in the world, and the highest honors earned at them have been affirmed by numerous small distilleries.

The story behind Old Pilot's Gin is even more impressive. Hrvoje and Tomislav met at the Military Pilot Academy some twenty years ago, and have always had a passion for all things distilled. As the gin trend set out to conquer the world, they seriously considered launching their own distillery and well, today, they boast the best in the world. 

The distillery of the symbolic name "Spirit in a Bottle" produces craft gin, which is a fully Croatian product using local flavors such as olive leaves, blueberries from Otočac, sage, lavender, angelica (wild celery) and orange peel. The entire branding and visual identity is the work of Kofein from Zagreb. Their small but very modern distillery is equipped with Dutch technology, which is not surprising since Hrvoje went to the Netherlands to study, where he became a certified distiller.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Magnets and Souvenirs with Austrian Motifs Made in Slavonia

A touch of Slavonia, Croatia in Austria.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes on the 4th of July, 2019, there are many souvenirs that tourists buy during their stay in the Austrian capital of Vienna, such as refrigerator magnets embellished with the most famous Austrian tourist attractions such as the Schönbrunn Palace.

It might be easy to imagine the Chinese churning out endless supplies of these small but meaningful little keepsakes, but many are actually made by a Croatian entrepreneur, Zoran Bašić, from Trnjani in Slavonia. In Trnjani, an Eastern Croatian region of Slavonia, lie the production plant and the headquarters of Decoupage Repromaterijal Bašić Art, the first Croatian souvenir magnet making factory. For years, this company from Slavonia has been present on the Austrian market, and this entrepreneur has been successful in domestic design, production and placement of souvenirs labelled "Made in Croatia".

It all began when Bašić, who is otherwise a skilled machinist by profession, started to work with the production of wooden jewellery and decorative objects made from wood following many hard years of work in the civil service. He eventually began exhibiting his creations at fairs across Slavonia.

Listening to the needs of the market, this entrepreneur from Slavonia saw an increase in demand in the areas in which he worked, which included room for other personalised products and all kinds of decorations.

Good work can be seen and felt far and wide, and four years ago, this talented Croatian entrepreneur received a request from a Viennese wholesaler for souvenirs who asked him to make some samples of fridge magnets.

After a year, Bašić's products were very successful over on the Austrian market, and now this factory in Slavonia is planning and aiming to place its products on the Croatian market as one of the few companies that offers such decorations with the mark of an original Croatian product.

In addition to excellent quality and innovation, these products are said to be more competitive and more affordable, and even cheaper than the infamous things the Chinese make, which continue to swamp and drown the market.

"The key to the success with the Austrians, where we're dominating, are small series' according to customer's wishes, quick delivery, ie, a fast response to the orders, with the flexibility of modifying the design again according to the customer's wishes.

With us, the customers themselves can participate in creating products that they want to make using our professional help. We produce our products manually according to our own ideas or the ideas of our customers, and the price is always the same, regardless of whether one has ordered a souvenir magnet, or a hundred,'' explained Bašić.

Ninety percent of all of their orders come from women who, as the entrepreneur adds, usually have a whole host of imaginative suggestions to make their own souvenir or, for example, a cake decoration. Considering the significant demand, Bašić's next business step will be to conquer new markets and expand the production plant which is located in Trnjani, Slavonia.

"I can see great potential in the development of decoupage reproduction material on the Croatian market, especially boxes which come in different sizes and shapes, some of which are patterned while most of them are designed according to the wishes and needs of clients who come to us with full confidence,'' concluded the the innovative entrepreneur from Slavonia, Zoran Bašić.

Follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Split Company Develops First Supplement for Dogs Based on Bee Products!

May 30, 2019 - The Split company Hedera has developed 100 percent natural dietary supplements for dogs made from bee products - propolis and pollen - under the name Apipet. Such products have not existed on the pet market until now. 

Dalmatinski Portal spoke with 23-year-old Ivan Radić, head of Hedera's marketing department, about the innovative technology behind Apipet and how they decided to bring these unique products to the world.

Producing nutritional supplements made from propolis for dogs. How did the idea come about?

“For over 15 years, the core of our business is food supplements based on bee products (propolis, pollen, and royal jelly) for humans. The owner of Hedera, my father Saša, a chemist, then developed a special innovative technology that allows us to keep bee products in their native form without adding chemicals, alcohols, or any other solvents. Having such a product that has powerful medical effects and no adverse side effects, has allowed us a wide range of applications, so we decided to make Apipet - the only propolis in the world for dogs.

Specifically, the whole line of products based on the technology above was created by my brother Božo, otherwise a gastroenterologist, but very actively involved in the innovation and development of the company. I actually just extended my hand to these two geniuses and I have full responsibility for the success and failure of Apipet with just one job. I have to let every dog owner know about Apipet.”

The product is unique in the world.

"There are no nutritional supplements for dogs based on bee products in the world just because no one has developed a technology that allows the use of chemical resources. Namely, if you use alcohol, it automatically excludes dogs as end-users of the product.

Aside from that, it sounds good. '100 percent natural' is important because not even a single percent is artificial. Propolis in the bee community serves as a protection from external and internal influences. The bees cover the hive, literally sticking it to the walls, and its function is killing parasites, viruses, bacteria, strengthening the immune system of young bees and preventing disease. Now, if you dissolve propolis in some chemical agent, about 30 percent of its properties are lost and its effectiveness is no longer the same because it decreases. That is why our product is modest, but objectively the best in its category because it remains unchanged - like the hive itself, it is the same in our product.”

What are the effects of propolis for dogs and what do all the products offer?

“They are very similar to humans and other living beings. It kills viruses, bacteria, parasites, acts on the immune system and prevents the development of many diseases. In addition, it raises the immune system, acts on tumor cells, suppresses oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals, and studies even show that it protects from the effects of radiation.

We created five products for the five most common problems that dogs encounter: Apipet Immuno for strong immunity, Apipet Flexi for healthy joints and cartilage, Apipet Gastro for healthy digestion, Apipet Skin for healthy skin and shiny hair, and Apipet Senior for aging dogs.

Each product adds one active ingredient that acts on a specific problem, but of course, the base is propolis and pollen. For example,  Flexi has glucosamine and chondroitin, Gastro has ginger, Skin has biotin, and Senior - green tea and ginger.

And they even worked with the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS).

“Yes, and it was a very successful and instructive cooperation. As I said at the beginning, special technology has enabled us to apply a wide range of applications, so we made a special formula called ApiComplex that can be added to dog food.

We divided the dogs into two groups: the first was fed food containing ApiComplex, while the other was on the same diet only without ApiComplex. Dogs ate the food with ApiComplex for four months, and once a month, they had training when we measured the effects of ApiComplex. Before and after the training session, we examined the dogs, collected their blood and measured the various parameters that eventually showed us the movement of blood sugar, muscle recovery after intensive training, liver health, kidney, etc.

The study concluded that food supplemented with Apicomplex prevents hypoglycemia, that is, a decrease in blood sugar, leading to smaller lactate (a fatty acid that leads to fatigue), reduces muscle damage, improves recovery and generally prevents the intense effort that occurs when searching for people.

The role of dogs in the HGSS service is irreplaceable and their importance in the pursuit of people in distress is really great. I do not even have to say how important it is for HGSS that the dogs are healthy and rested at the height of a task.

In addition to propolis for dogs, they produce dietary supplements based on propolis intended for human beings.

“That's still basically the business basis for us. We started this in 2003 and have since developed nine products for people based on the same technology, which is broadly used. The most famous and long-lasting product is Native Propolis.

So, how do you find their products?

“The products for people are available in almost all pharmacies in Croatia, but also via our website at hedera.hr. Apart from Croatia, we are available in Germany, Austria, France, Japan, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The dog products are available through www.apipet.eu and can be found in Hungary and France, and we hope very quickly in Australia.”

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 27 May 2019

Croatian Brothers Create Biodegradable Tennis Shoes

As Novac/Mario Pusic writes on the 26th of May, 2019, the story of two Croatian brothers Domagoj (34) and Hrvoje (33) Boljar from Duga Resa is an excellent one for many reasons, and one of them is that they don't need a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile phone for the presentation of their products. They wear them - on their feet.

Through their company Miret, they developed an eco-tennis brand that is almost completely biodegradable and was started with the EIT Climate-KIC accelerator, the largest European launcher acceleration program that develops solutions which have a positive impact on the climate. These new Croatian tennis shoes are one of the six innovative Croatian projects which will be developed under the leadership of the Zagreb Innovation Center (ZICER) in this program.

The Boljar brothers can thus expect symbolic financial support of 15,000 euros, mentoring and educational support from recognised Croatian and foreign experts, as well as a good opportunity for international networking.

It's no exaggeration when Domagoj and Hrvoje say that they're creating the most fashionable shoes on the planet. They are made of hemp, cotton and various other healthy materials.

Everyone who knew their late father, Josip Joža Boljar, knows of the source from which these two innovative Croatian brothers draw their passion, and the stubbornness of their father is not lacking, either, they say themselves.

In the second half of the nineties, when the textile, leather and footwear industry came together seamlessly, Joža decided to produce shoes. This decision was the right one and worked out fine, and ten years later, under his brand Mr. Joseph, he had a plant with 100 employees who produced 100,000 pairs of shoes per year, sold them in 22 stores all over Croatia and exported them all the way to Scandinavia. As excellent as this story is, sometimes things are happen in life that nobody can influence; the market was flooded with cheap Chinese products, there was a crisis, and long-established entrepreneur Josip Boljar entured a hard time and eventually died in 2015. These two brothers grew up with their father's factory, so there was no way they were going to leave it even during the worst of times.

"There was no family pressure for us to take over one day. And before we graduated from university, with me doing economy of entrepreneurship, and Hrvoje doing industrial design, I knew I would one day run the company and my brother would create new products. We inherited that from our parents, so there's this need to create something new, something useful and tangible.

My father was an electrical engineer who went into making shoes after having made machines. Working in his company wasn't something that was ''pre-programmed'' for us, but we both ended up there. However, the company's stability was sluggish, we were trying to save it by turning to the production of luxury tennis shoes, which was, back then, not something on the Croatian market or abroad.

We've created our own brand, Jots, we developed products for top European brands for buyers Croatia, Italy, Holland and France, all with the knowledge and the machines we had and the great people who kept following us. But then it just happened to take off,'' the Croatian brothers state.

You don't surrender in life when things get hard, but only when something makes no sense anymore. And these two brothers think that their eco-tennis shoes do make a lot of sense, and it's never really been easy for them anyway.

Behind the proverbial storm which pushed their core business ever forward, five years ago, they began to develop their eco-tennis shoes, and they knew they were doing the right thing.

The first 100 pairs were quickly grabbed by tourists in Split without any advertising as long as four years ago, and they continued to develop and offer their products through their webshop at Miret.co.

"I'm just persistent, Hrvoje is crazy and persistent. He had dreamed about this shoe before he even had the opportunity to get the materials he needed. They'd say we're producing garbage and that they don't want to participate in it. But we had to live on something. I stepped forward and fought with the problems and let him go and develop things in peace. He went to the extreme, wanted to make a shoe for which there's no mold.''

Nobody had ever done so, so this inventive Croatian duo couldn't even get their hands on any materials to make ecological footwear. Someone had to prepare it especially for them. They have a dozen major suppliers who helped them out, but not one of them is from Croatia.

''People were asking us whether or not the shoes will just fall to bits on their feet. Yes, the composition of the material is like that of a shepherd's pie, but no, they won't fall apart. We use certified suppliers, for example, a New Zealand wool processed in eco-colours with the most rigorous ecological certifications.''

Much later on, the EIT Climate-KIC competition was announced by their acquaintance Marko Capek, probably the most prominent and most controversial Croatian anti-plastic fighter, who worked in the UN after completing his energy studies during which he studied renewable energy sources.

"Our innovation is in the concept, ideas and materials and we no longer think about manufacturing, even though we've dreamed of that, but we'll use service production, what we used to do for others. We have great producers in Croatia and we hope that production will continue to take place in Croatia. What we need is stability,'' they state, adding that they do need a serious investor, and that they don't want for their project to simply remain a small and somewhat ''romantic'' one.

They will look for such an investor abroad, but they aren't even thinking of leaving Croatia, because, as they rightly say, no honey and milk is flowing through the rivers anywhere.

"A colleague told me after presenting the product to go to Sweden. If anyone knows how hard it is to work in Croatia, then I know, but I won't move because I like living here. Will we open an office in Berlin or America? I don't know, but we want to stay here. You're lying in bed tonight and you wonder how you'll pay for your electricity tomorrow and you think it would be best to move to New Zealand. You wake up in the morning and keep making shoes. Wherever you go, you are still here, wherever you go, nothing will change if you don't change it,'' concluded Domagoj Boljar.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for more on Croatian products and services, Croatian companies, Croatian businesses and Croatian innovation, and much more.

 

Click here for the original/full article by Mario Pusic for Novac/Jutarnji

Saturday, 25 May 2019

VIDEO: YouTuber Visits Croatian Entrepreneur Mate Rimac, is Left Astonished

Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac, born in Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is without a doubt one of Croatia's most astounding success stories when it comes to conquering the entrepreneurial and business world.

As Goran Jungvirth/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of May, 2019, Shmee150 is the personal brand of Britain's Tim Burton, a.k.a. "Shmee", a YouTuber who travels the world seeking out the greatest and most exclusive possible car and car related content.

Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac was paid a visit, and the video of that meeting was put on YouTube by Burton on Thursday.

Shmee is known across the ''car spectrum'', from enthusiasts to serial hyper-car buyers, and even by Middle-Eastern sheikhs. He also captures adventures and various car events.

The team shares their personal experiences in the luxury car world through numerous social media networks, especially via a YouTube channel. Using his various experiences, enthusiasm and a very clear way of speaking in his videos, he showcases the world of supercars to his quickly growing audience.

Just twenty hours after the release of the video which features the number one Croatian entrepreneur, Mate Rimac, the video was viewed more than 51,000 times, and continues to be intensively watched by the channel's 1.7 million subscribers, as well as many others who have come to view the video after seeing that the YouTuber had visited Croatia and everyone's favourite Croatian entrepreneur.

In the 51 minute video entitled ''Visiting Rimac'' Burton was personally taken by no less than Mate Rimac himself through the factory, where he and his audience where shown where the legendary C_Two and Concept_One were assembled.

Burton was visibly impressed by what Mate Rimac has managed to create in Croatia, and expressed his gratitude towards the Croatian entrepreneur for his tour of the factory, claiming that it has opened his eyes. Burton also made sure to note how in less than a decatde, Rimac's company has grown to 500 employees and cooperates with prominent manufacturers such as the giants Aston Martin and Porsche.

Burton stated that he couldn't thank Mate Rimac and his team enough for the chance to see where it all happens, adding that he was astonished by Mate Rimac's knowledge of every part of the process that goes into making these incredible cars.

View the video here:

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Goran Jungvirth for Poslovni Dnevnik

 

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Zagreb Software Company Launches Application for Global Hotel Chains

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of May, 2019, the Zagreb software company Ingemark and the RoomOrders startup, launched by Croats despite having been registered in America, created the first application (app) for ordering food from hotels to hotel rooms and started to conquer the many challenges of the huge global market. They began with the development of this application at the end of 2017, and back then, as a pilot project, they first tested it out at the Hilton Hotel in Boston.

According to them, they will launch RoomOrders at the Hilton Sydney hotel, and then in Belgrade's Hilton in Serbia by the end of the month. The application's software, in which 2 million euro has so far been invested was started by the Zagreb-based company Ingemark, which has been in existence since as far back as 1990, and as of 2006, it has specialised in software development by order.

Funds for the application's development have also been withdrawn from EU funds. In the list of references are big clients such as Agrokor, Adris, HT... One of the most significant cooperations was, as they say, one in the Middle East where clients developed a platform that distributed multimedia content, and soon their latest project, ZorroTines, a regional music platform, will see the light of day right here on the Croatian market. Right now, it seems that this Zagreb company's RoomOrders app is going to go very far indeed.

As Eugene Brčić Jones, the marketing and sales manager at RoomOrders revealed, last week at the International Hotel Technology Forum in Zagreb, the company negotiated with numerous hotel industry leaders about integrating their products.

"We've intrigued the leading world chains and deepened the existing relationships, about which we're certain will bring us to the position of ''disrupter'' of the in-room dining segment within the hotel industry," Brčić Jones said, adding that he believes that in several years, it will be present in a number of world hotels which boast 4 and 5 stars.

"With the help of the RoomOrders application, guests in hotels can order food to their rooms in a few clicks and not in the ''old fashioned'' way. In addition to it having a faster mode, hotels can embark on this project without any large investments," explained Ingemark's director Jurica Mikulić, adding that the application has managed to receive some excellent initial customer reviews and financial results for the hotel. Hilton in Boston has increased its average order value by as much as thirty percent.

''We offer a simple solution that not only increases revenue, but promotes hotels through user-generated content and facilitates analytics. The greatest benefit is that this solution can be implemented without disturbances to the processes involved, and it provides almost instantaneous results,'' Brčić Jones added.

The author of the application, Haris Dizdarević, explained that the creation of RoomOrders was triggered by the current rather obsolete ways of ordering and the obvious need for faster selection and the changing of the menu that guests want in the room.

"We realised we should digitise the offer and thus expand it. The simple idea has become a complex but a successful project," said Dizdarević, explaining that the positive signal was the fact that hotel guests continue to use the application after the first time of using it, and for several days in a row. Although they acknowledge that the Croatian market is not really a priority, they're still negotiating with several Croatian hotels in Dubrovnik and with Maistra, Blue Lagoon (Plava Laguna) and Liburna, and that soon, the application will be launched in Sheraton, part of the huge global Marriott hotel chain.

Otherwise, RoomOrders was introduced DoubleTree by Hilton in Zagreb a few months ago, but then it was a modified version of the app.

"With the new application or system, the guest can, as soon as he is given the room after booking, in advance, even when travelling, immediately choose a range of dishes and orders so that it's ready and waiting in the room upon their arrival. The guest doesn't need to order it from the hotel room, they can do it in advance and choose from a simple and flexible application where all the photos, descriptions and the prices of the food and drinks in the hotel's offer are,'' they explain from hotel Sheraton where this new type of offer and service will be on offer by the end of May, which will, as they say, bring about improvements.

"The application also enables sharing of guest experience on the platform, real-time appraisal of food and services so that the hotel can almost react at the same time to all guests' comments and adapt to the current wishes and preferences of the guest," they added from Sheraton.

"We're sure that at some point there will be some competitors in this segment on the market, but we believe that we're strong and already ahead of them all. We're focusing on the development of this product which we want to make perfect. Along with marketing, the analytic component is the most important, to be more concrete, the analysis of the reactions, comments and the number of orders, so, the entire internal process. We hope to conclude this year with good results and continue to expand successfully,'' Brčić Jones concluded.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Croatia's ''Include'' Most Successful Campaign on Funderbeam in Just 6 Days

Croatia's ''Include'' continues to go from strength to strength in the face of an unforgiving system and even less forgiving employees of the state bodies, proving that where there is a will, there's a way, even if you happen to be in Croatia.

We often hear all about how Croatian companies are failing due to either the lack of will or, more frequently, the truly insane amount of red tape and obstacles placed before anyone who wants to make something for themselves by the state and an old, outdates and senseless system of bureaucracy. 

As unoiled the cogs continue to turn in the Office(s) of the Uhljeb in state institutions of all kinds up and down the country, the unsackables continue to undermine and chip away at the determination of the doers and would-bes from behind their perspex windows.

Faced with an entire forest's worth of paperwork, more stamps than a border control officer and usually an unacceptably hostile attitude from the state employee (also known as the unsackable) dealing with them, many would-be entrepreneurs give up quickly and head elsewhere in search of their dreams. However, as big as Croatia's problem in this regard really is, not everything is so bleak.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 1st of May, 2019, just six days after the launch of another Funderbeam SEE group fundraising campaign, Ivan Mrvoš and his highly successful company ''Include'' raised a massive 1.22 million euros in equity, making Include's campaign the largest ever on Funderbeam globally.

The director of Funderbeam SEE, Damir Bićanić, commented that Mrvoš is pushing the records of the platform with Include yet again: "With their first campaign, they collected what was then the largest sum on the Funderbeam platform, and although sum has risen in the meantime, they collected more than any other campaign in just six days on the platform once again, globally.''

After Include's first successful campaign when they collected 465,000 euros on Funderbeam back in 2017, this time their first campaign goal of 1.2 million euros was met in a mere six days, and investors still have the opportunity to meet the target of two million euros.

"We're very pleased that after six days we've reached the minimum planned goal. I think that this, as well as 290 investors from 21 countries, are the indicators that we're doing a really good job. I believe that the amount of investment in the remaining days will grow steadily, although we're already the most successful Croatian crowdinvesting campaign on the platform ever,'' stated Include's founder Ivan Mrvoš.

Make sure to atay up to date by following our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Croatian Man Turns Hobby into Business Making Furniture from Pallets

Ever been browsing online mindlessly and come across a YouTube video showing how to create something and thought: Hang on, I could do that? One Croatian man from Kutina did exactly that and has thus decided to turn his hobby into a business, and if he had the time to pay attention solely to that, it would take off even faster than it has done already.

As Novac/Jasmina Trstenjak writes on the 28th of April, 2019, if we open our eyes a little bit, we'll see that there are ideas to start our own business all around us. Some of us stumble upon them, recognise them, and start from the idea itself, and some ideas literally come and find us and prevent us from bypassing them and remaining just as ideas.

Matija Kašner from the continental Croatian town of Kutina, who makes furniture from disposable pallets, says that in the case of his very own creation Sklepaj.me "everything began from itself, and quickly".

When my wife and I moved into this house, we didn't particularly like the furniture in the stores, and as I saw people doing innovative things from palets online, I decided to make a bed out of pallets and then a terrace. So then I decided to put what I'd made on Njuškalo (a Croatian buy and sell website) and try to sell it. One woman called me who wanted to equip her entire apartment house in Crikvenica with tables and chairs, and that was the first big job from which it all began,'' says Kašner.

He remembers thinking how big that job was and wondered whether or not he could manage to do it all in time. But, with the help of friends and even without the right tools - he succeeded. As his first client needed an invoice, he opened an obrt (small company) and officially turned his hobby into a job back at the end of 2013. Then, another project came for an IT company and that was great in the full sense of the word - he equipped the entire building.

The young IT team wanted something different, they ordered armchairs, beds because they had a "chill out" room, and the like. Sklepaj.me quickly started to grow bigger, and its initiator, an economist by profession, said the job would have grown at an even faster pace if he was only doing that.

Namely, Kašner comes from an entrepreneurial family, and given his business versatility, the entrepreneurial genes have obviously been passed down to him and, besides making furniture, he grows raspberries, rents out electric bikes and conducts tourist tours, is engaged in a family business, and addition to that, he's employed in a company in which he's the head of the branch.

''Sklepaj.me is just a hobby that in some way created itself and which I do after work. We don't live on that. We live from our wage,'' Kašner makes sure to confirm.

But, if he was engaged solely in this hobby, could he live from it? The idea with the pallets seems to be a great one. What's the real market potential? Where are the palets obtained? Is it an expensive hobby? How lucrative is it...? There are many questions.

''I'd expand the range and then yes, I then could live from it, but I'd have to exhibit at fairs, I'd have to be present in design spheres, etc. The order, or its quantity, depends on the revenue and sometimes that can be high only even with just one or two orders per year. Averages are difficult to come up with. There are no such rules. If I had to do three big orders per year for around 30,000 kuna, which is one nice cafe or hostel, I'd sign up tomorrow to do only that. That could provide for a decent life,'' Kašner says when discussing his innovative business that brought the strongest revenue in six years last year with only one project, which was his largest ever so far, for Zrće.

He also revealed that he's now negotiating orders that would be almost of the same size as that one. Namely, two shelves of furniture (60 armchairs, 30 tables, 60 bar tables...) were sent to Zrće, a project on which for two or three months, he worked intensively without any contact with the outside world for 10-12 hours per day.

When it comes to a series, everything depends on how many pieces someone orders, and so far he has already worked on tables, armchairs, deck chairs, bar stools and desks and even lamps. One armchair costs between 400 and 600 kuna, depending on whether they want a sponge putting on it or not, tables are about the same price, deck chairs are about 800-900 kuna, and the bar tables are of the same rank as deck chairs.

"I like to make sure the prices are acceptable, so when someone goes to the store and sees a rattan deck chair, he can see that for roughly the same money he can get something unique, and something that not many will have,''

He also mentions the seasonal rhythm of this job because someone who owns a tourist facility orders the furniture in the winter and then winter is spent working for the tourist season in summer. Then comes stagnation in June and July, and in August there are orders to arrange children's rooms, renovations for peoples houses and other similar things.

As Croatia's economic and demographic issues continue, there's a lot to be said for being creative and starting your own business to generate some income, even if it's just extra cash on the side, and this innovative and talented gentlemen from Kutina is the perfect example of exactly that mindset.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for much more on Croatian companies, Croatian products and services and Croatian innovation.

 

Click here for the original article by Jasmina Trstenjak for Novac/Jutarnji

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Zagreb Startup's Mundus Project - Australians Want Croatian Product

This Croatian startup from Zagreb is a real mix of classical and virtual mobile games, but also has an educational mission.

As Ivan Tominac/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of April, 2019, today, virtual games have replaced classic ones like ''Čovječe ne ljuti se'' (Ludo) or ''Monopoly'', but when classically associated with a digital game, you end up with a smart social game - Mundus.

A passionate love for technology is shared by three students from Zagreb. They all came together two years ago, and their project is Mundus. Social games are undervalued today, these guys agree, and although industry experts might say that their project isn't in demand in this day and age, the fact is that they entered the startup world directly from their school desks and are learning in parallel with the development of the project.

"We had to combine what was unknown knowledge to us back then. But given the fact that we love to learn and to develop technology, it wasn't difficult for us,'' stated of Mundus's members, Filip Hercig, who was the one to kick off the project initially.

The idea for Mundus was quite spontaneous back at the end of 2015 when Hercig, who is now in charge of business development, showcased the very first concept of this clever game during a competition for young technicians and young entrepreneurs. The name changed several times - at the earliest stage it was called ''Zabavan put Hrvatske'' (A fun journey of Croatia) and then ''Svijet na dlanu'' (The world in your palm), before taking on its current name.

"In the summer of 2017, when we came to the CROZ company to develop our ideas, we decided to shorten its name from Svijet na dlanu down to just Svijet, but as it didn't sound good, we decided to translate into Latin, and that's how Mundus began,'' said Filip Hercig.

It seems that Mundus isn't just your regular type of game, and the focus of the project today is on the application of this technology within the scope of formal education. It's actually an educational system, and the game is just one of the solutions the Mundus team is working on. A mobile device acts as a kind of gaming agent, where players choose the theme for the game and launch a quiz, and everything else is played on the game's board, like with classic games before the Internet age.

Things became much more serious for this Croatian startup back in September of last year, when they won the Good Game Liftoff startup competition.

"They chose us as the best startup and besides giving us their trust, they also gave us 100,000 kuna. We can't forget to mention the Good Game Global company that actually organised the competition and raised all the funds for that prize,'' added Hercig.

After winning the Good Game Liftoff, this Croatian startup managed to secure numerous collaborations, is currently working with 48 schools across the Republic of Croatia, and interest in the game has stretched far beyond the borders of the country, and even beyond the borders of the EU and the European continent.

"There's interest on the Australian and New Zealand market, specifically in the education sector. We're currently conducting tests that are a prerequisite for serious moves in these markets,'' said Hercig. Mundus is actually still a non-profit organisation, explained Hercig, and in 2019, it should turn into a real company.

"We're oriented towards cooperating with educational institutions, but of course we're not closing the door to purchase options for private users. We've got potential there tool, and in order to best explore the mass market, we plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign in September 2019,'' concluded Mundus' Filip Hercig.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Ivan Tominac for Poslovni Dnevnik

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Croatian Fruit Arriving in Slovenia and Austria Just 24 Hours After Harvest

The Croatian fruits and vegetables are being sold through the FinotekaDostava.com website, in order to successfully cut out the middleman.

As Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of April, 2019, Croatian fruit and vegetable producers, as well the producers of other Croatian value-added products, have begun to use the benefits of the common EU (single) market and the ability to place and sell products in Austria and Slovenia, for now. On the FinotekaDostava.com website, customers from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria are able to order products from Croatian OPGs from the comfort of their own homes. Once ordered, the produce is freshly and carefully packed and delivered to their addresses directly from Croatia.

"Finoteka's specificity is that we don't store our fruit and vegetables, but we function with the ''from the field to the table within 24 hours'' principle. This literally means that some fruit or vegetables that are growing right now in a garden in Croatia are going to be sent out in package delivered to someone's doorstep in Vienna, Ljubljana or Zagreb the next day,'' said Hrvoje Kolman, the owner of Finoteka Dostava.

Kolman has been placing and selling products from Croatian OPGs since back in 2008 in this manner. However, his website first became the most well known a few years ago when, through his search engine, a huge amount of fruit from the Neretva Valley ended up being sold and sent throughout Croatia when a ban on exports of agricultural products to Russia from the EU was first introduced.

"Our delivery is as good on the islands as it is on the mainland. The quality of the service and the delivery speed is the same regardless of whether you live in the city or in the most remote place. All our fruit and vegetable packages arrive within 24 hours of harvest, whether you're in Croatia, Slovenia, or anywhere in Austria,'' says Kolman. He explained that the Austrian market has been being tested over recent months, while they have been present on the Slovenian market for more than a year now.

"We deliver about 100 packages per month to Slovenia. Asparagus have been doing well these days, and strawberries, cherries and other fruits and vegetables will begin soon,'' says Kolman.

The prices of Croatian quality products are, however, slightly lower than those on sale in Slovenia and Austria, which is why it is expected that such sales from Croatia could become very attractive indeed. Croatian farmers deliver their products to Finoteka, the products are carefully reviewed, and depending on the order, they're packed on that same day and then sent out. Croatian farmers get to cut out the middleman, and consumers don't have the worry of eating food which is of unknown origin, it's also GMO free, it hasn't been stored, and it hasn't been sprayed.

"It's very important for us to know who we're cooperating with. We choose good producers above all, those to whom agriculture isn't just a business but also a pleasure. We choose those whose eyes shine when they talk about their products. Finding and selecting such people is are biggest challenge," says Kolman.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for more information on Croatian products, Croatian companies and OPGs, Croatian services and much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz on Poslovni Dnevnik

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