Thursday, 27 January 2022

Klajn House: Crowdfunding to Create Creative Zagorje Oasis in Klanjec

January the 27th, 2022 - Crowdfunding is something rather new outside of the tech industry for Croatia, but the Klajn house team from gorgeous Zagorje are breaking down those limits and bringing crowdfunding platforms closer to culture with their praiseworthy Klajn house project.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, raising money for projects or products through group funding platforms in Croatia seems to primarily be reserved for the blossoming IT sector, rarely does one find much to do with culture on crowdfunding platforms.

Despite that, the spirit of entrepreneurship from the Kucni kolektiv (House collective) association from Klanjec in Zagorje was born. They decided to launch a campaign on Kickstarter to ''do up'' the Klajn house there, a space for cultural and artistic activities. The building has existed since 1937 and has had various purposes for decades now - there were apartments, business premises, restaurants, a hotel hall, a cinema, and the space was managed by the National University of Klanjec conducting a cultural, artistic and educational programme. The association bought the house back in 2019 and decided to renovate and revitalise it. They estimated that they needed 57,000 US dollars for that, ie 375,000 kuna, the amount they set out to "get" through this campaign.

“Our idea is through the concept of bringing life back into the Klajn house as a space, bring some new energies, activate the community and create a safe space for creation, living and performance. The decision to engage in crowdfunding arose from the need to bring the hall into an adequate condition for the desired purposes as soon as possible. We estimated that in this way, we'll manage to reach the required amount in a shorter time period than we would if we depended exclusively on tenders, public invitations and the like. The amount of 57,000 dollars (375,000 kuna) is the estimate of our associate architects and builders who have been with us since we bought the property,'' explained Dunja Bovan (32) and Jerko Marcic (42), who manage the House collective association and co-own the Klajn house.

The whole idea of ​​the functioning of the Klajn house is, they say, based on joint work and the contribution of individuals within the team, which they want to transfer to the renovation of the facility and the creation of programmes as the final goal. The campaign on Kickstarter ends on February the 28th this year, and so far it has received around 13 percent of its end goal.

“We're aware that our goal may be a little too high for average crowdfunding campaigns, especially since this isn't some sort of new miracle in the tech industry, but so far we're satisfied. A lot of people support us and share information about the project, we're in constant communication with people interested in the Klajn house and we believe that the campaign will be successful,'' say Bovan and Marcic.

The works on the Klajn house mean the renovation and equipping of the multifunctional hall, and they include demolition and dismantling, masonry and carpentry works, the purchase of a prefabricated stage and auditorium, a dance floor, the purchase of basic audiovisual and lighting equipment… And for each phase, they have transparently published the following: "In case we fail to raise the required amount, our priorities are demolition, dismantling, masonry and carpentry, and we'll have to achieve the rest from other sources of funding because Kickstarter operates on an all or nothing basis.''

''Works could start as early as March this year, and the cinema and lobby could be ready for the first visitors by the end of May if an ideal pace of renovation and decoration is achieved. If, on the other hand, the amount of donations exceeds the requested amount, we'll invest in the complete interior decoration of the hall and the purchase of additional technical equipment,'' they explained from the House collective.

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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Sky's the Limit! Visnjan Observatory Crowdfunding Campaign A Success!

January 18, 2021 – The Visnjan Observatory Crowdfunding Campaign has been successfully completed. With 1.300.000 kuna collected, new generations of future Croatian scientists will get a new geodesic dome, accommodation facilities, and a location for testing robotic telescopes.

One of the most prominent Croatian organizations that have been educating future Croatian scientists for several decades will soon be adorned with new equipment and accommodation facilities for many students who have been coming to Višnjan for years to learn about astronomy.

Monitoring and detecting asteroids, but also educating future scientists

The Višnjan Observatory has been at the very top of the world for more than 40 years when it comes to tracking and detecting asteroids, these potentially hazardous and mysterious celestial bodies. According to that, this small observatory in the heart of Istria is ahead of the American NASA. It is one of the five most important observatories for measuring the position of newly discovered objects that could pass close to the Earth.

Its founder, award-winning Croatian astronomer Korado Korlević, is one of the most successful asteroid hunters globally and, according to Minor Planet Discoverers, is the 18th most productive asteroid hunter of all time.


Višnjan Observatory / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

Between 1995 and 2000, the Observatory discovered over 1,400 new asteroids and two comets. Monitoring and detection of asteroids is undoubtedly an important scientific activity of the Observatory, but perhaps even more important and invaluable for Croatia is the educational function of the Observatory.

The Višnjan Observatory hosts many highly motivated and gifted primary and secondary school students in its practical science camps every year. Some of the former attendees are now scientists at NASA, JPL, and other world-renowned scientific institutions, and some of them are yet to become so.

'Investing in children is the largest and only profitable investment'

In early December last year, TCN reported on a crowdfunding campaign launched to improve the educational capacity of the Visnjan Observatory. Already then, at the very beginning of the campaign, they raised 50 percent of the targeted funds, or 306,000 kuna (the first goal was to raise 635,000 kuna). This enabled them to ensure a beautiful geodesic dome, resembling a habitat on Mars, in which lectures will be held.

Aco Momčilović, the campaign's project manager, says the speed of collecting the donations somewhat surprised the team. However, given the very positive feedback from all who donated, they decided to raise the ultimate goal.


Višnjan Observatory / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

As they soon achieved the first goal, they continued to increase it over the next month. At the end of the campaign, on January 15, 2021, they collected as much as 1,300,000 kuna, or almost ten percent more than the ultimate goal of 1,185,000 kuna.

This now enables them to build bungalows, accommodation facilities for children, but also their professors, mentors, and other supporters. Since the educational camps last for several days, the Višnjan Observatory wants to make everyone feel comfortable during that time.

With the donations received, Korado Korlević plans to establish a location for testing robotic telescopes and additional accommodation facilities for students. Investing in children, he says, is the largest and only profitable investment.

Construction of new facilities expected this year

Even after the campaign officially ended, people still donate money, which is an excellent indicator of the Višnjan Observatory's influence, as well as the respect for Korado Korlević's hard and dedicated work.

"I also see this campaign as a mini-movement, an initiative that unites different segments of society – entrepreneurs and their companies, scientists in Croatia and abroad. I already know that this action has encouraged some to launch similar campaigns aimed at improving education for young people and promoting science and other long-term most valuable aspects of society," says Momčilović.

Now follows the less visible but even longer part of the job – completing the administration and transferring money, and then launching and achieving the listed goals.

Hopefully, part of the necessary bureaucracy for construction works will be completed by the middle of this year so that the construction of new facilities could start as soon as possible. Depending on the suppliers, the construction works should begin within six months.


Apart from being known for the Observatory, the small town of Visnjan is rich in historical heritage / Photo: Istrian County Tourist Board

Biggest donators to enjoy gala dinner with Korado Korlević

At the start of the campaign, no one could have predicted that numerous donations would have to be targeted at the quake-hit area by the end of December. Despite that, the desired amount of 1,185,000 kuna was successfully collected for the educational purposes of the Višnjan Observatory.

Organizers believed that support for science would not lack even in the challenging 2020, when science, critical thinking, and the knowledge of future generations are particularly under attack.

"December was an interesting choice. We couldn't do the campaign earlier because not everything was ready. In late December and early January, most of the donations were certainly diverted to earthquake-hit areas. Still, it was interesting to see that we continued to receive donations and that some people obviously donate in more places or still see educational projects as a goal," says Momčilović.

In those six weeks, how long the campaign lasted, about 2500 people donated funds, proving how many people are willing to support science and youth education. To thank the donors, the organizers decided to provide them with "rewards."

Namely, the most generous donors will enjoy a gala dinner with Korado Korlević this year. In contrast, others will be able to participate in his exclusive lectures in the inspiring environment of the Višnjan Observatory, where they will look through telescopes and learn about observing the night sky in Istria in search of asteroids. Some will meet Korlević and ask everything about the universe through the online webinar "Ask the Astronomer," planned for the first half of 2021.

All donors had the opportunity to make electronic thank you notes. A plaque with all major donors' names will be printed in Višnjan on the new facilities' opening day in late 2021 or 2022.


Višnjan Observatory / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

After this campaign, they want to realize another technological improvement in the Višnjan Observatory, but they still have time to decide on a new campaign.

'The smarter the children, the more society progresses'

As Momčilović explains, this campaign is unique because it does not solve one individual problem at a time but invests in the long-term improvement of children's educational opportunities.

Unfortunately, there will always be a need for humanitarian actions, but he and the core team got involved in this action because they believe that in this way, they support the broader system.

"The smarter and more educated children we have, the more society progresses. With this campaign, we did not aim to solve one of the many burning problems, especially in this post-earthquake time, but to create a part of the system that will give the greatest return on investment in the long run," Momčilović points out.

Unfortunately, most of the donation resources are spent inefficiently, and only about 1 percent of the 'smartest' donations make up almost the entire total global contribution. Therefore, Momčilović says, perhaps the Višnjan Observatory crowdfunding campaign is "the beginning of a smarter and more thoughtful view of humanitarian work."

Monday, 20 July 2020

'Pozdrav s mog prozora' Facebook Group Lets You Experience New Cities

July 20, 2020 - A few months ago, in the wake of the spread of Covid-19, each and every one of us found ourselves in a crisis, when we had to stay home in order to protect ourselves and others.

Lockdown has distanced us from our usual social contacts and patterns and forced us to look at the same view each day. In those times various groups and initiatives have emerged on social networks, where people from all over the world started sharing their views. The former manager of for the Central European region and one of the initiators of running tourism through Run Croatia project, Iva Hafner from Zagreb, saw a chance to continue traveling and give each other support, even though it was not possible for us.

iva hafner foto.jpg

"During the pandemic, various groups and initiatives were created on social networks, in which people from all over the world started to share their views from the windows and balconies. Back then I was in contact with my longtime friend from Subotica, Slavka Antić, and we talked about how great it would be to connect people from the former Yugoslavia by letting them virtually peer out of other people’s windows anywhere around the world. As soon as we opened 'Pozdrav s mog prozora' ('Greeting from my window') on Facebook, we started receiving fantastic photos and testimonies from all over the world. We couldn't believe that people from our region who live in Alaska would send us their view or from the deck of a ship in the Atlantic Ocean, where they got stuck because they could not travel home due to the crisis. An avalanche of support and positive emotions started among the members, which additionally encouraged over 60,000 members to join within just 3 months of forming the group. We may not be allowed to travel, but we can always fantasize about travel. Technology is enabling us to connect with each other in authentic ways, so we can build up positive anticipation for the times when we will be able to travel again." says Iva.

From view to the wall of a neighboring building to the views over the pools, from big cities to jungle, from beautiful gardens to the top of the mountain... each view is a story with emotion that sends a spark to the world. Thanks to these views from all over the world, that our folks were sending, we could travel, even when it was not possible. A large number of processed images and maintaining the group itself requires a lot of time, energy, attention, and love. From the very beginning, friends joined the project, volunteering in shifts to approve hundreds of pictures a day: Dragana Vilus (Subotica), Iva Bencun (Zadar), Miljan Brašanac (Vienna), Damir Subotić (Arnhem), Goran Pleše (Poreč). But the group didn't just stop at virtual socializing. Since the measures were relaxed, the founders have been recording live meetings of members - in the south of France, in Florida, in Mexico, in Greece.

"We listen to the dynamics in the group and we take note of the wishes among our members. So naturally came the idea to launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the book, which will be a valuable testimony of the times we live in and a positive clue for future generations. Our plan is to organize traveling exhibitions with the possibility of meeting members live, and the plan is to launch a website, through which members could contact and arrange visits. We recognize the great desire among members to go on trips when the borders open. They are delighted with foreign and distant, but also with our domestic destinations, which serve as a reminder of the times when they traveled and explored. Friendships are also formed, as between members in the south of France, who are already agreeing to see each other live. That is the charm of this group, that the members feel at home in a large colorful neighborhood, which has become a large extended family in a short time," says Iva.


This is one of the great examples of community building and excellent tourist promotion of the destination because it is an authentic individual way of promotion. Thus, one view from the window from Dubrovnik attracts thousands of likes from the region and the diaspora with a great desire to visit this destination, when we start traveling again. The group has recorded over 5 million enthusiastic comments so far, which shows a high engagement and an interesting opportunity to create the image of the destination.

You can support their book publishing project, as a valuable testimony to the times we live in when we have not lost our sense of beauty and togetherness. Part of the funds raised from the campaign will be donated to charity for those who need it most.


How you can support "Pozdrav s mog prozora"

Your contribution will help us finance costs of 7.000 € that we need to raise in order to publish the book and build the website. Book will be published by ourselves, on a voluntary basis, but we need your help in order to cover the following costs:

  • book production (hard cover, 300 pages, edition: 1000 pcs)
  • print, design, lecturer, editing
  • website
  • book promotion through local travel exhibitions with the possibility of members meet up
  • extra costs, crowdfunding fees
  • donation to humanitarian causes that we support in Serbia "Budi Human" and in Croatia "Ljudi za ljude"

Book and project content

Book "Pozdrav s mog prozora" will bring striking author’s pictures as well as stories of our folks from all over the world, taken in time of the global pandemic. This global crisis has shaken us through, but like any crisis, it represents an opportunity for better and more sustainable initiatives for a happy and fulfilled life. In this book, we would like to explore further what gives us strength and inspiration to move on, in time when circumstances are a great challenge to us – both on a collective and individual level. Our plan is that book sees the light of day beginning of February, 2021.
More ways you can help this project

Share this campaign with your friends on social networks and by e-mail

Follow us in our Facebook group as well as on the official Facebook page

We believe you can help us so we can together leave a positive trace and reach the goal to publish the book "Pozdrav s mog prozora"

Thank you all for your support! ❤️


(Written by Iva Hafner) 

Monday, 6 January 2020

Indiegogo Crowdfunding Platform No Longer Active in Croatia

As Novac/Matej Devcic writes on the 6th of January, 2020, the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, which has hitherto been one of the most important channels for raising money through Croatian crowdfunding campaigns and has given them the opportunity to present projects online and to get people from all over the world to pay for their realisation, is no longer active in the Republic of Croatia.

Thanks to the Indiegogo platform, projects such as MakerPhone and MakerBuin of the Karlovac-based startup CircuitMess, behind which stands Albert Gajšak, have been successfully realised.

As Hrvoje Hafner, author of the blog and the person most commonly referred to when referring to Croatian crowdfunding, explains, Croatia's removal from the list of countries from which it is possible to launch a campaign on Indiegogo was due to the termination of the contract between Indiegogo and PayPal.

''Two years ago, Indiegogo signed a partnership agreement with the American card processor Stripe to optimise its business operations. During those two years, Indiegogo gradually migrated payment transactions exclusively to card payments with the new payment processor. During the summer of 2019, it was no longer possible to launch new crowdfunding campaigns on the Indiegogo platform from countries whose bank accounts were not on the list of countries approved by the Stripe processor,'' explains Hafner.

He claims that the reason Croatia is no longer on the Indiegogo platform list is that the Stripe payment processor is not supported in Croatia, and it is now the exclusive processor for that crowdfunding platform. As soon as it is available in Croatia, Hafner believes it will be possible to start crowdfunding campaigns in Croatia once again.

Less than two years ago, one Slovenian bank started negotiations with Stripe to make payments, and since last autumn, Slovenia has been successfully listed.

''Now it's only a matter of time before, let's say, Kickstarter will be available in Slovenia. Unfortunately, so far I have no information as to whether any bank operating in Croatia is negotiating with Stripe,'' says Hafner.

The absence of the Indiegogo platform in Croatia will be tried to be patched up by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), which announced that it will launch its own crowdfunding platform at the beginning of this year, which will be included in the existing Digital Chamber (Digitalna komora) project.

''The idea of ​​a crowdfunding platform came about during the development of the Digital Chamber project, that is, the e-business startup service. The service is of a primarily informative nature, and is divided into thematic units that follow the development course of the business entity, from its very establishment through to development and financing to actual programmes and projects. The logical consequence was to offer those who run the business an additional benefit. Crowdfunding is an ideal strategy for start-ups, associations or businesses. Prior to crowdfunding, business owners were subject to the demands of investors or banks, and now they have the opportunity to present a business plan to the masses,'' they say from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.

They state that the completion of the Digital Chamber project will be followed by a phase of specification for the platform. Hafner, on the other hand, finds it very unusual to see the announcement by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce that they are launching a crowdfunding platform.

''Recently, at some business plan workshops, their employees claimed that crowdfunding was a pyramid scheme, while Kickstarter claimed it was an investment fund. If the Croatian Chamber of Commerce really does go ahead with launching and running a crowdfunding platform, I think it will be the first such case in the world, which is not necessarily a good thing,'' Hafner claims.

He adds that the launch of the crowdfunding platform by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, according to the information he has, is at the level of the idea without any actual clear plan of action.

''This kind of launch of a crowdfunding platform by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in the form of assistance to local entrepreneurs makes as much sense as launching a webshop with local products that would also be run by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce,'' says Hafner.

He points out that, in his view, Croatian institutions did not recognise the potential of crowdfunding in a timely manner, nor did they evaluate it in any particular way, as can be seen in the case of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, which, according to Hafner, is going in the totally wrong direction.

The termination of domestic campaigns on other crowdfunding platforms has been extremely difficult for entrepreneurs, artists and socialites in Croatia, as Hafner explains. He claims that for Croatian campaigns, Indiegogo was the only realistic option for more serious success.

"Although there are alternatives like the French crowdfunding platform Ulule or the British platform GoGetFunding, I don't think it will be too successful," Hafner said.

He explains that more or less all crowdfunding platforms function by financing their business by taking a percentage of the money raised for projects, and that there are no longer all that many differences between Indiegogo and Kickstarter platforms as there once were before.

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Monday, 8 January 2018

The 'Lupiga' Case: Community Comes Together to Support Press Freedom

The award-winning Croatian portal recently turned to their readers for help and launched a crowdfunding campaign, meeting their set goal in less than a week. A rundown of the case on January 8, 2018

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Oldest Croatian Rugby Club Starts Crowdfunding Campaign To Get To The EURO

The Croatian Academic Rugby Club Mladost Zagreb got the invitation for the European Club Championship, but they do not have enough money to get there

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Croatian Startup "Freewa" Launching a Campaign to Map Drinking Water Sources Worldwide

Freewa, a Croatian startup conceived with the goal of preserving drinking water sources, is launching a crowdfunding campaign at the end of this month.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Croatian Illustrator Launches Record Breaking Crowdfunding Campaign

Milivoj Ćeran managed to raise 295,000 kuna for his book.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Buba Bar: An Effort to Open the First Cafe in Croatia to Employ People with Disabilities

Today, a crowdfunding campaign launched on the platform Indiegogo with a noble goal to open the first coffeehouse in Croatia that will employ people with Down Syndrome: Buba Bar.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Dino Rađa Supporting The Fans Taking Over Hajduk

The famous Croatian basketball player joined in on crowdfunding action of Our Hajduk members