Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Ivan Mrvos Has Big Plans: New Products, New Offices, New Investment Round

October 13, 2020 - Ivan Mrvos has big plans for the future, which will be revealed next month when new products are announced. 

Lider.com reports that although the year is coming to an end, there are still a few significant events ahead for Ivan Mrvos and Include. Fans of the Croatian entrepreneur must eagerly await the news on November 23 when a new product presentation will occur.

"We have completely stopped producing existing products, so it will be exciting to see the reaction of the market when we present some new solutions at the end of the year. Also, we plan to expand our offices to other continents, and all this should be accompanied by a new investment round in which we are working intensively," reveals Mrvos, one of the most famous young entrepreneurs in Croatia under 30.

While everyone has heard of his smart benches, many may not know how the whole story began.

"It all started in 2014, back in high school, when I was not even 19 years old. The first projects were related to the web, and then at the end of that year, I made the first real product in the form of a light chair for catering. The idea did not go over too well and, within a few months, evolved in the direction of a solar park bench, with the main function being to charge mobile devices. The initial motive for entering the world of entrepreneurship was quite basic - creating additional monthly income. Still, over time it grew into a desire to build a global business and create products that will benefit people around the world," says the 25-year-old director of Include, which today employs 60 people, has offices in six states, and products in 55 markets. More than 260 cities have recognized it as a partner for Smart City solutions.

Include, according to the young innovator from Solin, is currently in the process of redesigning existing products and is preparing to present new solutions in the last quarter of this year.

"In November, we will be coming out as a completely different company, Include 2.0, with new solutions, new services, and price lists. To be able to place it, this year we are raising another two million euro, for which I give ten percent of the company," said Mrvos in an interview with Lider, who, with his team of fifty employees last year earned one million and fifty thousand euro.

Although these are excellent business results, the modest Mrvos names his greatest personal achievement.

"My greatest personal achievement is that we are still alive today, after six years of hard work, and I hope it will stay that way. We all know that 90 percent of startup companies fail within the first year, so I am happy that we are still here. We are approaching our seventh birthday," concludes one of the best representatives of the new generation of Croatian business leaders.

To read more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Ivan Mrvoš Featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Class of 2019!

February 12, 2019 - Another day, another stellar recognition for the thriving young entrepreneur from Solin, Ivan Mrvoš. 

Chances are, you probably already know a thing or two about Ivan, the CEO and Founder of Include, the leading global manufacturer of solar powered street benches. Their flagship product, the Steora smart bench, is already on 40 markets with more than 930 benches around the world. The Steora benches all have the same core - PV modules, device charging, Wi-Fi, ambient light, data gathering, cooling system, and the dashboard, though there are six different models with additional features - like the super bright 19" display of Steora Urban, or Steora E special features for indoor usage, and more. 

After they were named the European Startup of the Year in 2017, a large investment followed, and the recognitions haven’t seemed to slow down for Include and Mrvoš since. 

Last year, Ivan Mrvoš was nominated for MIT Technology Review's ‘Innovators Under 35’ award in Europe. In 2017, Include was selected among the 50 best innovators in Europe, and on that occasion, Ivan Mrvoš presented the company at the European Parliament in Brussels during the European Innovation Summit.

Back in October, Include won the “Rising Star" award by the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Program, which is described as a program that recognizes and profiles the fastest growing private or public technology companies in Central Europe.

Mrvoš wrote in a Facebook status then:

“Include – the fastest growing company of Central Europe in Rising Stars category by Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Program.

We are the first Croatian company to win in this category, with 1950% growth rate in the last three years of business operations.

Back in 2014, we started out with modest initial capital and big vision - to build the largest smart street furniture production company in this part of Europe. Four years later, with 35 highly skilled employees and products placed in 39 global markets, we can proudly say that winning the Deloitte Rising Stars award is one of our company’s greatest accomplishments so far.”

And just a few weeks ago, the first smart benches hit Qatar, prompting Mrvoš to reflect on the brilliant start to 2019. 

“Our new flagship product (Monna Smart Bench) has sold a total of 14 copies in the first 20 days - 11 for Canada, 2 for Denmark and 1 for the Croatian Market.

- We also sold 35 Steora smart benches worth over one million kuna (which is already the monthly standard that continues to grow), out of which around 20 are Urban and Urban + (benches that have a display for digital advertising purposes). We seem to be creating a new trend in two industries - street furniture and outdoor digital advertising - by merging them into one and further enhancing it because our benches and campaigns are accessed/managed through our web application.

- We’ve opened in one and a half new markets - Bermuda (officially part of the UK, and a week-long fight to decide who will go to install it) and Poland (a much smaller fight), so we are now in 42 global markets

- We’ve hired new employees - business developers, embedded software developers, python developers (ads can be found at: https://www.include.eu/job_opportunities)

- We have continued media coverage outside of Croatia: https://www.gulf-times.com/story/620188/Aspire-Zone-first-to-introduce-smart-benches-in-GC (installation of three Steora Urban+ benches in Qatar) although it is a mistake to say that these are the first benches in the GCC region - no, there are probably thirty or forty.

For the first twenty days - quite solid.”

Today, however, the 23-year-old from Solin has been named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list under the Manufacturing & Industry category in Europe for 2019. 

Ivan Mrvoš took to his Facebook to try to make sense of yet another brilliant acknowledgement. 

“Every time I think: 'ok, we've won all the recognition that could be won' and then life says 'wroooooong!'.

So, today I found myself on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list under the Manufacturing & Industry category for 2019 in Europe. As far as I can see - I am the youngest on almost all lists and the only one from Croatia (if there is someone else on the list - my apologies).

An absolutely huge recognition not only for my work, but for the whole team's work at Include. Great work, team.

And the year has started well, with only 1.1 million kuna worth of products sold in January.”

Include also shared the happy news of their founder and CEO. 

Bravo to Ivan and the Include team! 

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