Monday, 7 March 2022

Secondary Vocational School's Protection Workshop Nominated for European prize

7 March 2022 - The Varaždin Secondary Vocational School's Protection Workshop is one of 34 projects in Central Europe nominated for the SozialMarie 2022 best social innovation prize, Varaždin County said on Monday.

The Protection Workshop is among 275 shortlisted projects. It is competing with projects from Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia for the €15,000 first prize, the €10,000 second prize, the €5,000 third prize, or €2,000 for the next 12 places.

The Protection Workshop is a joint project of the school, the county, and the Croatian Employment Service that was launched in 2006 to enable the employment of persons with disabilities or reduced work capacity, the first such project in Croatia.

The workshop makes work uniforms, protective clothing, chair covers, bedding, bags, backpacks, textile and leather accessories. In 15 years it has employed 58 persons, including 30 with disabilities.

Each year SozialMarie awards successful and innovative projects, representing a sign of quality in effective social innovation. The winners will be announced on 1 May.

This is the first European prize for social innovation that has been given since 2004 for 15 of the best projects. SozialMarie is also a public platform for making connections, cooperating and exchanging experiences between Central European projects.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Pioneers of First Croatian Electric Scooter Announce Crowdfunding Campaign

March 25, 2021 - In a time and place where people are desperately searching for transport solutions to environmental problems, car traffic, crowds, and limited amounts of parking, especially during the tourist season at hotels and parks, the Croatian company IDDI decided to step forward and design the first Croatian electric scooter.

IDDI d.o.o. has announced their crowdfunding campaign on the Croatian platform CroInvest this week, where the goal is to raise the amount of HRK 250,000 for the completion of production and for R&D to make the world's first electric scooter from biodegradable materials.

IDDI, under the Rolla brand, has developed a product package consisting of the first Croatian electric scooter with a charger and a mobile application, designed and developed for the rental concept. The team, lead by Ivan Šimatović, consists of a group of young visionaries and engineers who want to prove to everybody that Croatia is ready to design and produce high-tech products and be part of the solution to the global problem of transport and climate change.


The Rolla charging station (Image: IDDI d.o.o.)

By offering high-performance scooters, advanced safety systems, and smart sensors that limit speed in populated areas at an affordable rental price, IDDI wants to change the negative public perception caused by the use of inappropriate and often insufficiently safe electric scooters. The Rolla scooter is also weather-resistant and has all-terrain big wheels, allowing it to adapt to almost any circumstance. 

Take a better look at the Rolla product package: 


According to the team, the Rolla project will also offer its users the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and tourist attractions in Croatia, such as the Plitvice Lakes, in a more innovative and interesting way. The company has signed contracts with 4 renowned Croatian hotels for this tourist season, and the plan for the delivery of scooters is planned for mid-April.


Rolla isn't made just for the city, but for almost anywhere in Croatia. (Image: IDDI d.o.o.)

IDDI d.o.o. and the Rolla project have been already recognized by HBOR (the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development) through the credit line entrepreneurship of young people, women, and beginners under the guarantee of ESIF, and has close cooperation with Croatia’s National Tourist Board.

Learn more about the Croatian innovators behind the project:


You can read more about the project HERE

For more about everything made in Croatia, be sure to follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Friday, 24 July 2020

Croatia First in World to Use Contactless Card Payment Tech for Online Customer Reviews

July 24, 2020 - Croatia first in the world to use contactless card payment technology (NFC) for online customer reviews, a game-changer for business globally

In the modern era, there's no better promotion for your business than online customer reviews. Comments and ratings on platforms like Trip Advisor, Google and Facebook have replaced slow and unreliable word-of-mouth recommendations in the digital age.

But, how to get those reviews? A huge proportion of goodwill from satisfied customers is lost forever the moment they step out of the door. They can forget every detail of your business, their experience or maybe they just don't find the time.

Review Booster Pro, an innovative platform from Dubrovnik, offers the best solution yet. It uses NFC – the same technology used by credit cards for contactless payments – to facilitate on-the-spot online customer reviews in super-fast time. It's a simple solution that could be a game-changer for business globally.

“I'm the CEO and owner of the Mint Media digital agency,” explains Ivan Ivušić who has developed Review Booster Pro.”We work with a lot of clients in the tourism sector. Over the past few years, we got a lot of requests from clients about how to improve their online reputation. Their main concern was how to improve their ratings and increase their number of reviews of Trip Advisor, Google, Facebook and other platforms, in order to get more visibility and more customers.”

“We tried many different solutions; business cards with QR codes, something you scan with your mobile phone which would take you to a web page where you write reviews. But, the main problem was the speed. Once customers leave a venue, they don't find the time to write reviews or they don't remember the name of your business. So, the conversion rates were low. So, we needed something quick and simple, so customers can leave reviews on the spot. This is what the market needs.”

Their solution was to employ NFC - Near Field Communication, the technology you use to pay contactless with your credit card. All newer mobile phones are fitted with this technology. Businesses signed up to Review Booster Pro have RBP boards, which they present to customers after their experience – for instance, while you're waiting for your restaurant bill. You simply wave you phone over the board, the phone's operating system reads the chip, your web browser opens automatically and takes you to the RBP landing page of the business you're in. You then select which of the platforms you're already signed up to - Trip Advisor, Google, Facebook etc. - and leave your online customer reviews.

© Review Booster Pro

“The RBP boards are around the size of a large mobile phone – and these can be presented to the customer or even positioned permanently on every table in your bar or restaurant; hotels, dentists, hair and cosmetic salons, retail stores, tourist guides and agencies are also some of our clients,” explains Ivan. Aside from encouraging simple and super fast reviews, businesses using the RBP platform obtain other benefits. On their RBP landing page, where they can place their branded logo and individual text, they can also use banner advertising space to promote existing partners or market different sections of their business. For instance, while a customer is leaving a review of the hotel bar, they will be shown the details of what's on offer in the hotel's spa.

Business owners can measure the clicks on each individual board they have. Therefore, a restaurant owner will be able to see which of his staff is obtaining the most reviews. Previously, such information would have been complete guesswork, unless an individual server is specifically named by a customer in a review.

“All of our current clients were already well aware that this is exactly what they need,” says Ivan. “It took about 10 minutes to sell each of them this product. In our extensive preliminary testing, businesses that were averaging 3 reviews a day went up to receiving 15 reviews per day. It's really a game-changer.”

Future plans for RBP are extremely exciting and they are already searching for ways to move the technology into different forms – imagine having the RBP chip implanted within a laminated page at the end of your restaurant menu. But, for now, the next step is to be recognised by one of the biggest three review sites.

“Trip Advisor has a separate platform (RCP) which you can partner with, to offer projects that will get them more reviews,” says Ivan. “Our product will be particularly beneficial to them because it not only increases their number of reviews, it also increases user acquisition.”

“We are processing our application to become one of these partners. They have different tiers of partners, so if you are successful and reach the top, Trip Advisor then promotes you as a solution to all the businesses worldwide who hold accounts on their platform. That's our goal. And I have every confidence we will reach it because all other solutions rely on software, many on downloading a separate app. We found no other solution in the world right now that is using NFC technology for this.”

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 Apart from Croatia, we are available in Germany, Austria, France, Japan, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The dog products are available through 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