Monday, 25 October 2021

Zagreb Brewery's K Pivovara's Pale Ale and Oatmeal Stout Now in Cans

October the 25th, 2021 - The much loved and very popular Zagreb Brewery and K Pivovara (Brewery) which is under its auspices, has created even more variation in what was declared the world's best beer in its category back in 2020.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, last year, the beer that was declared the best in the world in its category - Grif Pale Ale, produced by K Pivovara from Zagreb, has been recently being producted in a brand new form - a 0.33 litre can. Along with the Pale Ale style in the new packaging, Oatmeal Stout is also now available in that form in stores. From the very beginning, these beers have been being produced in solely half-litre glass bottles.

From this microbrewery, otherwise under the auspices of the Zagreb Brewery, which is the Croatian market leader, they explained why they decided on heading in the direction of cans as opposed to more bottles.

“A small 0.33 litre can is practical and light and holds the ideal amount of beer for many consumers. At Grif, we approach the production of master beer uncompromisingly, and every drop of our skill poured into these new cans will confirm that fact once again,'' noted the manager for excellence of customers and consumers at K Pivovara, Dominik Palcic.

Cans of Griff's very own trump cards are on sale across numerous retail chains within Croatia, including Konzum, Interspar, Djelo and Vrutak, and the company is announcing its entry into a number of others soon.

These beers have been present here on the Croatian, otherwise very much thriving craft brewing scene since back in 2017, and Grif proved its mastery and quality not only here but also abroad.

Just last year, at the World Beer Awards held in the British capital of London, among 2,200 beers from 50 countries around the world, their Pale Ale won the title of World's Best Pale Golden Ale based on blind tasting.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 22 October 2021

Gym1: Croatian Fitness Lovers Think Up Mobile Modular Gym Concept

October the 22nd, 2021 - A group of Croatian fitness lovers have come up with an interesting and innovative concept which will likely delight those who are equally into this lifestyle, especially visiting tourists. Meet Gym1.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, from the next tourist season on, the very first guests of hotels and camps in Croatia, and if the business starts in the Mediterranean, will have the first fully mobile modular gym in the world available to them. The innovative Gym1 concept has been developed over the last eight months by a team of Croatian fitness and technical experts from the Zagreb Orlando Fitness Group and the Rijeka-based construction company Monterra.

Specifically, Gym1 is a fully equipped indoor or outdoor fitness in the form of a ship's container, which can be placed on any flat surface without the need for an accompanying building permit, with numerous options for modification and adaptation to the needs of investors and customers.

For camps, hotels and villas…

As Orlando Lopac, the originator of the project and the founder of Orlando Fitness, revealed, the project is in the patenting phase at the level of the European Union, but it is fully ready for the market.

"We developed the project back during the second half of the pandemic, which partly defined our goal. One of the business segments of the Orlando Group is equipping hotels and camps with fitness equipment, and we had a situation that before this season, all investments in this sector stopped. At the same time, we followed the trends across the world and it was clear to us that campsites and similar outdoor facilities are a segment that awaits much more strong development. We also know that investing in any solid facilities in our camps is complicated due to administrative barriers, and if investors already have the opportunity to invest, they usually opt for catering and hospitality content that they think is more profitable,'' said Orlando Lopac.

Therefore, this Croatian fitness team designed a container that is fully mobile and modular, equipped with state-of-the-art gym equipment, and it doesn't require any special permit so that it can be installed by any camp owner or concessionaire. The product comes ready to use and can be opened and launched by virtually anyone at the touch of a button.

The facility can be equipped by arrangement, according to the form of training that investors choose. The next step that is planned is to upgrade the exterior structure which has endless possibilities.

Lopac pointed out that the Gym1 product is intended for a full range of different locations, such as campsites, hotel resorts and other facilities, rental houses, private residences and villas, sports fields and playgrounds, public city parks and even simple beaches.

He also added that the equipment and props of the highest standard and quality have been carefully selected to ensure the best training conditions for all users, from recreational and fitness enthusiasts to professional athletes, teams and teams.

Prices range from 30,000 to 100,000 euros.

Gym1 had its first presentation to the public and potential buyers last week at the Horeca Adria fair in Opatija in Kvarner, from where they returned with a dozen specific requests for offers and numerous invitations from interested buyers.

"We're very satisfied with our first public appearance, and our goal is to sell our product not only in Croatia, but in the entire region and across the Mediterranean, given that this is a product that is very easily delivered and it's unique on the market, therefore we expect it to be very competitive,'' believes Lopac.

He also revealed the price, a standard container will sell for between 50 and 60 thousand euros, but customised versions can go from 30 thousand to 100 thousand euros, depending on the wishes and budget of the end user/buyer.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Belje Red Wine Impresses, Leaves Italian and French Rivals in Dust

October the 22nd, 2021 - Belje red wine has left quite the impression and left their Italian and French competitors behind in the dust. While this isn't a surprise for anyone who has enjoyed a glass of Croatian wine in their lives, it certainly helps to bring even more much deserved attention to the many varieties this country produces.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, Belje red wines have continued to sweep up various different awards throughout 2021 after winning 54 medals so far, of which 21 were ''golds'' and two were impressive championship titles.

They have now recorded yet another new global success: Belje red wine was declared the second best wine, which was evaluated with 91 points at the Emozioni dal Mondo Merlot e Cabernet Insieme in Italy, highly regarded around the world where many renowned producers of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc apply, and which this year boasted 220 samples from 22 countries.

According to the largest Croatian grape producer with 650 hectares of its own vineyards in the Danube region, the Belje red wine in question is a premium blend of cabernet sauvignon and Merlot vintage from 2019, which left some of the most famous Italian and French cellars, such as Bordeaux Grand Cru from Saint Emiliona, in the dust.

The top quality of red varieties from the Belje vineyards was confirmed by three gold medals (out of a total of 56), for the premium blend of cabernet sauvignon and Merlot, premium merlot and Goldberg Red, all of which are wines from back in 2019.

Cabernet sauvignon merlot Vina Belje was also chosen among the fifteen wines awarded by journalists. According to the President of the Management Board of Belje plus Andrej Dean, this success is a continuation of the recognition and award they received at the Decanter for their 2008 Merlot vintage, which showed the world for the first time how much potential they have in the production of excellent red wines.

The fact that they have won 91 points, he says, shows that the blend cabernet sauvignon - Merlot is among the best wines of these varieties, not only in the Republic of Croatia but also across the world, and the acceptable price and availability on the market will certainly contribute to its further popularity among consumers.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Zagreb Magic Omens Claims to be Most Modernly Equipped Game Room in Croatia

October the 21st, 2021 - Denis Devcic and Ivan Kosovec, two friends who opened the Zagreb Magic Omens facility just a few days ago claim that theirs is the most modernly equipped game room in all of Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, the pair claim that if you're a fan of card of board games, then you'll likely find a great friend in both of them and in their latest venture. In this way, they say, they have fulfilled a long-standing desire to open a space where people can socialise, meet up and play their favourite games.

Devcic and Kosovec have been friends since back in 2018, when they met on the way to the Magic the Gathering tournament in neighbouring Italy. Three years later, they decided to leave their jobs in the very well known Croatian IT companies Infinum and Degordian and head out into the often challenging entrepreneurial waters together; first in the eCommerce world, then in a small physical store, and now they have opened the so-called “LGS” Local Game Store.

As they explain, LGS is a hobby store concept where all fans of board games and card games (so-called TCG-s, ie Trading Card Games) can buy their desired products, and in the store's game room, they can meet like-minded people, try out some new games or participate in tournaments.

“My childhood dream was to own my very own Local Game Store. I started Trading Card Games at the beginning of the millennium and this hobby has since become a very important part of my life. I grew up with Pokemon and Magic the Gathering and now with Magic Omens I'm ready to welcome a new generation of players and build a healthy community of people who share a passion for this hobby,'' said Ivan Kosovec.

In their game room, located on Savska cesta 144A, weekly events for all of people's favourite games will be held, as well as events from the most popular TCGs such as Magic the Gathering cards, Flesh and Blood, Pokemon cards and many other similar games.

Even when there are no organised tournaments, all enthusiasts can come enjoy their favourite games throughout the week at the new Zagreb Magic Omens location.

Devcic and Kosovec claim that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the demand for social and card games has increased, especially when it comes to the much loved Pokemon TCG. More than 30 billion Pokemon tickets have been sold worldwide so far, the game Magic the Gathering had a profit of 581.2 million US dollars last year, and all this has led to the organisation of tournaments that bring together enthusiasts from all over the world.

In these results, Devcic and Kosovec saw the need to create such a community right here at home in Croatia through a proper space intended just for games. They've invested, they say, their own personal savings and countless hours of work. They will expand the offer of games over time, and they say that they also do well in retail, given the large offer of games that they deliver throughout the European Union (EU).

These young enthusiasts say they first want to build a foundation in the City of Zagreb as the best choice for board and card games, become a regional leader and an example to others, have clear results and make sure the community is satisfied.

"Our goal is to increase the overall community of people who play board and card games, people who could play them, but have never decided on such a hobby. We want as many people as possible to experience this type of entertainment which, in addition to being challenging, enables people to spend more quality time with friends.

After the opening of the Zagreb Magic Omens location, we expect more customers/visitors/players to come because we're in the centre, but also because we have tournaments and game rooms. People are already delighted and the attendance level is very high because people recommend each other. Word-of-mouth seems to do its thing. We have very strong community support in this initiative and we've heard a lot of praise from some longtime players.

We're focused on customers and we listen to what they need and we want to make it all possible for them. The interest is just incredibly high and we’re sure it’s only going to grow because we really care about all the players. I believe that we can do wonderful things in Croatia,'' concluded Denis Devcic.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Croatian Rasco's Lynx Charge e-Cleaner Hopes to Conquer Global Market

October the 17th, 2021 - The Croatian Rasco company is well known for its e-cleaners, primarily the Lynx system about which quite a lot has been written. They now hope to step out and conquer the demanding global market with their products.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, after presenting their innovative self-propelled cleaner (Lynx) two years ago, the Croatian Rasco company from Kalinovac near Djurdjevac recently presented the electric version of this utility cleaner under the brand Lynx Charge.

As explained by Ivan Franicevic, President of the Management Board of the Croatian Rasco company, the Lynx project was designed back in 2016, its realisation started a year later, and in the beginning it was developed through a diesel and electric variant.

"Lynx Charge has almost all the systems that an electric car boasts, which makes it an extremely complex product, and this is reflected in its price, which is twice as high as in the diesel version - standing at about 200 thousand euros. We worked on its development for three years and together with the diesel version, it's the crown of this company's 30 years of work.

This piece of Croatian innovation was made in cooperation with Rasco and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb. We'll offer it through our distribution network to more than forty markets around the world, but we'd be glad if the advantages of such an ecological vehicle are recognised by the Croatian communal services here at home,'' said Franicevic.

The innovation was co-financed with funds from the European Regional Development Fund in the amount of 14 million kuna, and they expect even more from the electric version as the market for eco-friendly vehicles continues to grow far more rapidly than is the case for those powered by fossil fuels.

Franicevic pointed out that currently, the demand for these types of vehicles, powered by all types of fuel, globally stands at about 2,000 units per year, and next year at least 30 percent of this figure is expected to be related to electric vehicles.

"There are already countries like the Netherlands and Denmark that have banned the procurement of fossil fuel-powered utilities, and this trend will only spread. As the Croatian Rasco company is one of the leaders in this type of technology, we expect to occupy about 20 percent of that market in the coming period. Although it's difficult to talk about some exact capacities now, because that's something which is likely to adjust through the investment cycle of demand, we'd be satisfied if we could deliver 100 vehicles a year in the coming years,'' Franicevic said, adding that they expect to deliver about 60 of their Lynxes this year.

The 72.5 kWh electric Lynx battery allows the user to work throughout their shift without the need for recharging. In particular, the vehicle has an autonomy of 6.5 to 7.5 hours of operation, and charging takes a mere 2-3 hours on any charger.

The sweeper is powered by an electric motor with a maximum power of 55 kW, and the two other electric motors with a power of 18.5 and 11.5 kW are used to drive the intake system and various other vehicle functions. All of this is integrated into a compact vehicle which is 4.5 metres long and only 1.3 metres wide, and the vehicle alone weighs just over four tonnes.

According to the manufacturer's own assessment, and based on customer experience and tests, the depreciation period for the diesel version of the Lynx is 3-4 years, and the electric version is 7-10 years. The life expectancy of the Lynx Charge is 10 years, and in this Kalinovac-based company, they already have projects for the repurchase and recycling of used Lynx Charge vehicles and their batteries.

The Croatian Rasco company has stated that they've already started out with the development of an even more sophisticated, and somewhat larger, vehicle for the same purpose, which will also be developed on several platforms - primarily using diesel, but at the same time in an electric version and a hydrogen version.

The company didn't want to speculate about the specific deadlines when these vehicles, especially the hydrogen ones, should see the light of day. Rasco manufactures about 80 different products for the winter and summer maintenance of all types of transport infrastructure - from motorways, through to expressways and urban areas to forest roads and watercourses.

Their plants in Kalinovac and in Senta in Vojvodina employ more than 400 people, and at the local level, they want to be one of the drivers of the development of northwestern Croatia, and on the other hand, their goal is to become the largest manufacturer of municipal equipment in all of Europe.

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Croatian Modepack's Products Being Used by Massive Global Names

October the 16th, 2021 - The Croatian Modepack company's products are being purchased and used by some of the world's giants, including the likes of Amazon, Adidas and DHL.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the growth of e-commerce over recent years hasn't particularly surprised anyone, but there are almost no analysts or companies operating in this sector who could have predicted the sheer volume of growth in this segment of trade due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the speed of change in the entire sales and delivery chain, which completely altered in just a few months.

This was the general conclusion at the world's largest e-commerce show and its accompanying logistics, Deliver 2021, which was held last week in the Dutch city of Amsterdam.

Customer expectations have grown

The coronavirus crisis which has turned the world on its head over the last year and a half has completely flipped global society and the economy upside down as well. While it has brought to problems to the doors of some from which could take years to recover from, to others it has brought double-digit growth and changes and modernisation that would otherwise require several years to occur. The e-commerce sector and related logistics services are just one of those sectors that has grown by more than 100 percent on the wings of the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

How we can deal with such unexpected and rapid growth, adapt to new social and economic circumstances, and especially meet the changed and increased expectations of customers in terms of quality and security of delivery, prices and especially deadlines, was the central theme of Deliver.

The fair had been takin place in a digital edition from October the 4th to the 15th, and culminated in its classic form late last week in Amsterdam. Amazon, Alibaba, Microsoft, Nike, Unilever, Samsung, Ikea, DPD, GLS, DHL, Overseas and the largest European post offices were just some of about 1,000 companies that found themselves involved with Deliver.

Along with many other great giants of this sector, the small Croatian Modepack company, which in recent years has grown into one of the global players in the production of delivery and safety packaging, was also present. The Croatian Modepack company's products are purchased by customers in 32 countries around the world.

Jure Siric, the director and owner of Modepack, which exports 92 percent of its sales, pointed out that this is their first appearance at the Deliver fair, and their impressions and expectations are optimistic. "Over recent years, we've achieved great growth, especially in terms of exports, and last year we recognizsd the need to be present at events like this.

Unfortunately, last year, COVID-19 stopped all activities and this fair was also postponed, so now we definitely wanted to perform. The registration fee is quite high for Croatian wallets, but if you want to be in the company of the big names, then you have to invest,'' Siric stated while in Amsterdam.

He added that although he has the impression that the fair will bring them a lot in terms of new contracts and revenue growth, it's difficult to quantify for now. "According to the programme, we had about 20 official and pre-arranged B2B meetings, kind of like dates, where we were limited to 25 minutes per conversation. Significantly, we asked for a meeting with half of the companies, and half of them then chose us.

The conversations were interesting, some of them detailed, but of course in such places contracts aren't signed, only information is collected. We expect that in the coming period, after the evaluation of data in specific companies, there will be concrete offers and talks about contracts,'' explained Siric, whose team in Amsterdam included the Croatian Modepack company's head of marketing and web sales, Nemanja Suka.

The duo from Modepack pointed out that there were no big surprises for them in terms of the focus of experts and entrepreneurs at Deliver's event, nor were there any shocks in terms of the topics of conversation with potential partners because the trends and challenges are similar for all participants working within the e-commerce and delivery chain.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the closures and lockdowns that followed in many countries, including the one last spring in Croatia, had a major impact on changing consumer habits, and thus on the entire supply chain.

In addition to the enormous growth in the volume of e-commerce, a lot of emphasis has been placed on security, ie the fear of being infected by the virus and the sheer speed of its spread, meaning that many customers had been looking for delivery on the same day. Although this model existed in some form even before the pandemic, Last Mile Delivery, ie the fast delivery of smaller quantities of goods and at a shorter distance within a time frame measured in just hours, became an entire e-commerce sector with its own rules and principles.

As Mick Jone, Zancargo’s strategic supply chain consultant, pointed out in Amsterdam, after more than a year of growth that was accelerated by COVID-19, e-commerce itself is evolving rapidly.

“At a time when consumer expectations, habits and priorities have changed, there's a stronger argument for supply chain redesign than ever before. Because of all this, it is very important to make a decision on how to adapt the incoming logistics to service users in this new, hypercompetitive retail environment,'' explained Jone.

Jennifer Nelen, a partner at the Dutch subsidiary of consulting firm PwC, stressed that our new world, now more than ever, requires collaboration within the retail, e-commerce and logistics industries to successfully respond to market shifts and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Statistics say that in Europe alone, the number of customers in the e-commerce channel increased by an incredible 15 million last year, and the growth trend at a rate between 15 and 20 percent is expected to continue in the coming period. In concrete figures, this means that last year the e-commerce segment generated 8.3 billion euros more than the year before.

It is expected that by 2025, this segment should generate growth of 15.7 billion euros more than last year. It is still a significant problem that most customers, especially those over the age of 55, even if they have the basic IT skills to do e-commerce, still insist on “feeling and seeing'' the product before buying it. The coronavirus pandemic has partially reduced this trend, but it's still present.

The British giant Tesco presented its experiences with large European retail chains at Deliver, and its representatives pointed out that the opening of physical stores has greatly reduced their demand in the e-commerce channel because the same customers have adapted to the situation in accordance with the United Kingdom's epidemiological regulations.

In addition to the above-mentioned customer requirements and the focus of the entire e-commerce system, there is an increasingly strong focus on ecology. This specifically means that recycled, or recyclable, packaging has become something that every retailer must offer today.

The Croatian Modepack company itself, which has Amazon, H&M, Vans, Adidas, DHL, DPD, Loomis, numerous European financial institutions as well as the diamond exchange in Antwerp (Antwerpen World Diamond Center) and a number of others in its customer portfolio, is also very much on the wings of e-volume growth. Its stores recorded a steady increase in revenue, which amounted to 50 million kuna last year, which is a growth of 60 percent compared to the year before when they grew by 30 percent.

For this year, they expect an additional growth of 20 percent and revenue of about 60 million kuna. Therefore, they decided to invest 50 million kuna in their new plant in Velika Gorica near Zagreb, which should be completed in the middle of next year, and which will allow them to double their capacity, which currently stands at around 200 million pieces of various packaging.

With the new plant and the expansion of the range, they expect that in 2025, their revenue should reach 150 million kuna, with a tendency for further growth.

"Global e-commerce is growing unstoppably, and even before the pandemic, back in 2019, global growth was 21 percent. Data for last year shows that countries with more developed e-commerce systems achieved significant, but still lower growth, while others, like Croatia, measured growth in the hundreds of percent.

The statistics we have show that e-commerce at the EU level increased by 31 percent last year, and if we look at some of the most important countries then we see that in Germany it is 22 percent, in the United Kingdom 31 percent, and in Spain 75 percent. Estimates for Croatia are over 200 percent,'' stated Jure Siric.

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Gabrijela Korica Designs Croatian Pet Furniture, Makes Donations for Each Purchase

October the 16th, 2021 - Gabrijela Korica is a promoter of the application of machine learning technologies in healthcare at Microsoft Croatia, and she recently launched a luxury furniture brand for pets called Gambarossa. But that isn't call, this new Croatian pet furniture brand comes with a heart in the form of donations to those animals most in need.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, last year, Gabrijela and her sister Petra launched the first children’s book on artificial intelligence in English, and Gambarossa is the latest venture of this enterprising woman from the world of IT.

When, she says, she couldn't find the ideal sort of bed for her eleven-year-old pug Diva's birthday, she spontaneously began the process of sketching and designing a bed for her beloved dog, and then an idea for Croatian pet furniture hit her.

“Through these sketches, it ended up being the case that her bed would need to be a more complex, larger bed, and through brand research, I concluded that I could try to offer something new, enjoy the process, and help others out.

I thought about the project for quite a while, I showed the sketch and the idea to someone who had faith in me and decided to turn my vision into reality. I'm just an idea designer, and he took care of everything, opened a company and turned the idea into reality,'' Gabrijela Korica explained.

This Croatian pet furniture brand also has, as noted above, a humanitarian note - for each piece of furniture they donate 1,000 kuna to various Croatian animal protection associations, working to provide funding for animals, from accommodation and food to veterinary and other medical costs.

Although the market for luxury dog ​​furniture in Croatia is slightly smaller, Gabrijela says that owners around the world want to set aside a certain amount for their pets.

The name of the Gambarossa brand is a modification of her mother's surname, hence the inspiration. She procures materials for the production in Turkey, where this Croatian pet furniture is produced, but says that she would like to move the procurement of materials and the production of furniture to Croatia in the long run.

She wants to further expand her offer, start with employment, but also attract as many people as possible who would support her Gambarossa brand in order to, among other things, help animals as well.

"There's great interest from our customers, mostly from other countries, but we're certainly happy that they have given us their vote as new Croatian brand and thus support the Croatian economy," concluded Gabrijela Korica.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Tasks from Zagreb Kids Escape Room to be Solved in United States

October the 13th, 2021 - Tasks from the Zagreb kids Escape Room are set to be solved across the pond in the world's strongest economy, the United States of America.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, entering the United States of America, the world's strongest economy, is an unfulfilled dream for many Croatian citizens, let alone entrepreneurs and business owners, which will in some ways be much easier to achieve when the needs for visas is revoked on December the 1st, 2021.

Kruna Josimovic is from Zagreb, she's an author and the initiator of the Zagreb kids Escape Room, a playroom at the Zagreb Fair (Velesajam) for children aged 8 to 12. She's looking forward to heading across the pond, because she has managed to export her concept, the only one of its kind in Croatia and all of Europe. Her escape room will find a home in Chicago and Philadelphia.

Variations on the topic of solving tasks in space and time are part of the entertainment and tourism repertoire in many cities, including Zagreb, and this has been the case for years, but it's all mostly been for adults.

The peculiarity of this lies in the name - for children, from those who have just started school to the "preteen" generation, which is an increasingly lucrative category of consumers whose appetites, especially in America, are challenging to satisfy. Josimovic started this business, which will open franchises through the Bright Entertainment Group.

The first already exists in Podgorica, Montenegro.

"I accidentally discovered escape rooms in Zagreb, I did them all all and the concept delighted me. That sort of thing only appeared in this country five or six years ago and the target audience was adults, so the tasks, the elements, the "time limits" and the fact that you were left to work things out for yourself weren't adequate for younger children,'' says the entrepreneur, who has a wealth of experience with children to boast of. She therefore wanted to "translate" the model of decipherment through play, with an educational note, into the language of children, then came the proverbial birth of the Zagreb kids Escape Room.

"Researching the market, I saw that there's something similar in Slovenia, but they gave up with the idea, so everything was up to me. We started with 80 square metres of space in Maksimirska, in the first year, I created three new themed rooms and due to great interest I moved to the current larger space we have now,'' explained Josimovic.

Each room includes 10-15 tasks to be completed by a group of up to 9-10 children, which takes an hour, and the work is based on three things - the gamemasters (leaders) are with the children, they help guide them in solving the tasks, there are no limits and there is nothing intimidating in the rooms.

The current setup proves it - The Land of Sweets (on the theme of fairy tales, more specifically The Nutcracker), Aliens (exploring the planets and escaping from aliens) and Professor B. (a detective on the hunt for a miracle drink). A treasure hunt for 20 children will be introduced soon.

Unlike museums, theatres, exhibitions and the like where children have to be quiet, calm and not touch anything, here they have full freedom, everything is available to them and they can and must touch and open, view, explore, and use their brains,'' the creator of the first Zagreb kids Escape Room explained.

Such a description also attracted Americans, more specifically the Bright Entertainment Group, which is present here in the Republic of Croatia with the Museum of Illusions, also an original Zagreb product that has expanded globally through franchises.

“As franchise expansion partners, they were thrilled with the content, they got in touch with Lol Entertainment, which operates predominantly in Chicago and Philadelphia, and presented the concept to them. Negotiations lasted for three years, they were slowed down by the pandemic, and no matter how much explanations were provided by emails and Zoom, they had to physically see what it looked like and we finally met just now, back in September,'' Kruna explained, recalling the beginnings with the Americans.

They confirmed to her that they didn't have anything of the sort, and that in examining the market for children aged 8-12, they concluded that it would "fit" them. In her project, she says, they recognised originality, innovation, play and education. Money was, of course, also a very important factor in it all.

"The whole story is also profitable, the ratio of what's invested and what is returned is excellent. I can’t yet say how much they're willing to invest. We called the franchise project the Cluville Kids Escape Room and the plan is to have at least one of them in Chicago by the spring, maybe two, and then two more in Philadelphia,'' points out Josimovic.

Oman, Riyadh, Dubai, and Tel Aviv were all to follow, all on reconnaissance in Zagreb, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the expansion of this Croatian product into the Middle East, so, what does Kruna actually expect from America?

"My expectations aren't small, it's a great success to be able to sell something at all, let alone to someone who invented the entertainment and edutainment industry, but it's very difficult to make something original and experience success like that here in Croatia," she said.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Blockademia: Croatian Solution to Fake Certificates and Diplomas

October the 9th, 2021 - A new Croatian crypto startup called Blockademia aims to solve the problem of fake certificates and diplomas, which is both morbidly ironic and innovative given that there are so many circulating in this country.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, one of the 46 cities around the world where the global Cardano summit was recently held was Zagreb, where the new Croatian crypto startup Blockademia was presented.

Blockademia's eponymous application (app) uses Cardano technology and provides a decentralised system for document authentication. As they explained, Blockademia ensures permanent, unchangeable and secure storage of proof of authenticity of any issued document and enables the simple and fast verification of the authenticity of all kinds of documents, diplomas, certificates and others.

They have been preparing their project for the last year, and now, according to director Marin Kramaric, the time has come to involve the public.

"Over more recent years, we've witnessed the growing abuse of fake diplomas at various levels in society, in our country and in the rest of the world. So, I think Blockademia is coming out at the perfect time and the interest will be great. We already have excellent feedback and interest exists, as this Blockchain component guarantees complete transparency and security where it's impossible to make a change once the data is entered. Blockademia's system solves the challenge of transparency and authenticity at all levels, and is applied not only for the authenticity of diplomas and certificates, but also for other documents such as contracts, video and audio recordings, source codes...

Everything we get in binary form can be recorded and written down in a blockchain, and later provide users with quick and easy access from anywhere in the world at any time. We chose Cardano as the first blockchain developed with an academic approach, and today it's positioned as one of the top three blockchains offering the highest level of decentralisation, security, sufficient speed and relatively low transaction costs,'' explained Kramaric.

After Revut, Blockademia is the second Croatian startup to sell tokens using Cardano blockchain technology. Their clients consist of institutions, laboratories, various companies and state and city administration bodies which issue documents that need to be protected from forgery.

"We're starting, of course, first locally, but we're soon planning for global expansion through a network of franchises. Our plans by the end of this year are to successfully complete the Private & Community Sale, and further hire and strengthen the team that will complete the project next year, and further contract the franchise model to have a franchise network in the world and customers from all areas over the next eighteen months. We have four models of the Blockademia system, which means everyone can find themselves in it. In the first two quarters of next year, we plan to complete the Blockademia application and test it with the first users. In the third quarter, we plan to complete the web and mobile application for verification and, we'd say in the last quarter of next year, we plan to be in full production of the system,'' said Kramaric.

The ACI token is a native token on the Cardano blockchain and will be used as a utility token by which all actions within the Blockademia application will take place. At the beginning of October, the first round of private sales of ACI tokens began, which will be followed by the first round of public sales on November the 15th, the second round on November the 22nd and the last round of community sales on November the 29th, which will then last until December the 6th this year.

''I must mention that this is primarily a community offer, and ACI tokens can only be obtained by replacing the ADA (native Cardano currency) with ACI. After completing all rounds of the token sale, we'll start with the development and integration of the platform itself. Big plans also require big investments. We're raising the funds so that we can realise all this in a year, the majority of which goes to franchise development around the world, as well as support and marketing. We have very good interest as well as the first potential users to test the system, and franchisors. There are always investors for good projects,'' noted Kramaric, whose team consists of 18 employees of various profiles; the base consists of IT and blockchain experts, in addition to marketing, finance, legal department, human resources and other departments.

After the token sale, when more intensive development and global implementation of the system start, further employment is expected, and Kramaric believes that blockchain technology is well accepted here in Croatia, who says that Blockademia's overall goal is to shape the world with truth

“Blockchain is actually an IT network, spread over thousands of mutually independent computers around the world, that is protected by strong encryption and other technologies. Once recorded, the data on the blockchain is permanent, publicly available and unchangeable, because no person or organisation has the ability to delete/change this data,'' he stated.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 8 October 2021

Memgraph: Microsoft's M12 Fund Participated in Investment in Startup

October the 8th, 2021 - The five-year-old Croatian startup Memgraph has received a handsome amount in the form of an investment from no less than Microsoft's M12 fund, as well as from other very well known and highly respected funds.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the promising Croatian startup Memgraph recently announced that they received a seed investment of an enormous 9.34 million US dollars, in which Microsoft's investment fund M12, Heavybit Industries, In-Q-Tel, Counterview Capital, ID4 Ventures and Mundi Ventures all readily participated.

The company's executive director, Dominik Tomicevic and technical director Marko Budiselic founded Memgraph just five years ago, and the idea was born out of the idea to provide significant analytical capabilities aided by graph databases. Since then, this Croatian startup has well and truly blossomed into something which is both recognisable and admired.

They then introduced the new Memgraph 2.0, a platform that allows developers, engineers, professionals and large companies and enthusiasts to programme their applications based on data flows and graphs in mere minutes. The Memgraph Community Edition (MCE) is available with a BSL (Business Source License) which means code openness in most situations, from personal to commercial.

They say from Memgraph that the money from this fantastic investment will be used for new development activities, the expansion of the development team and the community of developers and enthusiasts.

Although they employ people throughout Europe and have engineers in both Greece and the Netherlands, Memgraph's main hub will still remain in the Republic of Croatia.

''The goal of this round of funding is to expand and further strengthen our team. Given the fact that our higher priority is the development of Cloud products, we'll primarily employ Frontend (Angular) and Backend (NodeJS) engineers,'' explained Marko Srsan, Memgraph's chief operating officer.

For more on Croatian companies, startups, doing business and investments in Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated Made in Croatia and business sections.

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