Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Zagreb Company Stemi Encouraging Kids to Develop Robots and Chatbots

October the 4th, 2022 - The Zagreb company Stemi, which is engaged in the development of software, wants children to learn how to develop robots and chatbots in school as skills which are more relevant for the rapidly altering times we're living in.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, a couple of years ago, the Zagreb company Stemi launched the "School of the Future/Skola buducnosti" project in Croatian schools, through which elementary and high school students can work to acquire the technological knowledge of the future, that of robotics, artificial intelligence (EI), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

So far, more than 350 teachers and two thousand students have participated in their project, equal to every tenth school in the Republic of Croatia. The initiators of the project now want this project to come to life in every fifth school, 220 of them. With this goal, together with their partners Infobip and A1 Hrvatska/Croatia, they launched a group financing campaign "Build the school of the future/Izgradi skolu buducnosti", during which they plan to raise a grand total of one million kuna.

In this way, all those who want their children to acquire the technological knowledge and skills of the future from an early age now have the opportunity to influence changes in the Croatian education system. They can change things in this country's often-criticised education system precisely through showing their support to the Zagreb company Stemi's praiseworthy campaign.

Marin Troselj, the initiator of the project and director of the Zagreb company Stemi, explained that their goal is to expand the bridge between schools and our technology industry. "We want to bring knowledge and practice from our best technology companies to every fifth school in Croatia and thus turn them into schools of the future," he pointed out.

This truly innovative and valuable project, in which around 750 thousand euros have been invested so far, has advantages for both students and teachers. Through technological challenges, students can gain some of the most sought-after knowledge on the market, and through teamwork and project work, they'll develop key soft skills for a successful career in the technology industry. The teachers, on the other hand, are also educated about new technologies, and using an innovative educational platform significantly facilitates the preparation and implementation of classes.

Slobodan Velikic, Stemi's business development director, announced that soon, both students and teachers will be able to talk with their colleagues from other countries who are also participating in their programmes. This will be possible because the School of the Future also starts across the pond over in the USA and closer to home in Europe in Great Britain this year.

"Students need to start preparing for the jobs of the future in their classrooms, where they will definitely have to work in an international environment, and through practical work, they'll improve the local community with their projects," said Velikic.

Until this year, through the School of the Future project, students learned about artificial intelligence through the development of chatbots, i.e. computer programmes that can talk to people using natural language. This year, the programme will be enriched with two new ones - robotics and the Internet of Things. Students will thus learn how to make a walking robot for Mars exploration, but also how to grow their own food and how to manage production with the help of technology.

In addition to transferring the technological knowledge of the future, the School of the Future project is also of great value because it popularises STEM fields.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Infobip and Damir Sabol Invest in Rijeka Robotics Startup Stemi

September the 9th, 2021 - The Rijeka robotics startup Stemi has been invested in by Damir Sabol and the remarkable Vodnjan company Infobip, which has become widely known and well respected over the last few years.

As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes, Infobip and Damir Sabol have invested in the Rijeka robotics startup Stemi, a startup which successfully developed the very first Croatian educational robot and created an educational platform around it that reaps good results across the Atlantic in the USA.

The trio announced the above at the jubilee tenth Infobip Shift conference in Zadar, and this is Infobip's first investment in a startup so far. The Vodnjan company has received many investments from others, but hasn't, until now, made one itself.

They didn't want to reveal any of the details for now, and instead, Stemi has stated that they are preparing a big surprise for the end of September in the City of Zagreb. Stemi has recently been heavily involved in the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in education, and has been supported in this by Infobip. In addition, Rijeka robotics startup Stemi is one of the first members of the programme in which the Croatian unicorn encourages young technology companies from around the world to use its technology - the much talked about Infobip Startup Tribe.

The Infobip Shift conference is being attended by more than 13,000 visitors this year. In Zadar, over 3,000 live visitors gathered physically in the Kresimir Cosic Hall, and over 10,000 bought tickets for the online following of the conference. Thus, this year's Shift conference, the first organised under Infobip, has grown into the largest developer conference not only in Croatia but also in Europe.

Ivan Burazin, Infobip's board member for developer relations, boasted at the opening of the conference that Infobip has the best communication platform in the world, which is sold according to the service model.

''This year, we're under the auspices of Infobip for the first time. That's why it's now called Infobip Shift, but we're still Shift and this year we're dealing with what developers are doing - problem solving,'' explained Burazin.

Izabel Jelenic, the co-founder and chief technical officer, then took the stage, greeted the audience briefly and told them that they were "just starting". This is the slogan of Infobip, which, after becoming the first Croatian unicorn, is strengthening its operations and actively taking over other companies. It first took over the American OpenMarket, then the Croatian franchise of the Shift developer conference, and then the Irish company Anam Technologies. That's why it is speculated that the market value of the first Croatian unicorn far exceeded last year's billion dollars.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 11 December 2020

STEMI and Infobip Launch AI Programme for Croatian Schools

December the 11th, 2020 - What might the school of the future look like? Croatian schools, more specifically primary and secondary schools, are set to get a taste of the incredible world of AI (artificial intelligence) thanks to the coming together of Infobip and STEMI.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, The School of the Future is the name of the first STEM programme for artificial intelligence (AI) for Croatian schools, which, as of February 2021, will be implemented by STEMI in cooperation with Infobip, with the support of A1 Croatia. The goal is to open a window into the technological future for Croatian schools and their primary and secondary students by bringing them closer to the world of AI through practical work, thus creating new artificial intelligence engineers, while strengthening the link between the IT sector and education in general.

Back during the summer, STEMI started researching the feasibility of the idea and elaboration, and in October they joined forces with Infobip, one of Croatia's top technology leaders whose engineers will work with Croatian schools and their students in terms of the preparation of digital materials and the development of the environment, so that they can work on their projects from at home or at school.

''The quality of knowledge transfer to the youngest generations - and this is where Infobip has found a great partner in STEMI - is of great importance if we want long-term social progress. AI is one of the main technological directions for Infobip and it's very important to us that the youngest generations learn about the technology of the future from an early age. New leaders and innovators are hiding among those individuals,'' said Izabel Jelenic, the technical director of Infobip.

STEMI presented the project to teachers at the Carnet conference, after which the number of applications for inclusion was much higher than the planned number of Croatian schools. ''The idea is for students to form development teams and, as a first step, study UN sustainability goals, select one of the goals, and explore which problem they can solve with an AI chatbot within that same goal. For example, students can create a bot that will help doctors in medical triage, or in determining the urgency of a case, which can help make the system more efficient, especially in these times when the healthcare system is under enormous pressure, all leading to the goal of achieving the goal of sustainability - Good health and well-being. They'll then be able to further explore the domain of the problem, define the knowledge that the bot must be able to cover, and start implementing that. We believe that Croatian schools should also be places in which the future is imagined and created. That's why we're going to give students the task to imagine what the world will look like in 10-20 years from now, when AI will be all around us,'' explained the director of STEMI, Marin Troselj.

As an educational-technological company, they focus, he says, lies primarily on building a bridge between industry and primary and secondary education.

''Today we live in Industry 4.0. and when we look at World Economic Forum research, the technologies and knowledge that will lead the industry are data analysis, machine learning, web / mobile application development, virtual and augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, etc. These things are extremely underrepresented in all schools around the world. On the other hand, AI will make a similar transformation of both industry and society as electrification did back during the late 19th century. That's why it's extremely important to introduce children from an early age to one of the basic tools in the technology industry, but more importantly, to become aware of the impact of this technology on their very own lives,'' said Troselj. Interested Croatian schools can apply to participate in the School of the Future project on the website until January the 31st, 2021.

''Digitalisation is transforming society and business, and lately it's been the real backbone of every industry. Therefore, it's necessary to teach children advanced skills such as artificial intelligence, in order to be active members of the digital generation from an early age, ready for new jobs that await them in the future.

At A1 Croatia, we've always been focused on the development of digital skills and new occupations such as data analysts, AI and machine learning specialists, robotics experts, and we want to share this knowledge with the community,'' said Jiri Dvorjancansky, the CEO of A1 Croatia.

In addition to the main partner being A1 Croatia, the project was also supported by Croatia osiguranje, Zagrebacka banka, Bosch and Score Alarm. Thanks to the support of these companies, the School of the Future project will be implemented in more than 40 Croatian schools throughout the country. The project is expected to be completed in May 2021.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

From Total Blockade to Delivery of Croatian Robots to USA

STEMI says that the ongoing coronavirus crisis has increased the prices of inputs by up to 20 and even 30 percent, and extended the procurement deadlines by two to three times. Croatian robots are wanted in the US!

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 21st of July, 2020 the domestic startup STEMI set off on Tuesday with the first deliveries of its robots to California, the state where the famous Silicon Valley is located. More than 50 American schools located from California to Texas and Arizona, all the way to Florida, Connecticut and New Jersey, bought some Croatian educational robots in a package with educational content for STEM education around two months ago.

This is one of the greatest Croatian successes in adapting business to the conditions of the "new normal" that developed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Marin Troselj, the co-founder and director of STEMI, says that he almost had a nervous breakdown in March, because their work simply stopped completely.

Back at the end of last year, STEMI raised 319,000 euros or 2.4 million kuna of capital through Funderbeam SEE in order to expand to the American market in 2020.

"In March, we started selling and in the first three weeks we reached as much as 20 percent of the sales target for this year, and then quarantines started and schools from the USA started calling us and cancelling their orders," Troselj recalls.

He says they immediately changed their strategy that fourth week. They stepped up their communication through digital channels with American schools, introduced a series of changes and prepared for the next opportunity. It opened for them in May.

He states that schools in the US have money, they're very interested in STEM and they continue to invest. Even those who aren't currently buying robots are buying laptops intensively so that their students can work from home. Some schools have therefore frozen their budgets for other things as they wait for September to see how the situation with the coronavirus pandemic develops. Troselj says that the most important thing for them now is to deliver all the contracted orders, and emphasises that, as things seem at the moment, they will manage to achieve that.

"We were also a little lucky, because culturally, schools in the United States are like kindergartens, they also serve to look after children while their parents work so that they're still in function with them," says Troselj. He adds that the transformation of the company in such a short time has been very challenging indeed, not only in terms of sales but also in communication to investors and in production, as well as planning for future development. He states that STEMI now communicates with major investors on a daily basis, and with the bigger ones on a monthly basis. In addition, they are currently preparing to send out a quarterly report.

"We didn't reach the set goals for this quarter, but we couldn't have predicted the coronavirus pandemic. However, investors have an understanding, because we inform them in detail about everything we're doing and that's why we get to enjoy their support,'' says Troselj. In production and planning for future development, he states that the coronavirus crisis has increased the prices of inputs by up to 20 and even 30 percent, and extended the procurement deadlines by two to three times. He points out that some hardware factories in China have had to shut down, others have slowed down the pace of their deliveries, and transportation has slowed.

"The biggest challenge was the fact that we were supposed to start our production in May, and we were just starting a real 'new normal' sale and we couldn't immediately know how many robots we needed to produce," says Troselj.

He explains that they didn't want to overcrowd the parts warehouse, nor did they want to question the deliveries. In addition, before the coronavirus struck Croatia, they planned to go to China for a short time and personally perform some of the necessary tests before delivering the parts.

This way, he says, they had to hire an R&D company from Shenzhen to do the job for them. He adds that they intend to continue to adapt.

"Some schools have even increased their orders from us, because they're conducting education from home, so they ordered additional robots. However, we're already looking for space for growth in programmes that aren't related to hardware,'' concludes Troselj.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

STEMI: Croatian Startup Raises First Million Kuna in Less Than One Hour

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 28th of November, 2019, in less than an hour, the amazing Croatian startup STEMI raised over one million in capital (154,000 euros) to expand its operations in the USA and Germany.

The group investment campaign at Funderbeam SEE for the Rijeka-based educational and technological (edtech) startup STEMI, which celebrated with the first Croatian educational robot Hexapod, has now set a new investment record in Croatia with its incredible acheivement. So far, nobody on the entire platform, jointly run by the Estonian Funderbeam and the Zagreb Stock Exchange, has managed to reach their first million so quickly.

In addition, STEMI has set a modest monthly target of 2.25 million kuna (300,000 euros) and has exceeded half of the minimum capital required to successfully complete this funding round. Marin Trošelj, co-founder and director of STEMI, says that in case of higher demand, the campaign will increase. "We offer 6.25 to 10 percent shares in STEMI for a stake of 300-500 thousand euros," Trošelj stated.

In his presentation at the Zagreb Stock Exchange, he revealed several facts that could explain the significant investor interest STEMI can boast of. In addition to being a new key product with which to expand, licenses for STEM education as a service, which has already been successfully tested over in the United States, the startup's founder stated that its market in the US and EU is as high as 360,000 schools. It already has a partner in a new niche in the US and is just about to sign a contract with another partner closer to home in Germany.

Furthermore, in its presentation to investors in Rijeka, STEMI's rapid growth of income and profitability was also mentioned. In 2020, STEMI expects 1.6 million kuna in revenue, a year later it expects 13.5 million kuna, and in 2022, with expected revenue of 39.9 million kuna, it expects to make a profit for the very first time.

A year later, revenue should jump up to above 90 million kuna, to an incredible 203.6 million kuna in 2024.

"In high school education, we're better positioned than Lego, we offer more, and we have a successful pilot and demand," Trošelj stated.

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