Zagreb Slush’D kickstarted a thrilling year of Slush’D events. One of the standout features of Zagreb Slush’D was the prominent role of female founders and investors, offering a platform for women to share their remarkable achievements and experiences.
The organizing team, led by Petra Ignjatović, Antun-Gustav Kos, and Paula Grubiša set out to create meaningful connections and collaborations between startups and investors, also by attracting interest from venture capitalists who were visiting Croatia for the first time.
Zagreb Slush’D truly set the bar for our 14 other Slush’D events coming later this year. The stormy weather outside provided a striking contrast to the beautiful atmosphere inside where strangers greeted one another as if they were old friends.
The organizers themselves are the real stars of the show — here’s what they have to say!
BECOMING PART OF THE SLUSH’D COMMUNITY
“At Bornfight, we recognized the need and potential to better position our country on the global startup and business map.” With unicorn companies already making waves on the international stage, the Zagreb Slush’D team aimed to contribute to the further enhancement of the local ecosystem and pave the way for future successful startup stories.
The organizing team identified two key bottlenecks within the ecosystem: The need for boosting visibility towards foreign venture capitalists and raising awareness of the exceptional female founders within the community.
THE HIGHS AND LOWS
Fostering connection was core to the event, and this was one of the rare startup events where female founders and investors were at the forefront. It was a delight to hear their success stories and their experiences. Organizing a side event in addition to the main event proved to be beneficial as attendees were able to achieve a closer connection in a more intimate setting. In addition, timing the event a few days prior to a larger startup event nearby allowed participants, particularly international attendees, to attend both events in a single trip and continue nurturing the relationships established at Slush’D.
Leading up to the event something a little tricky to navigate was the fact that most partners and sponsors got involved only a few weeks prior to the event. While the event unfolded smoothly, it felt as if the cosmos was not on outside as the weather was awful and the electricity went out at the venue just a couple of hours before the start. Luckily, it went back on just in time 🙂 The team managed to cope with all the hiccups exceptionally well.
It was great to have the amazing support and knowledge-sharing with the Slush team members. Even the small details, like signage, proved to be some great guiding points for Slush’D too.
LEARNINGS FOR FUTURE EVENTS
Next time, Zagreb Slush’D will definitely be a grander event. This first one was a learning experience of sorts, and we wish for the next one to be bigger and better. Effective preparation for the registration process will also be a priority next time, for an invitation-only event to manage walk-in attendees more efficiently.
We also found that the decision to enable as much time for networking as possible proved to be a good one, as this is something that many attendees praised.
Other learnings/advice include:
- If you have applications, close them before the day of the event (you’ll be receiving applications even after the start of the event otherwise)
- 1:1 meetings are great for bigger events (our guests recommended them for the next time)
- Making sure the presentations and on-stage talks are well-prepared is important (we received some helpful feedback on this)
- Provide coffee at all times ☕️
- Organize an after-party if you can — if you don’t, no worries, some of the attendees will make their own — try to be there!
Zagreb Slush’D beautifully laid the foundation for a vibrant and inclusive startup ecosystem, empowering female founders and paving the way for future generations of entrepreneurs. The event’s impact will undoubtedly resonate within the local startup community, contributing to the growth and recognition of Croatian startups on a global stage.
As the Slush’D journey continues, organizers and participants eagerly anticipate the next editions of Slush’D.