What started as an idea this summer turned into a week-long programme for Croatian entrepreneurs to explore what the UK startup scene has in store for them. Driven by HUB Zagreb’s own Hermes Arriaga and co2cut’s Roman Danko, the programme “A Trip to Conquer” offered a chance to young teams to pitch to VCs, explore incubator and co-working places, talk to the UK Trade & Investment agency and enjoy some quality after-hours networking.
A key event of the tour was perhaps the Bloomberg Tradebook event that took place earlier this week at the Croatian embassy in London. Back in 2012, Bloomberg Tradebook started to introduce startups to the Bloomberg Financial community of private equity, VC and other leading innovators.
“[To succeed you need] talent, luck and little bit of money,” Croatian ambassador to the UK Dr. Ivan Grdešić quipped. If we were to pick up on the money part of his statement, the conditions seemed right: Several VCs and few angels looked interested. In addition, some of the pitching startups were out there aiming high –for some the average investment asked ranged from 100.000-300.000 euros.
A total of 12 startups took part, 11 of which Croatian and one Slovenian.
Although the startups seemed to have come well prepared for the pitch, not all of them were seriously considering an investment at this point and/or had clear idea on how much money they needed. On the other hand, some came with impressive numbers in mind – like Sizem and their investment need of 1,5 million euros.
At the end, it seemed like the money was there, the talent was there, and as far as luck goes, some say that it’s a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.