Riding the entrepreneurial rollercoaster
It’s that time of the year again! For the 34th time, the PODIM Conference in the Slovenian city of Maribor will bring together entrepreneurial stakeholders for two days in the spring, on 14-15 May. Here’s a preview of what to expect at this gathering on entrepreneurship, which is one of the largest in the CEE region.
Being an entrepreneur involves some predisposition to risk taking – after all, you usually want to go big or go home with your idea. Preferably big. Therefore, facing the challenges founding a startup in today’s complex and competitive economy, more often than not feels like being on “a rollercoaster of death and delight,” as the organisers of the PODIM conference put it. Learning to face the challenges while enjoying the ride on this “entrepreneurial merry-go-round” will be at the centre of the two-day gathering which will be hosted for the 34th time this year.
The PODIM Conference will bring together more than 500 participants from different countries, making it one of the largest regional gatherings on entrepreneurship – and a quite diverse one at that. Startup entrepreneurs in new, as well as existing companies, venture capital investors, mentors, members from various incubators and accelerators, and other entrepreneurship-aficionados will be united at this event.
In a series of roundtables, workshops and lectures, these stakeholders will be discussing global trends in new technology with internationally renowned guests, and sharing experiences and lessons learnt in their respective fields – from academic, as well as applied perspectives. Among the speakers will be Mark Johnson, former CEO of Zite and member of the CNN Digital management team, and Ash Maurya, successful entrepreneur, mentor and author of Amazon’s best-selling book Running Lean.
Co-organised by the Start:up Slovenia Initiative, among others, which seeks to consolidate national projects and programmes, and to unite key stakeholders and other entities in the country, PODIM sees itself as contributing to an evolving Slovenian startup ecosystem. “Our goal is to ensure two really unforgettabledays of entrepreneurial experience in the heart of [the] CEE region,” says Stanislava Vabšek, member of the organising team. “We‘ll … bring in today’s cutting edge knowledge on technologies, marketing, product and service design and early start-up strategies for building globally successful companies,” Vabšek added. Specifically tailored to the needs of startups, PODIM will offer one-on-one mentorship sessions, as well as matching and networking opportunities.
Organised for the first time, “PODIM Matching”, “PODIM 1:1” and “PODIM Challenge” will provide startups with valuable opportunities to get up close to potential investors and mentors. In the “PODIM Challenge”, participants can take the stage to pitch themselves and their ideas to the audience of investors, partners, and other interested parties. While entrepreneurs can look for like-minded participants looking to join forces as part of “PODIM Matching”, “PODIM 1:1” entails personal coaching and mentorship session with selected PODIM speakers.
And of course, there will be a big party in the evening to celebrate, forge new ties and deepen existing ones. Don’t miss it – get your ticket here!
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