Šempeter pri Gorici, Slovenia – 23 October 2023
Primorski tehnološki park (PTP) is thrilled to announce the successful conclusion of a remarkable event, the POPRI Startup Challenge, held on October 22nd and 23rd, 2023. The event organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, the Danube Strategy Point, and the expertise of Transformation Lighthouse, have seen an unprecedented coming together of 50 young minds from all across Europe to address issues of talent retention, entrepreneurship, and youth empowerment.
Before the POPRI Startup Challenge, the 2nd Danube Youth Camp, starting on 20 October in Šempeter pri Gorici, served as a momentous occasion where the Danube Youth Council (DYC) members gathered to reflect upon the accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned during their first DYC mandate. The event aimed to shape the future of the DYC, transitioning from a one-year Pilot Action to a long-term implementation format.
The POPRI Startup Challenge (22-23 October) conducted with the support of Primorski tehnološki park was an exciting and intensive hackathon-style event, bringing together 50 young participants, mentors and experts from diverse backgrounds and regions. Over the course of two days, they collaborated, innovated, and applied their skills to propose innovative solutions that can help stem the tide of talent leaving the region.
On Monday, October 23, a compelling panel discussion, "In Search of Talents – the Power of Youth," took place. The panel served as a platform for these young participants to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the European Commission representative Elisa Cocco, European Capital of Culture Programme Director Stojan Pelko, and entrepreneur Ursula Levrenčič. During this insightful exchange, the students presented the outcomes of their brainstorming sessions and hackathon work, providing fresh insights into how Europe can harness its youth power to address the challenges of brain drain.
Petra Česen Čatar, Slovene national coordinator for EUSDR, EUSAIR, and EUSALP:
"These capacity building events have underlined the importance of youth engagement in addressing the challenges our regions are facing. The solutions proposed during the POPRI Startup Challenge and the discussions at the Annual Forum panel offer valuable recommendations for our collective efforts in creating a brighter future for our communities."
Tanja Kožuh, CEO of Primorski tehnološki park:
"We are honoured to have hosted this extraordinary assembly of young leaders. The reflection workshop was an invaluable opportunity for them to share experiences and chart the path forward, ensuring their contributions to our communities remain impactful and lasting."
Continuing Impact at the 12th EUSDR Annual Forum
The journey doesn't end here. All young participants will physically participate in the 12th EUSDR Annual Forum, held in Brdo pri Kranju on October 24th, 2023. During the forum, they will present the outcomes of the POPRI Startup Challenge and share the insights gained from their DYC mandate with stakeholders, the Danube Region Strategy community, and beyond.
Primorski tehnološki park is proud to have played a pivotal role in hosting these transformative events. The knowledge, experience, and recommendations gathered during the the POPRI Startup Challenge, with the expertise of Transformation Lighthouse, will continue to shape the future of our communities, ensuring a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow.