Programme of POPRI EUSAIR youth 2024


Venue: Amadria Park Hotel, Conference Centre of Hotel Ivan,

Hoteli Solaris 86, 22000 Šibenik

EUSAIR POPRI youth is an international competition for the best entrepreneurial idea among young people from 10 Adriatic-Ionian countries. In 2024, the network of technology parks/regional agencies/schools, working together for the fourth time as a single innovative HUB, supported 200 young teams in the EUSAIR region by providing them with entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.

EUSAIR POPRI youth will take place on 15 & 16 May, 2024 in Šibenik, Croatia, as a youth event within the EUSAIR Forum.

Events will be moderated by Ana Vlahov and Maria Mesarić.


Wednesday, 15 May 2024         

Conference hall: Šibenik V    

18.00 – 19.30        Entrepreneurial Meetup and networking event

 »Building Tomorrow: Is Entrepreneurship Your Next Adventure?«

The best way to learn is to meet with experienced entrepreneurs and listen to their stories. Young people have the opportunity to meet Dr. Aleš Ekar and Nella Slavica, both successful entrepreneurs and managers. They will both share their knowledge and experience in the field of entrepreneurship, because we know that success stories can be an inspiration for young people; but failures are also part of our lives. Maria Mesarić, young POPRI ambassador, will present her entrepreneurial experience and share it with her peers.

Aleš Ekar, CEO at Iskra Shipyard – He leads another business venture of the Zagreb business group - ELKA is a successful manager who is well acquainted with the challenges of business relaunches and restructurings, and is also experienced in the high mobility and networking in this regional international business environment as he was a CEO of Helios Hrvatska, Color Trade and Belinka Hrvatska.

Nella Slavica is a Director of the Public Institute of Krka National Park. The director manages a 109 km² protected area with seven waterfalls, five medieval fortresses, two monasteries, a Roman military camp, a visitor center, Krka Eco Campus in Puljane, 47 km of hiking trails, 388 km of bike routes, 1,197 plant species, 1,058 animal species, caves, and pits. Krka National Park spans four cities and three municipalities, fostering community engagement among its nearly 400 employees who welcome over a million visitors annually..

Maria Mesarić, entrepreneur & young POPRI ambassador – very internationally oriented, having participated in Erasmus exchange programs in Latvia, Poland, and Portugal. She enriched her entrepreneurial experience in various companies and through various education programs, some of which included IT education, and working as an assistant to the president of the Croatian Music Institute. She is also paving her entrepreneurial path and will share her experience with the attendees at the event.

18:00   Short introduction by moderator Ana Vlahov

            Welcome note:

  • Tanja Kožuh, CEO of Primorski tehnološki park
  • Frane Šesnić, CEO of ZICER

Discussion with dr Aleš Ekar, Nella Slavica and Maria Mesarić.

20:00  Welcome cocktail for all participants of EUSAIR Forum

Mediterranean square

Thursday, 16th May 2024        

Conference hall: Šibenik V              

9:00 - 13:30          Youth business model competition

EUSAIR POPRI competition is an opportunity for young participants to present their ideas and contribute to the common good, live a sustainable, quality life, respect the principles of the circular economy and offer solutions to the problems of different people. The young participants prove to be responsible, ambitious members of society who should be listened to. Each business idea is a personal, national, but also international potential that can contribute to the growth and development of the region.

The jury, which will evaluate the young participants' business models and provide them with valuable feedback, is composed of startup experts, including Vanja Perić, Tina Koler, Ana Anžej, Michael Freer, Diana Mudrinić and Anna Quaia.

9.00 – 9.15      Short introduction from both moderators

            Welcome note:

  • Petra Česen Čatar, National Coordinator, EU Macroregional Strategies, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Republic of Slovenia (3 min)
  • Sanjin Vlastelica, Head of Division for European Macro-regions, Ministry  of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia (3 min)

Motivational introduction by young POPRI ambassador, Maria Mesarić, Software developer, Economist, Executive assistant

9.15 – 10.45                  

Presentation of business ideas - University students of EUSAIR countries

/Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, San Marino, Slovenia/

10.45 – 11.00                   Break

11.00 – 12.40                

Presentation of business ideas – High School students of EUSAIR countries

/Albania, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, San Marino, Slovenia/

12.40 – 14.00              Lunch Break


15:00 - 16:30   AWARD CEREMONY - Young POPRI award

Welcome note:

  • Gilles Kittel, Team Leader – Instrument for Pre-Accession, Enlargement Negotiations and EUSAIR, DG REGIO, European Commission (5 min)
  • Tanja Kožuh, CEO Primorski tehnološki park, Slovenia (2 min)
  • Vassilios Tselios, Expert Minister Counselor, EUSAIR National Coordinator Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic (2 min)

Announcement of best business ideas of High-school students and University students & award ceremony.

Official closure of the EUSAIR Forum

17.30   Optional project visit – Barone Fortress, Šibenik

A recognisable monument of cultural heritage in the city of Šibenik, whose renovation was funded by the European Regional Development Fund, IPA IIIC in 2016. Enjoy a breathtaking sunset over the Šibenik channel with a glass of local wine and melodies of Croatian traditional Klape ensemble.

17th May 2024                

Morning                            optional walk throug the city of Šibenik with a guide

10:00 – 15:00      Optional visit to National Park Krka -  fullybooked

The visit to one of Croatia’s most beautiful national parks will be offered on a first come first served basis. Participants must be registered on time, as only 50 spots are available.

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