After 3,838 young participants developed 1458 business models in 18 years at POPRI Slovenia, the national competition organized by Primorska Technology Park has grown into an international project. Pupils and students from nine countries in the Adriatic-Ionian region competed with their entrepreneurial ideas at the EUSAIR Forum in Portorož on 11 and 12 May. It is an initiative that puts Slovenia on the map of the most pervasive countries in the field of developing entrepreneurship skills among young people. The teams from Slovenia were delighted with the victories in both categories.
The POPRI competition has been held on online platforms since the outbreak of the pandemic. Despite distance learning, this year 344 young people in Slovenia competed in the categories of elementary school students, high school students and young people up to 29 years old. The winners among high school and university students also represented Slovenia in the first international competition EUSAIR POPRI Youth
The Primorska Technology Park wanted to expand the model of the competition, which develops entrepreneurship among young people and broadens their horizons, beyond the borders of Slovenia, as they perceived an opportunity and great interest from partners abroad. They joined forces with eight technology parks: Auleda Vlore from Albania, Innovation Center Banja Luka from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Technology Park Varaždin from Croatia, American College of Thessaloniki from Greece, Friulinnovazione from Italy, Business Center Bar from Montenegro, Center for Knowledge Management from Northern Macedonia and Business Incubator Novi Sad from Serbia. The partners cared about the development of entrepreneurial ideas of young people in their countries and selected one of the best teams among the students.
The business models were also created by the participants with the help of POPRI Digital video series. This is online content that helps young people through the process from idea to product using the Lean Entrepreneurship methodology, which is also used by the most successful global start-ups. The contestants prepared the products in writing and presented them orally on the Jura the form of an entrepreneurial PITCH. The Jury consists of prominent entrepreneurs and international experts: Matt Mayfield, Jon Butterfield, Gerion Treska, Ivana Radić, Darko Janković and Mateja Lavrič.
As part of the EUSAIR Forum, Primorska Technology Park also organized a meeting of young people with two successful Slovenian entrepreneurs, Iza Sia Login and Mic Melanšek. In a dynamic and educational discussion led by moderator Sašo Papp, the young people and other participants of the event received a lot of useful information, advice and most importantly knowledge and experience that will benefit them on their career path.
The POPRI International project is supported by European Commission, the EUSAIR Presidency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Government Office for Regional Development and Cohesion Policy and SPIRIT Slovenia. The initiative is also supported by Interact Europe.
Authors: Nik Stojanović, Val Vidmar
Mentors: Janez Gorenc, Simon Jeraj
Author: Blaž Novšak
Mentor: Marjan Hočevar
A two-week virtual course on business modeling, offered by M Accelerator in Los Angeles - the third largest and fastest growing technology ecosystem in the US (prize provided by Primorska Technology Park and M Accelerator)
Authors: Elia Piccoli, Francesco Tonelli
Mentors: Elisa Del Terra, Elisa Micelli
Authors: Darko Savović, Milutin Jovanović.
Mentor: Marko Nišavić
Authors: Mila Projović, Jovan Lazarević, Štefan Mitrović.
Mentor: Aleksandra Gosnjić
Author: Aleksandar Kovač, Nebojša Bogdanović
Mentors: Drago Gverić, Dragana Ilibašić Bajović.
Participation in the conference PODIM - one of the best European events for startups. PODIM will take place online and in Maribor, Slovenia, from 17 to 19 May (the prize will be provided by the PODIM conference).
Authors: Ivan Peshev, Stefan Malinovski, Kristina Popova, Martin Ristoski
Mentor: Liljana Kolovska Dzugomanova
Special prize BORDERLESS: European Capital of Culture 2025 Nova Gorica - Gorica is awarding a special prize for the most creative and "borderless" idea. (The prize is provided by the Capital of Culture Nova Gorica 2025).
With EUSAIR POPRI youth, Slovenia has also become a recognized country that systematically and consistently develops youth entrepreneurship, combines entrepreneurship and education, thereby empowering young generations.