2022 | StartupBlink View the Global Startup Map p. 189 Slovenia’s ecosystem has achieved significant investment and exit opportunities for startups. An example of an exit is Bitstamp, which increased media attention and awareness of available opportunities, in fintech and beyond, and attracted younger generations largely interested in IT development due to the increasing viability of career options. National startup awards, along with national entrepreneurship, are well supported by the Slovenian government, which extensively supports the PODIM conference and startup support events. Slovenia has also made progress in simplifying administrative procedures for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Alongside this public sector support, Slovenian startups are amongst some of the most successful per capita on crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter. Early-stage startups are also heavily financed by public sources, including the Slovenian Enterprise Fund. An investment platform of over US $40 million will be launched by the end of 2022 to support innovation, scientific research, and the protection of intellectual property in Slovenia and Croatia. This is an initiative of The European Investment Fund (EIF), Slovenia’s national promoter bank (SID Banka), and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR). Slovenia offers entrepreneurs and startups the opportunity to experiment, crowdfund, grow, and expand. The country has many innovation hubs and programs that support startups in their initial phase of development. One notable independent initiative is Startup Slovenia, an open platform of the Slovenian startup ecosystem that supports innovative entrepreneurship. Regionally, Slovenia is struggling to defend its status as a startup and economic hub with the growth of startup ecosystems in more populated countries such as Croatia and Serbia, all of which share a relatively similar language. However, Slovenia's startup ecosystem has not moved fast enough to solidify itself as the leading regional hub. Going forward, we believe Slovenia can form a powerful ecosystem like other small population countries in Europe, such as Estonia and Lithuania, enjoying the ability to move fast and implement revolutionary strategies as a small country. The only question is whether the public sector will execute non-traditional development strategies or play it safe and forgo meaningful impact. Notable Startups and Ecosystem Champions ÂViberate Ljubljana, Slovenia Viberate is a music network that collects and analyzes data points of musicians, venues, events, and other music industry stakeholders. ÂJuicy Marbles Kamnik, Slovenia Juicy Marbles makes plant-based steaks. ÂElly Ljubljana, Slovenia Elly (previously Eligma) synergizes payment methods and additional POS services into one solution, transforming the POS terminal into a tool for business growth.