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21 February 2022·7 min read

Dorota Potępa

Community Builder, Vestbee

Best Startup Accelerators And Incubators In Croatia

Croatia is usually associated with breathtaking islands, incredible food, and idyllic holidays rather than with new technologies, global investors, and startups. However, the past few years have shown tremendous growth in the ecosystem of young entrepreneurs in Croatia. For example, you can find several convenient coworking spaces here.

The changes are visible not only in the business’s development thanks to some VC funds but also in the administration sector as all of the governmental services have been digitized and together with its citizens jumped into the XXI century. Croatian range of accelerators and incubators may not be very wide but is definitely worth attention as the offered program are top-notch!

BIRD Incubator

BIRD Incubator, powered by Poslovna Inteligencija, was founded in early 2021 and within a short time conquered the Croatian startup ecosystem. You may wonder why it is named after a fertilized egg heater but actually, it’s an acronym coming from the words Business, Intelligence, Research, and Development. It aims to help startups with software ideas related to data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning from not only Croatia but the whole Europe. What distinguishes BIRD from other incubators from the region is a vast network of industry leaders, experts, mentors, over 40 international companies and research institutes.

The application process is open all year long and if your team is motivated enough to get accepted, you will be involved in a 6-month incubation program taking place not only in extremely modern but also fully equipped facilities in Zagreb city center. 

Founder Institute

Founder Institute is a world-known network having its offices in 90 countries (sic!) that helps turn ideas into fundable startups and then those startups into global businesses. The program is designed for a vast variety of founders from a vast variety of backgrounds as the Founder Institute team believes that Great Companies start with Great People.

Since 2009 this pre-acceleration program has been developed into a well-oiled machine with structured methodology, a lifetime of connections, funding support, and access to a global network of entrepreneurs. Its Zagreb branch supports the ecosystem not only by educating teams at the beginning of their business journey but also by organizing community events. 

What is more, Founder Institute was chosen by Vestbee as an Accelerator of the Month - find out more details about their program here.

Startup Incubator Rijeka

Startup Incubator Rijeka is a support center that enables potential entrepreneurs to develop their own business idea as a team or independently. It was founded in 2013 as an integral part of the City Administration Department for Entrepreneurship of the City of Rijeka. 

Throughout its incubation program, startup teams get support from industry experts, free access to workspace and the possibility to network with potential investors.

It lasts for 8 months and consists of 35+ workshops and lectures divided into three thematic modules: Validation of an idea; Product Development, Legal Aspects & Finance; and Market Entry, which enable participants to design and complete their initial ideas.

Poduzetnički inkubator BIOS

Poduzetnički Inkubator BIOS is a place to develop your own business on the most favorable terms, where entrepreneurs support each other, give advice and share their experience. By joining BIOS you can work on your solution more efficiently thanks to the community support, industry events and various business opportunities. Moreover, incubator offers access to a Hardware Lab designed for rapid prototyping with 3D printers and tools used to process metal, plastic or wood. Unfortunately, this place is not free of charge and you need to make a reservation in order to use its facilities. However, it is definitely worth joining BIOS, as it is one of the best-equipped places to kick off your business! 

Step Ri

The Science and Technology Park Step Ri of the University of Rijeka is a place where science and business connect, offering access to a variety of new technology initiatives.

As one of the leading institutions promoting entrepreneurship in Croatia, Step Ri brings together the latest world knowledge on innovation and business through special programs. 

​​Depending on the level of development and demand for business, startups can receive support in three individual and one group models - Pre-incubation, Incubation and Off-park incubation imply a tailor-made rhythm of work and tracking progress, while on the other hand, a group program called Step Ri Playpark provide workshops with a regular timetable.


Once you’re a student, researcher, or scientist at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing at the University of Zagreb, you have a chance to join the SPOCK program. Whether you are an individual with an idea or have already formed your team, you can apply to SPOCK and profit from offered workshops, mentoring, expert support and a wide network of investors, VC funds and corporate partners.

The program is designed for teams at the earliest stages of development as well as for those which already have MVP - each team is treated individually. The best hallmark of the SPOCK is the fact that although the program lasts for the whole 6 months it has special breaks for exams in order to help you succeed as a founder and as a student.


The name ZICER stands for a shortcut from Zagreb Innovation Center which offers everything that a team needs to develop a startup in one place is - incubator and accelerator, coworking space, and hardware lab. 

Its incubation program aims to provide full support for high tech, electronics, ICT, green tech, energy, or sustainable development-related startups at the beginning of its entrepreneurial path through validating the idea, working on team values, building strategies for entering the market and improving team’s pitching skills.

On the other hand, ZICER Accelerator focuses mainly on eligible projects in later stages of development. The program consists of three, extremely intensive 3-day bootcamps loaded with workshops, mentoring sessions, networking events and industry talk. The program grand finale is a Demo Day during which startups pitch in front of a jury board and may win a cash prize.

Want to discover more accelerators and incubators from other countries? Check out the list below. 
Top Accelerators and Incubators from:

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