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05 May 2022·7 min read

Dorota Potępa

Community Builder, Vestbee

Best Startup Accelerators And Incubators In Slovenia

With a population of 2 million, Slovenia is relatively small but within the last few years it has become one of the biggest players in the European startup ecosystem as it presents the most vibrant economy of all countries of ex-Yugoslavia. It can be owed not only to the strong support from the public sector to improve regulation as well as create better conditions for innovation by having great coworking spaces but also to numerous top VC funds or startup accelerators and incubators, some of which we present to you below.

ABC Accelerator

Based in Ljubljana, ABC Accelerator, for the past 6 years has successfully supported over 200 startups including Hotailor, Eligma and Videobolt. Their famous 3-month acceleration program is held twice a year accepting only up to 12 startups from various sectors per batch. What distinguishes its application process from other accelerators is the fact that it’s open all year long, so teams can apply anytime, however, the principle of the selection system is “first applied, first processed”, so don’t wait too long.
During the acceleration, teams have a chance to work with the best industry mentors, establish valuable business connections and become a part of a vast community of founders. Moreover, the curriculum of the program is tailored-made for each startup in order to fulfill the needs of the founders and help them achieve more ambitious goals.

Reveris 

A niche startup accelerator Reveris enables early-stage startups from software, tech and gaming industries to engage with top consultants from diversified business backgrounds such SaaS, marketplace, AI, ML, Adtech, R&D and video games. The program always revolves around the startup’s needs as the Reveris experts support only a few teams at one time by working on crucial aspects of the business from designing through financing to execution. They concentrate on coaching, brainstorming, improving design thinking, customer development and - the most important of all - implementing data-driven decisions.
Although the incubator is located in Ljubljana, it works remotely throughout the region which enables startups outside the capital city to apply and accelerate their business. 

Kovačnica - business incubator Kranj 

Kovačnica - business incubator Kranj is often called one of the most supportive environments for potential entrepreneurs and already existing startups. The program itself is quite unique as it distinguishes as many as 5 fundamentals of the successful incubation: motivational events, information and advice on business building, thematic events devoted to strengthening knowledge among specific subjects, mentoring for a period of 3 months and short-term counseling from industry experts. 
Besides incubation activities, Kovacnica plays the role of a coworking space, a community center built by young and passionate founders from Slovenia, an event organizer and most importantly a place where entrepreneurs have a chance to share their knowledge as well as to look for advice.

Hekovnik Startup School

Hekovnik Startup School believes that there is nothing more important than sharing knowledge with an open mind and full transparency, this is why Hekovnik acceleration programs are designed to fill the gap between education and the realities of the market. 
In addition to that, their mentors focus on identifying problems, providing a wide variety of business tools and spotting the market needs, which is followed by the process of product development, storytelling, methodology, data implementation, team building and pitching to investors.
Once you decide to apply to Hekovnik you are obliged to fill in a form on its website, based on which your custom program can be created. Furthermore, Hekovnik is the first accelerator that has brought Slovenian startups to Silicon Valley and constantly cooperates with top-notch investors from the US.

Incubator Sežana

Incubator Sežana is the oldest, as well as the largest business incubator in Slovenia. The offered support for startups consists of consulting and mentoring in the field of product development, process organization, promotion, communication, marketing, information and communication technologies, internationalization, and staffing as well as in the legal, tax and financial fields. 
The Sežana Incubator does not focus on founders from only one sector but is simply open to those who have an innovative business idea and want to triumphantly enter the market. The main goal of the program is not only to develop the business but also to evaluate the project in order to improve the chances of success.

Ljubljana University Incubator

Ljubljana University Incubator (LUI) is dedicated to startups at an early stage of development. Most participants come from the academic environment of the University of Ljubljana, but other teams are also welcome in the process. The LUI program is divided into several phases, depending on the company stage: the Pre-incubation is 6 months long and is intended for those who are just at the very beginning of their entrepreneurial path and do not have an open business yet. On the other hand, the Incubation is long-term cooperation (up to 3 years) aiming at startups that are ready to enter the market. In both cases, workshops and mentoring are tailored to meet the founders’ expectations and touch on the topics of sales, marketing and team. Besides that, startups can benefit from assistance in business development as well as from the vast community of investors and industry professionals.

SAŠA Incubator

Last but not least we cannot forget about the SAŠA Incubator that brings together young entrepreneurial talents, freelancers, startups, fast-growing companies, managers and corporations and forms the startup community of the region. Besides the free consultations, mentoring programs, workshops and social evenings, SAŠA is mostly devoted to the main three pillars of its actions. Firstly, we can distinguish Startup Weekend which takes place twice a year as it concentrates on creative thinking and lean entrepreneurship in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Secondly, startups may apply to Startup Generator (formerly called Entrepreneurial Trampoline) which is a 6-week program for 12 newly established startups from Słovenia consisting of workshops led by professionals from all over Slovenia, individual mentoring and pitching in front of a broad audience of investors, entrepreneurs and press. Lastly, since 2018, SAŠA organizes an international conference called Future 4.0 that connects startups from Industry 4.0 with large corporations through 1:1 matchmaking as well as good old networking.

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

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