There has been a lot of talk lately about how Central and Eastern European countries are attracting investor attention. According to Trading RoomCEE is one of the fastest growing regions in venture capital funding in Europe, growing 7.6 times since 2017.
And despite the decrease in funding of US-based investors for European startups in 2023, particularly those from the Central and Eastern European (CEE) ecosystems, which only constitute 3.6% of the EU total venture capital investment, there are still initiatives aimed at securing investments for innovative startups in the region.
Podim is one of them, an event that plays a vital role in helping Central and Eastern European startup ecosystems thrive. This benchmark meeting point for CEE entrepreneurship serves as a platform where innovation converges with business opportunities, capital and knowledge.
All roads go east
The event brings together renowned international investors, established companies, startups and scaleups from the Alpine-Adriatic and Western Balkan regions to connect and engage in effective networking and negotiation.
Recently, the Podim Pitching Competition, Podim’s startup competition, announced the ten semi-finalists for this year’s event. These startups come from a wide range of industries, covering everything from empowering children and adults with hands-on STEM experiences to creating winning ads and simplifying the path to psychotherapy through video calls.
The ten semi-finalists are CircuitMess (Croatia), Midnightdeal (Austria), Behavio and Hedepy (Czech), Radical Storage and Sensoworks (Italy), Qubinets (Croatia), NUTEK AT GmbH (Austria), Remea | EV Charging Platform (Slovenia) and eevie (Austria).
These startups are working on a wide range of projects, including the development of a no-code big data infrastructure platform, hyperspectral medical imaging technology, an electric vehicle charging platform, and solutions to accelerate climate action.
A great day is coming
The semi-finals will take place during the Podim Investors Meetup, which will be held on Monday, May 15, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (local time) at the Maribox Conference Center in Maribor, Slovenia.
The event is organized in cooperation with AWS, Credo Ventures and South Central Ventures. At the Investors Meetup, investors, speakers and key partners will come together to discuss the region’s most exciting startups and entrepreneurs.
“At Podim, we believe that innovation is the key to unlocking the potential of the CEE region’s startup and technology ecosystem. We are proud to provide a platform that allows startups, investors and business leaders to connect, learn and close deals efficiently. Whether you are looking to showcase your startup, find your next business partner, or simply discover the excitement around the latest technology trends, Podim is the perfect place,” says Urban Lapajne, Program Manager at Podim.
According to their organizers, the Podim Pitching Competition offers startups a great opportunity to present their ideas and receive feedback from investors and industry experts.
The competition has a proven track record of helping startups grow and succeed. Past winners of the competition include companies such as Bellabeat, Celtra and CargoX, all of whom have achieved significant success in their respective industries.
In addition to the pitch competition, the Podim Investors Meetup will feature a series of conferences and panels on topics such as entrepreneurship, innovation and investment. The event is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn from experienced industry leaders and network with potential investors and partners such as IDEO, ENEL, Techstars, Miro, Adidas, UiPath, Google, Infobip and MIT Media Lab.
The event will also feature 70 speakers across 14 program blocks, with highlights including discussions on defining a realistic product strategy, workplace culture, and the chatbot revolution for startups. AI.
Additionally, attendees can network with over 200 startups from the CEE and Balkans region in the Podim Deal Room. This event promises to provide attendees with the latest information, best practices and valuable networking opportunities.