The Slovenia Times

BTC City Ljubljana - Innovative Ideas


BTC systematically promotes the inclusion of its most important stakeholders - its employees, business partners, and young people - in the innovation process. All of these players, who contribute their insight, original ideas and novel vision, participate in the development of the BTC City Ljubljana shopping centre into a true arena of innovation. This year, the development space supplies the most daring with additional momentum which is provided by ABC Hub and ABC Accelerator.

ABC Hub is a manifestation of the innovation and advancement of BTC

With ground-breaking content and a condensed environment that fosters innovation in the one place -BTC City - Slovenia is becoming one of the main development hubs in the wider region. Following the quick international breakthrough of ABC Accelerator, which is listed among the 60 best accelerators in the world and is the strongest of its kind in south-east Europe, BTC, acting on the initiative of ABC Accelerator, founded the Acceleration Business City Hub (ABC Hub). ABC Hub is a space of innovative ideas, which inspires, fosters cooperation and motivates young businesses to reach new heights. It is a development project which spurs BTC City Ljubljana into becoming a centre of innovation. It is also a continuation of the story which began with ABC Accelerator, a story of building a progressive business environment in Slovenia and developing a comprehensive ecosystem of interest to international investors.

ABC Accelerator leads start-ups into international innovation

ABC Accelerator represents an innovative environment in BTC City Ljubljana, which helps start-ups develop their business ideas and break into the domestic as well as the international market. It aims to create a progressive business environment in Slovenia, grant innovative entrepreneurs access to international investors and accelerate their breakthrough in the global market. The networking of diverse partners creates an environment suitable for entrepreneurs and researchers alike. Oriented towards high-quality and a sustainable operation, ABC Accelerator is a part of the strategy to position Slovenia as an innovative country, connecting the entire region with the rest of the world. The progressive narrative of ABC Accelerator sets up a unique network of connections: between small businesses and multinational conglomerates; between academia and business; between different disciplines and generations; between cities and countries; and perhaps most importantly, between different accelerators and other innovation hubs. What unfolds is a creative space available to all the players in the market, including investors.

As Jože Mermal, President of the BTC Management Board emphasises: "Ljubljana is becoming a lively and diverse city in which we steadily create a progressive international business environment. ABC Accelerator plays an important part in this development, while BTC helps with infrastructure, reference and knowledge. ABC Accelerator has welcomed young people from different continents, full of knowledge and the wish to succeed. I believe in their success."

ABC Hub: a continuation of the development of ABC Accelerator

Following the successful completion of ABC Accelerator's first six-month intensive "Smart City" program in June, eight start-ups attracted more than 70 investors. The majority of these businesses continue on their path as part of the ABC Hub, located on the lower floor of the Ljubljana Emporium Hall which opened its doors in September. ABC Hub is an extension of ABC Accelerator and offers start-ups, the ABC Space offices, everything they need for the successful development of their businesses. It is a new, modern hub, a unique ecosystem for adventurous start-ups and young businesses, which facilitates their breakthrough domestically as well as internationally.

New dimensions through co-working, coaching and teambuilding

On 2,000m2, ABC Hub offers everything that start-ups and young businesses require for successful development: a connection with knowledge, the international mentorship and investor network of ABC Accelerator, flexible and fixed working spaces, four large conference rooms, two quiet corners and lecture halls, and rooms intended for socialising and fun. This space gives concepts such as "co-working", "coaching" and "teambuilding" a new dimension, which enables young entrepreneurs and innovators to communicate and be in contact with potential investors and business partners from all over the world through high-end technology and the guidance of mentors.

Jaša Bukovec and Jan Serini from the start-up company, V3D, mention the networking possibilities as one of ABC Hub's main advantages: "ABC Hub represents a great opportunity for starting a new business. In the beginning, every start-up has some trouble dealing with costs which are usually higher than the company's income. The presence of entrepreneurs with similar business views can at least lower the costs. Since it is hard to work alone, networking is of great importance also for the service aspect, as cooperating with an experienced team can lead to increased efficiency."

ABC Accelerator to continue the "Smart living and health" program

Since its inception, ABC Accelerator has consistently proven to be a success. This spring, the accelerator received an invitation to join the Internet Innovation Hub, a European network of 20 business acceleration programs. Membership of the Global Acceleration Network, which is considered to be one of the most prestigious and best accelerator networks worldwide, constitutes another special achievement. The development of ABC Accelerator in an "inward" direction is inevitably followed by development in an "outward" direction. In October, the Accelerator will welcome the second generation of young entrepreneurs with the "Smart living and health" program. This time, the focus will be on solutions for quality living. Among other things, start-ups participating in the program will be met with the most modern development environment in the region, initial capital, securities bonus in the form of technological equipment and licences, experienced mentors, access to the IBM innovation centres worldwide and the business environment of BTC City Ljubljana to test new business ideas.


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