CISEx / Blog / CISEx / ZIP Announces Startup Island conference, summer “summit” of Central and Eastern European startup community

ZIP Announces Startup Island conference, summer “summit” of  Central and Eastern European startup community

ZAGREB, April 24th 2013. – ZIP, the leading Croatian startup program / incubator is organizing Startup Island - a gathering of the CEE startup community on the island of Hvar, Dalmatia, on the Croatian Adriatic coast.

The Startup Island conference ( is taking place from 13th to 16th of June in the town of Hvar, Croatia. It will gather all the leaders of the startup community from the “New Europe“ region – from Finland and the Baltics to Turkey, from Austria to Russia.

ZIP is organising the event together with a network of 15 partner startup programs from this whole region: Startup Sauna (Finland), (Austria), Eleven and Launchub (Bulgaria), Geekcelerator (Romania), Gammarebels (Poland), Digital October (Russia), Hekovnik (Slovenia), Startup WiseGuys and GameFounders (Estonia), (Montenegro), Node5 and Techsquare (Czech Republic), SEE ICT (Serbia), Neulogy (Slovakia) and the BVU Group (Ukraine).

Prominent keynote speakers at the conference include Jon Bradford (TechStars), Mike Butcher (TechCrunch), Carlos Espinal (Seedcamp), Johan Lorenzen (Sunstone Capital) Nenad Marovac (DN Capital), Ben Rooney (Wall Street Journal) Inmaculada Martinez Rubio (Opus), Heather Russell (Rinkya) and many others.

An important purpose of the conference is to round up the “middle-stage” startup projects from the region. These companies have shown significant progress, have severl years of market success and rapid growth on the global market and are looking for further funding. Some of the conference participants from the near region are the cofounders of Farmeron, ShoutEm, Salespod, Zemanta, Nordeus, as well as other companies from the same generation from the region.

ZIP is also bringing together investors, analysts, media representatives and others operating in the “old” EU states, the United Kingdom and the United States who are actively networking, investing in and partnering with global projects originating from this part of Europe.

“Startup Island will be a one-of-a-kind gathering of the startup community from a large part of Europe”, said Saša Cvetojević, cofounder of ZIP, and went on: “Our colleagues have been begging us for a long time now to organize a conference on the beautiful Adriatic coast. As true entrepreneurs, we have decided to give our partners and the whole ecosystem what they asked for, and the reactions were extraordinary. As soon as we sent out the first bits of information, everybody said: ‘we’re in!’. We are just as pleased to see the sponsors express their strong interest in joining us as partners and supporting this splendid event.”

“This conference is going to be just awesome”, added Jon Bradford, managing director of TechStars London “The stunning venue and fantastic group of participants make Startup Island the event to attend for everyone interested in the booming Central and Eastern European startup ecosystem.”

ZIP (, based in Zagreb, Croatia, is Croatia’s leading startup program. With a network of more than 50 Croatian and international mentors, ZIP is supporting early stage startup teams on their way to global success. The program was founded by leading Croatian entrepreneurs Damir Sabol, Ivo Špigel, Mihovil Barančić and Saša Cvetojević. The ZIP International Advisory Board includes Antti Ylimutka (Startup Sauna), Carlos Espinal (Seedcamp), Dave McClure (500Startups), Nenad Marovac (DN Capital) and Stefan Glaenzer (White Bear Yard / Passion Capital). 



Viktor Fonić

Viktor Fonić

Communication coordinator and webmaster at CISEx @ Viktor Fonić

Member of Board of European Students of Technology - BEST, soft-skills trainer, passionate traveller

Social networks coordinator and webmaster at Croatian Independent Software Exporters

Frontend & backend website and mobile website developer at Netgen


  • Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing - Computer Science, 2007 - present
  • III. Gimnazija, Split 2003 - 2007


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