Young hopes of Croatian agrifood: TeamUp x Agrifood meetup brought together top startups from the field of food agriculture
As part of the Empowering Women in Agrifood program, on 26th of September 2022 Lean Startup Croatia organised TeamUp x Agrifood meetup. The idea of TeamUp platform itself is to connect startups at the earliest stage with their potential co-founders, collaborators or employees.
The event gathered over 50 participants and showcased 3 early-stage startups, as well as 5 interesting speakers who talked about female entrepreneurship, challenges in the agrifood industry and startup team development.
Brankica Borović, one of the panelists, exchanged life in Rome for a family farm in Raducic, and a computer for a tractor. The founder of the natural cosmetics brand Viktoria, remembered the beginnings from the attic of her house and all the challenges she faced in Croatia. Although she says that the whole process was extremely demanding, she points out that the results are rewarding. Edo Mujkic, co-founder and CEO of BiteMe Nutrition, is currently facing challenges in foreign markets, but despite this, he cannot imagine everyday life without it. Tino Prosenik from Gruntek startup revealed that he often finds new employees at events like TeamUp, and he advised young founders not to miss opportunities to recruit new talented members through similar events.
Entrepreneurs highlighted many challenges they face, which often include a lack of empowerment and of resources for development, an unappreciative market and an unsupportive environment.
Ivana Radojcic Redovnikovic, a professor at the Faculty of Food Technology, explained how her team was lucky and had an "unfair" advantage in accessing the laboratory for conducting experiments, which the Faculty gave them. Matija Bubmak, executive director of DIH Agrifood Croatia, concluded by saying that he believes that Croatia has a lot of potential for the development of this sector at the European level, given its geographical location, which everyone agreed with.
The survey conducted among the participants showed that they are very familiar with the Croatian startup scene. Among the most popular, startups Gruntek and BiteMe stood out. Encouraged by their success, the participants of this year's EWA program, Monika Gvozdic and Magdalena Kovačić, took over the microphone and presented the projects they are working on.
Monika Gvozdic, the founder of RoomHarvest, presented the project and the open position in her team. RoomHarvest aims to eliminate the use of harmful substances for growing vegetable crops and reduce the water use by developing an aeroponic kit for growing different crops. They are currently in the testing phase, and they expect the first lettuce in 3 weeks. In the future, they plan to grow herbs and cherry tomatoes. Currently, their team consists of 3 members, but they are looking for someone with knowledge of inorganic chemistry, and they hope to find the right person soon.
After Monika, Magdalena Kovačić, a student at the Faculty of Agriculture and music school, presented her team. She decided to connect these two passions in a project called the Pjev Majke Prirode with the desire to create a destination where she will educate visitors and grow plants using sound technology. In cooperation with the Faculty of Agriculture and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, she develops a prototype and conducts research. Her team has 4 members, and they are looking for a new force that will help them with business development.
About Lean Startup Croatia
Lean Startup Croatia creates a culture of sustainable entrepreneurship and successful companies through a structured approach in the development of entrepreneurial ideas and startups, using and sharing knowledge, contacts, and experience. “In all projects and whenever possible, we invest special importance and effort in teams led by women entrepreneurs to ensure their ability to succeed. The fact is that women must contend with a wide range of challenges in business. That is why we are looking forward to those projects in which women have achieved significant success and continued to develop their business ideas.”
Learn more about Lean Startup Croatia and EWA on their web page.
For more information about the EWA program in Croatia, contact: email@example.com