CAB – call for innovative SMEs – be a part of a thriving transnational entrepreneurial ecosystem

The selection process is now closed. The technical committee has chosen 6 companies that will participate in the program. Click here to see which companies were accepted into the program.

CAB – Cross-border Acceleration Bridge aims to support innovative startups on the rise, which can benefit from the unique characteristics of Italy – Slovenia Program area and increase the competitiveness of the region. By connecting Slovenian and Italian side, the countries will together shape, test and establish a new long-term cross-border acceleration entity, capable of encouraging investment in the development of new, innovative products and services.

First CAB program bootcamp. Photo: Siniša Kanižaj

CAB is financed by the Interreg Italy-Slovenia Program 2014-2020, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and implemented by a qualified Italian and Slovenian partnership.

CAB call for innovative SMEs is addressed to innovative startups which want to accelerate their business by utilizing the power of cross-border acceleration. 10 companies will be invited to participate in a six-month program which will take place in Slovenia (Ljubljana) and Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto). Slovenia is an ideal market for startup development and product testing, while Italy makes use of its consolidated economy, especially in the North-Eastern part of the country, as the strong foundation for business development.

The CAB call is focused on but not exclusively limited to the following segments: artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things, big data, blockchain, ICT, and smart factory applications (Industry 4.0). The call will open in the beginning of December and the program starts on January 24, 2019. Below is a list of criteria which will be taken into consideration during the selection of candidates for the program. Apply now for a chance to benefit from a cross-border symbiosis of two unique and successful business environments.

First CAB program Demoday. Photo: Siniša Kanižaj

Quality criteria:

  1. Legal or operative Program area
  2. At least 5 years of operation
  3. Turnover of at least € 5 million OR 20 employees
  4. Availability for the participation of a team (2 people)

Preference criteria:

  1. Technical evaluation on the submitted project
  2. Majority of active employees within the program
  3. Potential for market growth
  4. % of sales abroad
  5. Rate of education of employees


Application open December 2018

Start of the program 24 January 2019

More about the program:

Contact: Maja Jerala


Call in English

Call in Italian

Call in Slovene

Would you like to mentor startups?

ABC Accelerator’s mission is to empower start-ups by removing obstacles on their path to growth. Because we deal with an ever-increasing number of start-ups, we would like to strengthen our mentoring squad, maintaining our quality.

A Mentor, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is an experienced and trusted adviser. Some studies of SME’s have shown that only 22% of entrepreneurs had a mentor at the beginning of their business journey, and 92% out of those businessmen said that it was vital to their company’s successful development.

Be it through their experience, knowledge or connections, our experiences show that mentors are crucial to a start-up’s successful growth.

For that reason, we’re publishing a call for mentors to apply to the CAB program (Cross-Acceleration Bridge), that we started in October 2018. 15 start-ups have been chosen to participate in a program, set to help them grow in the Slovenian and Italian markets. We’re looking for mentors that have knowledge and experience in business or other specific domains such as IT, investment, sales etc., willing to dedicate a couple of hours per month, to assist other entrepreneurs.

For more information, please read the linked call documentation. Please fill out the Application Form and send it to, with the subject line: “Mentor’s application”, if you wish to co-operate with our start-ups.

We look forward to your email!

Download Call Documentation

Download Application Form


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