Ljubljana, December 11th 2017 – Last Thursday, startups and enterprises from the Southeast-European region flocked to Ljubljana, Slovenia for a one-of-a-kind opportunity. They arrived to participate in the 2nd annual Meet & Match event, organized by ABC Accelerator in collaboration with EIT Digital.

Meet & Match 2017

A meeting between startups Picosats and Kolektor at Meet & Match 2017. Photo: Milan Lazarevič, ABC Accelerator

Last Thursday’s conference was a culmination of the Meet & Match regional tour, in which ABC Accelerator and EIT Digital representatives visited a number of SEE cities and connected with the local startup ecosystems. The best scaleup companies encountered on tour were invited for the final Meet & Match event in Ljubljana, where they would meet with the leading enterprises active in their vertical. For enterprises, connecting with upcoming startups can be an additional source of corporate innovation to complement existing internal activities.

Meet & Match 2017

Keynote ‘workshop’ with Patrick Cowden. Photo: Milan Lazarevič, ABC Accelerator

Meet & Match kicked off with a special keynote by Patrick Cowden, leadership pioneer and founder at Beyond Leadership, who engaged the participants with a quick workshop, warming them up to facilitate true connections. The first pre-matched meetings between startups and enterprises began after a short introduction from the organizers of the event, ABC Accelerator and EIT Digital.

Vitalized by the keynote, the 50 participants significantly increased their connection and mutual trust – a crucial component for the meetings between the 12 startups and 16 corporations that followed. Among them, Viewpointsystem, a startup whose product is a pair of eye-tracking smart glasses with software for various industrial applications, passed a true marathon with nine meetings in a row. In the end, with a total of 80 meetings, all participating startups – Alea Control, Beeping, Bitnik, Meshpoint, NoSleepGlasses, Picosats, Elevonx, Solidum Capital, Vebbu, Viewpointsystem, WiseOrder, and Wandlee – met with at least five of our corporate partners, discussing future partnerships or investments.

Meet & Match 2017

Startups presenting their innovative solutions to corporates at Meet & Match 2017. Photo: Milan Lazarevič, ABC Accelerator

Enrico Longato from Picosats, a startup in the small satellite business, travelled from Trieste, Italy to participate in Meet & Match. “The event today was very cool; I have been to many space info days with speed-dating events, but there are always too many people. I really liked the fact that Meet & Match was intimate, and we were really made to feel at home and comfortable,” says Longato.

Corporations from diverse industries attended the event, including the renowned Slovenian performance exhaust manufacturer Akrapovič, banks like Abanka and UniCredit, other manufacturers, such as Strip’s, Kolektor and Iskratel, as well as telecommunication companies, namely Telekom Slovenije and A1. Additionally, AMZS, BTC and IBM, as well as important players of the Slovenian energy sector, Eles, Plinovodi, Petrol and OMV were present.

Meet & Match 2017

Meet & Match: a small and intimate matching event with plenty of room for networking over snacks and coffee. Photo: Milan Lazarevič, ABC Accelerator

With a tailored preselection, the matching event was an overall success. “We heard a lot of new ideas we hadn’t thought of before, product we might not have even imagined, and we met several startups with true potential for immediate collaboration,” A1 Slovenia representative Katja Hriberšek says. “I imagine that this is a great way for startups to get in touch with larger enterprises, because it can be difficult to try and get a meeting with decisionmakers. But in this event, they got a chance to connect with those open to such collaborations.”

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