At the event »ABC Accelerator: A New Chapter«, held on the 7th of December at the Crystal Palace in BTC City Ljubljana, we presented the company’s vision under new leadership since this summer. ABC Accelerator manages an enviable portfolio of successful companies, accumulating experience in selecting, supporting, and linking them with global investment funds and corporations. Our knowledge and experience will now be shared with interested corporations, investors, and startups. We’ll assist companies in establishing internal innovation hubs and connecting with startups to address their specific challenges. As for startup investments, we plan to reposition ourselves as a corporate venture capital fund. The event also aimed to network and connect representatives from the startup world.
ABC Accelerator’s story began in 2015 in Ljubljana, founded by BTC company partners to create a more advanced business environment in Slovenia. Their goal was to grant innovative entrepreneurs access to international investors and accelerate their global market entry. By 2023, we evolved into a global company with a dedicated team, carefully selecting, supporting, and developing top-notch startups with global ambitions. Our offices at BTC City Ljubljana have shaped a unique global ecosystem of mentors, investors, corporate partners, and startups, tailored for entrepreneurs aiming to grow, connect, and succeed in the dynamic business world. Today, ABC Accelerator enters a new era under new leadership, led by Mark Kalin since July 2023, boasting over a decade of experience in entrepreneurship, investment, and company leadership. His expertise brings deep insight and a vision for the continued success and development of ABC Accelerator and its startups.
At the recent event, »ABC Accelerator: A New Chapter«, Mark Kalin, ABC Accelerator’s director, alongside Jože Mermal, chairman of the BTC company’s board, Damjan Kralj, BTC’s CEO, and Aljoša Domijan, Enaa’s owner, presented the company’s vision for further development. ABC Accelerator is entering a new phase, enhancing its business model by aiming to increase its existing portfolio of invested startups and encouraging other Slovenian entrepreneurs to actively contribute to the country’s economic development in this new era. We plan to actively seek new opportunities among startups in the broader region and reposition ourselves as a corporate venture capital fund (CVC). ABC Accelerator aims to become a stronger player in the regional startup ecosystem, forging new partnerships with other startup ecosystems, besides the Adria region.
Simultaneously, our aim is to further position ourselves as a connector between startups and corporations, introducing new services to offer better access to the world of innovation and startups. We’ve noticed an increasing interest from companies wanting to collaborate with startups while establishing internal innovation units. ABC Accelerator intends to assist by providing services to establish internal innovation hubs through education and sharing their expertise. Additionally, we plan to introduce young startups to corporations through various hackathons, aiming to address specific challenges. Our strong network within the regional startup ecosystem positions us well for collaboration with numerous corporations.
Mark Kalin highlighted at the event: »After eight successful years, ABC Accelerator is ready for a new chapter. Our vision is to assist both startups and corporations in utilizing innovation potential and advanced technologies to address current challenges and grow. We believe we possess significant expertise and strategic connections to contribute to both young and established companies and to contribute to global economic development. Currently, our portfolio comprises 45 active startups, and we aim to continue supporting them at a strategic level while planning to expand our portfolio with new investments.«
Damjan Kralj added: »ABC Accelerator received numerous awards, including being named the Best Accelerator in Central Europe in 2017, 2018, and 2020. In 2019, ABC Hub received an award as an excellent coworking space. The key message, however, is that together we promote an ecosystem of innovation and connectivity and that together we will continue to be winners in the future. BTC company is inclined towards strategic directions, and we also invest directly in startups, either through ABC Accelerator or independently. «
The event also focused on networking within the startup ecosystem, aiming to further build a strong and connected community within ABC Accelerator, nurturing opportunities for new connections and collaborations. Matej Rigelnik, director of Equinox Partners, presented the evolving economic dynamics critical for today’s startups. Dejan Petelin, co-founder and director of Pareto AI, shared the latest news in artificial intelligence and its implications for business. Additionally, two exceptional companies from ABC Accelerator’s portfolio, Kings of Games and Flexkeeping, showcased their successful journeys in recent years.
The award-winning ABC Accelerator, which creates an advanced business environment by connecting various partners, has welcomed over 500 startups from 30 countries, along with over 500 mentors and partners since its establishment in 2015.