Startups from Croatia

Croatia has been unending marveled for its Adriatic coastlines, distant islands, and moody seaside castles. Yet, nowadays primal and historic wonders are playing second role compared to a growing number of young, talented tech professionals trying to put up the country out of recession. Many startups have successfully raised funds and every year more and more projects contribute to the growing prominence of the region’s young ecosystem. Below are the  brightest Croatian tech startups worth to know about:

Memgraph is a scalable and enterprise ready graph database that comprehends the connection between its data points, provoking meaning just like a human brain. It contains import, data processing and visualization tools. The startup offers complete ecosystem for technology innovators to tackle the future challenges of big data. The company was launched in 2016 and it successfully participated in the renowned Techstars accelerator in London.

Adopto is an applicant tracking system and recruiting software created to support users find and hire the best tech candidates faster and more efficiently and make their recruiting process better. The recruiters simply set up their careers page, publish a job accouchement, search for the best people, and gain candidate info with a single click through one interface. The startup was launched in 2015.

BabyWatch enhances the prenatal experience with technology. Thanks to the specially-designed device and app, future mothers can hear and visualize their child’s heartbeat 24/7 and share the memorable experience with friends and family.

Locodels is a service for small e-commerce, online sellers and individuals. It offers the easiest way to ship your items. The startup manages a network of drivers and senders via a phone and web application so that it assures options and varieties in the transportation service. The idea is that everyone can send stuff and everyone can deliver stuff. The startup was launched in 2015 and in December 2016 it secured $600K in seed funding.

Visiobike makes high tech electric bicycle with carbon fiber frame. The startup has developed technology that lets integration of every smartphone with components on the Visiobike. On the application the rider can track speed, battery level, change electric motor assistance level and plan the route on the navigation screen. Small HD camera placed under the seat sends the image to the application which changes the smartphone screen into the most advanced rear view mirror ever seen on a bicycle.

Vollo offers the simplest way to search, compare and book bus tickets in Croatia. It analyses hundreds of lines, routes and connections to provide users with the best solution for their travel. Vollo is Croatia’s leading online retailer of bus tickets. The company was launched in 2016.

Canelio offers a smart device (clicker) and a mobile app, that can change your dog’s training into a mobile game. It works like a universal communication tool between you and your dog. It is based entirely on positive training methods. It includes a great number of videos and a personalized training guide. The startup was launched in 2015 and it successfully participated in the most recent phase of the ABC Accelerator.

Innovative startups from Romania

Romania’s most valuable asset is its tech talent force and it is still quite easy to find and hire a good developer here. Yet, funding is insufficient and propitious startups usually move their teams abroad in order to have more chances in raising capital. Romania has a progressive tech ecosystem which does not get enough coverage. Therefore, here is a rank of a few startups from this Eastern European country which should leave you with no hesitancy whether Bucharest may really play a significant role in the tech world.

DeviceHub provides cloud services for the Internet of Things communication. It can be linked to any hardware and is meant for smart metering, fleet management, medical industry, home automation, IoT makers, automotive, wearables. The app lets users to transfer data between devices equipped with Windows or Android. The company received a EUR 80,000 funding from hub:raum Krakow, Deutsche Telekom’s Innovation Hub for the CEE region. This startup is already the second Romanian startup that has been given funds from hub:raum. The first one was OmniPaste in 2013.

Vector Watch promotes itself with 30-day strong battery for smart watches. The company has two product lines pushing a stainless steel frame with a fancy style. They also opened offices in American, British, Swiss and Hong Kong markets. The startup received a $5 million investment led by the GECAD group in 2015.

Skobbler produces navigation apps which have its digital mapping technology, which is based partially on OpenStreetMap. Their series of consumer apps include hybrid online/offline maps app, ForeverMaps2, as well as licensing its mapping engine technology to other companies which plug OSM data into their apps as an alternative to paying for Google Maps. The startup was purchased by the German subsidiary of California-based Telenav for $24M.

SkinVision is a mobile app which reveals mistrustful moles on
people’s skin, advising a doctor appointment or not. The startup states the accuracy of their system is 81%, which is the same as a dermatologist’s eyes. The startup moved to Amsterdam in 2012 following an investment round. It raised about €4.5 million in 5 years. The company currently participates in several research and data-gathering projects. It has collaborated with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, a partnership which resulted in a paper published in the European Journal of Dermatology.

Pocketo  is a hardware platform which helps you develop Internet of Things projects with or without using physical components (like sensors, buttons, leds etc.) by providing a Bluetooth and WiFi development board. The app simulates those physical components, which would fit neatly into your design when you are finished. Then, the physical components fall right into place with your code, no adjustment needed.

123ContactForm provides web forms and surveys for different companies and NGOs worldwide. The company offers fast, easy and cost effective way of creating an online form which users can publish on Facebook, on their blog or on their website. They can link their web forms with 3rd party services, such as Google Docs, MailChimp, SalesForce and Twitter, with only one mouse click. The startup has raised €1 million from 3TS Catalyst Romania, the leading private equity growth and venture capital fund dedicated to Romania.

EU aims to remove geoblocking of online content

Soon, when traveling in the European Union, the Europeans will be able to fully enjoy their subscriptions to websites offering movies, sport events, e-books, games or music. This will be possible thanks to the new rules package modernizing the copyright law of the EU, presented by the Commission in framework of digital single market.

Thanks to the new law when traveling in the EU, consumers will be able to use purchased online services in terms of content in the same way as they do in their home country. For example, when a resident of France buys subscription to series and movies at Canal +, he will be able to enjoy movies and series available in France while on holiday in Croatia or business trip to Denmark. Providers of online services in terms of content, such as Netflix, Spotify or MyTF1 will check in which country the subscriber lives using the details provided for payment, his contract for Internet supply or IP address.

The new rules will apply to all paid services in the field of online content. Also providers offering free content (such as public broadcasters or radio) will be able to offer its users the opportunity to move the content.

The agreed law must now be endorsed by the EU Council and the European Parliament. If these rules are adopted, they will be applied in all EU Member States since the beginning of 2018 because the regulation gives service providers and right holders nine months to prepare for application of the new law.

The next step will be to open up the digital market, enabling for instance a user living in Italy to subscribe to any service available in any EU country. Yet, this improvement is encountering strong opposition from the TV and movie industry which have long enjoyed a divided digital market in Europe where it has been allowed to negotiate rights on a country-by-country basis.

IBM plans to train 25 million Africans at its IT academy

IBM is going to train 25 million Africans in digital skills development during the next 5 years. The aim is help improve the level of digital literacy and expand capabilities of the workforce. IBM will spend $70m on the program which will cultivate skills for jobs in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and the cloud computing.

The initiative is called “IBM Digital – Nation Africa” and it will offer a range of programs from basic IT literacy to highly sought-after advanced IT skills: social engagement, digital privacy, and cyber protection. Advanced students will study career-oriented IT subjects like programming, cybersecurity, data science and agile methodologies, and also business skills like critical thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

The initiative will be organized via platform that is based on IBM’s artificially intelligent system Watson. It will analyze several interactions that the initiative will have with it users to guide them to proper courses and help IBM enrich the courses to better adjust the topics to students’ needs. It will also gather anonymous info from students to further rationalize the service, and establish tips to help users better find adequate courses for them.

In South Africa 31% of people between 15 and 24 are unemployed. Other countries which are supposed to benefit from the IBM’s initiative are: Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco and Egypt. This will let to expand the initiative across the African continent. Africa will have the biggest workforce by 2040, so IBM is already setting the base to create a digital workforce. The company has been present in Africa since the 1920’s, and has a long history of partnership with educational institutions and assuring transformational solutions concentrated on ensuring value to higher education and its input to community.

The IBM’s initiative will be merited by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which aims to promote market-driven ICT skills in Africa and the Middle East. IBM will work together with UNDP on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills delivery, certification, and accreditation. UNDP will cooperate with their network of existing government collaborations to develop the initiative across Africa.

Poland will produce electric cars

AK Motor Company will produce electric cars in Warsaw. The first model will be Syrena Nixi. On a fully charged battery it will be able to pass the route of 150 kilometers. Syrena Nixi is to be a completely Polish construction. AK Motor Company ensures that the project will be implemented by Polish engineers and the car will be assembled at the factory in Warsaw.

On board of Syrena Nixi fit only two people – the driver and passenger, and their luggage. However, not only the small size of the vehicle makes it perfectly behave on city roads. The manufacturer of the car promises that the car batteries can be charged to the level of 90% in just 15 minutes.

It remains unclear, however, when the electric vehicle will hit the Polish market and what will be its price. According to the manufacturer, it takes time to develop the car, especially if you don’t want to compromise when it comes to quality and safety. It is expected that the debut of Syrena Nixi will help to meet assumptions of the “Development plan for electromobility” in regards to charging spots for electric cars. This plan was announced in Poland at the end of last year. Its aim is to promote electric vehicles. The government assumes that by 2025 on Polish roads there will be a million of cars powered by electricity. Time will show how many of these cars would be signed by AK Motor…