About programme

Due to globalisation, the success of national economies is ever more crucially dependent on the success of local companies in breaking through to global markets. One of the key goals of new types of innovative globalized companies is their successful breakthrough and subsequent operations on global niche markets. In economically developed countries, such companies are an ever more important and significant part of creating added value, while their emergence and rapid growth are systematically encouraged.

Global competitive pressure and new technologies motivate innovative and penetrating start-up companies to seek for new business opportunities, financing, teams, partners and global markets. Existing companies are also creating new global product and service undertakings and turning to international internal entrepreneurship as a source of business opportunities and global breakthrough and growth. Since we are currently facing the challenges of managing the controlling forces of globalisation and creating successful partnerships with global stakeholders, such companies should receive all support they need. In light of the best practices of developed economies, Ljubljana Technology Park has designed an all-encompassing support programme for start-up companies aiming to breakthrough onto global markets, in partnership with the Venture Factory (Tovarna podjemov) and as part of the Start:up Slovenia initiative. The aim of the programme is to provide all the support services start-up companies need to grow on global markets. The Go:Global programme is comprised of seven modules, all of which complement and build upon each other.

The modules of the Go:Global Slovenia programme:

1. Go:Global Slovenia startup accelerator

The Go:Global Slovenia startup accelerator offers companies that have already found their "product-market fit" all the elements they need to successfully embark on rapid global growth, both in the form of capital as well as in the form of know-how and international connections. By entering the accelerator they gain:

  • An EUR 200,000 public equity investment (in cooperation with the Slovene Enterprise Fund and the SK200 product), allowing the company to begin expanding to foreign markets, embark on further product development and fund operations until it secures the next round of funding provided by venture capital funds.
  • An investment readiness programme, where entrepreneurs will learn everything they need to know about equity financing, drafting tender applications, and also get to know private investors and attract private equity.
  • Go:Global for Growth, a vast and systematic accompanying programme of training and educational contents with experienced Slovenian and international entrepreneurs, who aim to help recipients of public funds professionally organise their company and achieve global growth.
  • A personal start-up mentor experienced in the field of global growth, who can help the entrepreneurial team with strategic decisions, international contacts and breaking through to international markets.
  • Comprehensive administrative assistance aimed at tackling the reports and other administrative activities that any equity investment carries, allowing the entrepreneurial team to focus completely on their global breakthrough and rapid growth. Administrative assistance is provided by the entrepreneurial advisor allocated to the company.
  • Infrastructure in Slovenia provided by incubators and technology parks, which is partially subsidised and ensures the entrepreneurial team is integrated into a community and other additional programmes. Belonging to a community provides the entrepreneurial team with an additional source of motivation and allows the exchange of know-how.
  • Investor networking, including both domestic and foreign venture capital funds and hubs, all aimed at acquiring an equity investment.
  • Active promotion both in Slovenia and abroad, in the form of media recognition, assistance in making contacts, marketing, and drafting promotional materials. We also help incubated companies with their professional presence on foreign markets.

2. Training entrepreneurs to become investment-ready

Experience shows that Slovenian start-up entrepreneurs are unfamiliar with the potential routes of company financing, and at the same time do not have the know-how to prepare the documentation and pitch to investors. All Slovenian venture capital investors stressed the fact that more effort must be put into providing such training with a view of ensuring companies become investment ready. To this end, part of the Go:Global programme is aimed at systematically training entrepreneurs to acquire an investment, providing related counselling and organising investor networking activities.

3. The Go:Global for Growth training programme

The programme provides a basic understanding of everything one needs for rapid global growth, both from the perspective of winning additional financial and human resources and from the perspective of company organisation, entering foreign markets and managing its growth. The programme covers all key areas of entrepreneurship. However, what is even more important, as part of the programme, entrepreneurs will acquire practical skills, allowing them to immediately implement the knowledge they acquire in their operations. The experts can of course actively assist and advise the entrepreneur in any implementation. The training programme of the Go:Global for Growth accelerator will provide the entrepreneur the opportunity to draft the relevant strategies, organise and implement the knowledge gained in the five fundamental business functions key for rapid global growth.

4. One-to-one mentoring programme and entrepreneur & mentor networking

We have learned that in the initial stages of growth, start-up companies need the professional help of experienced mentors. Therefore, an intensive networking programme for entrepreneurs and their mentors is an important part of the Go:Global Slovenia programme. The aim is for entrepreneurs and mentors to meet and agree to work together in depth in a mentoring relationship. The Go:Global Slovenia mentoring programme boasts 150 select mentors from Slovenia (with some from abroad). As part of one-to-one mentoring, mentors help programme participants overcome their own specific problems. Several rounds of one-to-one mentoring have been organised for the finalists of the Start:up Slovenia competition and for other entrepreneurs that participated in activities of the Start:up Slovenia initiative. To date, over 100 entrepreneurs have taken part in the programme. Their feedback reflects their great satisfaction with the programme and reaffirms its necessity as part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Building a community of entrepreneurs is also an important part of the mentoring programme. We actively encourage mentors, advisors, other stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and of course entrepreneurs to get involved in the Go:Global Slovenia programme, and to socialize and exchange experience at various events, informal meetings and excursions.

5. Programme for including Slovenian start-up companies in foreign accelerators of enterprise

Over the past few years, entrepreneurial accelerators have appeared on the market offering entrepreneurial groups access to global markets and additional capital. Entrepreneurial accelerators are thus an important tool of Slovenian start-ups aiming to break through onto global markets.

Slovenian teams can access the US market through US-based accelerators Y Combinator and TechStars, while the London-based Wayra accelerator provides access to the UK and Latin American markets. Accelerators have allowed many Slovenian start-up companies such as Zemanta, 2nd Sight and Zeppelin to do business globally.

Being admitted to a global entrepreneurial hub is never easy, since only a few percent of the many thousand that apply (usually a few dozen out of the thousand applicants) are accepted. Thus entrepreneurs need to diligently apply for admittance to such accelerators, which is also an aspect covered by the Go:Global programme.