The incubation program of the sixth generation of SPOCK has started! Due to the large number of high-quality applications that arrived from as many as 13 different faculties, we have selected eight teams that will have the opportunity to go through one of the most complete incubation programs in this area. Like last year, the main selection criteria were the quality of the team and the expertise of team members, so most of the selected ideas are based on the results of scientific research.
We have no doubt about the success of this generation, and its uniqueness is already visible in the fact that most team members are employees of the University of Zagreb, most ideas have a socially beneficial impact, and most teams are led by women!
This year we received a record number of applications, a total of 25. Apart from FER, applications also came from the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Faculty of Textile Technology, Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, Faculty of Organization and Informatics and Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture.
When choosing teams, we invited several experienced experts from the start-up community to help. The jury, before which the teams performed their pitches, consisted of Ante Magzan (HUB385), Nikola Pavešić (Infobip), Vedran Blagus (South Central Ventures), Hrvoje Džapo (FER) and Matija Srbić (FER). In the end, eight teams were selected that the jury estimated to have the best chance of success.
Below please find more information about the sixth generation of SPOCK.
In addition to increasing the number of selected teams from six to eight this year, this generation will be special in many ways. 10 researchers and professors participate in the program, so as many as five teams have at least one employee of the University of Zagreb among their members. This also means that most start-ups will be based on the results of scientific research, and we are additionally pleased that most of them have a socially beneficial impact. For the first time, professors from FER and their students are participating in the program, whose topics of final and graduate theses are closely related to their start-up ideas. Thus, while working on their final and diploma theses, students will also examine the technical feasibility of their start-up ideas. We are especially proud that seven teams have at least one co-founder, and as many as five teams are led by women! In addition, the ratio of women to men in the program is 50:50. We believe that the success of our Helena Virić Gašparić and Darija Lemić, researcher and founder of Go Green Ozonator, the fifth generation of SPOCK start-ups, which was recently chosen among the 25 most promising Croatian start-ups, also contributed to this.
As we announced earlier, this year's teams will have a top program with many workshops divided into three phases: idea validation, business development and prototype development. This year, too, we have top mentors with rich experience in start-up development. We are very pleased that world-famous and successful Croatian start-ups such as Infobip, Gideon Brothers, Wasp, Amod, Ascalia, but also other important stakeholders in start-up ecosystems such as HUB385, Netokracija, Algebra Lab, Ljubljana University Incubator, Phil Rouge Capital and South Central Ventures and independent experts from various fields pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generations and thus provide excellent conditions for their development and growth, but also the development and growth of the entire ecosystem. A list of mentors who will mentor the sixth generation SPOCK teams and their short biographies can be found on the mentor page.
Digital communicator that facilitates functional communication for people with aphasia, computer vision to increase the safety of kindergarten children, application of artificial intelligence in tissue analysis, search for poetry by feelings, (bio) chemical sensors for next-generation fitness bracelets, market analysis with machine learning, the platform which brings together higher education institutions, employers and students and job-seeking alumni, isolating selected properties of a particular plant and fitting them into their own product - are ideas that selected teams will work on for the next six months.