The goal of the mentoring programme is to obtain a suitable mentor from the Slovene Enterprise Fund for supported start-up enterprise, who offers assistance to the enterprise in individual meetings in the form of consulting, transfer of knowledge and experience, upgrading competencies, encouraging all the activities, required and performed by an enterprise, in order to succeed.
The active role of both, the mentor and entrepreneur, is very important at the implementation of mentoring. In this way, confidence and concrete results are achieved. Mentoring is carried out in those areas of the enterprise’s business that are defined by the enterprise together with the mentor: finance, marketing, human resources, strategic planning and management of the enterprise, KPIs (key performance indicators), networking, connecting with key partners and sources of finance, entry into new markets, etc.
The Slovene Enterprise Fund keeps an official register of start-up mentors, from which start-ups can select their mentor. The Fund also covers a certain quota of mentoring hours for enterprises, supported by the Fund’s financial products (P2, SK75, SI-SK).
List of mentors
The following is a list of mentors that actively mentor Slovenian start-up enterprises (list from startup.si):
A well-known and experienced entrepreneur, founder of Poteza investment house, investor, founder and president of the Business Angels of Slovenia.
Director of Klevio, founder of four startups and an active member of the Slovenian startup ecosystem.
An entrepreneur, business angel, professor and researcher specializing in lean approaches to innovation.
An IT expert, entrepreneur, business angel and co-founder of the Silicon Gardens Fund.
A telecommunications entrepreneur and co-founder of ABC Growth VC and Fil Rouge Capital.
A partner at Gambit Trade, which manages one of the largest Slovenian online stores enaa.com
An entrepreneur with more than 17 years of experience, co-founder of several startups, owner and director of the company Editor.
An entrepreneur, business angel and founder of web portals Bolha.com and Napovednik.com.
An experienced mentor, entrepreneur, partner and director of STH Management and a representative of Strenia management.
Experienced business manager, mentor, entrepreneur and investor with strong competencies in business strategies to increase the value of companies.
A serial entrepreneur, doctor of economics, entrepreneurship lecturer and co-founder of Optiprint.
An entrepreneur, business angel and investment consultant with years of experience in international business and in entering foreign markets.
The founder of intelPlan consulting firm, advisory and strategy systems Od idej do rešitev (From Ideas to Solutions), experienced mentor and advisor in the Slovenian startup ecosystem.
A Slovene who has raised over 1 million dollars in support through his projects on Kickstarter.
A CorpoHub lead partner, former IBM executive, co-founder of 30Lean and one of the pioneers of lean and agile innovation in Slovenia.
Entrepreneur, consultant and mentor to many companies in various stages of development. Co-founder and procurator of the company Kibuba d.o.o.
The co-founder and director of Zemanta and one of the first Slovenian startup entrepreneurs to acquire venture capital abroad.
Head of development and sales at the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, advisor to startups and a guest on the radio station Val 202 Tečajnica podcast.
An experienced marketer and co-founder of the successful Slovenian startup Hooray Heroes.
The former product manager at D.Labs and the founder of his own entrepreneurial coaching business.
The co-founder of GEA College, associate professor at the Faculty of Design and the founder of Studio Podjetništva.
Mateja Verlič Brunčič
An experienced Digital Product Development Specialist and COO of Equaleyes Solutions.
A passionate IT enthusiast, block chain technology expert and co-founder of the startup Coolomat.
The founder of the ABC Accelerator, the most recognizable company accelerator in Slovenia.
An experienced and active investor, mentor and founder of BPMC, where they help organize companies in growth phases.
A business coach, sales representative, marketer, business developer and representative at FasterCapital.
An experienced entrepreneur, sales manager at several well-known Slovenian companies as well as the founder, and director of AgroMedica.
A developer, university lecturer, head of MakerLab open lab and the co-founder of several well-known startup companies.
An experienced and active stakeholder in the startup ecosystem and former head of the Venture factory.
An entrepreneur and mentor active in the promotion programs of the Ljubljana University Incubator and the Jožef Štefan Institute.
The CorpoHub Accelerator program manager, certified for management of the Design Sprint and ScrumMaster programs.
Jakob Gajšek is part of the founding team of ABC Accelerator and the current director of the Ljubljana University Incubator.
An entrepreneur, startup lecturer, co-founder of KIKštarter collaboration space, member of the KIKštarter accelerator and owner of ETC Adriatic.
The chairperson of the management board at the Avtotehna Group and former CFO of Outfit7.
An entrepreneur and consultant, who has over the course of 17 years in international corporations accumulated a lot of experience that he wants to share with startups.
An experienced entrepreneur, CFO as well as an expert in the fields of finance and VC investments.
A successful entrepreneur and consultant, founder of Viny Greta, which participated in the Štartaj Slovenija project.
Entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in senior positions in international corporations and in-house innovation departments.
An experienced expert in internationalization, business and investment development strategies and an active participant of the Slovenian startup ecosystem.
An IT professional, with strong knowledge of digital storage, security and cryptography, an entrepreneur and founder of the AscalGroup.
A scientist, researcher, entrepreneur, business angel and the founder and director of Xlab.
The founder of Infotehna - the Gazela reward recipient, an experienced entrepreneur and consultant.
An experienced director in the financial industry, an expert in business planning, investment, tenders and finance.
A business angel, court expert for entrepreneurship and international business, and grant consultant.
An advisor, moderator and mentor in the areas of corporate innovation and lean and agile methods for developing start-ups.
An experienced CTO, startup and technical consultant with over ten years of experience in agile digital product development.
The co-founder and director of Equaleyes Solutions, which won at TechCrunch Disrupt and Droidcon Hackatons.
An inventor, business developer, startup entrepreneur and director of Versor, which develops parking solutions.
An entrepreneur with extensive experience in online sales, the co-founder of podarimo.si and the course kakoprodati.si.
Director of KIKštarter accelerator, an experienced manager of technology companies with technical and business education.
Director of Technology at GlobalWebIndex Labs and an active member of the startup community.
The founder and CTO of Semantika is an established mentor in the Maribor startup community.
An expert in business model development, international business as well as entry and sales in the international markets.
The co-founder and CTO of high-tech company RoboticsX GmbH, a technical expert in digitalization of the industry and processes as well as in sales of industrial solutions.
Sabrina Povšič Štimec
Head of the PR department at RTV Slovenia, experienced promotion and marketing expert, the co-founder of mrfibers.com and Arov.
An expert in digital advertising and marketing as well as the co-founder of the Madwise advertising agency.
Specialist in marketing and business strategy and the co-founder of the design accelerator DsgnFwd.
Lecturer in entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Management Koper and the co-founder of Amibit.
A member of the Board of Directors of Business Angels of Slovenia and the founder of Komunikator.
An experienced business and project manager in the field of internet and telecommunications technologies and the director of RC IKT incubator of the enterprise Iskratel
Entrepreneur, management consultant, member of several commissions and an experienced mentor in the development of more than 100 business models. Areas: business model, tendering, etc.
Head of the Koroška Business Incubator Network operating within the development agency RRA Koroška.
One of the first entrepreneurs of Zasavje region, the project manager at Dewesoft and a consultant at RCR Zagorje and at Katapult.
Executive director of the Luxembourg-Slovenian Business Club and the manager of the IEDC.
Co-founder of the Protectus Technologies, Inc, which developed the Carlock application, a vehicle monitoring system.
Consultant with years of experience in marketing management in companies that have successfully worked in the domestic and foreign markets
Tjaša Zupančič Hartner
An experienced development manager, the director of 3Dmed and a consultant and mentor.
President of the Management Board at Panvita d.d. and former Chairman of the Management Board at Mercator d.d.
Peter Ribarič is the editor of HR&M, business improver, an intermediary of business opportunities and a business angel.
Boris Skudnik has extensive experience in incubating companies, entrepreneurial mentoring, consulting and informing.
Leader and visionary Peter Bruner has experience in the areas of business development, brands and identity.
The experienced financier Gregor Sakovič is also the head of the NLB Center for Innovative Entrepreneurship.
Doctor of wood science Aleš Ugovšek has experience in innovation and strategic development and coordination of development projects.
Ajša Vodnik is a consultant for strategic, business and corporate communication, currently the vice president of AmChams Europe.
Martin Fišer is an expert for the implementation of Kaizen and Lean methods in companies.
Jernej Mele is an expert in the field of mechanical and chemical engineering with extensive experience in managing industrial projects at an international level.
Director and co-owner of the SmartNinja programming school, which is represented in the EU, USA and Canada.
Nina Šterk has an analytical command of finance and accounting, and she knows and understands national and European project tenders very well.
Marko Perme is an expert in CRM and HRM and cloud solutions as well as Salesforce and Social Media Marketing.
Luka Birsa is an entrepreneur and enthusiast of products created at the crossroads of the physical and digital worlds.
A successful entrepreneur who managed his company from 0 to 120 employees without investors or capital funds.
Dimitrij Miklič is a serial entrepreneur, mentor and investor in start-up companies.
Boštjan Horjak is the founder of the internationally successful tourism company Liberty International
Tomaž Stritar is an entrepreneurial mentor, lecturer and author of several company manuals.
Rok Vodnik has extensive experience in the areas of market development, sales, procurement and logistics.
Primož Zupan is an expert in the management of ideas and innovations as well as human resources management.
Nataša Potočnik has more than 25 years of experience in creating new brands and is one of the pioneers of gamification worldwide.
Mart D. Buh
Mart D. Buh is an expert in marketing, sales, communication and potential recognition of employees.
Matjaž Fortič has a wide range of knowledge and skills, both gained by leading sales teams and managing the development of new projects and crisis management and restructuring.
Darja Brečko Poženel
Designer for visual communication with more than 20 years of experience in the development and promotion of brands.
Rado Daradan is co-founder of Hooray Studios, a market leader in 6 countries around the world.
Julij Slapšak is a successful entrepreneur with a broad spectrum of knowledge ranging from law to marketing and sales.
Vida Dolenc Pogačnik
Vida Pogačnik Dolenc has extensive experience in connecting entrepreneurs and international companies.
Žiga Vavpotič has extensive experience in the management of companies, in recent years the company Outfit7 (Talking Tom).
Tomaž is an expert in the preparation of investment documentation with extensive experience in management
Rok is an experienced entrepreneur who knows how to assess the market potential of projects and design innovative projects or products.
A financier with experience in developing an advanced SEPA payment service and developing a closed card processing system.
Tanja Senekovič has extensive experience in mentoring companies in the growth phases and in developing new business ideas.
Experienced member of the support environment for entrepreneurship. Consultant for digitization, sales techniques, marketing.
Entrepreneur, investor, author and lecturer, versed in business strategy, planning and social networks.
Marketing and sales expert, recipient of numerous Slovenian and foreign awards for communication.
Founder of the global company Chipolo and expert in the development of hardware products.
Robert Blatnik is an expert in technology management and spin-off companies at the Center for Technology Transfer and Innovation at the Jožef Stefan Institute.
Dr. Špela Stres is the head of the Center for Technology Transfer and Innovation at the Jožef Stefan Institute and a visiting professor at the University of Ljubljana and the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School.
Robert Bratuša Brant
Robert is an established director, mentor and consultant specializing in business and digital transformation.
Mentor in recruitment, sales, PR and business strategy, with extensive entrepreneurial experience.
Sales Manager at scale-up Chipolo, named the best mentor in the youth accelerator Ustvarjalnik in 2017.
Uroš Tacar is the CEO and co-owner of TUKO d.o.o. with many years of experience in the field of medical devices.
Tom Vodopivec is the founder and CEO of the accelerator Reveris, a startup consultant, mentor, strategist, all-round manager & analyst, with a PhD in artificial intelligence.
Martin focuses on developing and launching new products, setting up production processes and expanding the business through creating franchises.
Marketing and communication expert, mentor in entrepreneurship, focusing on the development of innovative business ideas.
Entrepreneur, international mentor, lecturer, member of supervisory boards and founding member of two NGOs.
Experienced leader, advisor, business angel and mentor with extensive experience in IRT and principal at Reveris.
Coach, mentor and consultant with more than 25 years of experience in international business.
Innovation manager and mentor with extensive experience managing innovation programs and working with start-ups.
Experienced leader in healthcare, new business development and strategy implementation
Experienced entrepreneur, co-founder and product manager of the Slovenian unicorn Outfit7, with a wealth of experience in the games, entertainment and advertising industries.
A manual for mentors for start-upsA manual for mentors (.pdf)
A start-up mentor with help of advice, networking and guidance helps an entrepreneur or a business team to develop a stable and profitable business. His goal is to maximize the entrepreneur’s assets, but at the same time making sure, that the entrepreneur is threated holistically, and that the business success is not achieved at the expense of personal happiness or health. Learn more about how to be a good start-up mentor in a manual, which was prepared by Dr Rok Stritar and Dr Blaž Zupan for the Slovene Enterprise Fund.
Topics in the manual for mentors for start-ups:
- What does a start-up mentor do – mentor of the entrepreneurial process
- The levels of activity of a start-up mentor
- The stages of development of a start-up enterprise in terms of mentoring
- The roles of a mentor of the entrepreneurial process in the enterprise
- Instructions on how to conduct the first mentoring contact
- Guidance for the remaining mentoring meetings
The codex of the start-up community
In order to maximize the functioning of the start-up community and the mentoring process, has the Slovene Enterprise Fund, together with key ecosystem stakeholders, drafted a start-up community code. The purpose of this code is to provide the basic rules and guidelines for the creation of the Slovenian start-up ecosystem, whose elements are cooperating, interacting and supporting each other, while operating to the highest ethical and business standards.
A key excerpt from the code
The Slovenian start-up ecosystem includes all participants (natural and legal persons) that are interested in entrepreneurship, regardless of their background. Thus, we are all committed to creating a friendly, equitable, safe and cooperative environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, socioeconomic status or religion.
Forms of behaviour that community members value:
- proactive and active community building (we are stronger together)
- active participation in community activities – events, mentoring, etc.
- networking and cooperation between all stakeholders and showing respect for all
- constructive resolution of potential conflicts
- highlighting best practices and warning of bad practices
- promotion of the Slovenian start-up ecosystem abroad at every opportunity
- honesty, correctness and concrete nature in proposals, comments, arguments
- gratitude for the help provided by start-up community stakeholders and commitment to continued business and personal growth
Forms of behaviour that are prohibited and represent an immediate exclusion from the community:
- degrading, discriminatory, violent or harassing behaviour and hate speech, both at personal communication at events as well as online
- dissemination of confidential information or idle talk, infringement of the intellectual property rights of other members of the community, violation of the GDPR rules on information and handling of personal data and acquisitive promotion of own products or services in the community
- exploiting the community or individual members solely for their own material benefit
- use of illicit substances or alcohol abuse at community events as well as breaking laws in interacting with the community
The code also defines guidelines for public funding of start-up ecosystems. In order to ensure a long-term existence, development and maximum success of the Slovenian start-up community, it is crucial that we all have an economical, respectful and constructive attitude towards public co-financing.
Events for mentors
Every year, the Slovene Enterprise Fund organizes several trainings and events exclusively for start-up mentors and investors so that successful entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial professionals develop their mentoring and coaching competencies. If you are interested in attending such events, become a start-up mentor. Impressions from past events for mentors:
Become a mentor
If you are a reputable entrepreneur or executive with extensive experience in start-up entrepreneurship, we invite you to become a mentor. Start-up mentors are provided with:
- access to excellent start-ups,
- training in the field of development of mentoring competences,
- payment for the provision of mentoring services,
- active participation in the start-up community,
- participation in events, public debates, reportages, etc.
You can become an official mentor for start-up enterprises by applying to a public call published on the website of the Slovene Enterprise Fund. Candidates for start-up mentors can be experts who fall into one of five categories:
- an entrepreneur,
- a manager in start-ups and scale-ups,
- a manager in large corporations,
- an active investor or
- a manager of entrepreneurial programmes.