The first edition of Incubatore Creativo Istria acceleration programme came to a close on 13 July in Portoroz, Slovenia, bringing together young entrepreneurs, partners, local media and public authorities.
Two groups of young entrepreneurs presented the business projects that they had developed during the seven-week incubator with the help of META experts Lorenzo Valeriani and Francesca Natali.
From Jellyfish to Real Estate
Jellyfish may seem nothing more than a nuisance for beachgoers, but their massive growth over the past two decades is, in fact, an increasing environmental and economic threat. Their rapid proliferation has been attributed to warming seas, overfishing and increased pollution.
One of the initiatives developed within the Istria Incubator may serve as a solution with both economic and environmental benefits. The Jellynovation project aims to develop a process for extracting collagen from jellyfish in order to create natural food supplements, while controlling jellyfish populations and preserving marine wildlife.
"We have already talked to several consultants in this field to find funding for research and development and then we will see if we can find more capital to invest in production, so in four years we will see about making the first sale", said Dyego Tuljak, who launched Jellynovation with his colleague Alex Zigante.
The second business idea developed in the Istria Incubator tackles a challenge that became obvious during the pandemic. 2you is a start-up project that will provide virtual solutions and immersive experiences to people looking to sell or buy apartments and properties remotely.
"We thought that during the Covid period it was not possible to go and see the flats, so we thought that we could bring the flats to the people", explained Jaka Mrak, who created 2you together with his partner Izidor Rojs.
Going further, META and the Incubatore Creativo Istria will continue to support the two teams by providing a free-of-charge working space for both groups until the end of the year and identifying funding opportunities.
"Both teams made an incredible progress since the start of the programme. We strongly believe these projects have great potential because they address problems that have a considerable impact in their specific fields", explained Lorenzo Valeriani from META. "This is a newly born accelerator and the first initiative in the region, and we are very happy to be part of the process of growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem", he added.
By joining this initiative, META continues its mission of providing entrepreneurs with the vision, know-how, and tools to transform their ideas in viable businesses with a positive societal impact.