21st & 22nd of May
Maribor, Slovenia
Saturday, March 25, 2017

Iskratel is planning to invest 5,000,000 € into promising startups from the region in the next five years!

As a leading European provider of info-communication solutions, Iskratel recently revealed its ambitious plans for strategic investments into promising startups from the region. With the newly founded investment fund Iskratel StartUp, worth five million euros, they will attend this year’s PODIM as a PODIM Challenge blue-chip partner. Iskratel is a multinational corporation ensuring integrated solutions for telecommunications operators and service providers, for transport digitalization, public safeties and energetics, and they are now rapidly preparing for the fourth industrial revolution. They are looking for new business opportunities, also in collaboration with startups developing complementary ICT products, and focusing on the field of penetrative cloud solutions, internet of things, and smart and 5F networks, which enable a comprehensive transition into the digital society. 
Gotoky convinced with its team, product and prestigious awards
The first investment of the Iskratel StartUp fund is also closely connected to the PODIM Conference. It was received by Gotoky, one of last year’s ten finalists for the Slovenian Startup of the Year award, which we traditionally give at PODIM. Gotoky convinced Iskratel with its team and innovative product, but it also helped that they had received the award for being one of the most promising startups of the StartupBootCamp HighTechXl accelerator and placed amongst the hundred most promising European startups within the project New Europe 100.
Smart walkie-talkie as a promising complementary product
Team Gotoky is developing a smart walkie-talkie that enables communication over radio waves even in areas not covered by a GSM network. Besides using it for sports and personal exercise of skiers, snowboarders and trekkers, Gotoky is also an urgent solution in cases of natural disasters, when the afflicted areas stay without a mobile network for days or weeks on end. For optimal implementation of the business idea, Gotoky was looking for a reliable and experienced strategic partner, and Iskratel turned out to be an excellent match.
What kind of startups is Iskratel looking for?
In looking for new investment opportunities, Iskratel is searching for startups that outgrew the earliest development stages and have an MVP as well as promising reactions from the market. This can be seen in the number of pre-orders or a large number of followers on social networks, but it is crucial that potential users show a big interest and that the startup belongs to one of Iskratel’s priority fields:

  • Cloud infrastructure, solutions and applications,
  • Network virtualisation,
  • Virtual and augmented reality for remote support/management and increasing safety,
  • Big data, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence,
  • Social networks and applications,
  • IoT and M2M technologies, platforms, devices, solutions and applications,
  • Operational and critical communications and emergency communication,
  • Disruptive multimedia (data, speech, video) technologies, solutions and applications,
  • Solutions supporting mobility and increased safety of people and things,
  • Solutions for the digitalization of the rail and road transport infrastructure,
  • Solutions for the digitalization of the energy infrastructure,
  • Technologies and solutions for smart and 5G networks.
What are they offering to the chosen teams?
Starting investments into chosen startups amount to between 150,000 and 200,000 € in return for an ownership share in the company of up to 25 %. Iskratel makes it possible for the invested companies to have a quick transition from product development to market penetration, because it ensures:
  • Unique and well-rounded know-how, the environment and resources for conceptualising, developing and making prototypes, testing, supply chain optimization, production, integration,
  • Exit quality control, certification and product distribution support,
  • Marketing channels and a branched sales network in 30 countries across the world as well as comprehensive support in establishing the sales process for demanding customers and global markets,
  • Intense support from mentors, including soft business skills,
  • All the necessary business infrastructure within their business incubator and RC IKT technology park.

Monitoring progress of more than 20 startups from the region
Iskratel has been noticing a quick increase in good startup teams and ideas, in Slovenia as well as the wider Alps-Adriatic region, which is why they aren’t afraid of not being able to invest the intended five million. They are currently in touch with more than 20 different startups from the region, maintaining contact and monitoring their progress, and they found them with help of the Slovenian startup ecosystem, namely organizations such as Initiative Start:up Slovenia, ABC Accelerator, Business Angels of Slovenia, and CEED.
Get in contact with Iskratel’s representatives!
If you wish to get to know the team that’s behind Iskratel’s startup activities and meet them at this year’s PODIM Conference, write to them at info@iskratelstartup.com or get in touch with them over the contact form at the website www.iskratelstartup.si.
Need a warm introduction?
If you wish to consult with us or need additional information before establishing first contact with Iskratel’s representatives, you can also turn to the PODIM team. Write to us at info@podim.org and we will gladly help you.
- - - 
Photo: Strategic collaboration with startups in Iskratel is in the hands of Damjan Slapar (right) and dr. Roman Kužnar (left). Denis Lončar (in the middle) is the cofounder and CEO of Gotoky, which is the first startup from the region into which the IskratelStartUp fund invested.