Google and Goldman Sachs Partner With Infobip to Launch a Mentorship Program for Startups From the Youngest EU Member Country

U.S.-based tech and finance leaders eyeing Croatia as the next European Silicon Valley

Infobip Group, a global cloud communications platform company for customer engagement, and leader in CPaaS solutions, announced a partnership with Google and Goldman Sachs to launch an innovative mentorship program for startups from Croatia, the youngest European Union member state with a population of more than 4 million. The country already has its first two unicorns – including Infobip – and its potent startup community is increasingly standing out in the region and within the EU.

“The program opened access to a completely new level of expertise for Croatian startups, which unfortunately cannot be found at home”

The Scale|Croatia joint mentorship program is open to all Croatian-based startups from Infobip’s Startup Tribe program. Through the partnership announced today, startup founders will get dedicated mentors from Google and Goldman Sachs with whom to consult on business development, product development, fundraising, marketing, sales and more.

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“Jigsaw is honored to participate in the Scale|Croatia mentorship program to further develop the tech ecosystem in this emerging European hub. We look forward to continuing to partner with emerging leaders of innovative companies in the region,” said Scott Carpenter, director at Google Jigsaw.

“We decided to pilot this project with Croatian startups as we noticed a pattern of almost unlikely, but outstanding, success stories. The data shows remarkable results for the up-and-coming Croatian tech sector. Croatia seems to be on a path that’s very similar to Estonia and Israel in the earlier days of their ecosystems, so the timing to engage with this particular group of young entrepreneurs feels very opportune,” said Jared Cohen, co-head of applied innovation and president of global affairs at Goldman Sachs.

In the first year of Scale|Croatia, founders from 16 Croatian startups have received access to a four-month mentorship program, enabling even faster and better-quality development and scaling of their businesses. Osijek-based Orqa, a world leader in developing FPV goggles for drone pilots and other startups developing products, is among those startups.

“The program opened access to a completely new level of expertise for Croatian startups, which unfortunately cannot be found at home,” said Srđan Kovačević, co-founder and CEO of Orqa. “To be specific, we found it extremely useful to gauge the experience of Google in the field of product management, as well as the experience that Goldman Sachs has in listing tech companies on world stock exchanges. We are extremely grateful to Infobip and the Infobip Startup Tribe for everything they are doing for the regional startup ecosystem, and I hope that other large local companies will be inspired by this.”

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The program launched with an event in the New York City offices of Goldman Sachs and Google. Startup founders had the opportunity to hear from experienced speakers from both companies. The Scale series will serve as a blueprint for programs in other world regions.

“Through Scale|Croatia, we can help Croatian startups to more easily reach global leaders such as Google and Goldman Sachs,” said Nikola Pavešić, director of startups at Infobip. “The fact that such large companies recognized the potential of our startup ecosystem is validation for us at Infobip. It is also an important honor for the tech sector in Croatia, which is a new European tech hub: the European Silicon Valley. I wish much luck to all startups in the program, and I am convinced that they will use all the opportunities it brings them.”

“Ten years ago, when I was personally running my startup, the idea of a working with a global leader like Goldman Sachs or Google was nearly impossible. But now, with programs like this, that is no longer the case,” said Ivan Burazin, chief developer experience officer at Infobip. “I am extremely proud that we at Infobip now serve as a bridge for all startups in the region to connect to the world’s center of the tech industry.”

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