Frequently Asked Questions

Startup Factory Zagreb is a pre-acceleration program initiated by the Development Agency Zagreb – TPZ Ltd. and the City of Zagreb within the Technology Park Zagreb. It is the first publicly funded NO EQUITY program of its kind in Zagreb area and beyond. 

The program’s primary objective is to strengthen the innovation ecosystem stimulating the development of startup entrepreneurship and build a sustainable and inclusive urban development through smart solutions.

Startup Factory Zagreb aims to make it easier for startups to do business, especially during the development stage, as well as assist them with expanding into new markets, increasing revenue and creating high-quality innovative products. The purpose of the program is to help startups monetize their ideas and grow and develop their businesses in a sustainable way. 

By becoming a part of the Startup Factory Zagreb program, teams receive both financial and non-financial support. Non-financial support includes access to top experts and mentors as well as an intensive 10-week program which will enable them to develop skills and knowledge needed to successfully launch their startups. Additionally, teams are provided with office space and welcomed into the startup community within the Technology Park Zagreb. 


Startup Factory Zagreb 2017 calls for innovative solutions related to the following thematic areas: Smart Energy, Smart Mobility, Smart Tourism and Smart Living – Silver Economy.

An acceptable solution entails an innovative software, hardware or combined solution related to thematic areas’ indicative activities. 

This thematic area is aimed at achieving advanced sustainable and environmentally responsible energy solutions.

Following are some of the indicative activities included in this thematic area:

  • Solutions aimed at optimizing public lighting systems
  • Smart sensors (air quality and temperature, gas, electricity, water)
  • Renewable energy sources and energy efficiency
  • Sustainable water and waste management
  • Noise and light pollution solutions
  • Adjusting to climate change

This thematic area aims at solutions that address urban and intercity transport efficiency optimization and pollution reduction.

Following are some of the indicative activities included in this thematic area:

  • Urban public transport systems
  • Personal vehicle/bicycle use and pedestrian mobility optimization
  • Advanced parking systems
  • Intelligent transport systems and intermodal transport
  • Logistics, planning and ICT embedded systems development with a goal of system optimization 
  • Traffic noise, congestion and CO2 reduction
  • Improving traffic signalization and safety

This thematic area involves strengthening the tourism market of the City of Zagreb through innovative solutions.

Following are some of the indicative activities included in this thematic area:

  • Innovative souvenirs and tourism products based on the Living Lab, Big Data, iBeacon and Internet of Things (IoT) approach, and virtual (VR) and/or augmented reality (AR)
  • Healthy and active holidays
  • Socially responsible solutions for persons with disabilities, LGBT community, members of subcultures and marginalized groups
  • Hotel offers, conferences, sporting events organization etc.

This thematic area involves Smart Living solutions with an emphasis on improving the socio-economic status of the 50+ population.

Following are some of the indicative activities included in this thematic area:

  • Offering support and reducing loneliness
  • Encouraging and facilitating self-reliant living
  • Civic participation and employment (intergenerational knowledge exchange)
  • Respect and social integration
  • Health and health services (improving doctor-patient communication, preventative solutions, mapping)
  • Enhancing vitality (cultural events and activities, travel, education and sports)


Startup Factory Zagreb accepts applications from:

  • Development teams that will register a company with a company seat in Zagreb during the program. This is one of the prerequisites for receiving program support.
  • Micro and small-sized enterprises, i.e. young startup companies registered within the last 12 months with the company seat in Zagreb whose business activity or product development is related to innovative solutions, services and technologies.
  • Micro and small-sized enterprises, i.e. young startup companies registered within the last 12 months with the company seat in the Republic of Croatia, under the condition that they transfer the company seat by registering it in the City of Zagreb by October 1, 2017. 


Development team consists of legally competent parties who will develop an idea/project/solution during the Startup Factory Zagreb program. Development teams that are announced program winners will be required to register a business entity with the seat of the company in the City of Zagreb within 14 days of the official announcement.

Development teams and startup companies consisting of 2 to 7 individuals can enter the program. 

No. Due to the double funding prohibition, segments of the program that are already being funded by another source cannot be granted funding when it comes to the same activity, except in the case of coordinated co-funding by several different sources. 

The amount of financial support per individual pre-acceleration program user is between 92.500 HRK and 190.000 HRK. Each of the winning projects can receive the maximum aid intensity of 90%.

No. Only applicants with a single idea/solution/project will be taken into consideration. 

No. The goal of the Startup Factory Zagreb pre-acceleration program is to create innovative solutions that are of public importance on one hand and carry potential for growth and expansion into other markets on the other. This would positively influence the economy of the City of Zagreb, and that is one of the primary motives for the initiation of this program.  

The application consists of a completed application form containing correct and complete information. The application form can be found on the Startup Factory Zagreb website. Incomplete or late applications will be disqualified. 

All applications submitted by the closing date, September 17, 2017 at midnight, will be evaluated by an expert evaluation team. The evaluation team’s role is to preselect up to 40 teams that will participate in SFZGBootcamp. During the SFZGBootcamp finalists who will enter the pre-acceleration program will be selected.  

Following the online application closing date, the evaluation team will select candidates for the second round of the selection process – SFZGBootcamp. SFZGBootcamp is a day-long competition during which Startup Factory Zagreb 2017 participants will be selected. Teams that enter the SFZGBootcamp will have a chance to pitch their projects/ideas/solutions and demonstrate why they, among all other teams, should be the ones to enter the program.

After submitting the application form completed in its entirety, you will receive a submission confirmation.

You can find all information related to applications and Startup Factory Zagreb program in the Tender Documents (Competition, Regulations and Program). In case of any uncertainties, please email us at

Results of all rounds of selection will be published on the Development Agency Zagreb and Startup Factory Zagreb websites ( i 

All fully completed applications submitted on or before the closing date will enter the preselection process. The evaluation team will select 40 most promising teams that will then be invited to SFZGBootcamp. During the SFZGBootcamp, up to 20 finalists who will enter the Startup Factory Zagreb program will be selected. In the final week of the program, between 4 and 8 winning startups will be chosen.

The evaluation committee consisting of in-house experts as well as independent external experts will select 40 most promising teams based on their independent and direct assessment of all sections of submitted applications. Their decision is final and there is no possibility of appeal.

All requests made by telephone within 3 days of the selection results announcement will receive a written statement by the Development Agency Zagreb stating the reasons why the application has not been successful. The statement will be sent out within 30 days of the request submission. 


The intensive pre-acceleration Startup Factory Zagreb program includes 10 weekly modules and up to 300 hours of mentorship and consultancy support in regard to the following areas:

  • Minimum viable product (MVP), business model and strategy development
  • Innovation financing via non-refundable grants and preparation for venture capital funding
  • Startup marketing, digital production and marketing development according to the minimum viable marketing (MVM) model  

Outputs, activities and services that each program participant will also have at his or her disposal include but are not limited to:

  • Blue Office’s Startup Academy
  • Design Thinking and Business Model Canvas workshops
  • Streamlined business plan that will be presented to investors
  • Project management workshops
  • Fundraising plan, grant and subsidized loan application writing
  • Whiteboard and elevator pitch
  • Assistance with registering a company
  • Branding, designing a logo, creating marketing materials, photography and video production, web design etc.
  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO), A/B testing, analytics and user profiling
  • Networking events
  • Go-to-Market (GTM) strategies
  • Defining MVP (regardless of the type of product) and sales funnel

+ access to all services offered by the Startup Factory Zagreb program partners!

The pre-acceleration program consists of 10 modules. Modules are week-long cycles of thematic lectures and workshops.

Lecturers are experts from chosen fields who hold lectures and workshops within the modules while mentors have a role of mentoring and supporting teams during the entirety of the program. During the matchmaking event at the very beginning of the program teams choose mentors according to their project’s specific needs.

Mentors are selected experts with professional expertise, knowledge and skills related to the startup world and thematic areas of the Startup Factory Zagreb program. Their engagement is crucial in order for teams to develop and young startups to receive product development and commercialization related support. Mentors actively participate during the entire project development process. Their role is to increase the entrepreneurial ideas’ chances of success.

Startup Factory Zagreb is an intensive 10-week program.

Demo Day is an event during which pre-acceleration program teams have a chance to present their business models and demo products to international audience and investors. Weekly modules prior to Demo Day will include teams presenting in front of mentors and other program participants. 

The second generation of Startup Factory Zagreb winners – recipients of financial support – will be selected during Demo Day.   

The development team is obliged to register a company with the company seat in the City of Zagreb within 14 days of program completion.

The company founded in this way must use the received financial support in accordance with the acceptable expenditures and deadlines stated in the Regulations.

Once the financial support has been awarded to a company and deposited into its bank account, the money cannot be returned unless an appropriate authority should make such a decision. 

The City of Zagreb and the Development Agency Zagreb will strive to ensure adequate material and systematic support in order to provide an incentive for the companies to remain in Zagreb area through their post-acceleration incubation and inclusion into the City measures that stimulate entrepreneurship.

Following the completion of the program, the program support will become more passive and focus on teams entering subsequent acceleration or incubation programs within the Technology Park Zagreb. However, teams will still have access to the Technology Park Zagreb infrastructure, mentors and program partners.

In the weeks following the Demo Day, support will be focused on helping teams negotiate with potential investors.