Entrepreneurial programs for schoolchildren in Dolenjska and Slovenia are already very well developed and probably among the best in the world in terms of the methods used, the mentoring network, and the support environment that takes care of young teams. However, because we do not want to rest on our laurels, the time has come for a new step in the evolution of school entrepreneurship, namely in the direction of science.

We made the first move on our very ambitious path on Thursday and Friday, October 21st and 22nd, with a scientific-entrepreneurial hackathon. In the 24-hour extremely demanding and very intense event, 51 participants solved one of the two challenges given to them by Krka, d.d. One challenge concerned magnesium preparations and the other organic solvents.

Participants, mostly third-year students of five Slovenian gymnasiums (Biotechnical Gymnasium Novo mesto, Gymnasium Črnomelj, Gymnasium Novo mesto, Technical Gymnasium Novo mesto and Gymnasium Vič Ljubljana), worked in 14 teams. On the first day, they reviewed the scientific literature on the selected topic, and on the second day, it was time to research the market and present their work to the commission. Lots of work for just 24 hours!

Of course, the teams were not left to their own devices. Expert mentors from Krka, dr. Maja Kincl-Skube and dr. Elizabeta Tratar-Pirc, continuously gave the students guidance on research and helped alleviate their shock after realizing what kind of challenge they were actually facing. Thanks to the tireless work of all mentors – scientific, entrepreneurial, and pedagogical – and the phenomenal efforts of the teams led their truly excellent presentations at the end of the hackathon. Commission members – in addition to scientific mentors, the commission also included a specialist in the sale of magnesium preparations, Mr. Tilen Shali – couldn’t believe what the students were actually capable of doing in just 24 hours.

The scientific-entrepreneurial hackathon is only the first step on the ambitious path we are setting for ourselves at the Development Center. So stay alert for our future posts about our brave new route! 😊


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