On November 11 and 12, 2022, a Friday and Saturday, four consortium startup weekends for primary school pupils and secondary school students took place simultaneously in Novo mesto. A total of sixteen schools participated, including three secondary schools and thirteen primary schools, and over 120 schoolchildren who worked in teams to develop a business model for their entrepreneurial ideas.

The startup weekends were organized and financed by the SPIRIT agency, coordinated by the Development Center of Novo mesto, and carried out by the leading schools of the four consortia. These schools were Primary School Grm, Primary School Center, Primary School Šmarjeta and Gimnazija Novo mesto.

In 22 school hours, under the guidance of entrepreneur and school mentors, the school teams learned how to define and address the customers’ problem or need that the idea would try to take care of, examined the market and competition, made a prototype of their product, and made basic financial calculations. The teams then presented their business models to two-member juries that evaluated the business model presentations and announced the first three places. This time, for the first time at startup weekends, we also gave the audience award. This award was not given by the jury consisting of experienced entrepreneurs, but by the participants of the startup weekend themselves. With this, we encourage entrepreneurial critical thinking among young people, because by actively listening to peer presentations, they can find out what they themselves can improve.

Although the startup weekend is now behind us, we managed to attract most of the teams to the extent that they will go ahead with their ideas and qualify for the Popri competition held next year. This is very important, because entrepreneurial competence, which is one of the key competences of lifelong learning, just like multilingualism, needs to be trained all the time, otherwise the competence slowly fades.

In the consortium led by Primary School Center, the following school participated: Drska Primary School, Stopiče Primary School, Šmihel Primary School, and Tone Pavček Primary School from Mirna Peč. Dolenjske Toplice Primary School, Prevole Primary School, and Žužemberk Primary School participated in the consortium led by Grm Primary School. Brusnice Primary School, Šentjernej Primary School, and Škocjan Primary School participated in the consortium led by Šmarjeta Primary School. The secondary school consortium was led by the Gimnazija Novo mesto and the following two secondary schools participated: Novo mesto School of Economics, and Grm Novo mesto – Grm Agricultural School and Biotechnical Gymnasium.

The members of the first-place teams received go-kart rides at Raceland Krško, the second-placed teams received tickets to the Frikšn climbing wall, and the third-placed teams and the teams that won the audience award received tickets to the cinema at Cineplexx Novo mesto. The awards are primarily intended to strengthen the team spirit of the participants, who will still need it in their work in the future.

In the table below, the teams of individual consortia are listed according to the places achieved, the members of the commissions of certain consortia, and the entrepreneurship mentors who led the respective startup weekends.

 

Who were the winners and jurors?

 

Consortium 1

Consortium 2

Consortium 3

Consortium 4

1st Place

Primary School Grm – GoCart

Shoeing Assistant Feet Butler – Primary School Center

Rain hero – Primary School Fran Metelko Škocjan

Homezy – Grm Agricultural School and Biotechnical Gymnasium.

2nd Place

Primary School Žužemberk – Prinaza

Vehicle Sensoring – Primary School Stopiče

ElektroBliz – PRIMARY SCHOOL Brusnice 

Belly Belt – Grm Agricultural School and Biotechnical Gymnasium.

3rd Place

Primary School Grm – D-Lock

Ohio Bag – Primary School Tone Pavček Mirna Peč

Central heat – PRIMARY SCHOOL Šentjernej

Food Box – School of Economics Novo

         

Best entrepreneurship award by audience

PRIMARY SCHOOL Dolenjske Toplice – Electric

Shoeing Assistant Feet Butler – Primary School Center

HoldPen -PRIMARY SCHOOL Šmarjeta 

Home food basket – School of Economics Novo mesto

Cincin – Gimnazija Novo mesto

Jury

 

Jasmina Avbar, Herbas

Marko Pavlin, Lastinski d.o.o.

Barbara Strnad, teacher at Gimnazija Novo mesto

Maja Avguštin, ClueKit Agency

Natalija Zorman, entrepreneur

Milan Radivojević, Bartog d.o.o.

Tomaž Kren, Reusable Technologies

Anton Kink, Revoz d.d.

 

Mentors from Grm Primary School, Center Primary School, Šmarjeta Primary School, Gimnazija Novo mesto and business mentors Simon Jeraj, Aleksej Metelko, Marko Vukobrat, Darjan Zlobec, Anja Jakše and Tamara Strnad took care of the organization and implementation.

What’s next?

In the coming months, we will be preparing for the POPRI regional competition of entrepreneurial ideas for young people, and some student teams will also be preparing for the ScienceJam science entrepreneurship competition.

In the meantime, the mentors will work with the teams to upgrade their business models.

If you also want to carry out entrepreneurial activities at your school, you can contact us at or call us on 040 587 884.

Impressions from the event:

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Development Centre Novo mesto Ltd.

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