Why launch startup in Slovenia?
Startup founders usually consider Berlin or London for the best places to launch their startup. But even though these places can be great they have also down sizes, London is expensive and Berlin very saturated. That is why it is worth considering also other cities and countries, for example Slovenia;)
Slovenia has become, since the end of its crisis in 2012-2013, a very attractive country for startups with one of the highest GDP growths in the European Union. While the crisis resulted in a cutting down of a number of industries, those that remain (including technology, automobile, culinary, sports, and science) are rapidly growing and receiving recognition. The country is gaining a reputation for its niche, focused, and high-quality work with main companies in the space as Outfit 7, Akrapovic, Pipistrel, Zemanta, Celtra, Bitstamp … Even though average Slovenian salaries are not in the top of other western europeans, the other qualities bring the important balance.
1. Location in Europe
Slovenia is located in the central Europe, providing access to Balkan states as well as the Western countries. What means that on weekends you can travel to enjoy sun on Dalmatian coast in Croatia and on weekdays fly to London or Berlin for as little as 10€ / one way from close airports: Ljubljana, Zagreb, Venice and Graz.
2. Low living costs
Living in Slovenia gives you an opportunity to bootstrap your startup. Rent cost and food expenses are lower than in other central Europe countries but on the same time you get an access to timezones of modern Western country. Also finding an available apartment is easier than in other Western metropolitan areas. Ljubljana is the most populated but as soon as you are living outside (already as much as half an hour drive away) costs can be even half cheaper.
3. Quality of life
On one hand Slovenia has a lot of farms. Vegetables and meat has exceptional quality, even food at a McDonald’s has better taste than in other countries because it is locally produced and better quality. On the other hand, despite the size it is extremely geographically diverse. You can find everything from mountains and ski resorts to sea shore and Mediterranean climate. And both take you just an hour drive from the capital.
And on the other, almost 60% of country landscape covers forest. Cities are also very clean, functional and green (the capital, Ljubljana, won the European Green Capital Award for 2016). That is why people are very connected with the nature and enjoying the art of slow and quality living despite strong work ethic and drive.
Slovenians are know for their drive, hard working and ethic. Prior to free of charge educational system (including Universities) a high percentage of the population has university degree. Most of the people are digitally literate and fluent in English or German. Overall Slovenians are open, communicative and warming people, they enjoy to connect with new people and learn about new cultures.
5. People speak English
Because Slovenian language is not useful around the world, most of the younger generation speaks very good English. Children start learning English already in early primary school and soon after usually start learning also German or French. Movies on commercial TV programs are mostly in English and not dubbed only subtitled what commonly improves the understanding of English among entire population. Because the country is becoming more and more international it is already becoming a trend that in a lot of startup and tech companies English is becoming official language.
6. Fast Internet
Optic is available in most of the places, even outside of the city. The average internet upload speed is 15.42Mbps what brings great opportunity for building online business. also almost all cafes in big cities have free Wi-Fi. Ljubljana City Centre and some smaller towns even offer a public wireless connection. It is easy to stay connected and keep working on your project wherever you are.