Maribor, 15 May (STA) - Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek awarded in Maribor on Wednesday the award for the best start-up company for 2013 to Damijan Matičič, the boss of Koofr, a company dealing with software development and cloud computing.
Bratušek said in her address at the ceremony, held as part of a two-day conference on entrepreneurship, that despite a past of "greedy directors who put their interests before the common good" business should not be perceived as a bad thing.
She said Slovenia needed "engines" that will propel it forward and secure jobs, exports and educate the young and talented. Start-up companies can be these very engines, which is why the government will definitely invest in them in the future, the PM added.
Koofr was set up in February, but it started developing its main product last year, a mobile interface for access to different types of data storage systems.
The head of the 13-strong jury that selected the winner, Miroslav Rebernik, pointed out that the number of companies entering the competition was increasing each year, with the number rising to 102 this year.
The winner was picked as part of the 33rd Podim conference in Maribor, which began today and will feature 40 guests from Slovenia and abroad and attract around 500 visitors.
Rebernik, who is the head of the event's programming committee as well, said this year's event was focusing on young talents. The topic was also chosen on the basis of a recent study ranking Slovenia 59th among 67 participating countries in terms of the number of new companies in 2012.
"The ranks of entrepreneurs are not being replenished sufficiently with young businessmen. Like elsewhere in Europe, entrepreneurs are becoming older, while we have the worst flow of entrepreneurs younger than 34 among all the groups of countries we compared Slovenia to," he explained.