Introducing the Alps-Adriatic region


The PODIM Conference takes place in Maribor, the second biggest Slovenian town, which lies in the heart of the Alps-Adriatic region. The region encompasses seven geographic areas: Italian lands Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto, Austrian Carinthia and Styria, Slovenia, the Western half of Hungary, and Croatia.
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One of the richest cultural and historical heritages in the world

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The Alps-Adriatic region is known as a unique geographic and economic gem in central Europe. It boasts with an incredibly diverse and attractive landscape, breath-taking unspoiled nature and one of the richest cultural and historical heritages in the world. The entire area is closely connected to the influence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the progressive monarch Mother Theresa. Under her reign, the region saw a lot of progress even before the First World War by encouraging international trade, advanced farming, science and education.


Excellent tourist destination

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Due to its incredible natural, cultural, historical and gastronomical features, the Alps-Adriatic region is establishing itself as one of the most recognizable European tourist destinations. World-known centres for winter and summer sports, medieval and renaissance city centres, castles and ramparts, museums, galleries and other cultural monuments are enriched by many urban culinary centres and wine roads with hospitable tourist farms.

If you walk across Venice, Trieste, Graz, Klagenfurt, Budapest, Ljubljana, Zagreb or Sarajevo, you can try local specialties and excellent wines in a Michelin restaurant, suburban pub or even at a street stand. Whatever you try will definitely not leave you indifferent! A pizza that's just right, a juicy Wiener Schnitzel or delicious Sacher cake, a fragrant Carniolan sausage and potica, homemade goulash or paprikash, baked fish, čevapi and burek – all these are culinary achievements that will surely make you return to our parts of the world!


More than 2,000 startups and 100 startup hubs

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In the region that has over 220,000 km2 of territory and counts a good 24 million inhabitants work more than 2,000 innovative startup companies and at least 100 regional or local startup hubs.

According to World Bank's ranking, Slovenia is in a high 15th place according to its conditions for starting business. Other countries from the region follow closely.

These are only a couple of telling proofs that the Alps-Adriatic region made significant progress in the field of innovative entrepreneurship and development of an effective startup ecosystem.


Home region to Talking Tom and many other successful startups

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Did you know that Samo and Iza Login, founders of the multinational Outfit7 that's creating Talking Tom and friends, come from Slovenia? And that many startups from the region already reached the status of global stars? Quite similar to the Talking Tom cat, which has more than 24 million followers on Facebook, while the app was downloaded more than a billion times in countries all across the world.

There are numerous regional unicorns that come from the Alps-Adriatic region and are paving their way to global fame: Celtra and Layer (Slovenia), Arduino, Yoox and Glancee (Italy), Runtastic and Kochabo (Austria), Prezi, LogMeIn and Ustream (Hungary), plus Bellabeat and Farmeron from Croatia.


Outstanding talent pool 

On average, a quarter of the entire active work population in all countries of the region is highly educated workforce. Excellent engineers, developers and researchers who find the solution to every problem of a modern society are one of the typical characteristics of the very highly educated, motivated and globally-oriented human capital of the region


Attractive investment industries 

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Countries of the Alps-Adriatic region actively attract foreign investors, giving them many benefits and investment opportunities in the following industries: ICT, creative industries, tourism, biotechnology, energy, food and drink production, nanotechnology, electronics, agricultural technologies, medicine, research and development, forest-based industry, pharmacy, transport, logistics and high-tech manufacture.


Great quality of life

Many successful entrepreneurs and investors from the US, UK or New Zealand who settled down in Slovenia and other countries of the region can confirm that the green Alps-Adriatic lands are ideal for life and work.

Favourable economic and social conditions, beneficent climate and unspoiled nature, developed infrastructure, authentic interpersonal relationships and excellent food ensure an incredible set of factors for everyone who wishes to weave new business, family and friend bonds in this part of Europe. 

Experience the region in the best possible light and embark on an intense adventure at the PODIM Conference!