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Who are the 4 Croats on New Europe’s Top Challengers List?



Four Croats have made the New Europe 100 list of Outstanding Challengers…

Croats Matija Kopić, Jan Jilek, Valent Turković and Miroslav Vrakić have all made the list of the Top 100 innovators from Central and Eastern Europe who are changing the world and improving people’s lives with ideas that scale up in the digital world.

The list, which recognises those who – with their courage for innovation, expertise in emerging technologies, unique skills and social outreach – are having a global impact, was selected by Warsaw-based journal Res Publica, Google, the Visegrad Fund, and the Financial Times.

So who are the Croats who made the list?

Jan Jilek

Jan Jilek

Jan Jilek – a pioneer of online advertising in Adria region. He started the first online advertising network in Croatia and in cooperation with biggest Slovenian search engine Najdi.si he started full-text search engine in Croatia Pogodak.hr, later sold to Slovenian Telekom. He then started th first Croatian contextual intext advertising network Xclaim.hr and in 2008 sold it to biggest Polish Internet Company Internet Group S.A. He also started online advertising network ad-net and adOps company Adserver.hr which he sold to Austrian adOps Company in 2015. His newest adventure is big data internet audience measurement startup Dotmetrics.net. He started the 1000startupsEU movement.


Matija Kopić

Matija Kopić

Matija Kopić – is CEO of Farmeron, a web data service that farmers can use to aggregate information about their animals: diet, health, reproduction, milk production and medicine or drug dosage. Matija created a single, unified database that they can use. By bringing farmers and their production data online, Farmeron is rethinking how agriculture must meet the newest global challenges – of feeding more and more people with more than ever scarce resources.


Miroslav Vrankić

Miroslav Vrankić

Miroslav Vrankić
– is a professor of electrical engineering at University of Rijeka and founder and a CEO of E-GLAS. After completing his PhD in Engineering in 2008 he founded E-Glass, a university-based start-up company. It’s main product is Servus, a voice-controlled assistant that helps people with special needs to perform simple home-based tasks, that are otherwise out of their control. The little silver box, about the size of an external harddrive, allows its users to put on the lights, open the doors, turn of the radio or log on the internet. Servus is designed to be speaker independent. The device is multi-language, operating in English, German, Italian, Dutch, Croatian and Slovenian.


Valent Turković

Valent Turković

Valent Turković – launched Projekt Otvorena mreža in Croatia in 2009 to promote the ideas of independent internet infrastructure and the internet as a public good. In the autumn of 2015, Otvorena mreža answered to the wave of refugees entering Croatia by setting up human WiFi beacons, mobile hot spots carried in backpacks to small border towns where refugees lack internet access. The initiative has since then expanded to Slovenia, and an interactive map allows for keeping track on its development. Otvorena mreža provides internet access also to refugee camps, and have recently installed 12 hostpots in Slavonski Brod refugee camp under the auspices of the Minister of Interior Affairs of Croatia and Croatian Army Forces.

“Since 1989, Central and Eastern Europe has become a place where big ideas are made possible. In the last 25 years, many countries – many of which are now new EU member states – have come a long way from political and economic oblivion to democracy and prosperity. This transformation has been led by outstanding people who have achieved the seemingly impossible. Now, we look to the next 25 years,” said the list organisers Res Publica.

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