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From rocket engines to cooking revolution

One of the best Slovenian small tech companies Dewesoft opened its own startup incubator near the company's headquarters in Trbovlje, a small mining town in central Slovenia. The incubator is called Katapult and already hosts world class startups.

Dewesoft develops hardware and software data measurement systems for advanced use in the automotive industry, power and energy, logistics, aerospace and defense sectors. The company operates in 35 countries – its customer list includes names like NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Bosch and BMW.

The first start up coming from the incubator was Chipolo which developed »the world's loudest key finder«. The young company developed a smart tracker: a combination of an app and a small gadget which could be attached to any small object – like keys or wallet. In 2013 Chipolo raised almost 300.000 US dollars through a Kickstarter campaign. The company now employs 30 people in Slovenia and the USA. At this year's CES tech expo in Las Vegas, US fashion company Perry Ellis introduced »a tech wallet«, a classical billfold with integrated Chipolo smart finder technology.

Chipolo was Katapult's pilot project and an obvious success. Now Katapult hosts ten interesting young companies.  Few examples: Zoyo Baby developed a bluetooth sensor (typically attached to diapers) which monitors vital signs of a baby. Quick Shoelaces offer shoelaces which don't need tying. Spacelink is a true rocket science company developing engines and constructing a rocket able to carry nanosatellites. Aereform is a light aviation company developing composite materials and flight simulators – its innovative solutions have already received several national awards. Hangar Aviacija is developing a cart intended to easily move planes into hangars and optimize space efficiency. Ironate's original idea is a special pan which can bake a crunchy pizza in just 3 minutes without an oven, using any cooking surface including induction, gas burners or even just a camp-fire.

Katapult’s meeting and conference room with a cozy bar.
Photo: Katapult