KIKŠTARTER is a co-working space, incubator and accelerator that also offers regular trainings and demonstrations of good practices and stimulating environment.
KIKŠTARTER Kamnik arose from the initiative of Youth Center Kotlovnica which together with local stakeholders and Technology park Ljubljana recognized the need to motivate and stimulate entrepreneurial ideas of Kamnik's youth. The initiative also involved Kamnik Municipality and Rudolf Maister School. Initiative was also approached by Kamnik entrepreneurs, joined in the Enterpreneurship club. The first activities were implemented in January of 2014 with first discussions, development of the co-working idea and networking activities between the municipality, the entrepreneurs, Youth Centre, High school and Ljubljana Technology Park. In 2014 KIKŠTARTER had an exchange volunteer program, where the idea was elaborated on, as well as motivation workshops targeting potential and young entrepreneurs. In 2015, they provided the physical location and enabled numerous inhabitants, entrepreneurs and talents from Kamnik to work on their business idea, have a space to work and develop as well as to network. Today KIKŠTARTER offers work space (680 m2 – 8 tables in common co-working space,13 offices 1 conference room,1 laboratory, a reading corner with professional literature, 1 Meeting Room, Block space for socializing, Lecture, Garden with outdoor co-working space) and strong community. The main innovation KIKŠTARTER did is a social innovation where they recognised the interest of many relevant stakeholders and offered them almost free platform to work at.
When starting they have available only few thousand EUR. The Municipality provides part of the funding for the operations and program of KIKŠTARTER (yearly call around 15.000 EUR). KIKŠTARTER also receives contributions from local entrepreneurs joined in the Business club, and many volunteer hours.
Evidence of success
Physically hosting more than 20 SMEs/groups, and 30 individuals. KIKŠTARTER won the national competition and became a finalist for the European award for promoting entrepreneurship (for "Improving the business environment"). The initiative has become recognized as a GP example of economic recovery in the post-industrial environments, small towns that do not have the critical mass for the development of high-tech economy.
Legal registration can be a blocking factor - because some funds/calls are very restrictive who can apply.
Potential for learning or transfer
This GP is particularly interesting, because they understand the needs of the local population in detail. To learn the importance of bottom up approach to include all relevant stakeholders. It is transferable to other environments, as we are not talking about duplicating the prescribed solutions and patterns but about applying the proven methods and tools to understand the local potential and particular the needs and then to develop solutions based on that. The whole model of approach can be replicated in other regions, if there is a case of a small Municipality or town (local environment with strong community) that do not have the critical mass for the development of high-tech economy.
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