The Best of the Best in Category Innovation is Štartaj, Slovenija!

First Best of the Best 2017 event - Innovation
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The title of the best in the category of Innovation and thus a place in the 2017 Best of the Best finale in the opinion of the participants of the event, the committee, and the active listener went to Pro Plus for the Štartaj, Slovenija! project.

With the Best of the Best program, AmCham Slovenia continues to present and to award the best business practices in the Slovenian business environment in 2017. Creative and passionate individuals and groups who bring new knowledge, approaches, products, processes, and business models to the Slovenian business environment in an innovative way presented themselves in the category of Innovation.

Mrs. Ajša Vodnik, Executive Director of AmCham Slovenia, recounted in her keynote speech that for the fourth year in a row, excellent business had inspired everyone with their exceptional energy, sparkling ideas and the positive effects that they had on employees and society at large. “By doing so, we are all given an opportunity to learn something new from each other and thus promote positive change,” she added.

The following projects were presented in the Innovation category:
1. Next, Beeping – an on line platform for household cleaning
2. Plastika Skaza, Skaza Lab
3. Pro Plus, Štartaj, Slovenija!

Štartaj, Slovenija! persuaded the majority
Even though all the projects deserve such a title and inspire positive change, the Štartaj, Slovenija! project was chosen due to its creativity, innovation, enthusiasm, openness, and the desire to spread knowledge. The active listener Mrs. Nevenka Kržan, Senior Partner, KPMG, and the President of AmCham Slovenia, said that the Best of the Best program was exceptional because it was changing Slovenia so that our lives and work could be better and easier. The Štartaj, Slovenia! project was also her favorite since it encompassed the greater number of business ideas and involved three groups – television, advertising agency and merchant, thus giving an opportunity to young entrepreneurs who otherwise would not find their place on the supermarket shelves.

Aleš Muhič, Pro Plus, said after receiving the award: “I am proud of Pro Plus, of our partner Spar and of the Formitas agency. It also means a lot to us that AmCham gave us the opportunity and that participants of this event acknowledged us. This gives us new momentum since we are already filming the 2nd show and have great expectations for it; We also feel great responsibility and I assure you that the second season will be just as excellent”.

Pro Plus: Štartaj, Slovenija!
In recent years, a mentality has spread among young people that in Slovenia, nothing can be achieved. That nobody understands their products, gives them a chance, or is willing to help them on their way towards success. POP TV, Spar Slovenia, and the Formitas agency have joined forces and launched a project that contradicts such mentality. They have selected 12 entrepreneurs and shown them how to find the right solutions and have helped them on their way towards success. The idea of the project was to give Slovenian entrepreneurs a unique chance for launching their product. They were spreading fresh entrepreneurial energy by participating in relevant debates, discussing the main problems young people are facing when trying to launch their idea or product on the market, and seeking concrete solutions. They have shown that the power of television is great and fulfilling when it benefits society.

POP TV viewers had an opportunity on Sundays to watch genuine stories of Slovenian entrepreneurs, observe their fears and the obstacles they were facing on their path, as well as their learning process while being mentored by successful Slovenian entrepreneurs. Courage, strong will and readiness for work gave them media exposure and in Interspar superstores, they were given a special department shelf for their products and thus a unique breakthrough opportunity. The most successful candidates received a unique business opportunity – a six-month exclusive contract with Spar Slovenia and media coverage by the POP TV media house. The deodorant Nelipot became the “Hit product 2016”.

The show achieved amazing ratings and was the main topic in the media and on social networks. The campaign reached more than 94,000 purchases and seven products became bestsellers in their product category. Due to such good results, Spar has decided to sell the “hit product” as well as 8 other products in more than 50 stores.

Best of the Best Program
The outstanding projects and ideas of the AmCham Slovenia members are introducing excellent practices to the Slovenian business environment, thus placing them among the leading companies in Slovenia. This has helped to create the Best of the Best program in which we have focused on, presented, and awarded best business practices for four consecutive years now. Exceptional practices result from the creativity and innovations of these companies’ employees while the Best of the Best program provides inspiration and help in the transfer of positive business experiences, new knowledge, and ideas to the AmCham business community and the wider economic environment.

The purpose of the program is to expose and present the exceptional work of individual employees of AmCham Slovenia members, as well as to present success stories and business practices that can be an inspiration and motivation for Slovenian business. In this way, we can promote change in other companies together. We promote what is good and focus on success stories that we wish others to know about as well.

At three Best of the Best events we thus present 9 best practices in three categories – Innovation, Motivation, and Openness.

The Best Practice Academy also plays an important role as a special committee. Its purpose is to choose the Best of the Best program finalists. The exceptional individuals participating in the Best Practice Academy are: Viviana Žorž - Adecco, Ksenija Božič - BB Svetovanje, Aleksandra Brank - Bisnode, Mateja Panjan - Danfoss, Simona Dijak - Goodyear, Primož Zupan - Halcom, Mojca Perič - Helios, Maja Langerholc - KPMG, Aleksander Baretič - Mars, Katra Šemrov - Microsoft, Alenka Rozman - NLB, Rok Cuderman - Petrol, Jana Jovanovska - Philip Morris, Zvezdana Lubej - Profile S, Tea Gasser - PwC, Nina Remškar - Roche, Martina Merslavič - Sistem 2, Soniboj Knežak - Steklarna Hrastnik, Tjaša Kolenc Filipčič - Triglav Insurance Company, Irena Marcetič - NIL, Eva Cvelbar - Kolektor, Saša Zor - InterContinental, Metka Glas - Studio Moderna d.o.o., Metka Svetlin - Google Croatia.

Special thanks regarding the Best of the Best Innovation event goes to the supporters and partners of the Best of the Best program, main sponsors – Goodyear and KPMG, sponsor of the Innovation category – Abbvie, and partners of the program – STA Travels and Slon Hotel.