CRANE celebrates 11 years of investing

Croatian Business Angels Network (CRANE) commemorated its first eleven years of investing in start-ups with a celebration dinner at Westin Hotel, Zagreb. CRANE members have invested more than 40 million kunas in Croatian start-ups so far. The dinner was held under the patronage of Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the President of the Republic of Croatia.

The president of CRANE, Davorin Štetner, spoke of the importance of business angels during his introduction speech: “Why are business angels valuable to societies? Because they can use the income they earned to selflessly invest in young entrepreneurs. That is a great ability. I will remind you – Croatian Business Angels do not have any tax deductions on investments nor they have incentives, but this never stopped us from investing over 40 million kunas in start-ups. That is why I am glad that CRANE has been recognized in our society”.

Over a hundred prominent guests attended the ceremony, including the deputy of President Grabar-Kitarović, the president of Croatian exporters and Končar Electrical Industry – Darinko Bago, Croatian ministers Darko Horvat and Marko Pavić, the Ambassador of the United States (Robert Kohorst), Izrael (Ilan Mor), United Kingdom (Andrew Dalgleish), and Italy (Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani). One of the most attractive business angels and the president of European Business Angels Network (EBAN), Peter Crowley, came from Cambridge to support CRANE. The ceremony was also attended by Mirka Jozić, the head of the Department of Economy, Dragutin Ranogajec, the president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Mladen Fogec, the president of Foreign Investor Association and Mladen Jakopović, the president of the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture.

This year’s gala was also marked by the presence of many CRANE members – Hrvoje Prpić, Davor Tremac and Adrian Ježina, Kristina Ercegović, the president of Women in Adria, Ivana Matić, secretaries of state, Nataša Mikuš-Žigman and Mario Antonić, the adviser to the Prime Minister, Tomislav Pokaz, advisers to the president of the Republic of Croatia, Mirjana Hrga and Marko Jurčić, and many others.

Allyson Reneau, a mother of eleven children who graduated at Harvard and, among other things, worked at NASA, also gave an inspirational speech.

Special awards were given for promoting entrepreneurship and the start-up ecosystem. Awards were given to Johnatan Cooper and Hrvoje Prpić for creating CRANE, the minister Marko Pavić, the City Office for the Economy, the Embassy of United States, United Kingdom, Israel and Sweden, and the ambassadors Robert Kohorst, Ilan Mor, and Andrew Dalgleish. Sanja Vištica and Boris Mišević, Croatian TV reporters, received special recognition. The same was received by Poslovni dnevnik, the only Croatian daily business newspaper. Furthermore, special awards will be given to Marko Repecki, a journalist for, weekly business portal LIDER, and to the mayor of Zagreb City.