For Dewesoft, the manufacturer of top-of-the-line measurement technology, 2016 was yet another successful business year. The company has increased its consolidated revenue from sales to €21 million, which is by 31% compared to 2015. It has achieved a net profit in the amount of €4 million and increased its number of employees to 55. The company’s clients include very demanding companies, such as NASA, Space X, the Kennedy Space Center, Lufthansa, Bosch, BMW and Audi. The company’s business journey was exactly what inspired the establishment of Katapult, the Entrepreneurial Centre in Trbovlje, which Dewesoft is officially opening today.

The added value per employee in 2016 amounted to €128,988. Dewesoft has nine subsidiaries around the world. They export their services and products to 35 countries. “Our good business results are a reflection of our excellent products and services.” This would, however, not be possible without the engagement of our employees. Therefore, we reward our employees and engage them in co-ownership of the company,” told the President of the Management Board and the co-founder of Dewesoft, Andrej Orožen during the presentation of the business results of 2016. “We are also aware of the importance of investing into infrastructure – in 2016 we invested €2 million. Those investments include social responsibility projects, such as the Katapult.”

Overcoming entrepreneurial barriers with Katapult: from the prototype to mass production in the shortest time possible

Katapult is an intense and practically oriented programme for businesses, which are only just entering the market. If a young business wants to become part of Katapult, its business idea should already be developed to the level of a prototype. The idea must be financially feasible, have market potential, be suitable for mass production and create new jobs.

In addition to mentorship, the participating businesses will also receive help testing the product, access to contacts from the wide sales network of Dewesoft with the purpose of building their own sales network and even to joint procurement. This means that the businesses operating under the mentorship of Katapult enjoy the same procurement conditions as Dewesoft. Young businesses often run out of resources to start production. Katapult also provides them access to Dewesoft’s production lines and logistics.

Dewesoft emphasizes that the key motive for the establishment of Katapult was to shorten the learning time, because this was exactly what Dewesoft was wrestling with at the beginning.“After 16 years of experience in the market we are able to better assess which concepts have a higher chance of success. This way we can help young businesses only just entering the market to save valuable time. We advise them where they should orient themselves,” emphasized Dr. Jure Knez, the President and co-founder of Dewesoft. We provide young businesses mentorship and support throughout all the steps of entering the market, so Katapult is a lot more than just a corporate accelerator or incubator.” He also said that the key factors of success are entrepreneurial spirit, a strong will, perseverance and the desire to succeed: “Katapult cannot substitute those. It can, however, help jump over the obstacles.”

A test case of the implementation of the Katapult ideas was the young business by the name of Chipolo. Today Chipolo has 30 employees, most of them come from the Central Sava Valley.

Currently included in the Katapult are the young businesses Spacelink, Ironate, Zoyo Baby, Hillstrike and SOS šola.