The City of Dubrovnik has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), this week.
The understanding, signed by Dubrovnik Mayor, Mato Frankovic, and WBAF Chairman, Baybars Altuntas, is expected to strengthen the cooperation between Dubrovnik and the business angels from Turkey and the EU through investments, information exchange, and education.
Frankovic said that cooperation with WBAF should boost start-up companies as a different type of economic activity in Dubrovnik.
"Mr. Altuntas is a great innovator who has shown how to develop small start-up companies, which is interesting to us because most of our commercial activities are based on tourism. We will include the Dubrovnik University and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Croatia in this cooperation. I believe that we will become a small centre of new commercial activities that aren't exclusively related to tourism," Frankovic said.
Altuntas welcomed Dubrovnik's desire to become a global centre for tourism innovation.
“Innovation in tourism is as important as innovation in other industries. Every city or country that wants to be a leading ecosystem for innovation makes a great investment for future generations,” Altuntas said.
He added that education for entrepreneurship was much more important than just putting money on the table.
“It’s more important that entrepreneurs have a proper way of thinking and skills to develop business, than financing. Good business ideas will find their way to financing,” said Altuntas, who is currently visiting Croatia and in addition to Dubrovnik, will also visit the Adriatic city of Split, Zagreb and the northern town of Krapina.
The World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) is an international organisation aiming to ease access to financing for businesses from start-up to scale-up, with the ultimate goal of generating more jobs and more social justice worldwide. It is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development by creating innovative financial instruments for innovators, start-ups, and small and medium-sized enterprises.