Fast track to Chicagoland

A 3-day workshop in Varaždin, Croatia which will walk EU companies through creating action plans for entering the U.S. market and link Croatian and American businesses. The program will focus on the Chicago market and will feature three U.S. and three Croatian facilitators.

The program includes

3-day training on how to enter the US market
Action plan creation (activities, finances and timeline)
Individual work mentored by 3 US experts
Success and fail stories by guys who made it
Afternoon and evening networking events
Food and drinks during the course of the program
2 nights accomodation

All free of charge!

Trainers and mentors

Scott Steward

Break Bread Marketing and Media

Customer-focused positioning in new markets

Scott L. Steward is a 19-time award-winning, customer-focused, segmentation-oriented and profit-driven entrepreneurship educator. He is able to develop and implement effective marketing programs and market research tools to enhance learners penetration and position in existing and new markets, while contributing to overall revenue growth and profitability. Scott is a business owner, educator, entrepreneurial expert, husband and father of three, he knows firsthand the enjoyable, and not so enjoyable, aspects of entrepreneurship.

David Baker

Fremont St. Associates

Soft landing, start-up acceleration

Leads a consulting firm specializing in technology-based economic development, technology park development and development of economic clusters to support start-ups. As an executive director of University Technology Park at IIT in Chicago (2005-2016), David helped design and implement the service package for companies, leveraging the university’s resources. He established an international soft landing program to support international tech companies coming to Chicago and built international partnerships with technology parks in 7 countries.

Fabrice Bonvoisin

FB International LLC

International business development

Mr. Bonvoisin is the founder of FB International LLC, a Chicago-based consulting firm specializing in marketing and international business development services throughout the US, Europe and Asia. Since 2016, the company is an official partner of the Hungarian National Trading House, helping their companies to develop their business in the US. Before coming to the US 20 years ago, he held management positions at two large French companies: Castorama (to start the Italian division), and Pechiney (global research center). Recognized ability to build, train and lead a team to meet objectives.

Josip Bišćan


As the head of web development department in Infinum, Josip is in charge of account management, project management, software planning & architecture and some development. Josip is a managing partner in Infinum, an independent design and development agency with offices in the US and Europe. He has extensive experience with Ruby on Rails with high interest in latest and bleeding edge features. Josip is highly knowledgebale in hybrid application development, including hybrid iOS, Android, Adobe AIR and bada applications

Damir Sabol


Damir was a founder and CEO of Iskon internet, first Croatian private Internet Service Provider and internet portal. In 2006 Iskon was acquired by Croatian Telecom. He is one of the founding members of Croatian Business Angel Network and ZIP startup incubator in Zagreb, Croatia. Damir is a founder of Microblink/PhotoPay, a startup developing OCR technology for smartphones. In 2014 he used that technology in Photopay, an app that reads and solves mathematical problems by using the camera of a mobile device in real-time.

Dino Ravnić

GIS Cloud

As CEO and co-founder of GIS Cloud, Dino is directly involved in developing and creating the next generation of GIS software specifically built and optimized for the Cloud. He is part of a creative team that delivers innovative award-winning solutions for old GIS challenges. Dino’s vision and 10 years of computer science and programming experience have been instrumental during the R&D for GIS Cloud. He designed and co-invented key differentiating component technologies and drives the overall platform and company vision. Also he has been responsible for establishing key partnerships and contacts with worldwide organizations.

Behind the scenes (Organizing crew)

Karlo, Vedran and Iva took part in US Department of State's and WorldChicago's Professional Fellows Program in October and November last year. They spent five weeks in Chicago, working in it's incubators and startups. This workshop is one of the outputs of their longterm action plan created during the course of the Program.

Karlo Kukec

Point guard

Started his professional career as a software developer. In 2008 he took a role of an assistant manager in TechPark Varaždin to write project proposals, manage EU projects and mentor startups. He helped over 40 SMEs receive grants for early stage development of their innovative solutions. He managed Techpark2, EU project that funded the preparation of the project documentation for the new 30.000m2 TechPark Varaždin facility. Karlo is one of the founders of Voogle startup, an initiative that mentors startups and accelerates their growth. He is head of the Voogle conference organization team.

Iva Biščanić

Shooting guard

Iva has more than 6 years of experience in Marketing, Go-to-Market strategy and Business development in IT sector, by working in one of the biggest system integrators in Croatia. Working as a Project Manager for Innovations she was awarded with 3 European awards on innovation and startup competitions. Also, she is an Expert Evaluator for European Commission in Innovation in SMEs programme. She has finished an International MBA program on Cotrugli business school and Master’s degree on University of Zagreb.

Vedran Đidara

Power forward

For the last 10 years Vedran has been actively involved into business coaching, starting with product development and product segmentation to setting up R&D teams with aim to foster innovative products and services in client companies. Through HAMAG-BICRO Vedran advised numerous SMEs regarding their innovative ideas and products, helping them to identify gaps to their success and overarching them. As an intellectual property expert he identified key issues with clients and helped them protect their innovations through various legal instruments.



(09:30 - 23:45)

@ County Palace in Varaždin




Welcome (County mayor, Mayor of Varazdin)


Ice breaker

Company profile

2 minute pitches (Scott)


Intro to doing business in the US Part I (David, Fabrice, Scott)

Chicago entrepreneurial system, co-working, incubators, support

Entrepreneurial Culture, Pricing of services


Coffee break


Doing business in the US Part II (David, Fabrice, Scott)

Opportunities, models and risks of doing business

Cultural aspects of doing business in the US

Tips and Tricks, Do’s and Don’ts




First work session –Develop framework for entry to U.S. market


Refreshment break


Second work session: complete framework for entry to U.S market


Afternoon nap


Handball game Zagreb-Kielce (limited no.of tickets)


Networking event @Medina škrinja


(09:00 - 23:45)

@ Hotel Park Varaždin


Entering the U.S. Market, Part I (Fabrice)

Marketing and sales in the U.S. market


Coffee break


Entering U.S. Market, Part II (Scott)

Customer-focused marketing


Examples of two Croatian companies in U.S. market (Infinum, GIS Cloud)




Work session-refine market-entry plan and pitches


Refreshment break


Panel: Other considerations in entering the U.S. market (David, Scott)

Intellectual property protection

Funding sources—Angels and VCs


Afternoon nap




Devzmeetup afterparty @Medina škrinja


(09:00 - 15:00)

@ Hotel Park Varaždin


Panel: More issues for operating in US markets

Establishing a subsidiary

Gaining and using a mentor

Tax considerations


Croatian Company operating in the U.S. (Photomath)


Coffee break (Start working on final pitches)


Work session: preparation of final pitches and entry strategies




Presentations and awards ceremony


County Palace in Varaždin (Day 1)

Franjevački trg 7, Varaždin

Park Boutique Hotel (Day 2 and Day 3)

J. Habdelića 6, Varaždin

Address and parking info:


Small and medium-sized enterprises


Taking part in a 3-day training on how to enter the US market Creating an action plan for entering the US market Taking part in the afternoon and evening networking events A chance to win a prize for the best action plan and receive a winner's trophy


Deskpass - one month free membership
mHub - one month free membership
Overseas Express - a set of free shipments
Geek design Ltd - Winner's trophy


November 9th 2016


Participants will be selected based on the following criteria:

Innovation and US market fit
Market potential
Business model
Maturity (Product/service readiness level)

Submit your application using this form


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