As in many other fields, in recent years Slovene companies and individuals have come to gain a significant amount of international recognition for their achievements in the area of design. The most tangible evidence of this can be seen in the astounding success that Slovene designers have had in winning the prestigious Red Dot Design Award since Gorenje became the first from Slovenia to do so back in 2005. The award, given out annually by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany, honours outstanding design quality and trendsetters, and is one of the most coveted international design prizes.
In light of the increasingly important role that the field of design has come to play in Slovenia, and the fact that in October and November both the annual Month of Design and Industrial Design Biennial are taking place in Ljubljana, we've decided to launch a new In Your Pocket design guide where we'll present some of the many individual success stories from Slovene designers as well as highlight local events and trends in the field of design.
KickstarterEach year the World Economic Forum releases its exhaustively researched Global Competitiveness Report, which compares nearly every country in the world across a comprehensive range of indicators in various economic, social, political, educational and other areas. In the 2014-2015 report, out of a total of 144 countries, Slovenia ranked a disappointing 70th overall, and of its many problem areas perhaps the most glaring was its financial market development, where it ranked 125th, 140th and 144th (dead last) in Venture Capital availability, Ease of access to loans and Soundness of banks respectively. Why did we just tell you all of this terribly depressing information? Because as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and there is at least one silver lining for the rather ghastly state of Slovenia's financial sector.
In recent years, a number of mostly young, innovative, entrepreneurial Slovenes (or usually groups thereof) have turned to international crowdfunding websites as a viable means of raising the funding necessary to see their projects realised, and have had great success doing so. The largest of these platforms is the US-based Kickstarter, which has become so synonymous with the practice of crowdfunding – or raising venture capital via a large number of individual contributors – that its name is now often used as verb to describe the activity, in much the same way an internet search is referred to as 'googling' something.
Below we've listed some of the Slovene-based projects that have been successfully funded to date, and much more information about each of them can be found on their respective Kickstarter pages, websites and social media. If you're in Ljubljana, you can find a selection of the products for sale at Trgovina Ika on Ciril-Metodov Trg. And if you're a Slovene who has had a Kickstarter project successfully funded, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, do we can make sure to add your info to the page.