Cool Slovenian brands, part 3: The rise of the Slovenian hardware startup

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I've been writing about Slovenian startups for years now. In a post I published in the beginning of 2012, I've highlighted a few Slovenian companies there were able to gain global traction, and as you can see, all of them are focused on software. About a year later, I wrote on the topic again, and this time, the spotlight was on a new generation of companies, which were fueled by Kickstarter and the crowdfunding movement. These businesses were able to find their market with niche products that were interesting to the public mostly because of their innovative design. This year, I'll focus on the third generation of Slovenian technology startups, represented by companies that were able establish something that actually seems so logical today: the rise of the Slovenian hardware startup.

This is basic evolution. Slovenians know how to make great software. We were always known to have had exceptional designers. Besides, there are plenty of outstanding engineers from previous and current generations that were able to produce global success stories with high-tech products such as exhaust systems, ultra-light planes, solar panels and even sailing yachts. Put the three together, and what you get, is a modern hardware startup. Because most hardware startups that want to compete globally, require these three components:

  • awesome software (1st generation)
  • awesome design (2nd generation)
  • awesome hardware (3rd generation)

Currently, there are at least 16 hot Slovenian hardware startups, who managed to reach global audience, receive funding via Kickstarter or investors, or have great potential to disrupt specific industries. Most are focused on uprising technologies, such as the Internet of Things and Quantified Self. Others are simple gadgets that help fuel the mobile revolution. All of them are focused on niche markets that did not exist five years ago.

I'm really glad Slovenian entrepreneurs were able to focus on these new fields, because the modern hardware market is not something anyone can compete in. You need specific skills from many fields, especially software, design and engineering. And Slovenians are exceptional in all of them. This is why this third generation of Slovenian startups perhaps has the biggest potential of them all. The community is strong as ever, heck, some are already joining forces in making cool mashups. And they need your help as well: know them, like them, support them, buy them!

Here they are, the hottest Slovenian hardware startups, together with a few highligths of their stories so far:

Beezinga

Beezinga - Google analytics for beekeepers Beezinga is an early warning analytical system about events in remote apiaries. Beezinga - Google analytics for beekeepers.
Highlights: Wins ImagineCup 2013 (Apr '13), gets covered by TechCrunch (Jul '13) and others (Jul '13).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~500
Links: beezinga.com, @beezingahive, FB: BeezingaHive

Bellabeat

Bellabeat - Welcome back to nature Hear, visualize and share your unborn baby's heartbeat with our pocket size heart rate monitor and a mobile app.
Highlights: Joins Y Combinator (Feb '14), gets covered by ABC News (Mar '14), raises additional $4.5M (May '14), introduces 3 new products (Sep '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~9.700
Links: bellabeat.com, @GetBellaBeat, FB: bellabeat

CarLock

Protect your car from theft - CarLock CarLock is an affordable and easy to use solution for monitoring your car's location.
Highlights: Joins StartLabs (Jan '14), gets featured in Auto Express Magazine (Apr '14) and Top Gear Magazine (Jun '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~6.150
Links: carlock.co, @Carlock6, FB: carlock

Chipolo

Chipolo :: Nothing Is Lost Chipolo™ is a Bluetooth item finder for iPhone & Android. And it comes in 9 gorgeous colors.
Highlights: Raises almost $300k on Kickstarter (Nov '13), appears on TechCrunch (Nov '13) and TheNextWeb (Dec '13), is available on Amazon UK (Jun '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~4.300
Links: chipolo.net, @Chipolo, FB: ChipoloTM

CubeSensors

CubeSensors - Improving indoor living CubeSensors are small, cordless and connected devices that help you maintain a healthy and productive indoor environment.
Highlights: Wins TechCrunch hardware battlefield (Jan '14), raises $700k (Jun '14), appears on HardWired (Jul '14), is shipping from stock (Sep '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~2.000
Links: cubesensors.com, @CubeSensors, FB: cubesensors

Daisy.si

Daisy.si | Smart plant watering Daisy.si is an amazing new independent portable all-in-one design smart plant watering device.
Highlights: Raises $26k on Indiegogo (Jun '14), gets covered by multiple sources (Apr '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): N/A
Links: daisy.si

enolyse

enolyse - Wine fermentation without worries Platform for family winemakers to improve fermentation and save time.
Highlights: Wins start:Cloud 2013 (Oct '13), becomes Slovenian start-up 2014 finalist (May '14), Joins LAUNCHhub (May '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~650
Links: enolyse.com, @enolyse, FB: enolyse

FlyKly

Smart Wheel, Smart Light, Smart App | FlyKly Street Smart FlyKly Street Smart. Smart tools for smarter urban transportation.
Highlights: Gets covered by Engadget (Oct '13), CNET (Oct '13) and others, Raises $700k on Kickstarter (Oct '13), appears on PopSci (Feb '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~23.500
Links: flykly.com, @flykly, FB: flyklybike

H2O-Pal

H20 Pal - More ENERGY and Better HEALTH Through Optimal HYDRATION The Hydration Tracker That Works Perfectly With Your Smartphone.
Highlights: Gets covered by TechCrunch (Oct '13), appears on CES (Jan '14), becomes Slovenian start-up of 2014 (May '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~5.300
Links: h2opal.com, @H2OPal, FB: h2opal

Lumu

Lumu Light Meter Lumu is a light meter for your smartphone. It helps you create powerful memories anytime, anywhere.
Highlights: Gets covered by The Verge (May '13) and TheNextWeb (Jun '14), Raises $244k on Kickstarter (Jul '13).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~6.250
Links: lu.mu, @Lumu, FB: lumu.meter

MESI (Qualcomm Tricoder XPRIZE)

MESI Simplifying diagnostics Our solution is to bring the doctor into your home. It consists of a wristband, wearable shield, mobile app and 4 modules.
Highlights: Becomes finalist of XPRIZE (Aug '14), appears on TheNextWeb (Aug '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~800
Homepage: mesimedical.com, @MESImedical, FB: MESIdoo

Monolyth

Monolyth - Make your air conditioning unit smart Monolyth is internet connected device for your AC unit, optimizing air temperature & quality for your comfort and energy savings.
Highlights: Gets covered by Digital trends (Jul '14) and others (Jul '14), tries with Indiegogo (Aug '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~650
Homepage: monolyth.co, @MonolythCo, FB: monolyth.co

OIVO

OIVO iPhone charger - Power in Your Pocket Oivo is the smallest charger on the go for iPhone. No cables, no AC power, no fuss. Just add AA batteries.
Highlights: Gets covered by TheNextWeb (Sep '14), starts great on Kickstarter (Sep '14) but cancels campaign to reiterate (Sep '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~1.300
Links: oivo.pw, @OivoPW, FB: oivo.pw

Red Pitaya

Red Pitaya - Open Instruments for Everyone Red Pitaya turns your smartphone, tablet or PC into many amazing instruments.
Highlights: Gets covered by TechCrunch (Jul '14), raises $256k on Kickstarter (Sep '13), appears elsewhere (Dec '13).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~1.900
Links: redpitaya.com, @red_pitaya_, FB: redpitayaspark

Swich

swich wireless smartphone charger for iPhone and Android A unique Smartphone Wireless Charger. Sophisticated energy transmission and elegant design in sustainable materials.
Highlights: Raises $45k on Kickstarter (Jul '14), appears on GigaOm (Jul '14), FastCo (Jul '14) and ZDNet (Jul '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~1.600
Links: swichwicharger.com, @swichwicharger, FB: Swich.wireless

Visionect

Visionect Electronic paper We're deploying the next generation of digital signage by applying electronic paper where glaring, energy consuming and heavily wired LCDs can't do the job.
Highlights: Raises $1,5m (Sep '12), gets covered by TechCrunch (Feb '14), launches development kit (Feb '14).
Total fans (TW + FB): ~2.000
Links: visionect.com, @visionect, FB: visionect

Interested in more stories about Slovenian startups? Check out this magazine.

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Check out the complete Cool Slovenian brands series.

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written 7.10.2014 9:55 CET on chronolog
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