How Start-ups Replaced Tycoons in Millionaire Lists


“If only a few years ago, it was tycoons who topped the lists of millionaires, the top spots are now taken by start-up entrepreneurs,” said ABC Accelerator’s Programme Manager, Aleš Pustovrh, to a group of students from the Ljubljana Faculty of Electrical Engineering, who visited the accelerator on Tuesday, 24 April.

Accelerators – and ABC is no exception – are primarily interested in start-ups with growth potential, especially if projections forecast rapid growth. It should be noted that all ABC’s start-ups combined raised more than EUR 30 million in three years, “while the best ones needed no investment at all”.


According to Aleš Pustovrh, “billion-euro start-ups are possible in Slovenia”. This is why it is vital that the start-ups that join an accelerator programme have well-developed products or solutions and are already generating sales revenue. “For the start-ups that are still developing their products or solutions, incubators are a better option.”

The most successful start-ups are teams of at least three people who, very importantly, are coachable, Pustovrh shared with his student audience. Needless to say, start-ups have to love and be confident about their ideas, but also have to be open for criticism, especially from their potential or actual clients, and ready to change things accordingly.

“The easiest way to launch a start-up is to listen to people around you and try to find a solution to a specific problem they have,” said Pustovrh, and advised the students to tackle issues such as the massive – financially massive – challenge of global warming.

On the other hand, applications are challenged to address some bigger issue. To illustrate this with an example, Pustovrh mentioned Talking Tom. The application actually solves the problem for parents by giving them some free time while their children are busy playing the game.

“If you develop a good business model, your sales can finance your growth,” said Pustovrh, referring to Outfit7. The company is known to have recently been sold to Chinese investors for a staggering USD 1 billion.