Top Slovenia interview: Jernej Pintar

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Jernej Pintar, you work and live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. How would you describe Slovenia in 5 words?

Hard-working, fair play, (com)passionate, creative, engineering.

With so many ongoing projects and responsibilities that you have, how and where do you like to spend your free time? Is there a spot in Slovenia that you absolutely love going to unwind after a long work week?

Not weekends but daily – A hill next to my apartment. I live in a city but 200m away there’s a forest with forest animals and a small 1h hike. I’m there more than 200x a year.

With decades of experience in the startup and scale-up companies. Could you tell us what is the one thing that intrigues you the most when it comes to this business?

Passion, grit, ambition, and bravery of entrepreneurs, building global stories.

As the CEO and head of the technology community at the Ljubljana Technology Park, could you tell us where the idea for the park was born? What is the vision and mission of the Technology Park Ljubljana?

TPLJ was initiated by Jozef Stefan Institute (deep-physics and mathematics geeks or better said geniouses) and the long-time director of TPLJ, Iztok Lesjak. A great man.

Mission: We help tech stories grow and develop. Better technology for a better world.

You were also in charge of building a community at Ljubljana Technology Park. How did you manage to create and develop such a top tech community with global cutting edge companies? Any advice on how to create and successfully nurture communities?

Values (mentioned above) not only in words and on paper but really living them in every step.

As the leading Regional innovation hub for knowledge and technology transfer, what kind of impact does the Technology Park have on the Slovenian tech, startup and scaleup community? How is Technology Park Ljubljana connected with global partners?

  1. Helping startups get access to government funding and business model solutions.
  2. Helping scaleups gain best practices directly from other scale-ups, which means these solutions really work.
  3. Advocating for new technologies and business models in the whole ecosystem.
  4. Encouraging kids to pursue STEM. Our nation has tech in the DNA.

How many companies does the Ljubljana Technology Park host and what are their primary focuses? Could you shine a light on the most successful one perhaps?

Cca 300 companies on site, another 300 outside the park, and then many more in a more distant role.

Slovenia has global leaders in lasers (for medicine and army), green tech, all kinds of precision measurements, medical devices, pharma devices, mobility & logistics solutions…

Since you have the experience of working for both Slovenian and international companies we are sure you have noticed differences between the way one and the other work and communicate. What is the biggest difference between working with Slovenian and international tech companies?

Hehe, Slovenian companies are getting better much faster. In 10 years’ time we will make headlines.

Any future projects we should know about that you can share with our audience?

Small steps – our next step (completed just now) is establishing 3 coworking, equipped with top technologies so that students and startups can make a community and also work with devices far beyond their budget. One will be a VR coworking (everything about VR//AR technologies), One will be on mechatronics (robotics, machine building, lasers, CNC machines, 3D scanning, and printing, etc), and one will be more general – everything else.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you over the years?

Passion, not fear.

What is your personal motto or philosophy in life?

Passion, not fear. (not the only motto)