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Robert Slavečki
Founder of the Vidi e-novation
and the Vidi Web Top 100 contest
 
More than football

Vidi awards want to prove Croatia has much more to offer to the world than great beaches and top athletes


Ten years ago, when Vidi magazine first published Croatia’s top hundred web sites, it was a period of specific atmosphere. On one hand, in late nineties world was experiencing the first larger Internet boom. On the other hand, Croatia’s broader public and leading businessmen with the political elite ignored the increasingly important world media - www. In Croatia, Internet was at the time reserved almost exclusively for academic institutions, engineering faculties’ students and professors, and information science enthusiasts. Wanting to popularise the Internet and web in Croatia, in 2001 Vidi decided to turn Vidi Web Top 100 awards into a glamorous, Oscar-type event - attractive not only to information scientists - but wide audience, leading Croatian businessmen, political elite. We wanted to attract Croatia’s mass media - the national television, daily paper, political weeklies. We wanted to get the public interested in this technical innovation, for which the West anticipated soon to gain stronger media power than television.

Moreover, we achieved success.
Some of Croatia’s most successful web sites have achieved market blooming after receiving Vidi Web Top 100 golden Kiklop statues or after receiving Croatia’s highest Internet-related award established in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office - the Prime Minister Web Award.

Our contest thus launched many web sites on the market, for example, Adriatica.net, MoPosao.net, Coolinarka, Pliva Zdravlje, Vecernji.hr, Net.hr etc.

Our success is the result of the Croatian public accepting our messages and “taking the bait”, mass media and expert media communicating our messages to their audience in the high-quality manner, as well as businessmen and politicians supporting the contest - either financially or morally. The tsunami of success of Vidi Web Top 100 and the power of the Prime Minister award established in 2006 generated an entirely different contest and award, Vidi e-novation. This was a move three-step-forward, trying to award Croatia’s innovative IT projects recognized worldwide, carrying significant market potential on the most demanding markets. In only two years, Vidi e-novation established itself as Croatia’s most important hi-tech contest with the highest level of recognition. Due to our perseverance, but first of all excellent products by successful and competent Croatian companies, Vidi e-novation boasts of several dozens of awarded projects taking hold on markets in Germany, Switzerland, the USA, Sweden, Finland, Japan … We in the Vidi Vidi Publishing, with our key partners helping us carry out Vidi Web Top 100, Vidi e-novation and the Prime Minister Web Award, believe hi-tech and investment into Internet and It infrastructure could be the key to Croatia’s economic growth in the following ten to twenty years.

The importance of ICT for the overall Croatian society is most emphasized in times of recession and economic slowdown; such as one we are facing right now and the next year. Bearing this in mid, we have established an entirely new award this year, ICT gold, trying to draw attention to importance of investing in IT for the overall competitiveness of Croatia’s society and economy globally.

We are looking forward to the ten years ahead. Indicators show the next decade will bring incredible shifts in world economy - as the result of globalisation, largely created by the Internet, e-mail and web.

It gives us joy that the smart child who received notebook and broadband Internet access from his mother instead of soccer boots, uniform and football shall have equal chance of achieving incredible world success as the child attending Britain’s top private schools.

ICT itself provides opportunity for this kind of fairness and equality.
We are delighted to be part of such a phenomenal historical tale…



 

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