Today cities are the lighthouses that provide opportunities for the development of a green economy and digital entrepreneurship. Recent reports on Digital Entrepreneurship, conducted by European Commission, defines cities and regions as the launch pads for digital transformation.
Riding on this same transformation wave, Blaž Golob, CEO & Partner at SmartIScity Ltd., is delivering innovative products & services to its customers, cities that would like to become smart. A forward looking, innovative and “get-things-done” leader of the team, Blaž is responsible for the motivation behind the team and his business partners to move ahead in line with their vision of “Empowering People with SmartCityPlatform.”
In the words of Jerome C. Glenn, a futurist, who described Blaž as: “being organized like a German and having an Italian style.”
Beginning of a Smart City Platform
Having worked as an event organizer in many cities, Blaž has collaborated with some of the leading cities of Europe, such as Vienna, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Budapest, and Dubrovnik. There were events organized by ICT vendors, such as IBM, Microsoft, HP, Siemens, and SAP, which in many cases offered silos based and expensive ICT solutions. Many city leaders were overloaded with different solutions, mainly ICT driven ones. As Blaž worked and empathized with them, he developed a unique smart city concept. Blaž’s mission from the beginning has been to design innovative governance platform for co-creation of smart cities.
With few partners, Blaž set up a company in order to disrupt the market with an innovative solution that will help cities better connect with people and become smart. The unique part of this adventure is the concept of the Smart City Platform, which enables cities to perform better, citizens to co-create cities and their future, and businesses to create new value out of city data in a structured, meaningful way.
A “good pass” resulting in sublime Success
At the beginning of his digital entrepreneurship, Blaž faced with software development difficulties. Accelerating his business in the early stages of the company, they lacked a good technical support. A good team with diverse skills is the most important factor for success. Because of Blaž’s lack of knowledge in the field of software development and coding process, he lost a lot of time in defining and providing technical part of the platform.
Blaž’s practical experience of working with city leaders helped him to understand the challenges faced by the customers. Characterizing the “team-spirit” ideology from his football playing days as a student, Blaž says, “In team sport you learn that many times the good pass of the ball is equally important as the resulting score.”
The Guiding Principle
Blaž believes that the future of society lies in the ability of people to communicate, co-operate, and live peacefully together. He uses this guiding principle, while working with different teams on different projects. Blaž points out that, good communication, followed by focused work bring results and success.
Blaž attributes his success to his family, friends, and to the mother nature that allows an escape for him, from the stress of daily struggles. He further specifies the beautiful environment of the Adriatic Sea, sunny side of the Alps, lakes, and rivers of Slovenia, Blaž’s home country, which offers many places for an escape.
Leaving an Imprint on Blaž’s Success
“The biggest influence in my life is my family,” says Blaž. He considers them the most important pillars of his life, a source of inner peace and a place from which Blaž draws the power to overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur in this digital era. Next Blaž credits his home country, Slovenia, as the inspiration behind his endeavor to create smart cities.
Blaž has been the President or Executive Officer, of Brussels based European law student’s association with members in 41 European countries. He worked with projects in Europe, Latin America, Japan, and Africa. Closing the deals with international business partners in London and advocating the foundation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at United Nations and in New York, provided values and the foundation for the skills Blaž requires in the current digital entrepreneurial work with cities around the world. The experience left a lasting impression on him and also influenced Blaž to be the success he is today.
Blaž is also the Chairman of Ljubljana Forum, a platform where city leaders, supporters and other interested parties come together to discuss important city challenges, such as energy efficiencies, mobility, water management, citizen empowerment, infrastructure and green cities.
Reach out and Ask for Your Happiness
Advising to the beginners, Blaž says, “Work hard and when the opportunity arises, ask for a piece of an orange mandarin.” Having met his future wife in the library of Ljubljana University, where he was studying, Blaž emphasizes on the uncertainty of life, how one can get the happiness they deserve, simply by just “stepping up and asking for it.” Life is a gift and could be a paradise, which offers us many opportunities, you never know what and which opportunity will lead to your destiny. He further adds, “You might just meet the person of your life, either a business partner, an investor, a software developer, a friend, or a wife.”
Entrepreneurship can be Inherited
Blaž regard curiosity, optimistic view of the future, problem solving, and value creation as the main qualities of a successful entrepreneur. Blaž retorts that, entrepreneurship can be inherited, but only the learning of ongoing pains and struggles of your costumers, incubating newer concept design and business solutions can bring success. It is important for any entrepreneur to understand the market trends, while also care for the client’s expectations and to fulfill them.
But most importantly, Blaž says, “Do not forget to communicate; you should always dare to ask for your piece of orange mandarin.”