Katapult - City of Acrobats


Acrobats - innovators who are changing the world.

What do we offer?

The key is the synergy between the high-tech company Dewesoft and the startup environment Katapult.

We offer shared services and production for physical products, so that the entrepreneur can focus on the core business (product development and sales), while hiring the rest of the areas in shared services.

In doing so, he/she has support from the mentors with high-tech knowledge.

New companies can join us on 4000 m2 of offices and production space intended for startups. 

About Katapult: 

  • It is for startups with a physical product;

  • does not enter into the ownership of startups;

  • reinvests all profits in a supportive environment for young entrepreneurs; 

  • offers shared services; 

  • offers scholarships to young Acrobats;

  • introduces employee reward and co-ownership systems, following the example of Dewesoft.

"I never thought we would have a company with so many employees all over the world. I have always just wanted to create. Step by step, success by success. I believe there are many more like me - you just need support and the right environment. I know how much it would have meant to us when we started ..."

Jure Knez, Dewesoft

Building the future: the City of Acrobats

The City of Acrobats is an entrepreneurial environment of shared services and production for physical products, combining cutting-edge technological know-how with the wisdom of the experienced (Dewesoft) and the enthusiasm of the young startups (Katapult).

Once upon a time ... 

The once-rich Zasavska valley was rapidly losing its power in transition from a Yugoslavia to a newly born country Slovenia in 90's. Factories were closing. Many lost their jobs. Many emigrated. The valley we love so dearly was falling into apathy.

But we believed all along that we could succeed in rebuilding our industry. We stayed committed and looked for opportunities outside the conventional thinking. In 2000 we created Dewesoft, a company building test & measurement solutions used in research labs of NASA and literally every automobile manufacturer in the world. Today, Dewesoft is a $100 million company with 400 global employees. It also has the highest value-add per employee in Slovenia. 

But how to help the whole valley and beyond? Even though Dewesoft was successful, our valley was still suffering.

We decided to offer what we know the best - good infrastructure, knowledge and connections. A few months of breaking down walls, more building new ones, a lot of fun, more dreaming... And Katapult was born. A supportive environment that, with its infrastructure, knowledge and services, combined with Dewesoft's test labs and production lines, helps entrepreneurs to dream and to focus on the core of the business.

Katapult and Dewesoft are growing fast and have outgrown their current space of 10.000 m2. That is why we are expanding the concept and building an entire city, City of Acrobats, to support new ideas. 

In our valleys, apathy is replaced by hope, creativity and faith in what we can achieve. We have been able to spread a positive mindset and encourage entrepreneurship. 

"We will continue to do so."


Small city of 18.000 inhabitants, called Trbovlje, Slovenia. 


Starting in 2024 and planing to be finished in 2034. 


Because we want to live, innovate and work in our beautiful country Slovenia, where Slovenian capital is valued and where work is a respected value.

The City of Acrobats will be a place of infinite possibilities, a universe of opportunities. A paradise for engineers. A paradise for entrepreneurs. A paradise for those who want to change the world.


Acrobats test the limits of what's possible, enjoy creating and wonder how to make things better.


Nejc, Mihael and Lovro had problems with the drum set-up and the sound system. They glued some piezo sensors to the kahon and connected them to the digital interface of old electronic drums. They have created the most advanced sound amplifier for the cajon.

They won the 20th national POPRI competition and later won 2nd place in the Rector's Prize of the University of Ljubljana.

Lovro: "I like to do things that give me meaning. That at the end there is a product that I can hold in my hands and see what I have created. That's the kind of thing you can do late into the night. When it makes sense, it's not difficult. I am sure that everybody has solved a problem that they want to solve. This is it. That's entrepreneurship."

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Jakob Sadar borrowed his father's prestigious wristwatch, which he accidentally scratched. Panicking about what to do, he started rubbing the scratch with his fingernail. And - amazingly - the scratch disappears! The fingernail did act as a polishing paste. 

Could he have used anything else but his fingernail? Jacob decided to use cow horns, which are thrown away as waste in the meat processing industry. 

So he created OPS (Organic Polishing Structure) - a revolutionary paste in the field of polishing special steels, made from cow horn waste.

He has received a personal invitation from a European Commissioner to come to Brussels to take part in a panel discussion on "Empowering young people in entrepreneurship".  

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Miha Drobnič, together with his colleagues Domno Bremec and Robi Simonič, founded the SuperTrening Institute, where they create an environment for the fitness preparation of top athletes.

He noticed that there are a lot of sensors on the market, but data processing is limited, with a lot of room for improvement. He made suggestions to manufacturers to improve their programmes. He soon met the guys from MonoDAQ (now Dewesoft Monitoring) who helped them develop all the sensors, and they also got DewesoftX software to use. 

They are developing devices that will give objective results from tests carried out by athletes. They have three devices in development - a photocell, a tensiometric device and an isometric station. More than 1000 athletes in Slovenia and abroad have already used their services and equipment, including Olympic snowboarding champion Tim Mastnak.

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Miha a wheelbarrow, two hoses, a tap, a bottle of Radenska and a bottle of wine - a wheelbarrow that makes you a spritzer. At first, just a party among friends showed the opportunity for an innovative product.

Gregor Strniša has developed an innovative device that gives you the perfect ratio of drink mixes. The video went viral ... 

He has been actively working on the product - finishing the casing and circuit boards, 3D drawings, industrialisation, website, pre-orders ... He benefits from Katapult's services - machines in the metal, testing, electronic circuits, accounting, mentoring, consultancy, media for promotional activities ... "Katapult is a one-stop shop environment." 

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Student Domen Trontelj (together with Rok Hladin and Tilen Šket) made a spectrometer - affordable and easy to use. You don't need a computer or any special knowledge of the equipment - it can all be done via an app on your phone.

They want to make science accessible.

Domen: "You have to dare. You have to start somewhere. As they say - a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Once you have taken the first one, only then can you find a way forward. And then onwards. And on. You don't need to perfect a product before you show it to the world."

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Matic Hribar, a passionate mountain biker and all-round extreme sports enthusiast, wanted to bring mountain biking to the snow. He made a three-piston snow-bike that rides extremely similar to a downhill bike. 

They didn't just want to make a product and a company. They wanted to build a community. That was what brought them together the most.

Matic is a textbook example of what we say - if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire for continuous improvement, you will find opportunities everywhere. You find ways to create something new everywhere. Acrobat.

What can you suggest to others from your experience? "Just try, do something and keep learning. Winning is not guaranteed. Or it is, you just don't know what that victory really is yet."

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Looking at this table, it's hard to believe that its creator had no experience of making anything requiring manual dexterity not so long ago, as he was more of a leg athlete. Then, a few years ago, when he was expecting a child, Aleš Belšak, a sports teacher, decided to make some of the necessary tools himself, and more often than not accidentally discovered his extraordinary talent.

Today he makes unique rustic furniture. He combines old pieces and brings them modernity and eternity. Outstanding! 

"When you feel that passion, that's when you know it's it. This is what you are going to do. Or else - you can't imagine not doing it."

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Toni Ulčar designed the original concept of a tennis cannon at home, which would move around the court to replace playing with teammates.

He named the tennis cannon Sportbot. "The name combines my two passions - sport and robotics."

The Sportbot is capable of moving around the tennis court and launching balls of different speeds, heights and rotations. It can be pre-programmed easily and at any time using the mobile app. The most advanced feature is Play a match, where Sportbot decides where to move and what ball to launch. You play it as if you had a real teammate in front of you.

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It starts with an idea. "Y friend told me that his infant daughter had stopped breathing and that at that moment he didn't know what to do. How did you not know, I was shocked. But come to think of it - I wouldn't really know what to do if my baby stopped breathing either. Would you?" No. I would probably panic. Shock. I don't know. "And worse - what if you're not around at that moment and you don't detect it in time? "This was the lever for the development of a smart device that measures a baby's vital signs. "If we save one person in the world, we have achieved our mission."

Jure Zdovc and Jure Zupanek. J and Z. The name ZOJO was born. Zojo baby.

After four years of development, they knocked on all the doors of the Katapult and invited us with a huge smile. The first shipment of 2000 products "Zojo baby" was sent out.

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"We will develop a rocket!"

They were developing a launch system (rocket) that would significantly reduce the cost of microgravity experiments in the marketplace and launch small payloads such as nano- and microsatellites - lowering the barrier to entry and making space accessible to smaller organisations with limited resources such as research institutes, universities and private companies. The rocket engine would use an innovative hybrid propulsion technology, roughly paraffin wax as fuel and liquid oxygen as oxidant. 

This extremely ambitious student project, Spacelink, was co-founded by Vid Selič, then 22, together with a colleague from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Ljubljana. 

The project was later stopped, but Vid Selič became an important member of the Dewesoft team. 


Matej Šircelj is developing a smart table tennis racquet that will enable amateur and professional athletes to train better and enjoy the game more by using telemetry. 

Racketry allows players to analyse the movement and power of their shots, as well as video analysis of training sessions via a mobile app. Racketry records every stroke, identifies which strokes were played (for example, was it a forehand spin, was it a backhand cut ball), counts strokes, measures calories, in short, gives the player all the information they need to deliver a really good workout.

Matej called his solution "PLAYER EMPOWERMENT" because he wants to redefine what it means to be an athlete: "I believe that today's technology can upgrade the user experience for all athletes and at the same time, in the age of social networks, enable them to become stars, even if they may not be ranked among the best in the world. Everyone can be the hero of their own sports story."

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Petra Škarja, bestselling author, founded a book publishing house for Slovenian authors. While traditional publishing houses give 6-10% of book sales to authors, their publishing house, with its innovative business model, shared services and zero fixed costs, gives up to 75%. 

Unknown Slovenian authors (even of good stories) mostly do not get a chance with traditional publishers, where world-famous authors are more interesting. 5KA, on the other hand, publishes only Slovenian authors of Slovenian stories. In this way, they strengthen the national culture and ensure that the language of a nation of two million people is strengthened. 

They have made a special effort to publish the stories of the first Slovenian entrepreneurs, thus strengthening the entrepreneurial spirit of a nation that still feels the spirit of socialism strongly. 

They are the recipients of the Gold Award for Innovation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for their business model. 

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"If someone had told me in 2015 that it would take me four years to get rid of the minimum wage, six years to make the company stable, and eight years to make the first major profit... I might not have chosen this path then." Dino Florjančič

In 2023, the nine-person team generated €3 million in revenue, €160,000 in added value per person and just under €1 million in net profit after tax.

Do you know the story of the creation of MonoDAQ, which was renamed Dewesoft Monitoring?

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Acrobats makes us proud ...

... and also formal awards are nice to get

  • 2019 Golden Innovation Award (Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zasavje) - for the project Publishing house 5KA
  • 2020 Best of the Best, in the category Networking (Amcham); Best business practice in integration: Dewesoft - Katapult
  • 2021 Impact Stars (Deloitte Slovenia); A special award for companies that have a clear ethical dimension at the core of their business model and have an impact on business, the environment, society and diversity.
  • 2022 Spring wind (GZS-PTZ); Awarded to the institution that has made the greatest contribution to promoting entrepreneurship and a healthy entrepreneurial environment in Slovenia.
  • 2022 European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2022, National winner for the project Mosaic of Entrepreneurship
  • 2022 SPS - Slovenian Enterprise Fund; Special praise for the mentoring in their programmes, as it was the most highly rated by users of all the business accelerators.