In the period from Sept. 2018 to Feb. 2021, RiHub served as a central hub for informing the public about the European Capital of Culture project. In February 2021, the manner of its functioning was redefined – as the Rijeka Startup Incubator moved in its premises. As the Rijeka Startup Incubator moved into RiHub, it also assumed the function of the development of small and medium-sized entrepreneurship, while the remaining premises are intended for cultural programmes and contents, civic initiatives and activist programmes close to culture.
Refurbishment of RiHub and its activity dedicated to culture and activism
RiHub was refurbished and opened in Sept. 2018 as a central hub for informing the public about the European Capital of Culture project. The surface of the premises is 1,007 sq.m. The authors of the premises refurbishment project were Ana Boljar and Ida Križaj Leko, who won the Bernardo Bernardi award for refurbishing RiHub, as the most successful achievement in the field of architecture and interior design in 2018.
Refurbishment works on the premises at the address Grohovčeva st., were financed by the City of Rijeka and they amounted to HRK 4.4 million.
Since its opening the Department of Culture and company Rijeka 2020 have used RiHub as a hub for gathering European Capital of Culture participatory programmes which included citizens, as a location where a number of public events, education courses, workshops, lectures and conferences were held, as a press centre of the ECoC project, and co-working premises where on average 35 users were present monthly.
RiHub has become a nursery for creative and cultural industries and a popular gathering place for citizens, but the epidemiological situation in March 2020 limited the possibilities of using premises and led to the closure of large open co-working space intended for professionals coming from creative and cultural industries.
New functionality of RiHub – entry of Startup incubator
In February 2021, the manner of functioning of RiHub premises was redefined well as programmes to be implemented in it, by assigning RiHub premises to the Department of Entrepreneurship of the City of Rijeka, which would implement programmes in Rihub relating to the development of entrepreneurship stressing the strengthening of creative and cultural industries and connecting them with the rest of the economic sector in cooperation with the Department of Culture., thus putting the legacy of ECoC, which RiHub represents, in the function of the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.
This will realise the vision of developing the added value of the Rijeka economy and raise the general quality of life in Rijeka, as well as investing in human resources development, creating a strong startup community and encouraging networking of Rijeka entrepreneurs, innovators and creative individuals.
By activating the premises of RiHub for the activities of the Startup Incubator, it has shown that it meets the existing needs, and it also provides excellent infrastructural potential for creating new Startup contents.
Co-working premises integrated in the existing entrepreneurial infrastructure
The multifunctional hall with 66 seats enables the presence of all members of user teams at trainings, and in addition to regular lectures and workshops, the plan is to organise presentations, guest lectures, meet-ups, thematic events, forums and competitions, which will be intended for a wider audience and will popularise the RiHub and Startup incubator, as well as all immanent contents and above all the existing co-working premises.
The integration of co-working premises into the existing entrepreneurial infrastructure enriches support to entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs and enables the integrity of the incubation process according to the one-stop-shop principle. Co-working premises consists of 25 seats, with the possibility that each of them, if necessary and in regular conditions, can be shared by more people.
The co-working premises will continue to be available to all interested individuals from the field of cultural and creative industries, civic initiatives, activist programmes close to culture. Also, the co-working premises remain available for exhibition and workshop projects.
The open part of the gallery with about 12 seats is intended for current users of the Startup Incubator, and the plan is to use the basement space, which will be converted into a workshop for preparing and testing entrepreneurial projects of the teams of the current generation of attendees of the Startup Incubator.