The startup community in Serbia has been successfully developing in the past few years. New products and services, primarily in the sector of high technologies and innovations, are conquering the local and the international market, and, along with a considerable growth in the number of companies and projects, support programs of the state, local and international funds and large companies and multinational corporations, are growing more numerous as well.
Company business incubators and accelerators, meant primarily for startups and young entrepreneurs, support these companies by funding their development, but also through education, the sharing of experiences and mentoring. On the other hand, they thereby aid their growth and market penetration, while, on the other hand, getting new ideas for their business, as well as potential business partners in the future.
Zoja Kukic, the director of Startit
, an organization which has been developing the startup community for years, says in her interview with eKapija that company programs for startups are especially interesting for teams to which, in a way, a corporation can be a client or at least facilitate access to the market.
– These company business incubators and accelerators are a good way for startups to realize how corporations think, to see what the system is like from the inside, but also to reach direct cooperation and sell their services through a shortcut. Still, startups should carefully choose programs to take part in, as it happens that suggestions and changes the corporation demands cause the startup to lose those aspects of its business that made it innovative and different – our interviewee notes.
Startit is also Telekom Srbija's main national partner within these two companies' cooperation with the startup ecosystem. As Telekom says for eKapija, they support technological entrepreneurship and cooperate with the startup community through the cooperation with national partners and the launching of their own programs.
– A tighter bonding with the startup ecosystem has been given a clear priority within the strategic orientation and activities of the company for several years now. In fact, Telekom has, in a way, been cooperating for around ten years now with companies that could be called startups, and we have also formed a special department which deals with partnership cooperation with small and medium enterprises that have finished products or are on their way to turning their idea into a sustainable commercial service – Telekom Srbija says and adds that, at the same time, they are trying to have a positive impact on the development of startups throughout the group. In that respect, mtel Montenegro has launched “mtel Digital Factory”, the first co-working space and hub for the development of innovative technological products in the country.