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Moderated by Ms Gordana Danilović-Grković, (Director at Science Technology Park Belgrade), the panel addressed the development of regional hubs and incubators and their experience in assisting mainly local start-up companies.
Mr Robert Martić, (Director at BIT Technology Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina), spoke about the early days of the BIT Technology Park in Tuzla. He added that the main focus of the institution has been on young people and their needs. Some of the instruments for the collaboration with a young and innovative community is the fund that finance start-ups, as well as a number of educational programmes and successful co-operation with companies, educational institutions and communities.
Similarly, Mr Radovan Jovanović, (R&D at Uniplast), shared his experience in developing the science-technology park in Čačak, Serbia, and addressed numerous difficulties in this process. He stressed that, if one wishes to move forward, co-operation is imperative. It is necessary to work together since obstacles are similar and can be tackled jointly.
Mr Kosta Andrić, (Managing Partner at ICT Hub), noted that the start-up ecosystem in Serbia develops at a fast pace and has potential. The region has a good infrastructure, however, the region as a whole is significantly lagging behind Europe and needs to jointly define its comparative advantage to the rest of Europe if it wishes to move forward.
Mr Velibor Bošković, (Executive Director at Science Technology Park of Montenegro), said that, although the regional economies are a small market, and the number of professionals is small, one should refrain from using the adjective ‘small’ in this context as the WB region is a market equally important to any other.
The key issue, according to Bošković, is the lack of activities aimed at supporting creative people. Nevertheless, he noted that a small economy such as Montenegro needs to be flexible and adapt to the new environment and Montenegro has capacities to do that.
Lastly, Mr Nenad Moslavac, (Co-Founder and CEO at Impact Hub), said that the introduction of the Impact hub in Belgrade in 2014 was of great importance as it enabled the transfer of knowledge that had been developed for over a decade elsewhere.
Moslavac maintained that the global market is interested in talents across the region, but it is of utmost importance to act fast, meaning that the local start-up community needs to develop their business quickly, leave the small local market as soon as possible and join the larger, global market.
By Katarina Anđelković