Like much of the Balkans, Serbia is exploring the wealth of potential connected to the world of information technology.
A growing developer community within the country is connecting with all sorts of startups and small businesses to take advantage of today’s modern technologies to build a high-tech work ecosystem to help boost the Serbian economy.
Startit helps some of these parties get off the ground. Startit is a grassroots nonprofit founded in 2010 that aims to help young career professionals and entrepreneurs looking to learn about and understand technology so they can develop their businesses.
Zoja Kukic of SEE ICT spoke to Balkan Business Wire about the group’s mission and its work with Serbian businesses.
"We are developing the startup ecosystem and IT entrepreneurship in Serbia to foster higher employment and economic growth," Kukic said. “The Serbian startup ecosystem is in constant growth — from the number of startups founded every year, investments they raise and successes they make."
Kukic cited three investment funds and more than 10 hubs and incubators that help these companies thrive.
Kukic also mentioned specific success stories, including Nordeus, a gaming company, and activeCollab, which develops collaborative software, among other things.
Startit helps startups tech professionals and companies in different ways – through educational programs, networking assistance, education on supporting infrastructure and more.
With a team of nine, a network of over 150 mentors and 200 events and projects, Startit has reached more than 100,000 Serbians, Kukic said.
As for the national tech scene, Kukic said Serbia’s community of developers and IT pros is expanding, with relatively high wages compared to other areas of the region.
The government is also making efforts to promote this kind of economic development, Kukic said.
“The government has created a body 'Council for IT' with the goal to unite the efforts of different departments in terms of supporting ICT,” Kukic said. “The action plan is still in making, but the efforts will be mostly oriented towards educating more people for ICT skills.”
Groups like Startit are a vital part of building bridges to the kinds of careers that modern citizens anywhere in the world will need to compete in the global economy.