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About five years ago we saw the kick-off of the regional innovation eco-system, with first cross-regional funds Launchub and Eleven and the Balkan Venture Forum together creating a wave. This momentum helped grow the eco-system almost exponentially. The funds were investing with an amazing pace, each having dozens of investment per year, and the Balkan Venture Forum also kept boosting the community with two events per year, wherever it was most needed: Skopje, Belgrade, Sofia, Tirana, Sarajevo, Nova Gorica.

Since the outset of this first wave, it was evident that the region has a cohesive community, with an empowered, creative and collaborative spirit, unburdened from past baggage. Balkan Venture Forum’s mission is to continue helping the development of regional innovation infrastructure along those lines, by focusing on people and their quality.

By now a number of important milestones were reached at a local and regional level:

  • A regional community has been established.
  • Local innovation communities are budding almost everywhere.
  • Competences on local and cross-regional startup acceleration(SuperFounders) have been built.
  • The second wave of funds has appeared, better-funded and more experienced.

This ushers in the second stage of the regional startup ecosystem, a stage of completion and maturation of people and the infrastructure.

We are thrilled to showcase this sparkling potential at the next Balkan Venture Forum in Zagreb! The host city and country have one of the most vibrant startup communities, with a few amazing successes! I do hope that the forum will help them fill in any gaps, such as in the developing financing infrastructure, as it has managed elsewhere, like in Skopje, Belgrade, Tirana, Sarajevo.


Startups will have a chance again to pitch to “smart” money, in the regular BkVF Startup CompetitionPlease apply by Nov 20th.

Attendees can book early discounted tickets here. Startups that would like to exhibit their product can use our exhibition space and book a stand here.

We will update you in the coming days with exciting news about some of the coolest speakers and program content seen at any BkVF so far! We are thrilled and can’t wait to see you in Zagreb at the Hypo Center! Works are underway for the best Balkans’ startup event so far.

Dvorana Kornati

As the fist day of BkVF Sofia passed with an amazing VIBE and most of all FUN, just kicking into the second day, I’d like to remind you about our great partner event that takes place on the 23rd.

LeanCamp is an open, interactive, multi-track event, with tons of rooms and fast, 30-minute sessions on different cutting-edge practical topics. These revolve around Startups, Lean, Agile, Customer Development, UX, Design, real MVPs and metrics. Sessions can be talks, workshops, discussions, or other interactive formats.

The difference is that the sessions are planned by the participants that day, who have the power to drive the agenda based on their needs! The topics are suggested and delivered by the participants themselves, experienced local founders and practitioners, as well as international Lean thought-leaders, invited especially for the event.

How does this work? LeanCamp starts with an empty schedule. Leading up to LeanCamp everybody, participants and international guests alike, shares what sessions they’d like to host. People come on stage and explain their session for 30 seconds and choose a place and time from the empty slots. An hour later, we have a conference built for and by the participants!

LeanCamp has held for the second time in Sofia thanks to the massive support from our amazing team of LeanCamp Ambassadors from leading Bulgarian startup communities and VUZF University – the home of this year’s event.



The first edition of the Balkan Venture Forum in Skopje, proved that there is great excitement and need for a regional gathering of the top startups, experts and investors, joined together in a quest for progress through innovation. This allowed BkVF to grow into the largest Balkan’s innovation showcase and investment forum, which demonstrates the recent explosion of the regional startup eco-system and willingness to work together.

It was very rewarding to see in Skopje many of the community leaders, brilliant startup founders and movers and shakers from all countries in the region. People like Bogdan, Georgios, Stevica, Mirna, Milos, Maxim, Rumen, Jure, Blaz, Filip, Kristijan, Ivo and others are the ones that are making it happen for everybody. Even the ones who didn’t make it, but helped remotely, like Natasha and Roxanne have contributed immensely.

Not to forget the fantastic support from friends coming from further abroad such as the Pirate Summit crew (Manuel, Till, Maurice, Waldemar, Fabian) , Artur from PioneerFestival, Tomas from, Dr. Opper from Israel and many other cool people who contributed their know-how and fun-loving attitude to the event. Such energy contributed to the launch of the second BkVF only six months after the first.