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.
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.