July 2, 2020

Financial Times Notices Serbia’s “Hunger for Success” in IT Sector

“Mobility” and “diffusion of knowledge” are the keywords in propelling future Serbian IT success. Digital nomads as freelancers and returnees from abroad that found companies bring innovation and capital to Serbian doorstep. 

On the 17th of June 2020, the esteemed Financial Times published an article that did an excellent job in using exemplary personal Serbian success stories to paint a vivid picture of how Serbian startup ecosystem boomed over the last decade. 

Serbian ecosystem looking like Seattle 

During the course of the article, Dragan Tomic from Microsoft Development Center Serbia compared Belgrade startup ecosystem to Seattle in structure and well roundedness, and Branko Milutinovic from Nordeus (company that made Top Eleven video game) said that coming back from Microsoft in Denmark to co-found a company in Serbia was a “no brainer” because Serbia is a wellspring of engineering talent. 

Global hunt for local resilient problem-solving mindset

Branko added that the Serbian market resembles the global one in regards to talent hunting and the demand for quality engineers. Kosta Andric (managing director of ICT Hub Venture in Belgrade, the first private investment fund focused on early-stage startups in Southeast Europe) stated that the painful collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1900s shaped problem-solving mindset of Serbian engineers and that the investors opt for Serbia because the potential is still untapped. Zoja Kukic agrees that the startup ecosystem is still in its early stages, but it already employs over 75,000 people, according to Eurostat. 

Basing business in Serbia and pairing it with business development talent abroad as a ticket to success 

Igor Bogicevic (co-founder of $500 million worth Seven Bridges Genomic and startup Orgnostic) states that the decision to have a base in Serbia provides available talent and has a better retention rate. He points that in Silicon Valley the churn rate is 9 months, while onboarding may take 6. Bogicevic realized that this was not sustainable for his company (Seven Bridges Genomics) and suggested that “the advantage of working in Serbia is that we can hire good technical talents locally and mix it with business development talent from abroad”.

Serbia as source of stability for investors? 

Tech experts say Serbia offers employees and investors more stability than other technology centres because employees covet stability and tend to stay in their jobs longer than in other start-up hubs. Mr. Tomic from MDCS believes that bad PR Serbia endured in the past 30 years is on its way to be rehabilitated. That is one of the key factors in propelling the entire Serbian ecosystem.

Read the original article here. Tesla Nation has no copyright over Financial Times content. 

No small number of Serbian experts are looking for co-founders worldwide in order to form joint ventures and increase scalability of their ideas. One of Tesla Nation goals is to help them get there. If you have any inquiries, please be welcome to contact vukasin@teslanation.org to connect you to a wellspring of engineering talent inspired by Nikola Tesla himself. 

The main output of Tesla Nation is rebranding Serbia as a country of extraordinary innovation, helping the ecosystem grow through helping form international partnerships, joint venture companies and (ultimately) unicorn startups.

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