Spring is hereeeee as well as the second part of #StartUpSelfie with Franck Nouyrigat focusing on his work with the #MKstartups community, during the past two weeks. In the previous one Franck shared his story about #StartUpWeekend and his new startup recorp. I had the pleasure to work closely with him during his stay in Skopje, thanks to the SECO Entrepreneurship Programme that is implemented by Swisscontact. His schedule was pretty busy, from workshops with all actors, to 1on1 mentoring, to startup workshops, to meetings with entrepreneurs, to meeting the students, to visiting three other cities in the country… but, we managed to to grab a coffee, at a café overlooking beautiful Ohrid lake and discuss about his experience so far.
“I had no expectations before coming, in terms of the eco-system, I’m here to observe, and I wanted to come with a honest view. The startup scene is still very young and a bit disconnected. At the first workshop we tried to map the local eco-system and so we went from there. I was impressed by the number of local actors and by the quality work they are all putting together. Also I love meeting entrepreneurs in general, meeting them at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey gave me the opportunity to build the archetype of the Macedonian success stories” – says Franck.
So, in his busy schedule, we’ve managed to organize a startup workshop through Brainster, which also meant a support for the local startups. Aside from supporting the community, as a quest at local events such as Silicon Drinkabout, Funky Coworking and the online show #komkast, Franck meet and was working with almost every person that is somehow involved in the eco-system and not only in Skopje, but also in Tetovo, Bitola, Ohrid…
“I think we can put Macedonia and the rest of the Balkans on the world startup map, I would not be surprised to see a huge change in terms of entrepreneurial culture in the region. The wage gap can clearly play in the favor of Macedonia, there is still a lot of potential to develop next gen dev labs. The same wage gap attracts youth outside of the country, I think it’s important to stay connected to the diaspora while also attracting external minds to the country. Have fun, volunteer to help building more events. I’d recommend to the students to try entrepreneurship and to meet with their local ecosystem!” – said Franck.
And thanks to the SECO Entrepreneurship Programme implemented by Swisscontact, we have Franck’s Startup Ecosystem Report-MK of his mission. From what I’ve noticed, he is very eager to help in connecting/networking and promotion. Now, the #MKstartups community needs to demonstrate effort and let’s try to take his recommendations into consideration, so we can develop a startup culture at least similar to the one in Estonia. And while talking about Estonia, I have more stories coming from Tallinn in the following days. So maybe some can be used as an inspiration 🙂
It was a true pleasure and a great learning experience for me, to be able to work with Franck and hopefully we will have many opportunities to collaborate in the future. Until then, ‘put on a happy face‘ 🙂