Skopje is my hometown. I always try to present it in the best way possible, so this time I will share a different, new and super cool story about my city. The startup life in Skopje through my experience. The reason for this blog post is to give you an introduction about the Macedonian startup community and also to prepare you for all cool StartUpSelfie’s that will be coming from here. Whenever I am not on the road, I will grab a coffee with a local startup enthusiast from my city.
Since exactly one year ago I have been actively involved in the startup community here. It all began last August when I got selected to be the startup scout for inventures.eu, a Vienna based media outlet covering the startup scene from the CEE region. I was thrilled to get this opportunity, but also nervous because I only knew few people from this community and a big event was coming up. After 3 years of being “on hold” StartUp Weekend was coming to Skopje for the third time, last September. I remember it like it was yesterday, mainly because I didn’t know what to expect, what’s gonna happen and how am I going to do an article about a weekend-long event?!? All in all, StartUp Weekend Skopje #3 was beyond my expectations and I was really impressed from the turn out. This is the main event that was also a game changer for me, because there and then I knew that all the enthusiasm and positive energy dwelling around startups inspires me. Also, there I’ve met so many cool people, young and aspiring entrepreneurs, that now I can consider as friends, and one by one, they will be featured in the blog, for sure. Seven months later, StartUp Weekend Skopje #4 was on and now the organizing team is preparing SWSkopje #5 for this November and I am already excited.
I can now admit that in meantime, I have been a regular to almost every startup meet-up like the Silicon Drinkabout we have every Friday, events like StartUp Grind Skopje, hangouts etc in the city. I have covered events like the biggest marketing conference AllWebMK, the First Demo Day of NewMans Business Accelerator and the Social Impact Award Ceremony, but also I have conducted interviews with Tesseract Interactive, G6 Solutions and the organizers of the SWTAlumni StartUp Academy.
So, after a year long presence in the startup community I can actually do a sum up. The Macedonian startup community is not that big, so it has to work united, without divides, that’s why it is inspiring. Every person you meet will have a story to share to inspire you, motivate you or give you cool advice. We support each-others and everyone that I know wants to do something to give back to the community. Here you can meet people with different backgrounds, developers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, event organizers, people that actually left corporate jobs to pursuit their ‘startup dream’ and all kinds of startup enthusiasts…
It is a shame that there is still no legal framework regarding startups and the administrative work behind starting a startup is exhausting and can sometimes be discouraging in a way. There is all kinds of foreign investments in the country, in terms of building factories, but investments that are aimed for the startup sector are very, very rare. I personally would love to see more and more success stories coming from this community and also from the region in general, because there are people with amazing ideas, great skills and business models, they just need an opportunity to show off, but also the support from the institutions. I would’t want to drag this topic any further but I will leave you with this well put Skopje Startup Guide (fresh out the StartUs oven) where you can find all the information you need thanks to Eva & Teddy (who by the way will be featured on StartUpSelfie very soon:)
The first #StartUpSelfie from the Macedonian startup community is coming in the following days, that’s why subscribe to the blog, because you would’t want to miss it.