Startup Weekend Sarajevo- An opportunity for presenting business ideas in innovative environment

May 28, 2013 9:27 PM

By Nevena Šarenac

Startup Weekend Sarajevo, weekend of entrepreneurship and innovation will be held from 14 to 16 June in capital of BiH. The event is intended for all young people who have ideas about starting their own business, and want to learn something new. Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur? You want to share and work on your business idea in an innovative environment? Startup Weekend Sarajevo is your chance to pitch an idea, work in multidisciplinary teams and present your work not only to the judges but possibly to the whole world in just 54-hours! All interested can apply via the web-site,and the  winners will be properly awarded.

Portal ‘Sarajevo Times’ had the chance to talk with one of the organisers of Sarajevo Startup Selma Šehić, who said that the aim of Startup Weekend Sarajevo is to gather 100 participants from BiH who want to learn something new, to meet people who share their opinion and to launch start-ups. In interview for our portal she talked about the organisation of this year’s Startup Weekend Sarajevo, as well as last year’s experiences, since the first Startup Weekend was held in November 2012

From 14 to 16 June, the weekend of entrepreneurship and innovation – Startup Weekend will be held in Sarajevo. What is it about and what is the goal of that event and who are the participants?

 Startup Weekend Sarajevo will be held in June for the second time in Sarajevo. Startup Weekend is NGO based in Seattle who organises such events all around the globe, and so far Startups were organised in 400 cities in over 100 countries. In essence, every event follows the same pattern. Everyone is welcome to talk about his or hers ideas to those who participate at the event, and then participants rate 10 to 15 best ideas and later, teams are formed around those ideas. After that, they work for two days in forming the idea, they do market research and build prototypes. The weekend ends with the presentation of teams and the best team gets the valuable price. The aim of the Startup Weekend Sarajevo is to gather 100 people from BiH, so that they could learn something new, meet people who share their opinion and to launch start-ups.

Participants are young people, who work in the fields of IT and ICT, as well as designers and marketers, but other people participate as well.

First Startup Weekend Sarajevo was held in November last year. What are your last year’s experiences? Is the Startup Weekend being organized in other BiH cities?

Exactly, the first Startup Weekend Sarajevo was held in November 2012 and many people participated. They came from Tuzla, Zenica, Mostar, Banja Luka, Prozor-Rama, Poland, the USA, France and Denmark, and the total number of participants was 80 with 17 mentors and 6 judges, numerous sponsors and media representatives. After Sarajevo, we are glad to see Startup Weekend being organized in Tuzla and in Mostar.

Why is Startup Weekend different from other conferences?

The thing that makes Startup Weekend different is the fact that during this event, people can get a piece of good advice from mentors for free, they can connect and work with the most talented people. They’ll get the chance to present themselves to investors and make their own company for one weekend.

What are your expectations from this year’s Startup Weekend Sarajevo?

Just like the last year, we are negotiating with our sponsors about the award, and we hope to ensure the trip to California to one member of the winning team. Our last year’s sponsor Blackbox VC will be our sponsor this year as well, and one member of the winning team will have the opportunity to visit the mansion of Blackbox VC. Apart from that, there will be other awards for the winning team.

I suppose that you need to have partners for organising this event. Who are this year’s sponsors of Startup Weekend Sarajevo?

Having in mind that the last year’s Startup Weekend Sarajevo, which was held in November, was successful and both sponsors and participants were satisfied, we are honoured to have as our sponsor this year too. We are also glad that atlantbh decided to support us as our golden sponsor, and this year we’re having Coca-Cola as our sponsor as well. Other sponsors will be known soon.



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