Ten local Serbian companies have presented their projects to representatives of Startup Sauna at the Royal Palace in Belgrade on 4 April 2014. After a thorough analysis, the Finish organisation Startup Sauna decided to invite COFA Games to a five weeks programme, where 20 European companies will receive substantial aid regarding the finalisation of their product development and marketing plan.
Young Serbian development team of COFA Games has been accepted into the programme of the famous European accelerator together with 19 most promising European Startup companies. Five weeks Startup Sauna Accelerator s organised in Helsinki will provide important education in the field of business development to creators of Awakening of Heroes game. Besides that, the programme of the prestigious Finnish organisation offers numerous contacts with investors and other fellow professionals. So far 109 companies have graduated from the Startup Sauna programme collecting US Dollars $34 million in investments. The founder of COFA Games Mr Nikola Mitic spoke about the importance of this programme and emphasised that Finland is famous for entertainment industry, and especially games. “Developing games is a relatively new industry in Serbia, but that is changing rapidly with the overwhelming presence of mobile phones and Facebook. Therefore constant education and progress and adjustment are a must. Finland is the Mecca for the video games industry, and we are very happy to be there”, Mitic explains.
Companies with best results at the programme will get an opportunity to present their work to American investors in Silicon Valley, the world center of IT industry. Best of them will get assistance worth Euros 40,000.
COFA games also received a grant from Innovations Fund for product development. IBM owned company Soft Layer recognised the quality and potential of their product and offered technical assistance for development.
The Serbian Royal Family will continue to support the development of local Serbian startups, like it did in the past, in order to create a superb startup environment in Serbia.
Under the auspices of HRH Crown Prince Alexander’s Foundation for Education and Culture, Startup weekend is coming once again to Serbia from May 9 to May 11, after being hosted successfully in the Royal Palace last year. Whether you have a business idea or a skill that is necessary in building a successful startup, this event is certainly one that aspiring entrepreneurs, developers, marketers and financiers should not miss. One of the companies created at this event is Brides2Bride, that this year received a EUROS 90.000 non-refundable grant from Innovation Fund to further develop their business.
Belgrade 2nd Startup Weekend is a perfect opportunity for meeting with potential partners who will help you to make your idea come to life, but also for already launched startups to improve them and to get some additional finances for their businesses.
Crown Prince Alexander who spearheaded this initiative and is excited about his attendance said: “Entrepreneurship is key to economic recovery and is the backbone of every economy. Serbs have entrepreneurial dreams and I want to help fulfill those dreams. I have hosted many events for startups and entrepreneurship over the years. I have also discussed with investors across the world the opportunities that exist here. Perception, talent and education is key to entrepreneurship and we are blessed in this country with these traits. Last year’s startup weekend success shows that this will become a reality very quickly. Many people from last year continued after startup weekend with their venture. Some were funded, and some continued to pursue startup initiatives and all were delighted with the results. I think it is important not only for Serbians to see what success they can have, but the world to see what great talent we have. There is much to be done though. We need more activities, events, education and mentorships to help develop the startup ecosystem. For example in technology, which is key, we need to further develop our technical education.”
The members of the Royal Council for Entrepreneurship, including SPEA and SEE ICT are supporting this event together with Crown Prince Alexander Foundation. Ernst & Young has recognized the importance of this event for the second year in a row and is a gold sponsor.
The winners will get tickets for Belgrade Venture Forum, FundraiseIT conferende, a chance to pitch at Startit Fest, and free participation in Ceed programme as well as many other prizes.