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At the end of March Niksic in Montenegro hosted group of young with great business ideas, while three international experts have supported them in presentation skills, preparation of business plans and helped in search for right type of financing. This was second out of four workshops under project ‘Startup Academy’ that this spring Centre for European Perspective is implementing with GIZ office from Sarajevo.

First workshop was held in beginning of March in Tirana and was organized for supporting actors of the entrepreneurial environment (accelerators, incubators, universities), while this time we invited startups and young entrepreneurs from all six Western Balkans countries.

Interactive workshop gathered 17 youngsters that got a detailed insight in steps and in discussions and negotiations with investors, met different legal and economic expressions that are common in startup world, calculations of various costs and listened about rich experiences of the three experts from the region. Selma Prodanović, Florian Kandler and Sreten Vranić brought to the table immense know-how on investments, own experiences about startup development and knowledge about the WB region, its limitations and opportunities it is offering. Great emphasis was put as well on peer to peer learning as many startups share common challenges in different countries, but the answers might often be very similar.

In the second part of the workshop each of the participants presented his business idea in two-minute pitch, while the others put themselves in the shoes of investors that were asking about details and explanations that would be interesting for potential partners and/or investors. Each got several useful advice and information that they will be able to take into account when working on their next presentation or negotiations in near future.

All workshop activities were streamed toward one goal – to prepare young entrepreneurs as well as possible on attendance and cooperation at the regional startup Podim conference that is traditionally held in Maribor in May. Until then, group will meet once again in Pristina, and go through intensive 1:1 mentorship, which aims at making the best presentation for best yield at the conference when searching for potential investors, partners and supporters. Nobody has any doubt that the ideas presented are very good, it is now on the youngsters to represent and present them as good as they can.

Project is part of the activities that are through the Slovenia’s Development Cooperation financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia.