Romance and noncomformity – but is the Balkan startup scene ready to grow up?


Angel Spasov from Betahaus Sofia explores what “startup” means in the Balkans and speaks to some key investors and entrepreneurs to get their take on what’s next for the Balkan startup scene…

The Balkan Venture Forum was held for the second time last week. On the 22 and 23 of November, more than 40 investors with a €3billion investment portfolio, officials from countries in the region and hundreds of entrepreneurs gathered in Belgrade. The main goal for this forum was to show readiness for providing institutional and financial support for the new wave of entrepreneurship and to consider the Balkan startup scene.


Startup is still a romantic notion – but that means working outside the norms

We know that the startup ecosystem on the Balkans is still in its romantic phase and therefore lacks some experience. But, on the other hand, if we rephrase one of the postulates of romanticism, the Balkan startup scene has very little to do with norms, dictating what it should consist of. It has all the freedom to find different manifestations, distinguishing the region from any other hub for innovation and development in the world.

Part of the Betahaus Sofia team was in Belgrade not only for networking, but also for blogging. In order to show how the participants in the forum feel about the Balkan startup scene, we decided to ask some of them to forecast the progress of the ecosystem.

See the short interviews and our photo impressions below:

Picture credit: TOS, B.Jovanovic

For further reading, check out:

“Sofia is a startup madhouse” – 10 reasons why business is rocking in the Balkans