We sat down with Viktor Mitevski and Marko Georgievski, two SWTAlumni and organisers of the StartUp Academy, to learn more about the entrepreneur training.
Two of the organsiers Marko and Viktor; Photo credit: SWTAlumi
The academy concept consists of five three-day seminars with different topics and various speakers and mentors on locations all around Macedonia, the first starting already on 22 November. “When we started the StartUp Academy, we envisioned it to be a yearlong project that would boost entrepreneurship amongst youth in Macedonia,” saidViktor Mitevski.
While the goal of the seminars is not only to set the foundation for developing a business plan and integrating entrepreneurial thinking, participants will also explore the world of customer needs, learn how to make a brand for themselves and their company and will get familiar with all legal processes connected to setting up a startup. Moreover, seminar number three will introduce the startup academics to an exclusive financing planning software developed by the startup supporters of the Summer Work and Travel Alumni (SWT) in order to learn about how to “make it rain”.
For this year’s academy, 30 participants between 19 to 26 years, 14 female, 16 male and 55% of them from Skopje were chosen.”
The final stage of the academy is reserved for Social Entrepreneurship andSocial Innovation, a topic gaining popularity in Macedonia these days. So, the last seminar will give them insights into how to adopt a mission to create and sustain social value. In this stage all participant should already have their business plans and proposals set and ready and be prepared to further develop their concept.
From school to the stage
One of the chosen ones is Jovana Temelkovska from Skopje, she applied with the idea for a company that offers a product which will reduce the cost of waste disposal and the amount of garbage on the streets. “I had this idea but didn’t know from where to start and how to develop it into a business. I am excited to be part of the Academy and I believe that next year I will be able to start my startup,” said the young entrepreneur.
“After the seminars, participants are ready for the ‘real world’ and we are glad to help them with starting their own business,” said Marko Georgievski. One way to do so is giving them the opportunity to pitch in front of potential investors, the business community and business angels at theSmartUP Conference which takes place five months after the closing of the Academy. “After the first Academy we had ten real startups (from selling space for marketing campaigns and commercials on innovative ways, to bank accounts mobile app, to Laundry Café concepts, to recycling and ‘going green’ business) that pitched. For the second Academy, we would like to see even more.”
SmartUP conference provides a stage for the young projects; Photo credit: SWTAlumni
This years academy projects span from e-commerce, mobile apps, social media, online store and info portals, to manufacturing, event management, educational courses, to social entrepreneurship, recycling and combating air pollution and will have the chance to get a closer insight into the startup life in the following year.