Directors of Microsoft Serbia Milan Gospić and Telekom Srbija Ventures Fund Davor Sakač signed today a cooperation document which agreed on technological support for selected startups from Serbia, worth up to 150,000 dollars per year.
Gospić estimated that the success of the cooperation will be the success of the startup companies that will be supported.
The stars of the future are being born today, in this region, through cooperation we want to help them shine brightly, he said.
He pointed out that Microsoft supports the vision of Serbia as the innovation center of the region, and emphasized that it has made great progress in the digital sector.
He said that there are 150 million startups in the world, and that there are 50 million new ones every year, and that it is necessary to focus on the selection.
Gospić stated that the old people of the region are attracting more and more attention, and that a large number of “unicorn” companies were born in that area.
He stated that the number of startups on the Serbian market is growing by 20 to 30 percent per year.
He pointed out that through cooperation with the TS Ventures Fund, they want to address the support to the challenges of financing, employment, and acquiring customers, and to enable the companies to develop beyond the borders of the Serbian market.
“TS Ventures has good insight into the market, we provide a good environment for development through our specialized support program,” said Gospić.
And up to 150,000 dollars of technological investments per year will be realized through the use of Microsoft platforms, programs, environment, likedin network and jipiti chat, as well as through mentoring and technological consulting.
“In cooperation, we will have a better insight into the market, in order to enable them to access world markets and Microsoft clients through their network,” he said.
He said that the cooperation is taking place in the 20th year of Microsoft’s business in Serbia and that the company is strategically committed to strengthening innovation, and assessed that the development of the country directly depends on investments in digitization.
Sakač assessed that by signing the fund and Microsoft are entering into a special relationship, and assessed that it is more than a business relationship, and that we are working on a new era of business for both the fund and the startup community in Serbia.
“The contract is important as an incentive for the old people from this area, our ecosystem, and the country as a whole, we don’t have many opportunities to have partners like this,” he said.
He pointed out that we are living in a moment in which the whole world and the economy are facing special challenges.
“A deal with a decade-long global leader lets us know that they believe in our entrepreneurial potential,” said Sakač.
He added that through such cooperation, Serbian startups will be one step closer to world markets and global knowledge – on the way to becoming global players.
“It is a confirmation that everything we did in a year and a half was a good job, and that we are on the right track for Serbian startups to give birth to new world heroes,” he said.
Sakac stated that all nine startups selected so far can apply for this new significant support.
“I hope that in the coming period we will witness the birth of the first Serbian unicorn – a unicorn that will conquer the world. That we will witness it as soon as possible,” he said.
Answering questions about who will be able to apply for Microsoft’s support, Sakac answered that TS Ventures fund has its own selection system, and that maybe not everyone will need that kind of support.
“We don’t give money, we invest it, our selection system is not easy. We don’t change anything in our work and selection. Businesses that really have a global perspective can apply for our funds, as well as for additional assistance of $150,000, which is not negligible,” he said.
Gospić explained that the Microsoft support program covers all phases of the startup’s development and added that the amount of support will also depend on the phase.
“The selection is standardized, it applies not only to Serbia but to the whole world.
Cooperation with the TS Ventures Fund is important because they finance startups that are already in some stage of development, and we can help them grow further, to get them to the stage when they already have a product on the market and some benefits, to be a Microsoft partner, he explained. he.
He emphasized that it is necessary to focus on the 50 million startups that appear annually globally, and that the cooperation signed today will help support reach those who have advanced.