Do you have experience with enterpreneurship, in other words have you ever started your own buisness?
I started my first buisness seven or eight years ago, it was an Internet project, we tried to make local version of flicker, website for picture sharing, the name was fotke.hr, for a while we had a website in Serbia too, named Mojefotke.rs.Year and a half ago came up an idea of an application for skiers, I wanted to know what people think of a project like that, so i pitched it on a event similar to Startup Weekend. There I met investors from Bulgaria, and they called me to their accelarator, Eleven, where I got first investment for that project.
What was the hardest thing and what took the most of your energy in starting your own buisness?
The most difficult thing in Serbia, as well as in Croatia, when starting a business is birocracy. The thing that took most of my time, was a mistake I made, and I noticed that most of young enterpreneurs make that same mistake. They don’t talk enough with people about their business. I could avoid, I’m sure at least 50 % of problems I stumbled upon, if I simply asked someone what they think about the thing I wanted to do.
Which is “the right time” for starting a business, and should we wait for something like that?
I think the right time is right now. It will never be as good as it is today, who knows what will happen tomorrow. If you have a business idea, you should realize it now, cause if you don’t in a few days someone else will. We do not live in a vacuum, there is a lot of people in the world, and I’m sure that whatever someone’s idea is, there is at least 10 people that have that same idea. Should we wait or not, I think not.
Did you know the people you are working with at the time of starting up your business? If not, how did you meet them?
Some people I knew from before, for a very long time, but some of them I got to know while doing business, on conferences, and events like that. I can say that in accelarator I met a lot of people that are still my friends and with whom i work even today. The more you work, there is more people you are surrounded by, you get to know more people, you get more chances and you have more opportunity to give chance to someone else.
How important is team work for a successful business and startup development?
I think it is the only immportant thing. Because a good idea, is just that, a good idea. But if you don’t have a team that will push it till the end it will never work. So I consider team work as the single most immportant thing at startup. It doesn’t mean that you need to have team with top-notch relations, but a team that is able to finish your product or idea.
What qualities should a person possess if they want to start up their own business?
It should be a person who will not give up when someone says no. He should be persistant and work real hard. That doesn’t necessarily mean, when I say hard, to work for 18 hours a day, i mean he should be commited, and ready to do absolutely everything to succeed.
As one of the judges, what will you be focusing on during the presentations?
As a judge the most significant thing while evaluation will be what is in literature called product market, which means that the team managed to think of a product which is good for custumers they developed it for, I think that is more immportant than the presentation itself and the idea. You have to prove there exits a market for your idea, it is always the most significant thing.