Regional Butterfly Innovation & Business Forum
The first Butterfly Innovation & Business Forum in the Western Balkans featured some of the most interesting innovation practitioners and solutions.
The Forum's main purpose was to showcase examples of successful and promising innovative teams in the region.
Despite improvements in innovation performance over the last several years, the region still lags behind many European countries. However, several impressive developments in various industries indicate considerable creative potential in the Western Balkans.
The Butterfly Innovation & Business Forum is based on the success breeds success principle. It was a platform to showcase how innovative teams from the Western Balkans succeeded, often against all odds.
Butterfly Innovation & Business Forum Day 1
Day 1 of the Butterfly Innovation and Business Forum kicked off with high-level introductory speeches.
Following the introductory remarks, Nikola Balic and Viktor Stojmanovski talked about the recently launched FINNO - Access2Finance and Innovation platform. They briefed the audience about the benefits to innovators offered by the EEN_Enterprise Europe Network.
A surprise Elevator Pitch featured Milivoje Gorgevic, co-founder of FX3X company from North Macedonia. He explained what Godzilla, Wonder Woman and James Bond have in common. Established in 1997, FX3X has grown into the largest vfx/animation powerhouse in South East Europe. The company regularly cooperates with the largest movie studios in Hollywood.
The following session featured Nenad Novovic, Linda Shomo and Damjan Postolovski who shared their experiences from the perspective of rapidly growing companies. Mladen Kostic (Intera Technology Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina) moderated the panel that presented truly valuable innovation stories from the region highlighting the butterfly metaphor that only a few % of all innovative ideas make it to the market.
Keith Sequeira (EIC), Kosta Petrov, and Eli Zhabevska discussed some of the bottlenecks and obstacles to accessing funding for innovative ideas in the Western Balkans.
How likely is it that the region's innovative companies turn into unicorns? If you ask Katarina Urosevic (HTEC Group), Dalibor Marijanović (Authority Partners) & Muhamed Semić (Deloitte), this may not be such a distant future. A great discussion among experienced innovation practitioners and consultants focused on various mechanisms that can boost the innovation ecosystem in the Western Balkans.
The last session of the day 1 was about supporting the growth of early-stage innovation initiatives in the Western Balkans. Energetic Zoja Kukic hosted Aleksandar Miltenovic, Eroll Gorçi, Ledjon Agalliu and Goran Jankovic who showcased some extremely interesting examples of localised support to innovative teams throughout the region.