The best local ideas for global change; Slush competition in Belgrade

Posted in: News- Sep 07, 2017

September 6, 2017, Belgrade – At the third local Slush competition organized by the Finnish Embassy and the Innovation Fund, the competitors continuing to the next round included: Mindy (IT), Sunthetic (renewable energy) and Urbigo (green technology). Finnish experts will decide on the winner, who will win the unique chance of taking part in the programme Global Impact Accelerator 2017 and the Slush 2017 conference to be held in Helsinki in November and December. Nineteen start-ups took part in the competition, with the ideas they are developing in the field of sustainable innovation.

The competition was held at the Science Technology Park „Belgrade“, and was opened by Mr. Nenad Popović, Minister of Innovation and Technological Development, H.E. Pertti Ikonen, Ambassador of Finland to Serbia and Mr. Ivan Rakonjac, Director of the Innovation Fund.

“These talented young innovators are the future of Serbia. It’s not good enough today to be a good engineer, you have to be a good businessman too, able to commercialise your innovative idea on the market. The Serbian Government will continue to work on building as good an environment as possible for innovative business. We would like as many youths as possible to have the courage to found innovative start-ups and develop products that can be applied in industry. To do this we will make use of the experience of leading innovative countries like Switzerland, Israel and Finland. We see this as an opportunity to improve the international competitiveness of Serbia, to create new jobs and, crucially, to keep young engineers in Serbia.”, said Mr. Nenad Popović, Minister of Innovation and Technological Development.

“Slush 2017 gathers more than 17,000 experts in the field of innovation, startups and technology. It is the biggest tech conference in the Northern Europe. It offers a huge opportunity to Serbia to connect with the Global startup ecosystem and the Angel investors.”, said H.E. Pertti Ikonen, Ambassador of Finland to Serbia.

“For the third year in a row, with the assistance of the Embassy of Finland to Serbia, we are today selecting three start-ups with innovative ideas to solve burning questions, and the best among them will receive the unique opportunity to take part in the nine-day accelerator in the largest European start-up conference Slush. This year’s huge interest for the competition once more shows that in Serbia, there are more and younger innovative start-ups with the potential of placing their products on the international market. Finland’s several decades of experience in the field and in encouraging innovative entrepreneurs is a stimulus to us in our continuing work in this direction”, said Mr. Ivan Rakonjac, Director of the Innovation Fund.

Before the competitors presented their ideas, Kasper Suomalainen, director of the cooperative Start-up Sauna from Finland shared his experience in building the most successful global start-up cooperative with the audience. “Building a start-up community cannot be forced, and each country has to create its own start-up eco-system rather than copy aspects of another system. Serbia must discover the model that suits it, the knowledge to apply and – most importantly – the strength that its start-up scene has to emphasize in the ocean of all others.”

The Slush conference, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, offers start-ups the opportunity to present themselves to a large number of investors and companies, while the Accelerator programme provides a chance to improve their skills and business models.

About the Teams:

UrbiGo is vertical garden device that allows growing your own food in your home, all year round. The progress of cultivation is monitored through the mobile application. Every UrbiGo vertical garden is made out of recycled and sustainable materials that are water proof and durable.

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Sunthetic run on the concept of sustainable energy for the future and primarily designs solar-powered products. Thus, the company strives to incorporate sustainable energy principles into the day-to-day practices of people and their devices.

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Mindy is dedicated to treating ADHD and Child obesity through play. By combining outdoor physical activity with handpicked cognitive skills tests, they provide fun and effective way in treating these issues.

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