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From ICT Hub’s trainee to COO of a Danish startup

Miloš Belčević, tenant in ICT Hub and a participant in ICT Hub’s program “New technical businesses” in 2015, has recently become a COO of a Danish startup Opinodo, which is currently expanding into Serbia and opening an office in Belgrade.

“To be honest, I got interested in this startup by chance… I liked the service they provided, I liked that the founder had a background in marketing and journalism, and the fact that they were from Scandinavia. I actually studied Norwegian language, which is one of the things that made this a perfect fit,” said Miloš. The experience he got in ICT Hub was very significant for him in this journey.

“ICT Hub was a very significant experience for me, during which I learned a lot and met many great and interesting people – participants in the program and Hub tenants. I remember how important the program was for me, it opened a door to a whole new world of (digital) entrepreneurship, taught me to think differently and helped me develop a “startup mindset” which was, aside from other skills and experiences, crucial for this position.

Milos u ICT Hub-u

Serbia has potential for startups, not just for outsourcing

The startup that Miloš works in was founded in 2015, and it represents an alternative to website monetization based on surveys. In effect, Opinodo is a B2B hub which connects different publishers (such as the media and bloggers), and other e-businesses that have a lot of traffic (like online shops) with market research agencies who need a diversified sample of the population. The co-founders of this startup have recently analyzed various countries in Europe which would be most suitable for expansion of their business, and they chose Serbia.

“Serbia has a lot of potential for startups. People are open, educated and have a knack for business. In the past, Serbia was used for cost savings through outsourcing developers and freelancers, but I think the potential is far greater,” says Niels Thimmer, co-founder and CEO of this startup.

Thimmer says that they want to help create a better ecosystem for building successful, internationally oriented tech companies in Serbia. “We like to work with and invest in people who can become founders of new tech companies of the future,” he ads.

To be a part of a startup means to constantly adapt and evolve

“A particularly valuable thing I got in ICT Hub, apart, of course, from all the concrete and practical advice, workshops and meetups, was the realization that a startup, like everything else in life, is a constant learning process. We need to validate all ideas, no matter how good or absurd they sound, we need to develop products and services through iterations and we shouldn’t fear to make mistakes – if we learn from them. As one of the mentors said, I like to make a mistake as soon as possible, to see if I’m wrong, so I wouldn’t waste time and would be able to focus on new ideas and projects,” Miloš concludes. “I think that more young people with a knack for business should give it a try. That knack and other skills necessary to run a business need to be developed early on, because entrepreneurship, especially in ICT sector, can drive positive change in a society.”

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