Smart City Challenge has strengthened our team in every sense
In the last 3 months, 6 selected teams, finalists of the Telenor Smart City Challenge Serbia competition, have been hard at work developing technological solutions for the improvement of life in a city. These are some of their ideas: smart compactors for recycling waste, an app that rewards you if your daily routine includes cycling or walking, an app that helps you shop at the best prices, an easier and quicker way to exchange used books, a solution to the problem of food waste…
After final presentations, the jury declared a winner. It was the team Solagro, whose smart recycling compactors will contribute to the environmental sustainability of our cities in times to come.
After the evening of the finals, we spoke with the members of the team Solagro for our blog:
How has the whole experience of the Smart City Challenge program helped strengthen your team?
Smart City Challenge program has strengthened our team in every sense. During the last three months of training we have established our course of development and formed a clear vision where we want to be in one year’s time. That led us to expand our team. Now, our hardware team is complemented with the IT sector. I’m convinced that together we will reach our goal ahead of time.
Who are the team members and what are their roles?
Our team currently consists of: Nemanja Janić (CEO), Marko Kaličanin (Hardware Developer), Miloš Grubač (Software Developer).
How long have you been working on your idea and where are you now?
We have been developing our idea for two years now. Through the existing company we refined our hardware solution in several stages. We went out on the market. We established collaborations with big companies, realized the potential and we are now working on digitization.
What will it take to make your compactors part of our daily lives in all major cities in Serbia?
It will take a year of work and an investment.
What do you plan to do next, what are the things that can be done first?
There are always plans. We are preparing a surprise after the holidays in collaboration with our partners on the project, and we’ve been working some time on that. I don’t want to reveal any details just yet. You will find out soon!
Compactors, bicycle… what’s next? Do you already have a next product in mind that will finally force us all to recycle?
We don’t have a new product but a recycling system that motivates, inspires action, rewards. It is open and accessible for everybody. We are sure that our system will help people form a habit that will benefit us all as a society.
You were also a part of the second generation of ICT Hub tenants. How important is it to have mentorship and support in the very beginning, compared to now, when you already have some experience?
It means a lot, especially in the beginning when you’re pretty much obsessed with your idea or project. At that time you think you know everything there is to know, when in fact it’s the exact opposite. ICT Hub is the right place where you can shape your ideas and lay foundation for your future business. Support from the mentors is an essential part of that process. In later stages it’s the place where you can get in touch with potential investors, you can find new members for your team and make important contacts.
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