Balkathon is a regional competition that invites interested young people, start-ups, entrepreneurs, students, digital innovation hubs, scientific parks, universities, SMEs, etc. from all Western Balkan economies to propose and develop innovative digital solutions as a response to the challenges of our day-to-day life.
- You get a two-day mentoring programme with experienced experts.
- Opportunity to win 10.000 euro for your idea.
- Opportunity to implement your idea in the Western Balkan region.
- Opportunity to present your solution at the high-level ICT event in the region “Western Balkan Digital Summit”
Team Eco Solution Research from Kosovo* with the idea to create a prototype of organic fertiliser using bio-products and biofuels in order to reduce food loss and waste - with the ultimate goal of preventing loss, maximising the use of leftover food, and minimising food waste ending up in landfills.
Team Farmbot, a start-up from Serbia with the idea to design a multifunctional, hybrid drive, robotic platform with an autonomous movement capability for spraying the crops, enabling better efficiency and higher safety for end users.
Team Immortelle from Albania with the idea to build a trading platform for the medicinal and aromatic plants, at which farmers and industries can trade with ease through just a few clicks.
Team BeBeep from Montenegro with the idea to establish a carpooling platform in Montenegro, allowing users easier and more comfortable transportation with money-saving on long-distance trips by cost-sharing.
Team IKS from Bosnia and Herzegovina with a concept of a recycling machine that transforms PET containers into 3D printer material, known as filament, enhancing garbage disposal solutions.
Team 3D Factory from North Macedonia with the idea of developing a mobile application that tracks the location of plastic scrap in order to collect it. Using the app, customers will be able to select location where they have left their filament scrap. Another idea of the team is the usage of environment-friendly 3D printers.
eCommerce, Virtual Promotion Tools, Video and Influence Marketing
Creation of different digital marketing tools and services in order to innovate consumer shops, reach new markets, conduct businesses, and maintain customers’ trust.
- eCommerce – under this chapter we seek digital solutions which refer to a business model that opens up possibilities for companies and individuals to sell and buy via Internet. Applicants can offer solutions conducted via computers, tablets, smartphones, or other smart devices.
- Virtual Promotion Tools – under this chapter we seek digital solutions from the field of digital marketing involving a business model that creates pathways for connecting products, services, or brands with potential customers via Internet or other forms of digital marketing communication tools.
- Video and Influence Marketing – under this chapter we seek digital solutions relating to a form of involved endorsement and product placement posted by influencers, people, or organisations that have expert knowledge or social influence in the field of video materials created with a sponsored content for YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or other social networks.
Agriculture, FoodTech & Rural Development
Digital solutions for the enhancement of primary sector in the Western Balkans and the management and processing of WB agriculture products
- Agriculture – under this chapter we seek digital/business solutions in agribusiness sub-sectors such as (but not limited to): farmers-producers (farm-to-fork concept), agricultural suppliers, processors-wholesalers-distributors, and retailers. Proposed concepts could target: lowering production costs, boosting profits, or ensuring that farm/food products are produced and distributed effectively.
- Food-Tech – under this chapter we seek a digital/business solution that will open this emerging sector by exploring how technology can create an efficient and sustainable approach to producing, delivering, and enjoying food for the world of farm producers and agri-food industry.
- Rural Development – under this chapter we seek digital/business ideas related to the process of economic wellbeing improvement in relatively isolated and rural areas linking agri-food industry and final consumers.
Renewable/ Sustainable Energy
Innovative ideas that help manage and generate renewable /sustainable sources more efficiently, energy-saving. Main renewable and sustainable energy sources are:
- Solar energy,
- Wind energy,
- Hydro energy,
- Tidal energy,
- Geothermal energy, and
- Biomass energy.
Under this chapter, we seek digital/business solutions in the above-mentioned fields or digital solutions to reduce waste of energy and optimise daily energy consumption per capita.
Transportation & Logistics
Ideas to address the growing pressures on the city resources, transport networks, and logistic infrastructure. Logistics includes all tasks such as planning, controlling and optimising the entire process in the value chain.
It deals mostly with:
- Administration: personnel and vehicle management
- Transport technology and data transmission from one to another digital device and data storage, and
- Planning such as transport control, strategies, frequency of services, capacities and cost-efficiency.
Under this chapter we seek digital/business solutions to focus on two main points:
- Transport/logistics in order to distribute goods at the lowest possible cost and high energy efficiency as a TASK.
- Optimising transport in terms of loading, unloading, capacity utilisation and handover to the final user in the shortest period of time as a GOAL.
Technology or service-based ideas in tertiary sectors such as:
- MedTech/BioTech/HealthTech - under this chapter we seek digital solutions dealing with the recent shifts in healthcare trends, growing populations also present an array of opportunities for innovation, as the most modern technology in these sectors continues to be in demand.
- Blockchain and Cybersecurity - under this chapter we seek digital solutions in a decentralised and distributed ledger technology, which is used to store digital information-driven by cryptocurrencies and NFTs. This will always be the most sought-after topic and can radically change multiple sectors.
- Entertainment and Gaming - under this chapter we challenge creative minds to conceptualise and develop unique digital solutions for entertainment and gaming based on different culture, diversity, interests, habits, etc.
- Clean and Green Technologies - under this chapter we seek digital solutions that could be in the form of waste segregation, disposal, or that can improve the sanitation system. In addition, this can refer to food technology, sustainable packaging, or even textile innovations.
Count Every Second Until the Event
Check out key BALKATHON 3.0 dates
6 May - 15 July 2022
15 July 2022, 12:00 (CET+1)
27 May 2022
12 July 2022
17-29 July 2022
29 July 2022
Short listed applicants
29-30 August 2022
Start of the Competition
31 August 2022, 12:00 (CET+1)
End of the Competition
6 September 2022
List of Finalists
Highly professional and experienced mentors from the region will be at your disposal to help you develop your idea.
Vedran ŠimunovićVedran Šimunović is an Executive Director of the Foundation for Innovation and Technological Development (INTERA Technology Park). The Foundation was established in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the aim of organizing support for the development of economic processes in the region of Herzegovina. Having implemented more than 30 different projects funded by domestic and foreign donors, INTERA Technology Park as a Digital Innovation Hub is a reliable partner in creating a better business environment through digitization and digital transformation. Vedran Šimunović is active in the implementation and promotion of new technologies in business enterprises in the region through the organization of business meetings, creating opportunities for internationalization, and development of smart cities. He has worked on research on sustainable smart cities and the implementation of digital business processes as a business mentor and part of the European Entrepreneurial Network. He has previous work experience in the metal sector as a manager responsible for negotiating with foreign contractors.
Mirsad Beširević is a business developer manager at Startup Studio, Mozaik Foundation, in Sarajevo. Mentoring more than 60 startup companies in last 3 years with Startup Studio businesses portfolio in early stage. Helping entrepreneurs deliver effectiveness and efficiencies to secure business model sustainability. Mirsad has 20 years of experience, he worked with different companies in different industries. The primary focus of his expertise are marketing and sales. Mirsad graduated at the University of Economics Sarajevo, with large experience in marketing strategy, marketing planning, marketing/digital marketing optimization, e-commerc, business model development, post-sale processes, sale channels strategy, “Go to market” strategy…
Miljana Pekovic is a project manager at IEC Tehnopolis. She holds a degree in political science in the field of journalism, and has over 10 years of experience in designing and implementing projects in various fields (innovation, green economy, domestic violence, children's rights, employability of vulnerable groups, gender equality, culture, justice, non-formal education) in Montenegro and Italy. During her professional career, she participated in the creation and implementation of over 30 projects on national, regional and international levels.
Aleksandar Stamboliev, CEO and co-founder of Accelerator UKIM
Interdisciplinary change agent, inspired by innovative approaches in doing business, knowledge management, and capacity building towards faster economic growth. Since 2018, assessed over 300 business ideas, 50 ideas developed and 20 businesses accelerated. Invested in 3 startups with a target of an additional 7 in 2022.
Program activity manager at Science and Technology Park of Montenegro. Has a rich experience as a consultant and trainer from the field of entrepreneurship, innovation, marketing and management of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Consultant and trainer from the field of entrepreneurship, innovation, marketing and management of small and medium-sized enterprises. Committed to a hard work and education, avid reader and dreamer. Has years of experience in teaching: Business, Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation, Entrepreneurial Finance, Management of investments and Marketing Management of SME's at the University of Montenegro, Faculty of Economics in Podgorica. An author of several scientific and research papers and participant of numerous academic and commercial projects from the field of economy.
Aleksandar Janičić is Manager for projects and development of entrepreneurship in IEC (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre) Tehnopolis. He has over 10 years of relevant experience in project design, business development, complemented by years of experience in research in diverse fields of work. Mr. Janičić has been organising business competitions since 2012.
Vedrana AjanovićVedrana Ajanović graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tuzla, after which she worked in a commercial company based in Sarajevo. Since February 2005, she has been engaged in the BIT Center on project development and implementation of the formal and operational structure of innovation infrastructure development from the business incubator to the technology park. Over the last 15 years, she has gained practical skills and experience in developing and leading innovative activities and developing ICT SMEs. She has been engaged as an Assistant Project Manager on all BIT projects. She is also a lecturer at conferences on entrepreneurship, innovation and SMEs.
Nerma is a permanent member of the Startup Studio team with over 25 years experience in various financial institutions (banks, insurance companies). She is the expert in the field of restructuring the companies and a doctoral candidate in the field of finance and entrepreneurship. So far, Nerma has worked with over 200 small and medium-sized businesses and has the greatest focus on these economic entities. In her work in Startup Studio from last year until now she cooperated with 50 startups.
Marilo Meta has a strong ICT background, including a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Information Technology and Communications from the University of Tirana in Albania. Marilo Meta has over 7 years of experience in the non-profit sector. He has been nominated as Salesforce MVP by the giant CRM world leader “Salesforce“. He was previously serving as an Atlas Corps fellow from Albania in Washington, DC at the Open Government Partnership in a Knowledge Management position aiming to advance the new frontiers of civic participation, through direct citizen engagement and inclusion, and currently, Marilo leads the international NGO “Leadership Development Association Balkan” to help young people develop their personal and professional skills by working in an international environment, to give every young person an opportunity to become a leader and a change-maker in his or her community to solve the complex problems of our societies. Marilo is focused on creating an environment where young generations will apply the skills of change-making to solve the complex problems of our societies, for a better future, living in peace, prosperity and solidarity.
Gentjan SkaraGentjan’s fields of expertise include European law and European integration. He was one of the visiting researchers at the Institute of Corporate and International Commercial Law, University of Graz (Austria) and at the Department of International Law, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
Since October 2012, Gentjan is a full-time member of the Department of Law at “Bedër” University College where he teaches International and EU law courses. His research interest includes EU enlargement; competition law; legal alignment and Artificial Intelligence. Recently, Gentjan is working on a paper concerning the Digitalisation of Competition Law. As of 1 July 2022, he has been appointed as the Head of Department of Law.
Besides academic engagement, Gentjan is a National Legal expert for the EU acquis “Internal Market and Competition” with the Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania.
Dorian is experienced in the Technology Information and Communication area. He is an entrepreneur-minded developer, who has come a long way from JS developer to managing teams and developing projects for international markets.
Along the way, he gained experience in programming, marketing, people management and business modelling, thus gaining insights from different perspectives on building online products/services. Dorian has many years of experience in creating online web applications, such as miner.al and product design (minerOS). Since 2019, he has been working on setting up the business processes at Salesforce and building a trailblazer community for Salesforce in Albania.
In a nutshell, Dorian can be characterized as
Think outside the box - Think differently and you will find innovative, unconventional solutions.
Deliver extraordinary results - If you stop thinking conventionally, you'll deliver extraordinary results.
Travel, learn, discover - Collect experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.
Ahmet Jetullahu- Meti
As a consulting project manager/team leader focused on result-based project management, Mr. Ahmet Jetullahu has diversified into many areas of project management being in charge of project development and management, business development, quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation, result and performance management, evaluation, reporting and communication, PR and visibility, technical assistance expertise, project administration, strategies, and private sector development. He is a project director/manager and the team leader in several large EU- and WB-funded projects, government projects and strategy development projects. He is a member of national expert groups in the private sector, ICT and digitalization, export, internationalisation of VET, tourism, education and employment. He is also an expert in project management, dissemination of results, evaluation, quality assurance, reporting and internationalisation.
His key competences are grouped as follows:
- Strategy development and Implementation
- Digitalisation, ICT support and development
- Private sector and Women in Business development
- Institutional Capacity Building
- Community support and capacity development
Bashkim IslamiBashkim Islami is the Project Finance Coordinator and Grant Management Expert who has been working full time since 2005 in Prishtina REA. He is heavily involved in business product development, service curricula, manuals, materials and other learning methods development, focused on business-related training subjects, IT platform management, administration and maintenance, soft IT project management skills, strategic planning, management and leadership, digital and e-governance, business planning and organisational skills. He is also our grant management coordinator for all our grant-related activities for more than 12 years, currently coordinating our MGP-10.4 million Euro Fund (WB/MINT) for ambitious manufacturing, service- and export-oriented businesses. He is also experienced in providing training as he has delivered more than 130 training sessions using a variety of learning methods
Doruntina Dabishevci (Prishtina REA) is responsible for contacting, informing, and inviting SMEs being part of the Network consultations and consultations launched by the EC and for providing feedback to the EC based upon such consultations. Ms. Dabishevci is an experienced mentor and coach, providing value-added support and matching experiences. She has more than 8 years of relevant experience with project finance and project implementation to support SME in internationalisation, finance, and accounting. She has experience as a grant project coordinator and facilitator, which she has gained during her work for the Prishtina REA. She is in regular contact with institutional partners and related stakeholders in donor-based programmes and projects, in multi-ethnicity and multicultural environments. As a full-time staff member of the Prishtina REA she has provided support in the area of finances, business development and internationalisation.
Viktorija Petrov is an assistant professor at the University of Novi Sad, lecturing undergraduates on the subjects of Microeconomics and master students of Microeconomics Models.
Viktorija also works as a Programme Manager at nStrater and a Business Incubation Assistant at the Business Incubator Novi Sad. Viktorija has participated as a mentor and trainer in several events such as Startup Weekend, UNS Best Business Idea Competition, The Best Technological Innovation Competition, and other entrepreneurship-related competitions.
Through her work, Viktorija actively participates in the development of the Novi Sad start-up ecosystem.
Education: Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management (Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad); M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management (Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad).
Field of specialisation: Industrial marketing, entrepreneurship, business model development, high-tech marketing, customer development. Training delivery and mentoring for start-ups and SMEs
Experience: Prof. Dr. Đorđe Ćelić is an Assistant Professor at the University of Novi Sad. His area of expertise includes Industrial Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management. More than 40 publications in 12 years of his academic career makes him well-established researcher in the international academic community. In addition to his engagement at the University, Prof. Dr. Ćelić is also the CEO of Business Incubator Novi Sad, the leading hub for support and development of IT start-ups in the city of Novi Sad. Đorđe has been the head of the Incubator since 2010, when this institution started its operations. In the past nine years, he has helped develop more than 55 start-ups. He is responsible for the overall operation of the Incubator, the development of incubation models and procedures, and the facilitation of the Incubator’s mentoring and consulting network. Đorđe is deeply involved in the start-up community as an active business consultant and trainer with an emphasis on business model development and marketing. As the CEO of the Incubator and a university professor, Đorđe has participated in and led more than 10 EU- and nationally funded projects, including Tempus, Erasmus+, COSME, IPA projects.
Aleksandar Filiposki is the executive director of the YES Incubator in Skopje. He has more than 10 years of experience in mentoring and coaching of start-ups. Aleksandar offers business value in generating and delivering customer service excellence by helping clients improve both internal efficiencies and external effectiveness. Aleksandar can help start-ups learn how to verify business concepts, improve customer development and create specific business models, thus reducing investment risk and increasing revenues. Aleksandar holds the position of Innovation Adviser at the Enterprise Europe Network and can help start-ups grow through exploring an internationalization strategy. His areas of expertise include business planning, business strategy and planning, marketing, product development and internationalization.
Elena Stojanovic is a business incubator manager at YES Incubator in Skopje. She has over 10 years of experience in designing and provisioning of pre-incubation, incubation and acceleration services. She is responsible for maintenance of a mentoring scheme with over 30 national and international experts and for the delivery of CISCO Starting a Business Programme. Elena is a certified coach and career counsellor with particular background in working with IT professionals. She is an innovation adviser at the Enterprise Europe Network in Macedonia and has widely established contacts and presence within the start-up ecosystem in the country.
team "Kosovo Digital Association"
special award: young rising stars
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.