This spring, our life and business plans were radically changed by the COVID-19 epidemic. Among those who quickly and creatively adapted to the new situation, and even played a very important role in the fight against the virus, is the Startup Center Nis.
Startup Center Nis welcomes this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day as the host of online meet-ups called Creative Tuesday, which are designed as a technological breakfast during which an interactive lecture is held. Topics cover current events and marketing in gaming and business development of gaming startups.
The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.
17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, Creative Tuesday became a part of the project Gaming Center Nis: Support to the Center for Innovative Youth Entrepreneurship, which the European Union supports through the EU PRO program.
The project plans the designation of a space in the Startup Center Nis that will be equipped with appropriate software and hardware workstations in order to facilitate the work of small and medium enterprises in the video game sector. Also, three employees of the Startup Center would be educated about the development of gaming companies, their foreign quotation and access to the global market, as well as the project promotion and branding. In addition, interested high school and university students will be educated about the industry.
“Given that our goal is to promote innovative entrepreneurship to young people at school age, in order for them to gain timely insight into all the business opportunities that are provided to them in the future, we have partnered with primary and secondary schools in Nis. Now the students are frequent guests of the Center, and they can get acquainted with advanced technologies very early on”, says Miloš Grozdanovic, director of the Startup Center Niš.
In the past year, over 100 events have been organized in the Startup Center Nis – lectures, trainings, presentations and meetings, the first Nis Gameathon being one of the most important of them.
According to Grozdanovic, “SCN became the home of true lovers of video games, showing how strong and talented the gaming community in Nis is. A total of 43 participants in 10 teams had 24 hours to show their creativity and use the endless possibilities of their minds and game engines to develop prototypes of art projects for video games.”
In November 2019, the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, visited the Startup Center Nis.
“Education, innovation, and youth entrepreneurship are the areas where the EU is particularly active in Serbia. The young, educated people I met today are using technological development to connect and communicate with the world through their professional growth, and I am glad that they are supported by EU funds”, Ambassador Fabrizi emphesized after the visit to the projects lead by young innovators in Nis.
“These are successful stories of the cooperation between Serbia and the EU that should be replicated in other parts of the country, and Niš has become a centre of excellence with the development of this sector of the economy, which significantly contributes to economic growth and job creation”, Fabrizi concluded.
The Startup Center Nis was founded by a joint initiative of the Electronic Faculty and the City of Nis and represents the first step in the construction of the Science and Technology Park in Nis.
It currently has ten member startup companies from various sectors of innovative technology, from augmented virtual reality with elements of artificial intelligence, through audio analytics within the IoT, industrial automation to VR games.
In November 2019, the Startup Center Nis received a Certificate of Excellence from EUBID (European Union Support to Business Incubators Development) as the best business and technology incubator to support youth entrepreneurship in Serbia, out of 36 in competition. This enabled them to enter the EUBID business improvement program, which will be implemented in cooperation with colleagues from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Netherlands.
Startup Center Nis used its capacities during the state of emergency, as an aid to health workers. “From the very beginning, we joined the action of the Visionaries of Serbia, printing parts for visors for the protection of health workers on a 3D printer, and makers from Nis worked on assembling them,” Milos Grozdanovic points out.
Gaming Center Nis – Support to the Center for Innovative Youth Entrepreneurship is one of 20 projects implemented by organisations for business support and supported by the European Union through the EU PRO program with over 600,000 euros. Projects will contribute to greater competitiveness and sustainability of small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs by supporting companies to improve production processes and quality of products and services, but also in certification and introduction of relevant standards and specific activities aimed at conquering new markets.