Regional connectedness: Strengthen the exchange of knowledge and experience between start-up support organizations and other stakeholders on the Western Balkans
Joined forces: Work jointly on existing challenges in the start-up domain in the region and bring forth new solutions and opportunities to the ecosystems
Promote the region: Develop concepts to promote the ecosystems in the region with one voice towards interested stakeholders like founders, investors or the tech diaspora
Benefits of the WBSA
Most of the existing initiatives in the region are focused on supporting start-up ecosystems on a national level. We see regional cooperation, mutual learning and joint actions between the ecosystems as a key element to get them to the next level. Therefore, we seek to support meaningful collaboration, research and events that support the Western Balkans start-up community. Joining the alliance is free of charge, the only currency is the commitment to jointly improve the regional ecosystem. Organization interested to contribute to the objectives mentioned in this mission statement are invited to join the alliance.
Why regional collaboration is important?
Regional collaboration enables ecosystems and start-ups to grow faster. Ecosystems tap into various industries in the region and exchange knowledge on new and emerging industries, learn how to improve on existing ones and lobby for better and improved legislative and policy environments.
Start-ups gain faster access to markets by engaging with clients and partners. In addition, regional connectedness allows start-ups to partner with other companies, universities, R&D institutions, gain access to talent and know-how.
How does the Western Balkans Start up Alliance achieve its objective?
1. Alliance members (“Hubs”) act as regional community facilitators, connectors, and mediators. 2. Alliance members support the exchange of good practices and ideas among members 3. Alliance members increase the public awareness of the potentials and in the start-up ecosystems 4. Alliance members act as actors of change by participating and collaborating on legislative and policy matters.
To achieve this the alliance members will meet regularly in joint coordination meetings (virtually or physically) and work on specific topics and challenges in working groups of smaller groups of interested members, so called Keystone Teams.
Who we look for?
The access to the alliance is in general not restricted. Organization interested to contribute to the objectives and values mentioned in this mission statement are happily invited to join the alliance by agreeing to the mission statement and signing the declaration of intent.
Founding members of the WBSA
HUB387 | Bosnia & Herzegovina
ICT HUB | Serbia
Innovation Center Kosovo | Kosovo
Intera Technology Park | Bosnia & Herzegowina
Makerspace | Kosovo
Oficina | Albania
Protik | Albania
SEEUTechPark | North Macedonia
Startup Macedonia | North Macedonia
Tehnopolis | Montenegro
UKIM Accelerator | North Macedonia
How does the Declaration of Intent look like?
All members sign a Declaration of Intent which states their commitment to contribute to the mission of the Alliance. The Declaration of Intent will be published on the alliance’s website alongside the list of members. The Declaration of Intent is accompanied by individual Action Statements in which each member describes its actions towards the common goal.
Actions of the Western Balkans Startup Alliance?
1. Alliance members (“Hubs”) act as regional community facilitators
2. Alliance members cooperate on cross border initiatives and projects;
3. Alliance members support the exchange of good practices and ideas
4. Alliance members jointly increase the public awareness of the ecosystems
5. Alliance members jointly lobby for legislative and policy changes
6. Alliance members jointly work on approaching and involving investors.
7. Alliance members promote the WBSA on national, regional, and international events.
To achieve this the alliance members will meet regularly in joint coordination Meetups (virtually and/or physically) and collaborate on specific topics and challenges in smaller (working) groups of interested members, so called Keystone Teams. Alliance members agree to dedicate at least 4 hours per month in support of the WBSA.
Access to the Alliance
Joining the alliance is free of charge, the only currency is the commitment to jointly improve the regional ecosystem. Organizations interested to contribute to the objectives mentioned in this mission statement are invited to apply to become a member. The Secretariat will review the application of the interested organization and inform the founding members of the Alliance. If a Founding member has an objection, it will be required for that objection to be submitted in email to the Secretariat within 10 working days upon receiving the email for the new membership application. The Secretariat is required to inform the rest of the Founding members if objections are submitted and organize a meeting to discuss the issues at hand. Acceptance of new members to the Alliance will be done only with a 51% majority vote from all Founding members.
Secretariat, coordination and communication services
The Secretariat of the alliance, providing in particular coordination and communication services, will be financially supported for an initial phase by GIZ and should technically be supported by two founding members of the alliance.
The services of the secretariat include:
Preparing and facilitating meetings of the Alliance Team
Managing communication and promotion (Website, SM, contacts, events)
Managing request from partners and other organizations (e.g. new membership requests)
Developing a concept to sustain the Alliance after the GIZ project
Supporting the work of the Keystone Teams (if required)
GIZ would offer to provide the first
Annex I – Draft for Declaration of Intent In order to be eligible as a Member of Western Balkans Start up Alliance interested, institutions and organizations have to fill out the following Letter of Intent:
1. Name of the startup/ institution / organization 2. Address of the startup/ institution / organization 3. Please provide 5 Action statements bellow on how you will commit in assisting the alliance. 4. By signing this letter of intent, the undersigned hereby confirms his intention the following:
1. to collaborate with the Western Balkans Start up Alliance and to contribute to the aims of the alliance 2. that no direct or indirect interest exists which may be considered as constituting a real, potential or apparent conflict of interest for your membership in the Western Balkans Start up Alliance