Meet the mentors, experts and entrepreneurs who will work with the startups on the pre-acceleration program.
Module: Setting up the milestones
Mentor: Sebastian Etiel, Business Development Manager, Leoni
Sebastian Etiel has more than three years of experience as Business Development Manager and has been part of the Key Account Management in the multinational corporation, LEONI AG, with HQ in Nuremberg, Germany. He is skillful in sales, customer relationship and business development, with strong understanding of the Asian market.
Before starting his professional career, he gained theoretical and practical knowledge in marketing, sales and business development throughout studying and internships in Germany, Canada, Belgium and China. The passion for sales, he probably inherited from his father who still runs an independent and successful sales agency.
Entrepreneur on board: Blaze Arizanov, Co-founder and CMO at StayUncle
Blaze Arizanov is a co-founder and CMO at StayUncle, India’s first online hotel booking portal for unmarried couples. His unusual guerrilla marketing methods ensured features of the company across internationally reputed media including Huffington Post and Business Insider. Blaze’s core specialities are startup marketing, storytelling, inbound marketing and fundraising. Blaze has already self-published two books and has successfully crowdfunded a trip to Tibet.
Module: Strategy and business model generation
Mentor: Tatjana Boshevska, Chief Information Officer, Seavus Group
Tatjana Boshevska is Chief Information Officer at Seavus Group. Previously, she held the position of Products Division Manager. Her responsibilities included: business planning, strategic positioning, research and development for new and existing software products, organisation, planning and monitoring of software production process, HR recruitment and people development as well as sales and marketing operations.
Prior to joining Seavus, she worked as the Managing Director and also become co-owner of Login Systems, one of the largest regional wholesale software & hardware distributors, software development and MS Dynamics Implementation Company. During first several years as managing director, she was responsible for operations, finance, logistics and HR. Later on, responsibilities further extended to marketing, software implementations services and software development, as well as sales and business development.
She started her carrier, 20+ years ago, as software developer and IT trainer.
Tatjana Boshevska holds an Executive MBA degree in General Management from the University of Sheffield as well as Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from St. Cyril & Methodius University.
Module: UX – Designing for use
Mentor: Alessandra Di Silvestro, UX Expert, Seavus Group
Alessandra Di Silvestro is an expert in User Experience. Her strong skills cover User-Centered Design, Goal-Oriented Design, Information Architecture and Usability. She has more than 18 years of experience in the field, while working in Italy, France and Macedonia. Alessandra graduated in Philosophy (course: Logic and Philosophy of Language) at Università degli Studi di Milano. She also specialized on User-Centered Design and Usability at SW Engineering Department of Politecnico di Milano.
Module: Inbound Marketing Best Practices
Mentor: Stefan Jordev, Internet Marketing Specialist, Seavus Group
MSc candidate in e-business management, Stefan works in the Products division of Seavus Group, covering marketing activities for upcoming and existing software solutions. With 5 years of B2B marketing experience Stefan loves telling stories, writing copy & converting clicks into conversions. The business software solutions he promotes have been installed on more than 6 million computers worldwide. This includes more than half of Fortune 500 companies. Stefan is Google AdWords Certified, Google Analytics Certified, HubSpot Inbound Marketing certified, and Ezine Articles Expert Author.
Module: Sales and Growth hacking
Mentor: Corentin Cremet, Entrepreneur, Business Developer, Senior Evangelist at Application Developers Alliance
After studying computer sciences at CNAM in Nantes and working for Microsoft and Orange, in 2005 Corentin Cremet started to provide Business Development Services (ORKA.co) for startups (Kazaa, Viva La Mobile, Dojoboost, Stratos Interactive, etc.).
Corentin has a wide network of startups entrepreneurs, media & IT companies in Central and Western Europe as well as the UK, US and Australia. Since 2010, he has been developing relations in Eastern Europe, especially Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Kosovo.
Corentin has been an organiser and facilitator of Startup Weekends in several Western and Eastern countries (London, Nantes, Skopje, Banja Luka 2011, Rennes, Cluj and Sarejevo 2012); and attended international conferences such as Mobile World Congress, CTIA, SXSW, Pioneers Festival…
He is currently conducting market research and scouting innovative companies for one of the leading mobile phone manufacturer; and advising numerous startups in Europe.
Mentor: Igor Popovski, Managing Director at GE Lighting
Igor Popovski is Managing Director and Co-owner of a private and family-owned company VSD Merkur – an exclusive agent of GE Lighting since 2001. He drove the growth of GE Lighting business from 5 points to more than 35 points of market share. In this period he assumed responsibility for 8 countries in the South-East Europe area. Previous to this role, he was the owner of a software development company and IT services, and a sales manager at the family owned company dealing with FMCG products.
Igor Popovski’s educational background started with General Economics studies at Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. Following this he studied IT and Programming at M&M College in Skopje, Macedonia and Tourism Management at the Faculty for Tourism and Services in Ohrid, Macedonia.
Module: Finance for non-finance
Mentor: Kristina Cvetanov, Chief Financial Officer, Seavus Group
As a Chief Financial Officer in Seavus, Kristina Cvetanov is responsible for leading Seavus’ finances. This includes the financial and risk management operations of the company, tax operations, investor relations, cash management, development of a financial and operational strategy, metrics tied to that strategy, and the ongoing development and monitoring of control systems designed to preserve company assets and report accurate financial results.
Module: Raising capital
Mentors: Ivana Stankovic, Investment Manager, South Venture Capital, and Darko Butina, Chief Investment officer, Netcetera
Ivana is an Investment Manager at South Central Ventures, which, through its Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF), focuses on fuelling the business expansion and growth of the most promising tech startups and companies in the Balkans. At SCV she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Skopje office covering Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo. Her extensive background in management consulting and corporate finance in the Balkans has enabled her to put it to work in the development of the young startup ecosystems of the said region.
Darko Butina is Chief Investment Officer of Netcetera. In the past, he managed several companies from different industries generating from 0 EUR revenues to 500 million EUR revenues. He has also funded and managed start-ups, raised funds for them, saw them fail and also saw them succeed. Among other achievements he led Slovenia’s biggest e-commerce player Mimovrste through turnaround to the largest exit for such company in Slovenia and the region. Darko has been also active in the start-up community for more than 10 years, sharing his experiences and knowledge with start-ups around Europe. He currently spends his time between Zurich and Ljubljana (with occasional visits to Skopje as well).
Mentor: Edi Demaj, Serial entrepreneur
Edi Demaj is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded and is a partner in various startups including Rocket Fiber, a Detroit-based fibre-optic Internet provider, iziSurvey, a survey application capable of working with and without internet to collect real time data while saving users money and time, Reozom, the go-to platform for people looking to sell and buy homes in Michigan, and Gjirafa.com. Gjirafa is the fastest growing brand among Albanians and one of the fastest growing brands in all of Eastern Europe.
The startups Edi is involved with have raised over $35M and operate both in US and Europe.
Motivation session: Be careful what you wish for
Mentor: Alan Schaaf, Founder and CEO, Imgur
Alan Schaaf is founder and CEO of the image-sharing app and website Imgur. Imgur started as a simple image-sharing website and evolved into the largest democratised image-sharing community. Under Schaaf’s leadership, Imgur was bootstrapped and profitable for five years, scaling organically to millions of users before finally receiving $40 million in investment from Andreessen Horowitz in 2014. Schaaf has previously been a speaker at TEDxWellington and TechCrunch Disrupt.