Startup Weekend at the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Čačak successfully organised

The first Startup Weekend was held at the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Čačak on April 20 and 21, 2024, organized by the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Čačak and partner organizations: "Digital Serbia" Initiative, Garage by Tenderly, PwC, ICT HUB and USAID and Science and Technology Park Čačak.
There were over 30 registered participants, divided into seven teams. During two days of intensive work, they had the opportunity to develop their ideas, and at the same time attend lectures and workshops created by partner organizations.
On the first day, after registration and introduction of the participants to the organizers, the Startup Weekend concept was presented, as well as the agenda that awaited the participants. The opening speech was given by the coordinator of the Innovation Incubator at the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Čačak, welcoming all the applicants and presenting the basic terminology of startup entrepreneurship. The opening of the event was also visited by innovators from the Netherlands, who, in cooperation with the Science and Technology Park Čačak, started the development of their innovative product. After that, the teams had the opportunity to hear the development path of successful startup companies. Milan Đekić, in front of the startup Sezonal, told how his team came up with the idea, and in front of the startup Benefiti, Vladimir Jelić further motivated the participants with his development path. The first day was also spent in lectures and workshops, so the teams listened to the following: Canvas business model and idea validation process. They started developing their ideas with mentor support on the first day, as well.
On the second day, participants had the opportunity to hear a lecture on the topic of "getting to know the MVP concept" and were presented the ways to create final presentation, popularly called a pitch. In addition, the teams also had mentoring sessions and developed their ideas. The workshops and lectures aroused the great interest of the participants and were very interactive, which resulted in good preparation for the final presentation of ideas in front of the expert board. All seven teams had five minutes to present their ideas and five minutes to answer questions asked by the board, which was made up of representatives of the innovation community, the academic community and the local economy. The members of the board were: prof. dr Snežana Tanasković, president of the board, Vesna Baur, innovator and representative of the local economy, then innovation representatives - Nemanja Jovičić, coordinator of the Innovation Incubator of the University of Kragujevac and Mirko Pešić, director of STP Čačak and representative of the academic community, prof. dr Vladimir Mladenović. The teams presented their ideas, and while the board decided on the three best ideas, Valentina Gvozednović, in front of STP Čačak, presented the ways of support that STP offers to startups, and Milica Đoković mentioned that after the Startup Weekend, the participants will be able to develop their ideas with the support of the Innovation Incubator of the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Čačak.
The first-place team Stop smoking for good (SS4G), popularly called Noblice, won with their smoking cessation app. The second place was won by the Sirius team with its platform for meeting older people, and the third place went to the IT3 team with its startup idea Employee vacation management.
After announcing the winner, the dean of the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Čačak, prof. dr Danijela Milošević presented the prizes for the first three teams and then a photo session followed. The entire event was covered by the media on both days. This was a unique opportunity for young people to acquire additional knowledge and skills in the field of startup entrepreneurship and to get to know the innovative community of Serbia.