The fourth and final best practices lab held on the 8th and 9th of October respectively in Trieste and Rovigo marked the conclusion of the BE.ST. [BEst practices exchange to STimulate Serbian SMEs growth] project, an initiative coordinated by INSME and implemented in collaboration with Cluster House and co-funded by the Central European Initiative – CEI under the Knowledge Exchange Programme.
The final event was designed for 6 young Serbian entrepreneurs whose business ideas were selected as the most promising ones among the 40 presented and analysed during the three best practices labs which took place in Serbia from April to June as well as on the occasion of the tailored mentoring sessions.
During the first day invited speakers coordinated by INSME President Sergio Arzeni discussed the crucial role SMEs play in the economic growth and highlighted the strong business relations between Serbia and Italy as well as the challenges small and medium companies have to face. Roberto Santolamazza, Managing Director at t2i – technology transfer and innovation focused his intervention on the diverse opportunities to fund an entrepreneurial journey – from the family support to the public funds, from business angels and venture capitalists to crowdfunding – and gave advises on how successfully approach investors by doing the perfect pitch and drafting an effective business and financial plan. The experts who enriched the session – Roberto Antonione, Secretary General at CEI; Ivan Curzolo, Director at Informest; Luca Rossi, President of the Young Entrepreneurs at CONFAPI Friuli Venezia Giulia; Robert Frandolic, President of the Slovenian Economic Regional Union (sdgz-ures) and Alberto De Nardi, CEO at Aton Spa – left the floor to the selected entrepreneurs who – coordinated by INSME Secretary General Giovanni Zazzerini – presented their business ideas and benefitted from the advices of the special audience that carefully listen to their presentations.
The second day was dedicated to a very stimulating visit to the t2i incubator based in Rovigo where, under the guidance of Roberto Santolamazza and Alberto Previato, Responsible of the Incubator, the Serbian entrepreneurs met incubated start-ups and better understood how the incubator supports their growth.
While the project comes to an end, it will represent the starting point to continue activities of this kind in Serbia and in the whole Balkan area.