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Meet 10 participants of the first edition of EWA programme in Serbia

The first edition of the EWA programme in Serbia officially began on the 16th of June. The event took place in Startit Center Belgrade, and it gathered the first cohort of EWA mentees in Serbia, along with the mentors.

04 Jul 2023
EIT Food North & East

After receiving almost 50 applications in the country, 10 participants were chosen, and they took part in the first event of the programme – Matchmaking, where they got a chance to meet the mentors who will be helping them in their entrepreneurial journey for the next 6 months.

After the introduction from the Matchmaking event hosts, Startit and EIT Food, all participants introduced themselves and their business ideas in three-minute presentations.

  1. Ana Nešić has built a platform that connects small food producers from rural areas in Serbia with customers in larger cities. Currently, the platform has over 138,000 consumers and a base of over 1800 food producers.
  2. Nela Jović wants to popularize the use of insects in nutrition and food production (specifically cricket Acheta Domesticus as a source of alternative proteins, Black soldier fly for composting, and mason bees for effective pollination).
  3. Dušanka Bakić Nikolić is making gluten-free flour made from crookneck pumpkin, thus providing more diverse and healthier options to people who suffer from health-related food restrictions.
  4. Azra Dogan wants to create a community farming system for single parents, which would accelerate the shift to joint, short-supply chains for organic food. The concept would have both ecological and societal impact on the community.
  5. Ivana Mišković is raising awareness of the importance of reducing food waste through the education of children and adults, which can be achieved by pasteurization, drying and other traditional procedures specific to the Serbian environment and climate.
  6. Marija Ignjatović is making dried fruit snacks (organic pear, organic apple and organic plum) - using innovative drying methods, respecting the principles of energy efficiency in cooperation with small producers of organic products.
  7. Nataša Pavlović Bujas wants to create an education center for students and young parents, with practical workshops and lectures about healthy and environment-friendly food choices, taught on the principle of learn-experience-implement-share.
  8. Jelena Ilić is developing a concept of urban beekeeping as a service, which includes: setting up beehives in appropriate locations in the city, monthly maintenance of the bee colony and education of the local community.
  9. Aleksandra Lazović-Lønningen’s startup called Eat Me App helps large retail chains and households reduce food waste by creating a digital marketplace for unsold food at discounted prices.
  10. Milica Anđelković is working on plant-based protein solutions, and her main product is a vegan sausage made from industrial hemp seeds.

The 10 mentors who joined the programme

  • Anđelka Ducić – marketing, sales, business development
  • Jovana Tomić – communications, entrepreneurship
  • Miloš Milić – product development, fundraising, agriculture, pitching
  • Milan Dobrota – product development, business development, agriculture
  • Bojana Mumović – marketing, food production, entrepreneurship
  • Dubravka Škunca – alternative proteins, LCA, education
  • Milica Trajković – agritech, project management
  • Kristina Beganović – sales, agriculture
  • Ljubica Ivanović – agriculture, pitching, entrepreneurship
  • Katarina Šonjić – design thinking, customer discovery, entrepreneurship

As the short intros were over, the next hour and a half was dedicated to meeting between the mentors and the mentees which was done in the form of speed dating. Each mentor and each mentee scored each other and the scores were used to create the best-suited mentoring pairs.

The second part of the event included training for mentors and mentees about IP law and all the important questions to have in mind when considering the process of protecting your intellectual property. The training was held by Ilija Janković, Attorney at Law specialising in IP and patent law, and it sparked a lively discussion with questions ranging from IP law in theory to specific cases of EWA participants.

10 mentoring pairs were successfully formed and began their work together after the event.

During upcoming months the Masterclass event and online trainings for the Mentees will be organized. The final local event – Pitching, will be organized as an open event and will be held in November. The final date is still to be confirmed.

The international final event of the EWA programme "Women in Agrifood Summit 2023" will be organized on December 1, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event will be open to a big audience and online participation will be possible. The details of the event are currently being prepared.

More information about the EWA programme are available on the official EIT Food webpage and on the Startit website.

About Startit

Startit is a Belgrade-based, grass-root non-profit association established in 2010, with the mission to provide meaningful, deep support to Serbian youth and entrepreneurs, improving life and work with technology. SEE ICT is developing the startup ecosystem in Serbia to foster higher employment and economic growth. With a team of experienced staff, a network of more than 100 mentors, and 1000+ events and projects that reached more than 100,000 people from Serbia, SEE ICT has established itself as a preeminent hub for youth entrepreneurship, education, social activism, and networking.

Learn more about Startit on their web page.

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