In the last few years, Serbia is striving to become a hub for startups in the fields such as biotech, medtech, and IoT among others.
The various incentives that Serbian authorities and ecosystem organizations are providing to startups, such as the case with the Serbian Innovation Fund and its early-stage support, has resulted in creating an ecosystem that has seen a rapid growth, mostly in the blockchain and gaming industries, but also showing a big potential in other areas as well.
While there are more than 330 active startups in the country, the rise in the number of biotech and medtech startups during the last few years is also expected to reap the benefits in the long run for the Balkan country.
In this article we will explore some of the promising Serbian startups that The Recursive met during a tour in the cities of Belgrade, Novi Sad and Nis, where they showcased their solutions, products and services.
Serbian startups an their founders and solutions
Founders: Petar Pejic
About: Beehold is a Serbian startup founded with the aim of developing solutions that digitize the process of beehive inspection through precise colony status information in real-time and AI- assisted suggestions for optimal beekeeping.
The system provides beekeepers with comprehensive information about the state of the hive, warns them of possible problems in time and gives recommendations on how to solve them, while increasing the yield and profit.
Most of Beehold’s team has been actively engaged in beekeeping for years, as CEO Petar Pejic and app developer Obrad Stajic recognized the problem and potential for the digitization of beekeeping while still in high school.
The solution of the Nis-based startup includes sensors that collect honeycomb content information, and enable users to see honeycombs content anytime and anywhere, and increase their yield with the help of an AI assistant. The total funding that the project has gotten so far is €115K, with Serbia’s Innovation Fund participating with €80K.
Name: Anoris Technology
Founders: Nikola Krstic
Anoris Technology is a Belgrade-based medtech startup developing a multifunctional glove designed to help persons with impaired vision. By offering 8 functions available with one button click, this solution will serve as a wearable assistive device for everyday activities and enable its users to enjoy a higher quality of living.
The Anora Glove project is worth €95K, out of which €75K has been invested by the Serbian Innovation Fund. It includes functionalities such as orientation, color detection, banknote detection, panic button, date and time, mobile phone connectivity, and light intensity detection.
According to CEO and founder Nikola Krstic, the production is based in Belgrade, Serbia and the first series of the Anora glove will be out in spring next year.
“In March next year we will be placed on the official list of assisted devices for blind people, which means that pretty much any blind person in Serbia will be able to get the device for free, which is our biggest success,” Krstic tells The Recursive.
The company’s plans to sell the product on markets including the US. The total investment that the project has gotten so far is €95K, with the Innovation Fund participating with €80K.
Metacognis is a startup that functions as an educative center which enables children and adults to learn new cognitive abilities.
Its projects include working on biophysical measurements necessary to know exactly at what condition the body is. Some of biophysical measurements are pulsoxymetry, psychology practice, performance of an act one or more times, with a view to its fixation or improvement; any performance of an act or behavior that leads to learning.
One of the Metacognis’ projects is NFB VR (Neurofeedback Virtual Reality), which serves as an educational, diagnostic, rehabilitative and preventive tool for the improvement and development of the cognitive abilities of people at all ages – from children to old age and all occupational profiles.
Founders: Milovan Medojevic
EnergyPuls is a Novi Sad-based hardware/software development startup that works in R&D, providing solutions for smart, automated and real-time system profiling in a comprehensive, easy-to-use and above all reliable manner based on energy flows.
One of its four products is the Current Profiler – a 3-channel intensity of electric current and energy consumption tracker and data logger for manufacturing centers aimed to ensure behavior profile of a system, process or a single machine.
According to co-founder and CEO Milovan Medojevic, the different solutions of the startup focus rather on the “good data” that can be extracted from big data when it comes to how systems and machines are performing.
“For example when we are running, we cannot do this indefinitely, because the brain or the body signals us that we are tired and need to stop. This isn’t the case with machines, so there still needs to be something that will give out that signal. Therefore, we are also known as “doctors for systems”, since based on how the energy is used, we can determine the state of which the systems are in and how they act,” Medojevic explains.
Founders: Milos Kostic
Charge&GO is a platform and mobile app for electric vehicle charging based in Belgrade. Its mobile app connects all parties which participate in the process of electric vehicle charging – from drivers to charging station owners and operators – facilitating simple management and scheduling of charging processes, as well as payment and invoicing. The Innovation Fund in Serbia has supported the project with €80K.
The Charge&GO platform enables users to manage their own network, control chargers, set prices, limit usage, and review all charging sessions, featuring a range of smart services.
The platform’s main clients are EV drivers, home owners as well as owners of residential properties, companies with their own fleet, delivery companies or commercial parking venues, car dealers, real estate developers, hospitality industry, restaurant owners, large retail chains and charging point network operators.
For CEO Milos Kostic, although the use of EVs is pretty new in Serbia, the goal is to create such an infrastructure in the country, which will then make the process of using EVs a lot easier.
“Our plan is to have the biggest infrastructure network in the region. First we are starting with Serbia and by the end of 2022 we will have 53 ultra fast chargers connected to our own application. Next year we are also expanding, so we are going to Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in 2024 we also plan to expand to Albania. We aim to become a regional player both in investing in infrastructure projects and in developing the app available for this market,” Kostic tells The Recursive.
Founders: Cem Aydogan
Phytonet is a Belgrade-based medtech startup that provides a novel solution for oral candidiasis treatment. While the company has a few international offices in thePhilippines and South Korea, its team consists of 50 people. 40 of them are based in Serbia.
Using its team’s knowledge in creating multifunctional food products and supplements, Phytonet has set out to produce a new product based on maqui berry that will be used for candidiasis prevention and eradication.
The company’s products called nutraceuticals are very close to pharmaceuticals, and usually its ingredients come from natural resources, such as plant extracts or bio-ingredients.
“These products are very demanding because of the cross contamination and very high sensitivity of the active ingredients during the formulation and manufacturing phase,” Phytonet’s COO Bojan Pavlovic, who has an extensive background in various pharma projects, tells The Recursive.
The startup’s latest formula is expected to significantly improve the therapeutic efficacy of oral antifungal drugs and decrease relapses, while also acting as a prevention agent in cases where oral candidiasis is likely to develop. Serbia’s Innovation Fund has supported the project with €210K, while the company has also been bootstrapping.
Founders: Vladislav Cosic
Canandi is a Nis-based startup developing a dog tracking system that consists of a collar for dogs, a receiver for the hunter and a mobile application, so that the owners know the location of their dogs during hunting.
The innovativeness of the solution is in the possibility of sharing data and joint search for a lost dog,dual network mode of transmission – IoT and GSM network, and ML analysis of collected data and creation of useful advice for hunters.
“We want to contribute to wildlife preservation and we managed to meet really passionate people who are devoted to their mission, so we want to help hunters in preserving the biodiversity and keeping the balance,” Canandi’s founder Vladislav Cosic told The Recursive.
The tracking system also provides the opportunity to connect the hunters in the smart hunting group where users can share points of interest and locate the dog if it is out of their range. The total value of the project is €114K, with the Serbian Innovation Fund backing the project with €80K.
The €145K worth project has been developed by a team of hunters, engineers, doctors of science, and business people from all over Europe.
If you want to recommend other projects for our mapping of Serbian startups, drop us an email at [email protected]