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Top 6 promising startups emerging from the Western Balkans

From AI, to e-commerce and various marketplaces for digital tools and services, we present our selection of the top six Western Balkans startups.
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The Western Balkans is proving to be a fertile ground for young and ambitious innovators, with the region also slowly emerging on the investors map in recent years. From AI, to e-commerce and various marketplaces for digital tools and services, we present our selection of the top six Western Balkans startups.

Name: Brand Solution, based in North Macedonia

North Macedonia-based Brand Solution is a digital marketing agency and an educational center for marginalized groups of society. Its main product is called “Best online assistant” – a marketplace where people with disabilities can acquire digital skills and knowledge in the fields of digital marketing and start a well-paid job.

The development of “Best online assistant” took two years and, and the social enterprise now is also striving to work on the inclusion of vulnerable categories of citizens in the North Macedonia’s labor market. At the moment Brand Solution is one of the most exciting startups originating from the Western Balkans and its CEO Elizabeta Jovanovska are also participating in the country’s strategy for hiring and employing people with disabilities.

Name: Erudera, based in Kosovo

Kosovo-based Erudera is an AI-backed education search platform, aiming to change the way students research their university and study program options using technology. The platform aims to help students make decisions which will be based on data and detailed information.

Through using AI and machine learning, with Erudera students can search for their ideal university and study program recommended to them based on their personality, academic achievements, career prospects, and personal preferences.

Name: Opti.Space, based in Slovenia

Opti.Space is a Slovenia-based SaaS productivity platform that helps hybrid workplaces achieve higher engagement and more employee interaction by rewarding desired behavior through gamification.

Founded in 2019, the Slovenian startup’s app called Culturate has four main features: Water cooler, Kudos, Location schedule, and 1:1 or group invites. The platform enables easy access to all team members and tries to substitute the advantages of an office filled with people eager to help, communicate and cooperate.

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Name: CodeWell AI, based in North Macedonia

CodeWell AI is a platform which allows companies to build AI-powered digital assistants which helps in streaming operations and improving customer experience. The product of the Macedonian company differs from other chatbots available on the market with its in-built features such as human-level communication, sales process, and advising.

As a company, CodeWell has been present on the market since 2011, delivering innovations to entrepreneurs and businesses around the world. The main focus of the CodeWell AI spinoff is on the banking market and the company offers the chatbot as a SaaS model.

Name: Orea Bazaar, based in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Orea Bazaar is an online marketplace that supports the handmade industry by helping local manufacturers connect with consumers from all around the world. The Bosnia-based platform focuses on an individual approach and the high quality of proposed products in order to obtain the visibility of the vendors and the right matches for users and customers.

So far, the Orea Bazaar works with over 150 active stores and offers more than 5,000 products, making it the largest marketplace for buying and selling handmade products in Southeast Europe.

Name: Konceptiva, based in North Macedonia

Konceptiva is a promising startup from North Macedonia working in the intersection of education and technology that implements a gamified HRTech platform for efficient training called Coach.

Coach makes reinforcement training easy to create and delivers it in a handy form of a content-based game that employees can play on their phones. By using the digital tool, employees can boost their knowledge and the employer gets detailed real-time information on the progress.

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Bojan is The Recursive’s Western Balkans Editor, covering tech, innovation, and business for more than a decade. He’s currently exploring blockchain, Industry 4.0, AI, and is always open to covering diverse and exciting topics in the Western Balkans countries. His work has been featured in global media outlets such as Foreign Policy, WSJ, ZDNet, and Balkan Insight.