Home Startups 5 emerging startup founders from Southeast Europe to follow in 2023

5 emerging startup founders from Southeast Europe to follow in 2023

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The startup landscape in Southeast Europe is constantly evolving, with many exciting companies emerging across a variety of verticals such as AI, IoT, biotechnology and fintech, among others.

However, over the past few years, many founders in the region have faced different challenges, particularly when it comes to attracting investment for their startups and adapting to new market conditions.

Although each of these founders faced different and unique obstacles, they all have the same mission: to chart a path to success. In this article, we’ll take a round-up of some of the most promising founders we’ve come across in 2022 and are curious to follow in 2023.

Filip Arsov, Founder and CEO of Synapse Aviation – North Macedonia

Vertical: Aviation/3D visualization

Career path: With over 15 years of experience, Macedonian entrepreneur Filip Arsov has worked on a number of projects involving software development, game development, mobile application development, 3D visualization and animation, social media marketing, etc.

Arsov has also won numerous accolades, notably with his current startup Synapse Aviation. In 2010, he was recognized as the country’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the micro-enterprise category, and in 2018, Synapse Aviation’s Airport Briefing product won a bronze medal at the ‘Western Balkan Summit StartUp Games’ in London.

What his company does: Founded in 2016, Synapse Aviation aims to improve the safety and efficiency of the aviation industry through its platform called Airport Briefing. The platform provides operational visualization, seamless communication and information sharing for aircrew, while significantly reducing the risk of errors by facilitating all operations that take place on an aircraft.

This solution provides a display of airport information, routes, maps and charts, as well as information from supporting documents on aircraft flight operations, special airport procedures and emergency procedures. The startup recently received an investment of €200,000 from local Seavus Accelerator, which will be used to further develop the platform and expand its team in North Macedonia.

“The main objective will be the deployment of our product, Airport Briefing, within the 7 airlines of the Lufthansa group. Additionally, we will be working on a new functional module called Route&Area Briefing, which will complement the existing features and take our product to the next level, covering the entire briefing topic, providing our customers with full compliance with regard to Part C of the operational manual, our place of interest.” Arsov tells The Recursive.

Nikola Krstić, founder and CEO of Anoris Technology – Serbia

Vertical: Internet of Things

Career path: An entrepreneur and innovator since a young age, Nikola Krstić rose from high school student to CEO of IoT startup Anoris Technology. The Serbian entrepreneur’s experience also includes the development of a mobile application for basketball fans, a smart wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) device, as well as native mobile applications.

What his company does: The Anora is a smart glove that blind and visually impaired people can to use to orient yourself. The glove also includes features such as orientation, color detection, banknote detection, panic button, date and time, cell phone connectivity and light intensity detection.

According to Krstić, production is based in Belgrade, Serbia and the first series of the Anora glove will be released in spring 2023 and will be included in the official list of assisted devices for blind people, meaning that virtually all blind people in Serbia will do so. . be able to get the device for free. The company’s future plans include selling the product in markets such as the United States.

Svetlana Kordumova, founder and CEO of Pixyle – North Macedonia

Vertical: AI

Career path: Holder of a doctorate in multimedia and artificial intelligence from the University of Amsterdam, Kordumova has participated in numerous projects using AI and combining science, technology and fashion in recent years.

What his company does: Founded in 2018, Pixyle uses AI to identify fashion clothes in images. The startup also helps fashion retailers with image recognition solutions and enables them to deliver a better online shopping experience, drive online sales and improve catalog management efficiency through intelligent capture of product data.

At the end of 2022, Pixyle secured a €1 million seed round which, according to Kordumova, will be used to hire talent in the Western Balkans and will also expand its offering with new AI products in new verticals such as household items and furniture.

“Next year, we will launch a new product that uses Object Character Recognition (OCR) technology that allows our customers to recognize brands, material composition, size and country of origin “manufactured en” from a label in a fashion store. article, and in addition to markup, we will also provide auto-generated and SEO-optimized product descriptions,” Kordumova told The Recursive.

Albert Gajsak, founder and CEO of CircuitMess – Croatia

Vertical: EdTech

Career path: Another young innovator on our list, 23-year-old Croatian entrepreneur Albert Gajsak based his business when he was only 18 years old. Gajsak has participated in numerous competitions at robotics and innovation fairs where he presented his inventions and products.

What his company does: CircuitMess is a team of 20+ young professionals working to develop STEM gadgets that teach kids about technology, programming, and electronics. So far, the Croatian startup has sold more than 72,000 STEM educational kits to more than 30,000 customers worldwide.

Currently, CircuitMess is also collaborating with Warner Bros to develop a so-called CircuitMess Batmobile, and by 2022 the Croatian company has also announced a agreement with retail giant Walmart, which will see its STEM toys and products sold in stores across the United States.

Ervin Kalemi, Founder and CEO of Publer – Albania

Vertical: Social Media/Marketing

Career path: Having more than 10 years of experience in software development, the Albanian entrepreneur successfully launched the social media management application Pubr. After graduating from the United States, Kalemi returned to Albania where he founded Publer in 2012. His main goal is to create applications that help businesses build their online presence.

What his company does: Editor help businesses, freelancers, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses are increasing their presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, among other social media channels. Currently, the company has over 150,000 users.

As Kalemi looks to grow Publer further in 2023, he is also working on his second startup called Kibo, which is a unified inbox for emails and messages aimed at helping businesses respond more quickly to their customers.

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