Catch the train from Bitola- successful start-up stories

The railway station in Bitola was symbolically used for the event “Catch the train, as it is possible from Bitola (too)” organized by the Preda Plus Foundation, marking the first anniversary of the Bitola Start-up Center, brining together all 4 generations of startups who came out of their accelerator and celebrating 10 years since the establishment of the Foundation that changes the landscape of the start-up scene in the Pelagonija region.

Many in their collective memory perceived the station in Bitola as a place of endings or place of separation. But today, it is a place where we sell ideas to the world through over 150 registered IT companies in the city, which mainly work outsourcing, said the moderator of the event, Ljubica Angelkova. At the event that took place in the multifunctional space of Jagoda Club, the band Foltin performed on a train wagon placed on the rails, creating music that is performed all over the world, but they live in Bitola, which is obviously not an obstacle for them to cruise the world musically.

The purpose of this event is to encourage new people to think about personal success and that is why Igor Izotov, start-up guru and member of the team Accelerator Lab UNDP, Elizabeta Memca Manager at ⋮IWConnect, Gorjan Jovanovski – activist and CEO of AirCare and Blagoj Micevski-costume designer, told their inspiring stories at the event.

Today we are here together to complete the project that proved that even in a more difficult year for everyone, it is possible to do it from Bitola too. I see generations of young people who have a strong desire for personal success, and through the start-ups they have presented they have put it in action, said Natasha Mechkaroska Simjanoska, coordinator of the project Strengthening Social Dialogue, implemented by the International Labor Organization.

Through this project, over 80 entrepreneurs with new business ideas are involved in startup programs, a total of 45 business model canvases of new business ideas were created, 17 mentors and business consultants were hired to support new startups. With the support of the International Labor Organization, 24,000 euros have been provided through EU funds for grants for starting new businesses. 9 new startups have been established, and 3 more startups participating in this program use support from other financial funds and instruments.

The program “It can be done from Bitola too” led by Preda Plus Foundation is realized within the Bitola start-up as part of the Local Employment Partnership (LEP) Bitola funded through the project Strengthening social dialogue, implemented by the International labor organization and funded by the European Union.