The Second Smart Up Conference

In front of a big audience, gather at the main hall of the Faculty of Economics Skopje, The Summer Work and Travel Alumni Start Up Academy participants presented their business ideas to a crowd of investors, business people, diplomats, and students. During the past 11 months, the alumni have been working on developing their business ideas into reasonable business models. Today we can proudly announce that the mission of the First Start Up Academy is completed. Our alumni have succeeded to start their first startups, are one step from starting them or are employed by some of the biggest companies in Macedonia. No meter where they are at this moment we are certain that in few year they are going to be one of the leading forces of Macedonia.

Maja Ilievska, Darko Nikolovski, Simona Ristovska, Goran Mojanoski, Olivera Kostovska, Zoran Nasteski, Aleksandar Iloski, Milan Mitkovski, Aleksandra Stojanovska and Aleksandar Poposki were the ten alumni that pitched their ideas.

The Conference was opened by H.E. Paul Wohlers, the Ambassador of the Unites States to Macedonia and PhD. Biljana Sekulovska Gaber, the Vice-Dean of Academic Affairs at the Faculty of Economics Skopje. At his remarks the Ambassador emphasized the meaning of the startups for the society, by stating: “The importance of start-ups and small businesses in the economy is undeniable.  Small businesses are a stabilizing force on the economy and one of most powerful engines for creating new jobs.  Entrepreneurs bring creativity and new ideas into the market.  They stimulate economic growth, open new business sectors, and keep economies competitive”. Mrs. Sekulovska Gaber stressed out the importance of the Alumni Association as a bridge between the academic and business community in the process of building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Macedonia.

The Conference was also addressed by the owner of the first saving house in Macedonia “FULM”, Mrs. Eleonora Zgonjanin Petrovikj and PhD. Stojan Debarliev, professor at the Faculty of Economics Skopje, who encouraged the young entrepreneurs to be brave in taking their first startup steps, but to be aware that the path is full of ups and downs, problems and challenges.

The Conference was live streamed on SWTA’s Youtube Channel:


USA Summer Work & Travel Alumni Macedonia (SWT Alumni) is a non-profit organization voluntarily formed by an independent group of students to exercise, care and align their interests and beliefs, as well as for performing the activities and interventions aimed at improving and promoting the position and status of the students who were, are and will be part of the USA Summer Work & Travel Program.

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