This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.


The Startup Scanner 2024 — a comprehensive analysis of the environment in which domestic innovative technology companies focused on the global market operate has been published. The research was conducted on a sample of 201 startups and was carried out within the framework of the 'Venture an Idea' project, which a consortium around our organization conducts in cooperation with the United States agency for International Development (USAID).

This fourth edition of the Startup Scanner 2024 continues the research from previous years, offering continuity in the analysis of the ecosystem's development and understanding of the challenges startups face.

The Serbian innovation ecosystem continues its impressive growth, with more than 300 new startups in the past two years.

'The research findings indicate that our ecosystem continues to grow at a high speed, which is visible not only in the increase in the share of 'young' startup teams that are still in the earliest stages of development but also in the increase in the number of founders under 30 years old in the ecosystem. This good news also brings with it the need for more support in the earliest stages of development,' highlighted Nebojša Bjelotomić, our director of the 'Venture an Idea' project.

The fact that more than 6,000 people are working in the domestic startup ecosystem at the beginning of 2024, which is almost double than two years ago, is a reason for optimism for all actors in the innovation ecosystem and the belief that knowledge and innovation are the right path for Serbia's further development.

'When we talk about plans for 2024, the research indicates that startups plan to hire 3,000 new people, reflecting strong optimism among all actors of the innovation ecosystem and great potential not only for generating new jobs but also for contributing to broader economic development. The success of our innovation ecosystem depends not only on the success of individual startups but also on the ability of the entire community to create a sustainable and dynamic ecosystem that promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and competitiveness in the global market,' emphasized Tadej Kurepa, the program director of the 'Venture an Idea' project.

The Startup Scanner identified access to funding, customer acquisition, and hiring staff with adequate skills as the three biggest challenges for startups in Serbia, while sales growth, product development, and an increase in the number of users are the most important goals of domestic startups. These are very similar results to the Startup Scanner 2022 and 2023, with this year's research highlighting the lack of sales personnel as one of the most serious challenges for the ecosystem. According to the research findings, at the beginning of 2023, more than 50% of startups planned to hire in the sales sector, but by the end of the year, less than 10% succeeded in hiring new team members to handle sales.

For further progress of this dynamic sector, it will be crucial to adequately respond to these challenges and help achieve goals, primarily through further development of support systems and organizations that play a central role in the progress of the innovation ecosystem.


This article is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this program are the responsibility of Nova Iskra and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government


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