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

Belgrade is the financial and business hub of Serbia and Southeast Europe, with a booming IT sector on its way to become the largest industry in the Serbian economy.

While in Belgrade, be prepared to meet a large IT community, a great number of startups and digital companies and an innovative and creative workforce. Many international companies are present in the country, such as: Bosch, Michelin, Siemens, Microsoft, Panasonic, Cooper Tires, NCR, and many more.

The new energy and knowledge brought into Belgrade by this influx of foreign investment has started to generate new confidence and fresh enthusiasm through the local startup ecosystem.

  • founded locally and active globally

    Startup scanner from 2021. reveals that local startups are recording global successes, attracting large investments and acquiring them from leading global companies.

    Some of the local startups are defining unique marketing strategies, while others are creating competitive products and services for the future oriented users and markets.

    Here are some of the most successful startups from Serbia:

    NORDEUS - best known for its mobile football management game Top Eleven, which has over 240 million registered users. Take-Two Interactive acquired Nordeus in 2021. for up to $378 million. Through its recently established foundation, Nordeus is giving back to the community with the mission to improve the quality of the education that develops competencies, skills and knowledge needed for life in the 21st century.

    SEVEN BRIDGES - leading biomedical data company creating new ways to help researchers in institutions and biofarm companies even more and give them better tools for their research.

    EIPIX Entertainment - game development company acquired by Russian Playrix in 2019. Developer of HOPA games and other genres such as free-to-play, first-person adventure, third-person fighter, text-based adventure, and VR.

    3LATERAL - focused on digitalization of human appearance and motion, were acquired by Epic Games in 2019. They maintained their presence in Serbia where they are working on various high end projects, such as creating digital characters for The Matrix Awakens video game.

    TENDERLY - a leading platform for blockchain developers that makes it easy to create innovative web3 products, has secured an investment of $ 40 million under the B round of investment. The financing was led by the Spark Capital fund with the participation of existing investors - Accel and Point Nine Capital funds.

    ORGNOSTIC - People analytics platform for fast growing startups. Orgnostic won a seed round of five million dollars and the investment was led by Earlibird Venture Capital.

  • growth potentials within local sectors

    According to the Startup Genome report some of the identified strengths in Serbia are sectors: Gaming and Blockchain.

    The Serbian Gaming Industry report  is showing record revenues for the year 2020, pushing Serbia above the 100m in annual revenue threshold for the whole sector, and positioning it  as one of the best performing hubs for game development in this part of the world.

    The Serbian Blockchain Initiative is a non-profit, non- governmental organization dedicated to promoting blockchain adoption in the country and Serbia has become one of the top destinations for R&D and blockchain based product development.

    A comprehensive research conducted through Serbia Innovates identified two more  domains that have the greatest potential for growth and are a source of competitive advantage in Serbia:

    • High technology in agriculture and food industry
    • Advanced solutions in medical technology and biotechnology
  • support programs and funds for startups

    Serbia offers a variety of funding and supporting opportunities for startups and innovative SMEs.

    DIGITAL SERBIA INITIATIVE - Developing a strong, globally competitive digital economy in Serbia.

    STARTECH - Supporting innovation and digital transformation of the economy.

    SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PARK - Offers support to startups and growing tech companies.

    RAISING STARTS - A pre-seed program in Serbia that provides both professional and financial support.

    INNOVATION FOND - Supporting innovative activities and managing funding for stimulating innovation.

    KATAPULT ACCELERATOR - For startups in the early stages of product development and market conquest.

    SERBIAN GAMES ASSOCIATION - Dedicated to the development of the Serbian gaming industry.

  • tax reliefs and e - government services

    For the founders of innovative startups for a three-year period, there is a personal income tax exemption, an exemption from taxes and contributions in the amount of up to 70% for new employment and a 70% reduction in tax and contribution bases for employing repatriates and foreigners. If intellectual property is mainly created in Serbia by using the IP Box incentive, qualified income tax from deposited IS may be reduced to only 3% instead of the standard 15%. There is an increased deduction for R&D costs in the tax balance sheet, and a company investing in a startup is entitled to a tax credit of up to 30% of the investment.

    Any company can be incorporated digitally using only a qualified digital certificate (electronic signature) instead of going to the Business Registers Agency, and the minimum initial capital requirement is only RSD 100.

  • media, promotion and communication

    Get fresh information and news related to business-tech, startups, incubation and acceleration programs, conferences, events and other meetups.

    Netokracija - Business-tech medium that follows the culture of technological entrepreneurship, digital marketing and new technologies - in Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.

    Startit - Dedicated to the development of IT, entrepreneurship and new technologies.

    Startup portal - All of the information you need to run your startup in Serbia.

  • hubs and coworking spaces in belgrade

    Numerous hubs in Belgrade offer a variety of training, incubation programs, meetups and mentoring programs for entrepreneurs, innovative startups and businesses.

    NOVA ISKRA - Creates spaces and experiences for businesses to work, learn, innovate and create together.

    STARTIT - Space for individuals and teams looking for pleasant working conditions.

    ICT HUB Playground - A unique co-working space that inspires innovation and drives creation.

    IMPACT HUB - Work with focus and get connected with a vibrant and diverse community.

    DESK&MORE - Various options on where, how, and when you work.

    HAOS COMMUNITY SPACE - An invite-only coworking & community space for startups, people in IT and creatives in Belgrade.

  • education

    More than 3,300 software engineers graduate every year from Serbia’s 26 colleges, with the number of new graduates rising each year. Coding has been a mandatory subject from the fifth grade of elementary school, over 35 grammar schools now teach specialized Computer science classes and talented high school students can pursue a 4-year program dedicated specifically to CS. In addition, there are more than 80 specialized high schools for computer science and electrical engineering in Serbia.

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

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