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

Advisor & Founder, Haos Community Space
COUNTRY: Serbia/Russia/US



What brought you back to Serbia?

I officially moved here in February 2022. I was coming to Serbia to visit my parents for years, but at the beginning of 2020, I decided I was going to move away from the US and live as a digital nomad until I found a place I like enough to stay. The pandemic has altered my plans and I spent a few months here in Belgrade but wasn’t seriously considering moving here until much later. I traveled around the world as much as I could over the course of 2 years, but kept coming back to Belgrade, loved it here and then had the idea to start a business here and make Belgrade my permanent home.

Where have you been before and what were you doing?

I actually lived all of my life outside of Serbia. My parents moved me to Moscow, Russia when I was 5 months, where I lived until I was 21 before moving to San Francisco to pursue my Master’s degree. In the end, I ended up working in tech and staying there for 10 years. I worked as a marketing professional at SAP, where I launched new products and SAP for Startups Program. Later on, I made my way into the startup and early startup world, ultimately ending up starting a martech startup of my own. Upon exiting my startup, I became the CMO of another early-stage startup and started actively advising startups worldwide, allowing me to work remotely.

How you saw a new opportunity to start something new in Belgrade?

At the back of my mind, I always wanted to do something for Serbia. I felt like my experience could be useful here, but I wasn’t sure how to start. I had ideas ranging from cafes to art clusters, tech startups to accelerators.
I was in Belgrade when the war in Ukraine began and the first wave of relocation and immigration from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia started. I helped a few of the startups I advised to relocate their employees while everything was very chaotic and uncertain. At one point I had a real coliving/coworking in my own apartment. What started first as a silly joke about me opening a Coworking ended up being a real business idea. I quickly realized that Belgrade was in desperate need of a more modern Coworking space that would inspire people. However, I didn’t want to do just Coworking, I wanted to build a community and help connect different parts of the ecosystem and newly relocated talent.



Do tell us about HAOS, about community and programs.
Haos is an invite-only community space for startups, IT professionals and creatives with a global mindset. We focus a lot on providing our residents with an opportunity to meet new people that could help them further their careers or business. We host regular weekly and monthly professional events with expert speakers, investors and other startup founders. However, we also do a bunch of social gatherings like happy hours, wine tastings, game nights and resident meetups.

Your plans for the future?
There are a few things we are working on right now. First, we’d like to introduce an accelerator and mentor program within Haos. We believe this would help startups get more support and knowledge regularly. Second, we are hoping to launch our second much larger location towards the end of this year/beginning of the next. It is all super exciting.

Your favorite places in Belgrade/Serbia?
My absolute favorite thing to do in Belgrade is take my dogs Cookie and Gemma for a walk around Kalemegdan early on Sundays, but make sure to stop for a coffee-to-go at Valentina & Karanfil or Artist Coffee shop.

I am a big foodie, so I like a lot of places here in Belgrade from everyday go-to Smokvica to special occasion Tisa New Balkan Cuisine, to places where I take all foreigners first – Ambar.

I am also a huge appreciator of wine, so I love taking a trip to Eden Winery during warm weather for great wine and food as well as the views.


This article 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 and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.





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