Impact Hub Belgrade Backstage: A story about 2018
4 January 2019 - belgrade

Welcome to Impact Hub Belgrade, let’s go to backstage! We’re satisfied with 2018 and everything we learned and achieved. Plenty of lessons and great moments too. So we wish to share the best of guidelines and quotes with you!

The core team in charge of the entire organization in our Hub during 2018. consisted of these awesome professionals: Nenad Moslavac (Co-Founder, CEO), Gaia Montelatici (Co-Founder, Lead Content Developer), Pavle Krivokuća (Maker, Business Practitioner), Sofija Vučeta (Community, Marketing & Communication Coordinator) and Dejan Rudaković (Host, Space & Event Coordinator).

Due to various personal and professional reasons, Sofija and Dejan are leaving our core team. They’ve shared some really interesting insights on their work and excellent advice. Perhaps in this text, you’ll find an idea you needed. Nevertheless, we hope it’ll serve as an inspiration for even more successful year!

Let’s see what we’ve asked the Hubbers…

1. What was the highlight of 2018 for you?

Gaia:
Definitely – the investment I made as an impact angel investor. It truly makes me happy when I’m able to support promising startups. We’re growing together!

Sofija:
Wow, we really did invest our energy into many projects. For sure, the best moments for me are the ones when I see progress. A result of an effort. I see those results clearly in startup development inside our network, like Whisperr or DeepNets for an example. When I see startup team growing through mentoring and our in-house support, those are all highlights for me.

Dejan:
One event takes the winning place for me – ReCap conferences and mentoring sessions. A lot of people participated in this event held here last May. Also, we’ve organized everything flawlessly, so I’m really proud of that one.

Pavle:
For me, hackathons were the ultimate highlight. Last year we had more of those, which I think is crucial for our success. We should do more of those.

Nenad:
2018 was a long year! One working day in Impact Hub Belgrade feels like three working days. Plenty of news:

  • Our new entity, Venture Growth accelerator, was registered; we founded this accelerator to inspire Impact Angels – investors to invest more in Serbian startups
  • Another one, Impact Angels Network, started as well; a huge step forward which is yet to bring benefits in years to come
  • Finally, we organized and enjoyed the presentation conference of aforementioned Impact Angels Network in New York during November

A word or two about the New York presentation. Various opportunities for US investors we talked about and how to work with Serbian companies, all of it inspired great reactions. We just showed the real potential of startups from Serbia! The day we organized the event was also Gaia’s and mine anniversary. When you own a business and love what you do, it naturally becomes a lifestyle!

2. The biggest lesson of 2018?

Gaia:
There’s plenty, but one shines the brightest. I tend to give my trust to people way too quickly. Furthermore, I tend to focus on too many things at the same time. During 2018, I’ve learned how to still give my trust, but also show more appreciation for diligence.

Sofija:
“Solid plan is one half of the success”. Definitely, that’s an important lesson. Since planning is the first half of success, I’ve learned what the second half is focused execution in the team. Such execution is challenging, it’s not something that comes effortlessly. Everyone in the team needs to adjust to other players, but wonderful results come from such collaboration and harmonious productivity.

Dejan:
We work with people, that’s our priority. Therefore, my biggest lessons came from working with the community. My communication skills sharpened during 2018, especially through practicing how to set boundaries and expectations. This positively affected my professional, but also my personal development.

Pavle:
The biggest lesson of 2018 for me: stick to proved models in business. When something works well, don’t try to change it, that just takes a lot of energy.

Nenad:
Two lessons from my side.

  1. Sometimes you just have to skip from overthinking to making a decision. We entrepreneurs just have to take a risk sometimes.
  2. Stay patient and trust the process, you’ll never know what will happen next. Things in life often evolve in unexpected ways, so current failures can become blessings!

3. As a core team, in which direction should we inspire members of Impact Hub?

Pavle:
Inspire them to communicate more. Community should communicate, it brings clarity and more opportunities. People often neglect this, the largest benefit of networking. All around you, there are professionals who can be your partners, clients, customers! As a Hub, it’s our responsibility to encourage connection.

Nenad:
First, I could answer this question with a joke. For starters, inspire them to wash their dishes after use, move the chair when they don’t use it… Hub is like a second home to all of us, so it makes sense to act accordingly. Seriously now, we have so many change-makers here, we’re probably not even aware how many! I think we should seek them and then, motivate them to recognize each other. An excellent place to do that is our Sexy Jazz Hour event, which combines enjoyment, connecting and learning every Friday evening during the entire year.

4. What kind of a mark did you leave on the community?

Gaia:
I find this question a bit challenging since I’m shy sometimes… But, it’s clear that I work really well with startups. Especially with founders – I just love to help them develop and that’s where my influence is the deepest. Somehow, I’m able to both push and pull them in the right direction. My energy and dedication also make a big difference.

Sofija:
Directly from my studies, I joined Impact Hub Belgrade and immediately started learning a lot about business and organization. As I progressed, my dedication to our grand vision left its mark. Also, a particular form of understanding – my capability to see the bigger picture. You can see things clearly when you work in different roles (marketing, PR, community management, etc.) as I did. In 2018, I was able to create a coherent process out of all those elements.

Dejan:
My mark lies in connections. This was more than work for me, because I made a lot of friends and somehow spontaneously, we worked well together. Community trusted me and that’s what made everything easier for everyone.

Pavle:
The launch of our community app was a major win. It enabled a new level of inter-connectivity here.

Nenad:
One action was certainly important. We’ve moved the project for women entrepreneurs called We Founders forward! Our goal is to work harder with successful women and support their businesses! They often need investments. As Impact Hub, we can help there and create various win-win scenarios, which also differentiates us on the market. Also, a significant mark is made with diversity and good energy.

5. What part of your work did you enjoy the most in 2018?

Dejan:
My role, Space & Event Coordinator, was exciting because I worked on different tasks. But, communication is my “cup of tea”. Just love it when I’m exchanging ideas with members, but also, with anyone new who enters the Hub. As a host, I was the one welcoming them in, so the core of my job was dynamic and uplifting.

Pavle:
Same here, communicating with people and learning through communication, that’s my fav part of work.

Nenad:
Oh, I love sailing. Interestingly, I didn’t think about that question before. I believe I’m good at organizing. Actually, I enjoy it when I’m empowering others. In my previous jobs as well, I’ve worked with smart and hardworking people, but they always gave me space to learn something new. Now, I’m able to identify in which role an individual could really thrive. The ultimate enjoyment for me as a manager is when my team has freedom to explore and evolve.

Gaia:
I’m the happiest in my job when someone succeeds! It’s no wonder that I enjoy my role: to help, support, push forward, celebrate the success of our startups… Every accomplishment should be celebrated!

Sofija:
Direct work with people. Out of all activities during the past year and ones before, community management and communication are my passions.

6. What are your top priorities for next 12 months?

Gaia:
First, to find seven startups for our Venture Growth Accelerator and boost their progress. Second, to grow our network of women entrepreneurs and women impact angels even more. Third, to strengthen our awesome community of change-makers and game-changers!

Sofija:
Professionally, I want to find myself in one field and focus on it fully. So in general, to find a direction. Also, to learn how to properly validate and acknowledge my effort and contribution. I’m so happy I had a chance to contribute to the wonderful mission of Impact Hub Belgrade! My wish and message for our dear Hub in 2019 would be: work smart, not hard.

Dejan:
To get more sleep! A bare minimum of three faraway vacations. I plan to continue learning German language and make some serious professional advancements. In 2019 I’m also starting my master studies abroad. Actually, Hub’s community inspired me to continue my studies, especially the girls from Via Academica.

Pavle:
Creation of long-term partnerships. I’ll also dedicate my next 12 months to working with promising startups in our intense programs.

Nenad:
It’s all about the team. I’d like us to stay a healthy, strong team that crushes together. Each new person brings something fresh to already dynamic environment. We need more consistency. I envision a team who works for themselves, not for me. Finally, I wish for us to succeed with our first investment into Whisperr, and to continue growing in 2019.

 

Did you find inspiration and motivation in these honest answers? If you like our approach, then become a member of an incredible community – join us HERE and let’s grow together!