“Being one of the first co-working spaces on the local market, In Centar was able to follow the growth of local startup community and to develop services that will answer their real-time needs.”
Marijana Marinković, Programme Director at In Centar has answered our questions about their team, partnerships, community, the future of coworking and more!
We are gladly introducing In Centar as CESAwards’ Serbian Country Partners in the season 2019.
Can you say a couple of words about the core team? Who are the heroes that help you to lead the company towards success?
“As you already said, they sure are heroes. My team is made of strong individuals who each give a unique touch to everything we do. We all love our work and that is something that makes a whole difference. When it comes to entrepreneurship, it is very important to love what you do, and when you are helping entrepreneurs to grow and succeed, you really need to be passionate about what you do. Željko is a co-founder of In Centar Hub and his vision is going strong even after 5 years of hard work developing and influencing startup community in Serbia. Maša is our Executive hero, that keeps the friendly and fun soul of our hub, for entrepreneurs to feel inspired and comfortable to develop their ideas. Marijana, my name look-alike is there to spice things up and to make every person that walks into our hub walk out as a friend. Marija is there to keep our startup community educated and connected. And I, as a program director, am here to build programs that will ensure growth of local startups and startup community itself.”
What role does In Centar play in entrepreneurs’ lives besides giving them space to co-work? What kind of other projects are you running right now?
“As our startup ecosystem grows, our services grow with it and a few steps ahead, to ensure our entrepreneurs will have all the support needed for their business to continue developing. For some, co-working is a way to live, way to do business and for us, it is a place where ideas turn to business and business turns into a global impact. So to ensure this, we made a set of services to support our entrepreneurs that include bookkeeping, legal, administrative and virtual services. Besides that, we are currently launching our inhouse StartIN Startup program. This startup program represents the methodological approach to business development. Through this program, startup teams will work on their business ideas with an individual mentor and a group of lecturers, experts from different industries. Longterm, StartIN startup program will serve as a platform for building a stable startup ecosystem of Serbia and as a connection to global startup ecosystems.”
As CESAwards’ Serbian country partners, why do you think our partnership is advantageous in regards to the CEE startup ecosystem?
“Startup ecosystem of Serbia is a developing ecosystem full of potential regarding innovative ideas and quality people. Through this partnership we will ensure better connection of our ecosystem with other CEE countries, that will enable the transfer of knowledge and experience between the countries.”
What does In Centar offer to their “customers” on top of a really nice place to work and its friendly and active community?
“In Centar is a Hub located in the city center. Being one of the first co-working spaces on the local market, In Centar was able to follow the growth of local startup community and to develop services that will answer their real-time needs. Besides the modern space that is adapted to diverse types of events, we organize workshops, courses, meetups, consultancy and a three-month program for starting a business. Through our work, we tend to deliver all infrastructure needed for starting and successfully growing a business.”
How would you describe the landscape of individual entrepreneurs in Serbia who choose to work in coworking spaces? What are the emerging occupations among them?
“I recently read one interesting quote that pretty much sums it all: „Startups are like fingerprints. No two startups are alike.” Our hub is all about diversity and knowledge sharing. We believe that as an entrepreneur, one always has to learn and develop their professional skills, so we encourage entrepreneurs from different industries to join our community.”
Do you have any good advice to young entrepreneurs who are about to start their businesses now? What counted as the biggest challenges for you?
“As an entrepreneur, you have to live your idea, so find an idea worth living for! In the beginning, you have to find the idea that keeps you awake at night and motivates you to get up every morning. But the rest of it, the rest of it is your team because that is the thing that will keep you going as far and as long as it takes for your idea to become a successful business. My advice for you would be to enjoy the process and to never stop learning and developing as an
individual. As an entrepreneur, you will face challenges every day, but once you start seeing them as an opportunity to grow you realize the only thing your success depends on is you.”
Since it is a much bigger trend to be an individual entrepreneur than it used to be a couple of years ago, how do you think coworking will look like in 10 years?
“Nowadays when individuality is on price and innovative ideas are welcomed we see more and more entrepreneurs that are brave enough to follow their vision. In a world that is changing and growing fast, we as individuals need to keep up, and we do that through community. In next 10 years, I see coworking playing an even bigger role in connecting startup community and being a platform for sharing the knowledge and enabling entrepreneurs to grow faster and to adapt better to all of the changes modern markets are bringing.”
Why did you decide to make your own startup program, and how does the process looks like?
“As a hub that works with the local startup community for more than 5 years, we realized that there is a need for one comprehensive program that will encourage new generations of entrepreneurs to start a business and for us to be able to build a more competitive startup ecosystem.
Developing a methodology for such a program is very challenging and intensive, but we managed to gather over 20 successful local entrepreneurs and experts to give us their experience and turn it to something that can be transferable to new generations.
This September, we are going to launch StartIN startup program and give 5 startup teams an opportunity to build their business smart, rather than hard and to learn from the best. To make the process more intensive and quality, each team will have its own mentor. This program is created to support new generations of successful entrepreneurs, but also build connections with global startup ecosystems.”