BH TechLab - a platform that guides entrepreneurs to BH Telecom funds for startup development
BH Telecom launched the BH TechLab project a few years ago – a platform intended for the ICT startup community in BiH.
The idea of this platform is to continuously recognize and provide support for the development of new, innovative ideas and business models from a smart environment, with a focus on smart, IoT and cloud technological or business solutions.
On November 16, 2022, in the building of the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a presentation of BH Telecom’s Public Call was held, created to support the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in BiH through the BH TechLab platform, organized by BH Telecom and partners, the Federal Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts and the Ministry of Economy/ Chambers of Commerce of FBiH. Bearing in mind that the last three years have been a great challenge for economic development and society as a whole, BH Telecom has recognized that it is possible to face changes and accept them as an opportunity. The BH TechLab platform represents another step forward that BH Telecom, as a leader in the provision of telecommunications services in our country, made through additional investment in the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in BiH. The investment fund of 15 million KM is an indicator of BH Telecom’s commitment to continue to be a recognized and respected leader in socially responsible business.
At today’s presentation, on behalf of the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Minister Amir Zukić addressed the attendees, who expressed his satisfaction with the efforts that BH Telecom is making in order to build an environment where all young and creative people with promising ideas and all others who deal with the development of innovative ICT projects and solutions can find support. He emphasized that the Ministry strongly supports the innovation and startup development support program through the BH TechLab platform, saying that this support program represents an additional innovation in relations and a new approach in the cooperation of BH Telecom, the FBiH Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts because the mission of the mentioned entities matches in this part and it is a good upgrade of all activities with the aim of developing the sector of small and medium enterprises as well as trades.
The president of the FBiH Chamber of Commerce Mirsad Jašarspahić addressed the participants and guests at the presentation, saying that it is an exceptional honor and pride that the FBiH Chamber of Commerce, together with one of its most important members, BH Telecom, as well as the Federal Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, cooperates extremely well and leads the project of strengthening the startup community in our country in a partnership way. He pointed out that BH Telecom is not only a sponsor or donor of funds in this project, but the initiator and creator of the process, because the company’s management understands that startups and innovations are needed by everyone, and in accordance with its experiences and knowledge, it can be said that BH Telecom is the only one that has the strength and the ability to correctly and creatively lead them to progress.
In his speech, the General Director of BH Telecom, Sedin Kahriman, thanked the Government of the Federation of BiH, the Chamber of Commerce/Economics of FBiH and the Federal Ministry of Development, Entrepreneurship and Crafts for providing support and contribution to the organization of this presentation. Kahriman noted that in 2019, the 1st Sarajevo TechLab business and technology conference was organized, where a public call was announced with a monetary fund and an award for the best innovations, and then the first step towards startups was made, and he expressed his satisfaction that today there were some from the winners of those awards, active applicants, representatives of the academic community, as well as interested applicants. He also said that in 2021, a continuous public call was published with a fund of 15 million KM, which is still open, focused on the application of advanced technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, IoT and other technologies, and that this year a targeted program with a fund of 2 million KM focused on the application of certain areas was announced as part of a continuous public call.
“BH Telecom is going through a transformation, that is, a transformational path to a modern digital company, and this pillar of investment in startups and building a platform is something that is extremely important to us for the time to come and important for the further development of BH Telecom”, concluded Kahriman.
Haris Lučkin, director of the Business Development Directorate of BH Telecom and brand ambassador of BH TechLab, presented the public call for support to the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in BH in detail.
In his presentation, he emphasized the following: “We really want to be a key, active supporter of startups, young and creative people, so that we can all create key services that our society needs as soon as possible together in an optimal synergistic atmosphere”, as well as that “already established startups that have developed an innovative technological product and first customers”. He also emphasized the important fact that those who want faster growth and development (scale-up) can submit an application for co-financing of further stages of development through recapitalization, and that the public call of BH Telecom limited, with the deadline for submitting applications until the end of the current year.
As part of today’s presentation, visitors had the opportunity to listen to examples from practice through the experiences and advice of two successful startups, which are among the winners of BH Telecom’s awards through participation in the public call of the BH TechLab platform, the company Devoted d.o.o., which deals with the development of dedicated software solutions in the field of IT industry and industrial automation, and by developing its own industrial IoT platform “Herald”, as well as OD Vista Design from Jajce, which designed urban furniture with the functions of a digital info kiosk and a smart bench called “Viona”.