macedonia2025 - 2021

MACEDONIA2025

Hybrid Summit 2021 – Overview

The Macedonia2025 Summit is a premier regional gathering that serves as a platform for sharing knowledge, connecting organizations,
and inspiring change in Southeast Europe.

Due to the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Summit will take place in a hybrid format, with a focus on boosting economic growth and showcasing regional success stories, with digitalization as a cross-cutting theme. The Summit participants will provide discussion, knowledge and experiential exchanges among governments, medical representatives, academia, businesses, NGOs and other high-level representatives.

Given the restrictions related to Covid-19, the safety measures put in place for the event include reduced capacity. Therefore, the number of in-person tickets is limited.
You can register for in-person or online attendance on the link below.

Online attendance – 20 EUR
In-person attendance – SOLD OUT

Note: In-person tickets will be issued on a first come first served basis.

Opening Remarks
Michael Cklamovski

Michael Cklamovski

Managing Director and Market Leader - CIBC Bank

Michael Cklamovski serves as Managing Director and Market Leader with CIBC Bank USA in San Francisco. Cklamovski works closely with business principals, leading a team built to provide tailored banking solutions to strategic clients. He is attuned to client’s personal and professional interests and helps business owners, entrepreneurs, senior executives, and multigenerational families navigate significant crossroads in their financial lives, providing them with the resources and counsel required to make sound decisions.

Prior to joining CIBC, Michael held roles of increasing responsibility at Bank of America in Chicago. Before his career in finance, Cklamovski was a litigation attorney focused on tax and real estate issues appearing in both state and federal court. Michael earned a B.A. with dual majors in Political Science and Communication from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as well as a Juris Doctor with Honors from the Northern Illinois University College of Law. Cklamovski is the Chair of the Macedonia2025 Board of Directors.

Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevski

Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevski

CEO Macedonia2025

Prof. Dr. Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevski is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Macedonia2025. Nikica’s prior experience was in academia, where she served two terms as dean of the business school, as well as in public administration where she held the positon of Head of Macroeconomic Department at the Ministry of Finance of Macedonia.

Nikica has extensive experience of over 19 years in research, consultancy and advisory in economic policies, labour markets, social systems and education in Macedonia, as well as the Western Balkan region. She has worked with major international economic organizations and institutions, such as the World Bank, ILO, RCC, UNDP, UN Women and the European Commission. She has served as an economic and labour market advisor to the government institutions in the Western Balkan region. Mojsoska-Blazevski is author of many journal articles and several book chapters, and member of the world-renewed research associations.

Nikica is a member of several professional organizations, including the Management Board of the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia, Audit Committee of the Sparkasse Bank-Macedonia, and Board of trustees of the Macedonian Foundation for Enterprise Development, as well as of several academic networks.

Opening Address
Stevo Pendarovski

Stevo Pendarovski

President of N. Macedonia

Stevo Pendarovski is the President of the Republic of North Macedonia. He graduated in 1987 at the Faculty of Law “Iustinianus Primus”, University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, Skopje and obtained M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute for Political, Legal and Sociological Research, University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”.

For the past 11 years, he was a Professor at the UACS School of Political Science, teaching International Security, International Relations, Introduction to Politics, Globalization, Geopolitics, US Foreign policy, EU Foreign and Security policy, and Small States in World Affairs.

In the period 1998 – 2001, he was Head of Analytical and Research Department in the Ministry of Interior and ministry’s spokesperson.

From 2001 to 2004, he was National Security Advisor of the President of the Republic of Macedonia. From 2004 to 2005, he was President of the State Election Commission. In the period 2005 to 2009, he had position Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic of Macedonia. From 2016 to 2017, he was Member of Parliament. From December 2017 until May 2019, he was National Coordinator for preparation of the Republic of North Macedonia for NATO membership

Keynote Address
Marcelo Claure

Marcelo Claure

CEO, SoftBank Group International
Mike Zafirovski

Mike Zafirovski

Co-founder and Member of the Board of Directors at Macedonia2025

Mike Zafirovski is Founder, Chairman, and President of The Zaf Group, a family office investing and advisory firm. The Zaf Group acquires and operates well-run family businesses with revenues between $50-300 million, with intention of owning in perpetuity.  The Zaf Group platform companies are unified by a common set of core values of high values/impeccable integrity, high expectations for results, commitment to people and leadership development and meritocracy. Currently, the two platform companies are ACP CreativIT, focused on IT products and services and ABCO Systems, a systems integrator for material handling equipment for warehouses and distribution where Mike serves as chairman.  Mike’s wife Robin serves as co-chair of The Zaf Group and as a board member of ABCO Systems.

In addition, Mike is an executive advisor to The Blackstone Group (since 2011), and he sits on the boards of Stericycle (since 2012), Apria Healthcare (since 2011), and evolve24 (since 2016). He previously served on the board of directors of Boeing from 2004 through April 2020.

During his corporate career, Mike served as President/CEO at Nortel, Motorola, and five GE businesses. In 21 years of P&L responsibility, revenue growth exceeded 8% per year, annual productivity averaged over 6% and EBITDA margin increases averaged 350bps per year.

From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Zafirovski was appointed by the President of the United States to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), providing recommendations to the president on a wide range of policy issues related to telecommunications, IT, cybersecurity, and other national security concerns.

The Zafirovski Family Foundation (established in 2005) activities focus primarily on education, healthcare, faith-based ministries, and economic development. A native of Macedonia, Mike is co-founder of Macedonia 2025 (www.macedonia2025.com), an organization dedicated to enhancing the country’s economic and democracy development. He established the Zafirovski Executive Development Program, where in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management, Macedonia 2025 is seeking to accelerate development of 100 future CEOs and CXOs in the country. Mike is also the Chairman of the board of AUSL (www.ausl-chicago.org), an organization that is successfully driving education equity at 31of the most challenged public schools in Chicago (each of these formerly failing schools has moved up in performance ranking, with 81% in good standing). In 2009 Mike co-founded the Faith at Work ministry at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois.  His other involvements include: Council of Chief Executives (Chairman), American Enterprise Institute (member of Midwest Council), The Halftime Institute (completed the Fellows Program in 2017), The Economic Club of Chicago (member, former director), and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs (member).

Mike holds a B.A. in mathematics from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania where he captained the soccer and swimming teams. In 2002, Edinboro University awarded him an honorary doctorate degree in public service.  He is a visiting lecturer at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He and his wife, Robin are on Duke University’s Parents’ Committee (former national chairs).

He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2004; the Distinguished Leadership Award from the NY Hall of Science in 2008; the Medal of Honor from the President of Macedonia in 2013;and the inaugural John L. Bitove Philanthropy Award in 2018. In addition, The Navy Seal Foundation bestowed on Mike and his wife, Robin the “Patriot Award,” in recognition of their extensive philanthropic contributions to society, commitment to the Navy Seal community, and spirit and example of Patriotism in 2018.

Mike and Robin, married for 37 years, have three sons, all of whom are married, and four grandchildren.  Mike’s hobbies include anything with family, mentoring, friends, travel, and sports (he completed the Kona Ironman Triathlon in 2018).

Digital Transformation: Necessary Disruption or Competitive Advantage
Vasko Kronevski

Vasko Kronevski

CEO at Nextsense

Vasko Kronevski, B.Sc. Degree in Information Technology is an established entrepreneur and digital transformation strategist focused on the economic growth of organizations utilizing digital transformation solutions.

He has been developing his expertise in digital transformation and ICT business since 1996, being General Manager at software development companies. Vasko is CEO and co-founder of Nextsense, ICT company specialized in digital transformation solutions founded in 2001 and digital transformation leader in the CEE region. Vasko is responsible for shaping the vision, strategy, and directly involved in the digital transformation products strategy.

Vasko’s carrier development encounters more than 25 years of professional experience in driving digital transformation processes for prominent enterprises in the telecom and finance industry, as well as governmental institutions across Europe and wider. During his professional journey, he established a valuable partnership with business, government, and academia to generate opportunities and build capacities for sustainable economic growth, helping them build a stronger organization and improve their business opportunities. He is skilled at identifying key economic challenges of organizations and guiding them in implementing digital solutions.

His strong vision and expertise in ICT and sustainable economic development placed him among the most engaged experts and digital strategists on international projects and speakers on a wide array of high level (reputable) conferences.

As a strategist, strong analyst and mediator, Vasko has been a member (past and present) in many distinguished professional bodies: World Information Technology and Service Alliance (WITSA) Member of Board; MASIT – Macedonian ICT Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Assembly, President of the Board; Vice President; Steering Committee Coordinator; South East Europe ICT Forum Private sector board member; Member of EBA-European Business Association; e-Democracy Conference Chairman.

Fatmir Bytyqi

Fatmir Bytyqi

Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Coordination of Economic Sectors and Investment
Rachel Galloway

Rachel Galloway

UK Ambassador to North Macedonia

Her Majesty’s Ambassador to North Macedonia

Ms Rachel Galloway has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia.

Ms Rachel Galloway

Full name: Rachel Galloway
Married to: Thomas Galloway OBE
Children: Two

CURRICULUM VITAE

2015 – 2018 Chair Mashrek Maghreb Working Group, European External Action Service
2012 – 2015 Head Neighbourhoods Team, UK Permanent Representation to the EU (UKREP), Brussels
2008 – 2011 FCO, Deputy Head International Organisations Department
2007 – 2008 FCO/Department for International Development, Head of Darfur Section, Sudan Unit
2006 Her Majesty’s Treasury, Counter-Terrorism Review Team
2006 Helmand, FCO Representative, Lashkar Gar Provincial Reconstruction Team
2003 – 2006 Washington, Second Secretary (Political)
2002 – 2003 FCO, Jamaica and Cuba Desk Officer
2001 – 2002 Parliamentary Researcher

 

Andrew Wrobel

Andrew Wrobel

Founding Partner at Emerging Europe

Andrew Wrobel is the Founding Partner of Emerging Europe, a London-based intelligence, news and community platform, and the leader of the Tech Emerging Europe Advocates initiative, a member of the Global Tech Advocates network.

Trained as a journalist, he specializes in technology and innovation, foreign direct investment, nation branding and soft power, and cross-cultural communications. Andrew regularly interviews political and business leaders and speaks at or moderates international political, economic and technology events, where he promotes discussion about emerging Europe. He is also a juror at various international business-related competitions, a media coach, a location promotion trainer and a media commentator.

He has authored and contributed to a number of international business, investment and trade-related publications.

Technologies for Combating Climate Change (Lifestyles for a Greener Future)
Mihail Mateski

Mihail Mateski

CEO at GREENTECH

Biography of Mr. Mihail Mateski

CEO and Owner of the companies GREENTECH in Serbia and N.Macedonia, PET bottle and waste plastic recycling industry. ,

Co-founder and Board President of the Serbian Association of Packaging Waste Recyclers, Co-founder and President of the Macedonian Solid Waste Association (MASWA),  member of CANSEE – Canadian-Serbian Business Association, Macedonia2025 Adisory Board member.

Highlights of expertise: packaging waste management ,waste plastic processing, business development, sales, international trading, production management and team leadership.  Working experience of 24 years:  17 years  at position of CEO/General Manager, 2 years in business consultancy and 5 years in sales management.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at State University of Macedonia. Northwestern University-Kellogg School of Management, Advanced Management Program Certificate.

Naser Nuredini

Naser Nuredini

Minister of Environment and Physical Planning

Naser Nuredini is the Minister of Environment and Physical Planning of the Republic of North Macedonia.

He was born in Tetovo, North Macedonia. He moved to Vienna as a child and was educated at the Vienna International School before completing his higher education in the United Kingdom.

Naser built his career in finance in London and Vienna, first as an analyst and then as an investment manager for the central and eastern European markets. His core goal during this period was to drive good quality, clean and green investments in his home region, to use his cross-border experience to be a bridge between the west and the east.

This awakened his passion for green economics – a modern approach to environmental management that creates jobs while looking after the health and long-term wellbeing of its residents.

Nikola Ljushev

Nikola Ljushev

CEO at Makedonski Telekom

Nikola Ljushev is the Chief Executive Officer of Makedonski Telekom AD as of 1 July 2018. He gained his extensive experience in the telecommunication industry holding some of the highest management positions in Deutsche Telekom Group, in Cosmofon, as well as in the Telekom Austria Group.

Currently, Nikola Ljushev is an Executive member of the Board of Directors of Makedonski Telecom AD, board member of the Economic Chamber of Macedonia and a Board Member of AmCham Macedonia. 

Before he becomes a CEO of Makedonski Telekom AD, Nikola Ljushev has been the Chief Executive Officer of Crnogorski Telekom.  Also, from 2007 to 2015, Ljusev was in the top management of Telekom Austria in Macedonia as Chief Executive Officer of Vip, and after the merger of Vip and One, he was a CEO of one.Vip, from 205 until 2016. Ljusev was also the Chief Technical Officer at Cosmofon from 2003 to 2007.

He started his career in telecommunications in Makedonski Telekom AD in 1997.

He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from University “Sv.Kiril I Metodij” in Skopje, N. Macedonia and additional education in corporate management at many foreign universities, including Harvard Business School, INSEAD and University of Chicago. and others.

Gorjan Jovanovski

Gorjan Jovanovski

Founder of AirCare - IT Consultant, Eco Activist

Gorjan originally comes from the small country of Macedonia, but moved to The Netherlands in 2015 after getting his bachelors Computer Science and Engineering degree in Skopje. He graduated “cum-laude” as a Master of Software Engineering at the University of Amsterdam in 2016 and has worked as a developer and manager at Booking.com in Amsterdam.

Being involved in the 3000 strong eco-movement in Macedonia since 2014, he actively looks for ways on how technology and data can contribute towards the battle against air pollution. Following this passion, he built AirCare, the air-quality tracking app, which is being used by over 500.000 people.

The desire to spread Macedonia’s story together with his love for public speaking, Gorjan has held both tech and motivational talks at numerous conferences, even being invited to hold his own TED talk in 2018 under the name “The Data I Breathe”.

Since 2020, Gorjan has focused all his efforts on building AirCare as a brand for activists and citizens in areas of high pollution around the world. He was awarded the 2020 Macedonian Quality award by the President of the republic, the Europe’s Best Young Entrepreneur award for 2020 by the World Summit Awards, as well as a global award by the UN for his efforts with AirCare.

He also co-founded Green Humane City (Zelen Human Grad), a coalition of activist and eco organizations that have been fighting for a better Skopje since 2020, and is running for an independent Skopje city council member in the local 2021 elections.

Aleksandra Anić Vučinić

Aleksandra Anić Vučinić

Head of Department for Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Faculty, University of Zagreb

Aleksandra Anić Vučinić was born on December 19, 1970 in Hilversum, the Netherlands. In 1995, she graduated at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, majoring in biochemical engineering, and was awarded the Rector’s Award for the best student work in 1995. She obtained the title of Doctor of Science on April 10, 2008 by defending his doctoral dissertation on “Optimization of the technological process of wastewater treatment in constructed wetlands.” Since 2011 she has been employed at the Faculty of Geotechnics, University of Zagreb, where she currently holds the position of Head of the Department of Environmental Engineering and holds a number of courses in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies in Environmental Engineering.

She devoted her primary scientific research focus on waste management and the circular economy. She is the author and co-author of more than 100 scientific and professional papers. She has led and / or participated in a number of professional and scientific projects in the field of environmental protection and waste management. She articipates in the establishment and implementation of special waste management systems at the state level.

She is the president of the Croatian Association for Waste Management (HUGO), which is a member of the International f Waste Management Association.

Winning the Future: Countries and Businesses
Ivana Stankovic

Ivana Stankovic

Strategic Advisor at FITD

Ivana Stankovic is a financial expert with 14+ years of experience in the private and the government sector.

 

Currently she is engaged as an adviser at the Fund for Innovations and Technology in North Macedonia, a leading government organization responsible for the development of the Macedonian startup ecosystem. At the Fund, she has been instrumental in developing of the organization’s new portfolio of products, including the Corporate Innovation Program, the National Startup Council, the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (in development), and the government’s first ever Investment Fund.

 

Previously she held the position of Special Adviser at the Ministry of Finance where she provided advice and expertise on matters related to financial system and macroeconomics, international finance, and public debt management, as well as overall public finance management. She was responsible for communication with major international financial institutions related to public debt and providing financing for capital investments and other projects. She organized and supported the process of passing legislation for several laws in the field of public finance management. From 2015-2019 she was an Investment Manager at South Central Ventures, a VC fund with 40 million EUR of assets under management focused on tech companies in the Balkan region. There, she was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Skopje office as well as the business development for the Macedonian, Kosovo, and Albanian markets. She led 5 investment processes in companies, ranging from 100,000 to 500,000 EUR initial investment each, from the initial stage of deal sourcing to closing and monitoring of the investment. One of the companies went on to raise over 30 million EUR later on and is one of the most successful ones in the portfolio.

 

She holds a Graduate degree in Financial Management from the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje, North Macedonia and has passed Level I of the CFA Program provided by the CFA Institute.

 

Isabella Wang

Isabella Wang

Social Entrepreneur, COO, Speaker, Author of the Digital Mind of Tomorrow, Digital Transformation

Social entrepreneur, business leader, international speaker, and book author. Isabella is on a mission to humanize the world by leveraging the power of technology. From her expert knowledge of digitalization to her visionary work on her debut book, The Digital Mind of Tomorrow, she is paving the way for sustainable business in the new digital world.

 

Isabella’s forward-thinking approach to digital transformation is also demonstrated in her work as COO at the Creative House and as Board Member and Operations Director at the New York Marketing Association. With years of experience working and building business communities, Isabella is dedicated to supporting ambitious individuals and businesses to unlock growth in a world of change through game-changing marketing strategies, thought leadership, technology, and resource sharing.

 

When she is not replying to emails, you’ll find her enjoying outdoor activities, meditation, and smoky red wines.

Ville Korpela

Ville Korpela

Futurist and Impact Strategist, Fellow at Dubai Future Academy

Ville Korpela is Executive Director at Impact Innovation Institute in Finland and a Fellow at the Dubai Future Academy in the United Arab Emirates. He advises governments, multinational corporations and investment funds on megatrends, strategy, foresight and emerging technologies. Ville is a regular contributor to Arabian Business and serves as an expert member in several World Economic Forum projects focused on sustainability and long term value creation. Ville is currently writing a book on impact investing strategy and how emerging technologies are shaping the world of tomorrow.

Kosta Petrov

Kosta Petrov

Managing Director at FITD

Kosta Petrov is an international entrepreneur with 15+ years of global experience in startups & business development and strategic communications.

Currently he is Managing Director at North Macedonia’s Fund for Innovation and Technology Development, a government organization managing a EUR 86 million investment portfolio & responsible for positioning North Macedonia as the region’s startup and innovation hub. During his term as a Director, Kosta has introduced various initiatives for the transformation of the Macedonian startup ecosystem including: the country’s first ever “National Startup Council”, the Fund’s first ever “Corporate Innovation Program”, and a brand new investment portfolio with focus on Aggrotech, supply chain for startups and impact businesses. During his term, the Fund also finalized the launch of the government’s first ever EUR 27 million Investment Fund.

Kosta is the Founder of P World (www.thepworld.com) a leading events & comms agency, (with offices in North Macedonia & Canada) operating in 40 markets across Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and North America.
Kosta is also a bestselling author in North Macedonia and editor of the “Little Black Book of PR”.

Top economists - Hot economics
Aleksandar Stojkov

Aleksandar Stojkov

Prof. at Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law

Aleksandar Stojkov is full-time professor of economics at the Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. He finished his PhD studies in international economics in October 2009 in the United Kingdom, and pursued postdoctoral research in CIRANO, Canadian inter-university research centre. Stojkov has published numerous academic articles in peer-reviewed journals indexed in Web of Science, mainly in the areas of international macroeconomics. He served as a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, non-executive member of the National Bank board, and a member of management and supervisory boards of few institutions and companies. Currently, he is a member of the Growth Committee of Macedonia2025 and of the national Chamber of Commerce Assembly, and member of the American Economic Association and the International Trade and Finance Association.

Vassilis Monastiriotis

Vassilis Monastiriotis

Associate Professor of Political Economy at the European Institute, Director of LSE Research on South East Europe

Dr Monastiriotis is Associate Professor of Political Economy at the European Institute, London School of Economics. He is Director of the LSE Research unit on Southeast Europe and holds affiliations with LSE’s Department of Geography and the Hellenic Observatory. His research focuses on economic policy and performance at the regional, national and supra-national levels, with emphasis on labour markets and economic development. He has published numerous articles in economics and regional science journals, including Regional Studies, Urban Studies, the Journal of Regional Science, the Cambridge Journal of Regions Economy and Society, the British Journal of Industrial Relations, the Journal of Common Market Studies, the European Journal of Political Economy, Oxford Economics Papers and others; has strong media and consultancy experience; and has received various distinctions including the Moss Madden Medal in Regional Science (2008). He has a PhD in Economic Geography and MSc and BSc degrees in Economics. He is Co-editor of Spatial Economic Analysis (Taylor & Francis).

Peter Sanfey

Peter Sanfey

Deputy Director, Country Economics and Policy, EBRD

Dr Peter Sanfey is Deputy Director for Country Economics and Policy within the Economics, Policy and Governance Department at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. Between 2017 and 2020 he was also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe group within the European Institute, London School of Economics. He holds a BA in Economics from Trinity College Dublin and a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. He was a lecturer in economics at the University of Kent at Canterbury prior to joining the EBRD. Dr Sanfey has published widely in academic journals and edited volumes on various topics, mainly covering transition economics, macroeconomics, labour economics, and subjective measures of well-being. For more than two decades he has been analysing economic developments and reform challenges in south-eastern Europe and he has co-authored two books and numerous journal articles and book chapters on this region. Since September 2018 he has been leading an initiative on developing a Knowledge Management framework within the EBRD.

Trajko Slavevski

Trajko Slavevski

Professor of Economics, UKIM

Prof. Trajko Slaveski was born in Ohrid in 1960. He is Full Professor at the Faculty of Economics – Skopje, Sts. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. He has studied at the same university and has completed graduate work in the USA (California State University -1986/87, and Harvard University -1989/90).

In the past. Prof. Slaveski has served as a Minister of Development (1999-2000), and Minister od Finance in the Macedonian government. While in Government, he has initiated and led numerous reforms in the economic and financial systems of the country. He has also recently been elected as a member of the City Council of Skopje. Prof. Slaveski has been a long-time active participant in the domestic public policy debates regarding economic and financial issues.

He is also a prolific author of 8 books (several co-authored) and numerous articles in domestic and foreign academic journals, and popular press as well. Earlier this year he has co-authored the book Left-Right: The Economy through Two Perspectives (in Macedonian, Matica, 2021) with his colleague and predecessor in the Ministry of Finance, Prof. Nikola Popovski.

Highlighting Regional Success Stories
Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Co-founder at Ways2help, Women in Tech® Ambassador & Marketing Consultant

Monika Rizovska is a Women in Tech® Country Ambassador with a proven track record in the IT Industry. She is the Co-founder of Ways2help and an experienced marketing consultant in employer branding and building high-performing teams for growing tech companies.

Stefan Ivanovic

Stefan Ivanovic

CEO at ePlus

Stefan Ivanovic is CEO of the Center for marketing strategy ePlus and President of CEARS (Central European Association for Development and Cooperation). ePlus is a specialized agency for development of B2B and B2C marketing strategies. With 23 years of experience in the CEE region in leadership capacity, Stefan’s role was focused on development of international and local brands in the region: McDonald’s, Audi, Doncafe, Centroproizvod, Nestle Ice Cream, Lesaffre, di-go, Don Don, LePons, Jasen, Mega Užice and tens of others. In the last couple of years, he led the team which had developed the branding and global communication strategy for touristic regions Starogradsko polje, Island of Hvar (2020); and Cetinska Krajina (2019), both of them in Croatia.

Stefan Ivanović is often engaged as a Consultant u in different programs which support the competitive position and export capacities of local Serbian SMEs. He is the author of several specialized business trenings intended for SMEs, in programs that were financed by USAID, EU funds and the Development Agency of Serbia (RADEI). Stefan Ivanović regularly writes analytical articles for specialized B2B magazines on trends in the industry and sales and marketing issues.

Adriatic region is the focus of Stefan’s interest, since he has lived in 4 markets, working for one of the most prominent global marketing agencies DDB Worldwide:

  • Regional Account Director CEE @ DDB Worldwide, Bucharest (Romania)
  • Managing Director @ DDB Worldwide, Sofia (Bulgaria)
  • Executive Director @ DDB Worldwide, Skopje (Northern Macedonia)
  • Account Director @ DDB Worldwide, Belgrade (Serbia)

After the agency experience, Stefan Ivanović had gained important experience on the client side, developing notable brands in local and international markets:

  • Marketing and Export Director @ Doncafe (Strauss Group), Belgrade
  • Marketing Director @ Nestle Ice Cream, Belgrade
  • Marketing Director @ Centroproizvod, Belgrade
  • COO @ Jasen, Belgrade / Kraljevo
  • Director of Marketing and B2C Business Operations @ FK Crvena zvezda, Belgrade
Nino Karas

Nino Karas

Co-Founder of Brummell

Brummell aims to disrupt the motorcycle gear industry, transforming it to meet the needs of the modern world. They created the world’s first blazer for motorcyclists. The Brummell Blazer looks like a classy blazer from the outside with the protection and performance of a racing suit from the inside. For the first time ever, the motorcyclists will be able to arrive at their work, meeting, or at any other event both suited up and protected at the same time.

Nino is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of CodeWell a company specialized in Conversational AI and digital assistants.

He is named Entrepreneur of the Year for 2019 by the European Business Awards.

He has also been honored as a successful alumnus of Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts).

Dragan Mileski

Dragan Mileski

Co-Founder & CTO at Climedo Health

I was born on 22 November 1987 in Kicevo, R.Macedonia. I completed elementary school in my home town in 2002 and technical high school in Bitola in 2006. Wanting to further explore I  signed for BSc studies in computer science at the Technical University of Sofia – Branch Plovdiv. Feeling that I am not learning enough, I decided that I will need a MSc degree from one of the top European universities. After some research I settled on the Technical University of Munich (TUM) because it was one of the highest ranked in Informatics and had the lowest tuition fees. Meanwhile I did a 4 months Work & Travel working student program in the USA and in 2011 I started my MSc Informatics at this university. Munich is a wonderful city with an amazing student culture, accommodating thousands of international students and literally offering everything one needs to successfully complete their studies. Being among all those smart people further inspired me to be hardworking and ambitious towards achieving my goals. In my third semester I got to know about the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) which was offering a supplementary honors program in technology management supported by the two biggest Munich universities TUM and LMU. This interdisciplinary and international program enables students to become innovators and is characterized by interactivity, team orientation and an entrepreneurial spirit. Through that program I obtained very valuable knowledge in entrepreneurship as well as access to an amazing network of alumni, many of which are very successful entrepreneurs and founders of great companies. After my graduation I moved to Berlin and I joined a startup called Foodora as a first employee and a head of mobile engineering. The company was building a digital platform for last mile food delivery, enabling restaurants without delivery service to deliver food to people’s homes within 30 mins. Within my 1.5 years there the company grew to 400 employees and 2500 bicycle food delivery riders in 12 countries around the world. My task to build the mobile department was accomplished and I felt it was time to move back to Munich with all the learnings that I had and start my own company. As a result, in 2017 I started my current company Climedo Health with my two co-founders Sascha Ritz & Veronika Schweighart both of whom I had met earlier at CDTM. With our company we are aiming to enable better healthcare and bring the best treatment to every patient by empowering healthcare professionals with intelligent software solutions. Our SaaS clinical validation platform enables pharma companies to run decentralized clinical trials and shorten the time that is needed to bring validated and effective medications on the market.

Kostandina Zafirovska

Kostandina Zafirovska

General Manager at IT Labs

General Manager of IT Labs, a software development company delivering excellence for more than sixteen years. Kostandina began her career as an engineer and has spent the last twenty years journeying in the tech industry, focusing on executive roles in the last ten years. She leads large teams in varied industries, including insurance, finance and gaming. She also provides leadership to teams with her unique combination of experience and knowledge in both technology and business, and thrives in highly innovative environments.

Jiří Čermák

Jiří Čermák

 

 

 

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