IEEE Innovation Nation (IEEE IN) is an initiative supported by IEEE Entrepreneurship to promote entrepreneurship in low-GDP countries. The concept was started in Bosnia & Herzegovina, with the aim of organizing a competition where students from the whole country could join and show their entrepreneurial spirit, supported by local incubators, companies, and investors. As a student, you do not get a chance to work on entrepreneurial projects as a part of your curriculum, many students barely do any practical projects and we saw that as an obstacle for them to reach their career goals. In 2019, the event took place in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Sri Lanka with plans to expand to other parts of the world in the coming years.
This year, we were thrilled to partner up with the Bosnia & Herzegovina Futures Foundation and Foundation Mozaik, one of the largest impact investors in the region, to deliver the training and preparation of the teams, as well as secure a follow up after the grand finale.
After a 1 year break, IEEE Innovation Nation was back in Bosnia & Herzegovina! In 2019 we wanted to try out the concept with some new partners we met over the years and see how creative we can get with teams that sign up. For the first time ever, we were in sync with our colleagues from Sri Lanka and we could not wait to see how the project will be implemented in two different parts of the world.
A total of 42 teams applied. We wanted to give a chance to teams that made an effort in their application, but still needed some time and help to develop their idea. That is why our first workshop focused on ideation and validation of an idea. From there, we continued with more product and business development topics that we know are needed from every start-up, especially if they plan on pitching in front of investors. In total, we organized 4 workshops covering the topics of how to succeed as a start-up, business model canvas, product development, creating a price, distinguishing yourself on the market, marketing, and presentation/pitching skills.
A total of 13 teams went through all the workshops and eventually, we decided on 9 that would pitch at the grand finale.
The grand final
The grand finale of IEEE Innovation Nation B&H 2019 was organized as a part of the IEEE Student and Young Professional Congress B&H. The event was organized in Banja Luka and hosted by the Paneuropean University Apeiron. All 13 teams that completed the workshops, participated in the congress, and presented their work as a part of the innovation expo.
Out of the 13 teams, 9 were selected to pitch at the event to a jury of experts from the whole world. Before the pitch, teams had a world cafe session with all the jury members, where they got a chance to present their idea in a casual environment and receive some valuable feedback on the idea and presentation. When it came to the pitch in front of a crowd of around 150 people, teams had 5 minutes to deliver their best presentation, followed up by questions from the jury.
We were thrilled to have 2 additional investors, Mozaik Foundation and SEEBA, join in and invest in the evening of the grand finale.
Meet the teams
Solution that allows shoppers to easily find more information about a product, such as chemical compounds found in it, safety hazards, and usage recommendations.
Wearable device that tracks the location in real-time with the possibility of sending a distress signal. The device is worn by children, allowing their parents to know if they are in danger.
Automatic pet feeder that you can control from your mobile phone. Aside from the food container, the device would also have a water tank.
Hardware and software solution that allows gyms to track occupancy and users to socialize, plan workouts, and know if their friends are in the gym.
Measuring stations that can be used by agricultural producers to monitor basic soil characteristics and parameters. Sensors can be customized to suit the needs of the producer and this is a much more affordable and advanced solution to taking a sample to a licensed laboratory and paying for a test, as all producers do at the moment.
Aside from that, the station could be powered by solar power to make it even more portable.
Smart Industrial Toolbox which has an innovative way of tracking and supplying tools for the user. Track who and when is using a specific tool and for how long it has been used. When every corner of a factory needs to be supplied with tools, there is the detachable mobile toolbox for additional electrical energy supply.
MyAir is a platform for air quality monitoring using mobile as well as stationary IoT stations in urban and rural areas. The platform enables the monitoring of the type and location of chemical pollutants, by detecting the „chemical footprint“ that certain pollutants leave behind. The platform would provide a service for sharing this information through web and mobile applications. Users could then subscribe to receive important information about air pollution in their area.
What’s better than an electric scooter? An electric scooter that is made of recycled hoverboards with improved stability for beginners and many other features that were a dream in the medium-priced electric scooter market.
Traveling and managing your travel budget, dealing with foreign currency has never been easier with a real-time currency conversion solution. Just point your camera on a price and find out the equivalent in a currency you are used to!
The winning startups were awarded cash prizes and a chance to continue incubation with partners Mozaik Foundation.
BH Futures Foundation
The Bosnia & Herzegovina Futures Foundation is a non-profit foundation that aims to transform Bosnia & Herzegovina into a prosperous nation that can respond to the challenges of the 21st Century. They do this by empowering the youth through education, technology, and leadership, in order to shape the next generation of change-makers. The foundation has been an essential partner of the IEEE Innovation Nation program in B&H since its beginning.
Mozaik was founded in 2002 with the aim of encouraging the development of rural communities. Since then over 18,700 volunteers and 4,000 individuals, businesses, NGOs, and government offices joined forces with Mozaik in over 1.400 programs, projects, initiatives, and community actions to develop our communities, build social cohesion, empower youth, and restart economic activity in predominantly mixed ethnic communities.
SEEBA – South Eastern European Business Agency
You hire SEEBA to start, develop, or grow your business or project. Whether you come from the private or public sector, we will support you during your magnificent journey.
Aside from our partners and sponsors, a special thanks goes to:
- Organizing team: Haris Selmanovic, Haris Arnautovic, Vladimir Maric, and Ali Mokayes.
- Guest speakers: Nerma Halilagic, Adnan Berberovic, Avdo Halilovic, Armin Maglic, Milan Kusmuk and Tamara Jovic.
- Judges: Eddie Custovic, Subodha Charles, Amer Grgic, Zoran Puljic, Adnan Berberovic, Amir Sabirovic, Vladimir Sukara, Marnix Korterink, and Adnan Mandzo.
- Institutions that hosted our workshops: DKR German center for robotics Tuzla, Faculty of Electrical Engineering Sarajevo, and International Burch University Sarajevo.
- University of Apeiron Banja Luka hosted our grand finale and their team of incredible students, professors, and employees that helped us organize it.