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Cracolici: For a startup to be successful, you need a strategy

Text: Hana Imamović, FENA Photo/Sarajevo Unlimited-Francesco Cracolici

SARAJEVO, October 21 (FENA) - The Silicon Valley is home to 85 percent of the world's 1,000 largest and most profitable startups, Central and Eastern Europe host five percent, while there are none in the Balkans, but that does not mean that the people in the Silicon Valley are smarter or more educated than those in the Western Balkans or Bosnia and Herzegovina, but they are simply in a better place for start-ups, said in an interview with FENA the CEO of 'Nomadic Minds', Francesco Cracolici, who will be one of five speakers at this year's Sarajevo Unlimited Forum organized by the 'Networks INT' business, innovation and creative center in Sarajevo on November 5 and 6.

The "Sarajevo Unlimited" is the first regional forum of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology, created as a result of the activities of the first year of operation of the entrepreneurial, innovation and educational center Networks in Sarajevo.

The General Manager of 'Nomadic Minds', a company that develops and connects the largest ecosystem of startups by helping them grow and develop by representing them to the largest investors, will speak at 'Sarajevo Unlimited' forum on the topic "All the tricks for successfully starting up a company that no one has told you before."

Nomadic Minds is the world's largest network of the Silicon Valley, which collectively earns four trillion dollars and has generated 20 trillion dollars in company values, and works closely with the White House, the King of Morocco, the King of Jordan, the Government of Paraguay and many others.

Francesco Cracolici notes that in the Silicon Valley, it is easy to meet investors, while in BiH it is not, it is easy to find global partners or clients who can distribute or buy the product, while in BiH it is not easy to learn everything about the world of startups and find a successful mentor.

"We have created a program that connects the best startups from around the world and provides them with access to the world's best network of clients/investor/mentors," explained Cracolici.

So far, they have helped more than 1,200 startups from 65 countries. Thanks to them, one of the two startups signed a contract with a global client, and one of the four raised funds from investors in the total amount of $ 1.4 billion USD.

"This record positions the Nomadic Minds US Market Access program as one of the three best programs in the world," Cracolici emphasized.

Cracolici's company selects technology startups and helps them become big companies. This means that they choose the best startups and, through their step-by-step program, connect them with some of the best mentors, clients and investors in the world.

"Our mentors have created companies worth more than 20 billion dollars that work for the White House, the United Arab Emirates, the King of Jordan, the King of Morocco and others. Thanks to mentoring support, our startups made deals worth more than 500 million USD, raised 1.4 billion USD and earned 1.1 billion USD in revenues," he explained.

Thanks to such results, they estimate that they have created more than 200,000 new jobs, which is more than Google and Facebook combined.

"We had amazing success stories. Some of our companies are worth hundreds of millions, one of them was sold for 120 million dollars this month. We helped them, but they were great without us," says Cracolici.

The achievement that he is most proud of is when he sees the founders of startups who, after talking to experts and learning best practices, can completely turn their company around and make an amazing profit-making machine that employs new people and helps the economy.

Since Cracolici will speak at "Sarajevo Unlimited" about "All the tricks for successfully starting up a company that no one has told you before", he notes that in this fast time when everything is digital, building a winning product is becoming easier and easier.

"There is a specific mistake that 99 percent of failed startups make, which I will talk more about during the presentation, and that is the fact that the best product is not the one that wins, but the one that has the best strategy for retaining the client," he said.

The product is only one segment of success, he adds, but it is far from being the only one out there because, according to Cracolici, the sales and marketing process are very important segments of success.

"The world is full of incredible products that no one buys and these companies are failing. What every startup company should do is focus 100 percent of their effort on developing a sales process that allows you to grow your revenue. It is a real secret that could change the future of most startups," concluded the General Manager of Nomadic Minds, Francesco Cracolici in an interview with FENA. 

In the previous years, the "Sarajevo Unlimited" forum gathered 10,156 participants, presented 220 startups which promoted brilliant ideas to investors and audiences in the region and the world, 252 speakers who shared inspiring experiences in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Forum also hosted 14 keynote speakers from Google, Deutsche Telecom, BBC, Alibaba, Viber and Huawei, and was attended by 480 foreign delegations, government officials, universities, corporations, banks, insurance companies, technology parks and creative hubs. 

This year's "Sarajevo Unlimited" forum is supported by: BH Telecom, MIBO Communications, NLB Bank, Science Park from Graz, ESP BH doo, Foreign Investment Council (FIC), German Development Agency-GIZ and many others.