Can a mentor help you grow your startup?
A mentor's role is essential for the growth of a startup, as we can see in the example of Quantum Workflow, a rising star from Bjeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
What does it take to develop a startup, and how can mentors help you along the way? These are just some of the topics we got to talk about with Mladen Mijatovic, co-founder and CEO of Quantum Workflow.
Before we start, here is some basic info about Quantum Workflow - it is a blockchain-based platform for matching remote workers and employers. The startup is located in Bjeljina, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A team of 2 working on the platform (Mladen Mijatović and Nermin Zejnilović), with the support of 2 advisors (Luka Sučić and Malcolm Duerod).
Swiss EP: Have you participated in any startup support programs? How did these programs help you to develop your startup?
Mladen: Yes, we were part of a few startup programs. Throughout all of them, we reviewed and perfected our knowledge of entrepreneurship, upgraded our mindset, and built strong relationships with people from the startup world and mentors. However, I would highlight the Tech Boost program organized in spring 2020 by the 787 Foundation, EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy, and Startup Wise Guys and supported by Swiss EP. We appreciated this program particularly because it enabled us to attend the PODIM conference and join the startup competition there. On top of that, during the Tech Boost we also connected with local experts and amazing mentors, most of which we are still in touch with.
Swiss EP: Were you also participants of the Investment Readiness Bootcamp of the Western Balkans Angel Academy?
Mladen: Yes, we were. That bootcamp, organized by Efino and supported by Swiss EP, helped us gather significant advice and knowledge related to project evaluation, financing methods, equity sharing, and investment-related topics. For us, the most significant value of the program was, once again, the mentoring sessions. We got many of our most pressing questions answered and some great tips on improving our pitch deck and preparing better for upcoming phases in our business development.
Swiss EP: You have met many Swiss EP experts and mentors on different occasions. Which Swiss EP expert helped you the most? Why?
Mladen: First of all, I must say that mentors are crucial for young businesses making their first steps and learning how to manage and grow. As for who helped us the most - that’s not an easy question, but I like to point out our first mentor Luka Sučić. We met in March 2020, and we have been working together ever since. Luka helped us improve our mindset and made us think like entrepreneurs. He encouraged us to explore and follow our own pace and helped us stay on the right track. What we appreciated the most was that Luka managed to "drive us out of the bushes" when we got off track. He is always willing to share his experience and expertise and get involved with our problems. We built an honest and open relationship and we consider him as one of our team members.
Swiss EP: We are thrilled to hear that you found your ‘teammate’ among our experts. If you could travel back to where you were at the beginning of Quantum Workflow and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Mladen: Our advice would be to believe in ourselves and our goals; to selflessly seek knowledge but also share it; to learn to rest when we get tired instead of thinking about giving up; and to explore what we truly want, because when you genuinely desire something, the whole universe will align to make you succeed.
Swiss EP: What are your plans for 2021?
Mladen: In 2021, we plan to develop a beta version of the Quantum Workflow platform. We finalized the concept in 2020 through countless iterations of brainstorming, research, validation, pivoting, and re-presentation. We will start a new phase of our expansion in 2021. Our first step will be to establish a company in Europe and then divide the equity between the founders and investors ready to support our evolution.
Swiss EP: We are happy to hear that. We wish you much success with your plans. Please keep us posted on your progress!