INTERA TP—Beacon of Entrepreneurship in Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 2021, INTERA Technology Park in Mostar celebrated its 10th anniversary. In the span of a decade, the committed team reshaped the entrepreneurial landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina, supporting emerging startups and local tech companies.
If you were wondering what INTERA means, it is a short version of the official organization's name—and a representation of its purpose: "Zaklada za INovacijski i TEhnološki RAzvitak" or Foundation for Innovation and Technology Development".
Founded as a non-profit and non-governmental organization in 2011, INTERA constantly stimulates and supports the development of the economy in the region. It also happens to be an invigorating place to meet extraordinary people and exciting new startups.
We had the pleasure of talking to Ana Bogdanović, Marketing Coordinator at INTERA Technology Park, about the organization's past, present, and future.
You celebrated your 10th anniversary recently, what would you say is the most significant success for you so far?
There is no doubt that our most significant success is the satisfaction of our users and beneficiaries. Also, the impact we have made so far in our community and startup ecosystem makes us very proud.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in the past ten years?
We had many different challenges over the years. In the beginning, the biggest challenge was the mindset of our community—startups, incubation process, meetups, and new technologies were unfamiliar terms in Mostar. So, we had to work very hard to make a necessary change and introduce these concepts to our community. Our hard work paid off, and today people know who we are and what we do. Now, we're facing some new challenges. We have to keep up with global transformations and provide our beneficiaries with new opportunities. There is also a continuous challenge of finding financial resources since we are established as an NGO and funded mainly by domestic and international donors and programs.
You have been quite successful in facing these different challenges. And you always had a wonderful community to back you. How many companies have passed through Intera? And how many are using your premises and services at the moment?
Yes, our community is excellent. In the past decade, we worked with a lot of people and companies:
- We supported more than 50 startups,
- Over 20 different tech companies used our premises,
- Over 8,000 people participated in our training programs,
- Almost 20,000 individuals attended our events,
- Our coworking space, Code Hub Mostar, now has over 500 registered members,
- Our team successfully implemented more than 50 projects.
Currently, there are 28 tenant companies in INTERA Technology Park, and 6 out of them are in the incubation process.
Wow, that is impressive. Congrats! And what would you say is the most significant value that all of these companies and people gain from you?
We provide our companies with a healthy and supportive environment for their development. We also offer many networking opportunities. And the most valuable benefit we're providing has to be mentoring support. It turned out that mentoring is even more important for most companies than financial support, especially in the early stage of development.
Yes, mentors are very important. Your team has also worked with Swiss EP mentors. How has your experience been?
Mentoring support received from the Swiss EP experts is something that we are most grateful for. These experts shared their knowledge and experience; they helped us a lot when we started new initiatives in fields where we had no experience. We got support from these experts in digital marketing, growth hacking, coworking, startups development, and many more. Their ongoing support is equally priceless for our startups and companies. We highly value all of them.
What is INTERA's vision for the future?
We want to continue being a place to meet young, ambitious, innovative, and capable young people. We want to keep up with global trends, bring timely information and support to our community, and continue to be a center for business and skills development.
We're sure you will be. Thank you for sharing your story with us.