Nine Macedonian startup companies start selling their innovative products within the challenge “Startup Heroes – From super idea to supermarket”, realized by the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development in cooperation with the corporate partner Tinex Markets and support from the Swiss Program for Increase of market employability – IME.
Starting from today, the products are available in the market Tinex located at East Gate Mall and also in nine other locations, from the companies “Matrioshka” – Weiss ice cream with wine, “Eval” which will sell fresh truffles and various products in combination with Macedonian truffles from domestic production as well as micro-food produced with Invitro technology – microplant of the company “Plant”.
On the shelves will be found protein crackers with reduced carbohydrates of “Pro-Fit Vis”, Chia Fresca – non-alcoholic energy drink based on chia seeds of the startup “Kinado”, “Skup” with three packages of premium ice cream, “Pivara Bakreski” with the first Macedonian non-alcoholic kraft beer, “Fila kozmetika” with domestic cosmetic products from natural ingredients and “Pivolabs” with beer which is a hybrid of classic IPA with dark beer styles.
“We have made a significant step in deepening the cooperation between the corporate sector and startup companies, which I am sure will encourage the innovation and competitiveness of Macedonian companies. We have shown that our country has potential and can offer innovative domestic products that deserve to find their place on the shelves in the markets. With the support of the Fund and corporate partners, Startup heroes have the opportunity to promote side by side with big brands, the opportunity to access new markets and new customers. FITD is an institution that always supports innovative companies that have the ambition and potential to develop a successful business story. I wish the startups great success in placement and selling their products, which I hope will be able to fight for their place in the market” said Festim Halili, director of the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development.
The total budget for the challenge was 7 million denars, of which FITD provided almost six and IME one million denars, with a maximum amount per application of 600,000 denars.
Cvetanka Hristovska, brand director of Tinex, pointed out that the inclusion of Tinex in this project that contributes to the development of the startup community is of great importance for their company that continuously supports companies that are developing and need support to successfully present and develop in the market.
“The introduction of new products is one of the most important phases of the product life cycle, and the successful launch of a new product on the market is a really important basis for success. The best way to achieve good results is to apply an already tried and tested process, so the products will be placed on branded shelves and properly visibly marked in 10 of our markets, and beside the commercial advertising, we will give way to new forms of communication such as is digital and viral marketing” added Hristovska.
The committee that gave the final decision consisted of experts in the field of challenge, in the field of business development and / or marketing and sales and one expert each from Tinex, FITD and the Swiss Program for Increasing Market Employability – IME.
“Cooperation between the public, corporate sector and start-ups is key to fostering a culture of innovation in the country and improving the start-up ecosystem. The Increasing Market Employability Program – IME supported by Switzerland facilitates the establishment of these links and provides experts to mentor selected start-ups in the finalization of products, brand development and improvement of the products’ attractiveness. IME for instance promotes the use of neuromarketing tools, which helps companies to prepare better to become successful suppliers of supermarkets such as “Tinex”. Direct market entry and mentorship will assist these start-up companies to grow more rapidly, expand their operations, extend their product portfolios, and create new jobs. “Startup Heroes” has proven to be an excellent initiative to mobilize and strengthen links between start-ups and established businesses. These first experiences may serve as an example to continue this successful approach that fosters the development of technologically advanced and innovative products for the domestic and international markets.” – stated the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Switzerland in North Macedonia, Lucien Aegerter.
The Startup heroes Challenge was implemented under the FITD Corporate Innovation Program, which aims to foster collaboration between the corporate sector and startup companies. The challenge was intended for small startup companies that have already developed a prototype of an innovative product with potential for placement as well as activities that will prepare their product for successful entry into retail in the Tinex markets.