For the first time in the country, the Fund for innovation and technological development is launching a different challenge, entitled "Startup Heroes", the first project implemented under the Corporate Innovation Program. The challenge is realized in cooperation with Tinex and is supported by the Program for Increasing Market Employability (IME) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Factor Trust - financial factoring company
"Startup Heroes" is a real opportunity for small startups that have already developed a prototype of an innovative product with potential for placement, through the challenge, to realize activities that will prepare their product for successful entry into retail in Tinex markets. All awarded products will be found on specially marked shelves, at predefined sales locations of Tinex and will receive appropriate assistance in preparing a marketing campaign for product promotion. This cooperation also means the inclusion of products in the integrated digital marketing communication of the market chain.
"I encourage all young entrepreneurs who believe that their product deserves a real chance and commercial placement to apply for the challenge. I am sure that we, as a country, have excellent domestic products, which can be found on the shelves in the markets, and still retain their uniqueness and recognizability. To these creative people, together with our partners Tinex, Factor Trust and IME, that we will provide the necessary financial and technical support, facilitate access to new customers and new markets and offer solutions to their commercial challenges. We are proud that in just 2 months since the announcement of the corporate innovation program, we already have our first corporate partner. On this occasion, I would like to call on other companies to join us and jointly transform the Macedonian startup community" said Kosta Petrov, acting director of the Fund for innovation and technological development.
The budget provided for this challenge is 7 million denars (MKD), of which FITD provides six and IME one million, with a maximum amount per application of 600,000 denars (MKD). Companies that are not older than six years from its inception until the moment of submitting the application can apply for the call. In terms of conditions, startups whose products are not commercially available for sale in supermarket chains in the country and abroad are eligible. The annual income of the company should not exceed 500,000.00 (five hundred thousand) euros in denar counter value, according to the financial reports for the previous two fiscal years (2019 and 2020). Some of the products for which companies will be able to request financial support are: confectionery, organic and healthy food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic (max. 15% alc.), Basic food products, canned products, cosmetics, etc.
"We are proud that our company Tinex is part of the “Startup Heroes” project. In cooperation with FITD and the Program for increasing market employability, we open opportunities for placement of domestic innovative producers who have turned their idea into a product for which there is potential for market success. We support our "Startup Heroes" and we believe that through such collaborations we encourage the development of the startup community in the country and open new perspectives of corporate action - said Cvetanka Hristovska, brand manager of Tinex MT Dooel.
Hristovska added that the promotion of the products will last one year, which will contribute to greater sales of producers.
"The Swiss program for increasing market employability - IME is involved with support in the implementation of the “Startup Heroes” project. Through the program, in addition to the financial support of one million denars (MKD), we will additionally provide mentoring support to selected startups and expert advice to finalize and increase the attractiveness of their products. The purpose of this support is for the selected startups to become more successful suppliers, to improve the business process and to offer more attractive and competitive products in the supermarkets ", said Goran Damovski, head of the Swiss program IME.