START - UP Council

Fund for Innovation and Technological Development for the first time in the country establishes the Startup Council, with the main goal to represent the startup community and to represent its interests in the process of creating and adopting policies that should contribute to further growth and development of the Macedonian startup ecosystem.

The Council will be an active participant in the creation of future policies concerning these companies, will propose measures aimed at improving the organization of the work of the public sector and institutions that will result in simplified procedures and increased the quality of public services, as well as recommendations to reduce the burden and the cost to startups with interventions in the legislation and the legal framework in order to facilitate access to capital and its mobilization. The purpose of these activities is to increase the number of startups and position the country as a startup and regional hub.

Startup council consist of the following members:

  • Fatmir Bytyqi, Deputy President of the Government in charge of economic affairs, coordination of economic sectors and investments
  • Kosta Petrov, representative from the Fund of innovations and technology development
  • Anita Nikova Bundovski, representative from MASIT
  • Bistra Kumbarovska, representative from the start-up community
  • Gjorgji Rafajlovski, representative from the start-up community
  • Dejan Aleksov, representative from START UP Macedonia
  • Stefan Mitevski, representative from the start-up community

The National Startup Council, in cooperation with representatives from the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, chambers of commerce, foreign donors and organizations, as well as investors and entrepreneurs from the startup ecosystem, made a detailed analysis of the current situation and needs for faster transformation of the Macedonian startup ecosystem, with a single goal – positioning the Republic of North Macedonia as a regional startup hub in the region.

From that analysis emerge the following measures through whose implementation Macedonian entrepreneurs and innovators will have greater opportunities for regional and international success, and at the same time, our country will become a more attractive destination for global innovators, investors and entrepreneurs.

Fatmir Bytyqi
President of the Startup Council

Fatmir Bytyqi was appointed Deputy President of the Government in charge of economic affairs, coordination of economic sectors and investments on August 30th 2020.

Bytiqy is an international expert in the area of managing economic processes and reforms and has more than 20 years of work experience in over 100 various programs and projects aimed at developing sectors, national institutions, economic chamber and companies.

Mr. Bytyqi has conducted more than 500 trainings in the Western Balkan countries and so far, has been professionally engages as consultant and advisor in several governments, ministries and institutions in the region. As of 2008 he has been actively involved as an expert for EU funds accessing and management and is known as one of the leading professionals in this area throughout the region.

His field of expertise is strategic planning and managing development, economic and business programs and is an excellent savant of business opportunities in almost all countries in the region having many years of experience in the real sector as entrepreneur, consultant and executive manager.

Mr. Bytyqi has acquired his formal education at the University in Tirana graduating from the Faculty of Economics in the Department of Business Management. Furthermore, he has authored several strategies, draft-law, manuals and guidebooks in areas of finance, economy and business development. Bytyqi is actively using 5 (five) languages.

Bistra Kumbarovska
Vice President of the Startup Council

Bistra Kumbaroska is an internationally recognized woman entrepreneur, social innovator and poet who supports individuals, organizations and companies in Europe, Africa and Asia in finding and increasing their positive impact on society and the environment. Her passion for combining benevolence and entrepreneurship began during her student years in Skopje, where she became an active member and co-founder of the international youth network, Mladiinfo. Since 2010, Bistra has moved to Slovenia, starting a series of educational trips through Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. In collaboration with the United Nations, the European Commission, UNIDO and other international networks, Bistra is committed to creating a variety of social innovations and developing regional ecosystems in the Western Balkans, Central Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to its experience with the Impact Hub network and the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network from England, Bistra manages to work on over 50 social innovations across Europe, with a particular focus on building new business models and impact investing. So far, Bistra has participated in the creation and dissemination of 6 international networks related to social innovation, co-founder of 5 social businesses and has shared its experience at more than 189 international events and conferences. Currently, Bistra is a recognized consultant for social innovation and responsible entrepreneurship, based in Vienna and Ljubljana where she runs her agency for change, Heartbeats Innovation & Communication.

Anita Nikova Bundovski
Member of the Startup Council

Anita Nikova Bundovski holds a Bachelor and Masters degree from University of Sheffield. Her Bachelor degree is in Business administration with major in finance. Her Masters degree is in Computer science. She has almost 15 years of experience in the ICT sector in North Macedonia as well as in the Western Balkan region.

Since 2012 she is Executive director in MASIT – ICT Chamber of commerce, which is non profit, non political and non governmental, self sustainable body, established in year 2000. Nikova manages there the interests of the ICT sector companies, lobbies them in front of the Government, and interacts with all relevant stakeholders in the community. She is also in charge of organization of regional SEEITA conference, a conference with 16 years tradition ( ) which gathers all regional business support organizations together to discuss joint challenges. 

Никова ги менаџира сите интереси на компаниите во ИКТ секторот, лобира пред владините институции и врши редовна комуникација со сите засегнати лица и институции во заедницата. Таа исто така е одговорна за регионалната СЕЕИТА конференција, која што брои 16 годишна традиција ( и е еден од основачите на 3B ICT Network, иницијатива која ги сублимира повеќето бизнис сапорт организации од регионот на Југоисточна Европа и Кавкаски регион.

Lastly, Nikova is NCP for ICT under the Horizon2020 Programme, an instrument for funding of Innovative Project of the European Commission 

Kosta Petrov
Member of the Startup Council

Kosta Petrov is internationally renowned entrepreneur, PR expert and a bestselling business author in North Macedonia.

He is the founder of P World, one of the world’s leading events agencies with operations in 40 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Asia and North America.

For two years in a row, Kosta was included in Kongres Magazine’s list of Most Influential Events Professionals in Southeast Europe.

He is a contributor for the US edition of the Huffington Post and MENA’s Digital Boom, former Head of Professionals Development at IABC EMENA and a regular speaker at events around the world on the topics of entrepreneurship, public relations and leadership.

Kosta is also a bestselling author in his native Macedonia and the author of the internationally acclaimed book The Fear. He is also the editor of the Little Black Book of PR, the first ever book on public relations written by PR practitioners for PR practitioners.

Gjorgji Rafajlovski
Member of the Startup Council

Gogo Rafajlovski is Operational Director at SEEUTechPark and IP Consultant who helps entrepreneurs and innovative startups reach-out their maximum potential.

With an ongoing 15-year successful career in managing StartUp Centers, Incubators, Accelerators & TechParks he has build-up portfolio of experienced business mentor, passionate about technology & brands. His background includes: Operations Management, Startup Investments, Intellectual Property & Valuations.

Dejan Aleksov
Member of the Startup Council

Lawyer, owner at Law Office Aleksov, co-founder and president of Startup Macedonia. Startup Enthusiast. Dejan Aleksov joined the startup community in 2015, when for the first time he prepared the legal documents for the realization of an investment by business angels in a Macedonian startup.

Upon that he is introduced in more detail and integrated into the startup community. In 2016, together with several other people, he co-founded Startup Macedonia, and since 2018 he has been president.

In 2017, he started his own law office that cooperates and helps many startup companies.

Stefan Mitrevski
Member of the Startup Council

Stefan Miteski is a consultant, speaker and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Systems for Enterprise through which he makes software solutions used by some of the largest insurance companies in North America (including: Allstate, American National, Berkshire Hathaway, Farm Mutual Re, Houston International, Intact Insurance, Leading Insurance Group, Markel , Sompo International, West Bend Mutual, Wynward Insurance Group).

He completed his education at UKIM. He holds a degree in Computer System Engineering and Automation from FEEIT and a master’s degree in Product Life Cycle Management from MF. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from the Joncheping University in Sweden for youth work and is a postgraduate student in Politics at the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities.

He previously built his career in software companies in Macedonia, Canada and Germany where he mainly takes on managerial roles with a focus on building agile teams with high motivation.

He is active in the Macedonian startup scene by organizing a variety of events including: Get in the Ring, Startup Europe Week, Robomak, Insurhack, EESTEC Academy and many others.

He is a mentor at Startup Weekend, Nasa International Space apps challenge, UNICEF Generation Unlimited Challenge, Code App Level Up. Every year he holds over 20 hours of free training for young people in order to develop the startup ecosystem.