We see a great deal of potential for the creative and digital industries here in Serbia. Many people know our story – we wanted to come home and do something we love, where we could live our passion for gaming. But we also wanted to prove that you could do it in Serbia. So the three of us returned from working abroad, in a big corporate environment, to set up in a garage and build Top Eleven. We remember what it was like to start out, be small, working long hours to achieve our dreams. Big companies tend to forget what it was like to have those struggles, and lack of resources or support. But at Nordeus, we see the opportunity that we have as a country and want to support that through giving our experience and knowledge back to the communities, and to those who are just starting out in their garage.
In a future set to be dominated by automation, there will be an increased dependency on human creativity. In a recent BBC article, where Belgrade is considered as one of the top five cultural hubs emerging in the world, they stated; ‘There is an assumption that creativity is all about individual genius. In truth, the big creative breakthroughs are also a social process, often occurring when a diverse population comes together.’ And this is where I want to focus on, how we as a collective can come together and collaborate to ensure we succeed.
Even though we started Nordeus back in 2010, tech and gaming is still a burgeoning industry here. However, the Startup Genome Report published earlier this year recognized gaming as one of the key strengths of the Serbian startup ecosystem. There are a number of individuals or small teams building some really cool stuff. But it’s when we see people coming together and solving things as one, that is when we will see the magic happen. Our national culture is all about togetherness, we share and solve issues with our family, friends, neighbors, and communities. So when I imagine a future where a community of companies in Serbia share ideas and collaborate to accelerate each others success, similar to the gaming industry in Finland, that’s when I see endless potential. Great companies win through great teamwork, we must do the same if we want Serbia to be successful.
But it’s not only us, there are a number of great examples of platforms who are boosting collaboration, from the pioneering creative hub Nova Iskra, to the Startit network of tech community centers around the country, and many more. We are only one of the founding members of Digital Serbia Initiative and Serbian Games Association. Both of these NGOs have a number of companies supporting them already, and those numbers are growing regularly. It’s also of great importance that 3Lateral recently announced that they will build a scientific and educational center similar to projects in Silicon Valley, with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience between science and industry. If everyone were to give back some of their time and knowledge to their communities, imagine what we could achieve together.
This is why we have launched Nordeus Hub. A collaborative, free, co-working space in New Belgrade, that is specifically created for the gaming industry. The Hub will be offering various programs and community events for gaming professionals and students, to bring them together and support them in finding their way in the industry. A centre for collaboration where people can find like minded and diverse people, learn from them, build something together, and share what they learned, while also getting help and support from the team at Nordeus, and others in the industry. With Nordeus Hub, we are looking to create more successful gaming companies, and to build an ecosystem that can ultimately support putting Serbia on the global map of gaming.