UPGRADE IN PROGRESS: Business mentoring program for “creative-tech” studios & SMEs

Creative Tech Serbia 10.03.2023.
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Language Serbian
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Price Free

UPGRADE IN PROGRESS: Business mentoring program for “creative-tech” studios & SMEs

Within the Creative Tech Serbia supercluster program, SGA announces a special type of business mentoring program, which is intended for creative studios and companies from the domain of gaming and creative-tech, with the aim of providing them with professional support that will enable their further business development and pushing to the “next level” of growth. Serbian creative studios and small and medium-sized enterprises with 5 to 30 employees can apply for participation.

Based on the analysis that will be conducted based on the received applications, up to six SMEs from the sector will be able to receive mentoring and consulting support at the level of business development, in the period from March to June of this year. What is specific is that the six selected companies will receive support tailored to their specific needs, which will be jointly identified and prioritized in cooperation with Nova Iskra Studio

Based on this, starting in mid-March companies will be connected with relevant experts from the networks of ICT Hub, Nova Iskra, Swiss EP support program and other relevant partners and experts, with whom they will closely cooperate on improving their business processes.

Why such a program?

The largest number of creative studios in the domain of gaming, cinematic post-production or development of digital creative products are founded by creative people, often as an extension of their successful “freelance” activities, or out of a desire to venture into entrepreneurial waters after gaining sufficient experience under the auspices of larger and more developed companies. 

These beginnings are always exciting and inspiring, and in the best scenarios the number of clients and successful projects grows rapidly, while these fresh entrepreneurs form recognizable brands that clients can rely on for innovative and creative solutions. “One man show” soon becomes a team of several people, and if things continue to develop, after just a few years the founders can have a team of 10 or even up to 30 people under them.

At that moment, numerous challenges appear that are more related to managerial and business processes and skills, work organization, planning, employment, legal regulation of business and the company itself, team culture and leadership, financial management and many other areas. Founders and art directors, whether they like it or not, become managers, team leaders and take on previously unknown levels of responsibility and challenges, and they have less and less time left to work on projects and creative direction.


Of course, this is only one of the possible scenarios, but we believe that we have well illustrated the challenges that any creative studio faces in its development phase, on the road to becoming a proper company. Some of them will manage to find partners who have competences in business development, or will hire such professionals in their team. However, this is definitely a rarer case, because being involved in the creative side of work leaves little time to set up the strategic aspects of a company’s business management in a quality way, which is in favor of both the founders themselves and the development of the entire company.

Who is the program for?

The UPGRADE IN PROGRESS program is intended for all those creative studios and companies with 5 – 30 employees, who have recognized themselves in the previous paragraphs, and work in the “creative-tech” domain in the broadest sense. In addition, they must recognize the need to approach these challenges in the right way, and be prepared to allocate their time, over a period of several months, to tackle several priority areas in cooperation with leading experts and mentors.

The goal is that through a tailored process they succeed in raising their business to the next level, to “tighten” their processes or introduce new ones. They may reflect on their needs for the first time, and realize how much the changes in internal processes would help the development of their company as a whole, and to eventually introduce them into their team through this program.

In short: all those who feel they are ready to scale their company, but do not see a clear path to that goal – this is the program for you!

Please do not lose sight of the fact that you need to set aside a few hours a week to work with the mentors over a 3-month period, because it the effects of the program depend on your commitment.


From February 27th until March 10th, a call for applications was opened, via the ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE. It is necessary to set aside about 30 minutes for filling out the questionnaire, with prior preparation so that you can collect all the necessary data internally. In this regard, we share with all those interested a PDF list of questions and data we expect from you in order to make the best possible assessment of your application. The SGA team is at your disposal in case of need for any clarifications.

After the closing of the applications, the Nova Iskra Studio team will analyze the received applications and, together with the SGA, evaluate which six companies in this cycle can benefit the most from the program, as well as several key areas in which support is necessary.

Interviews with (co)founders will follow, after which a roadmap of support will be drawn up for each of the companies, and priority areas in which support will be provided will be selected. Then follows the joint planning of the process and connecting to mentors and experts, who will work with the companies directly and individually (1on1) until the beginning of June.

A month later, an evaluation will be done, which should show how many real changes the companies have introduced in their business as a result of this support, and what their effect is on your business.

We invite you to take advantage of this unique opportunity, and to contact us if you have any questions regarding participation in the program. We wish you a successful upgrade of your studio!” 🙂

This activity is launched by the Creative Tech Serbia supercluster, with the support of USAID Serbia and ICT Hub Belgrade (through the Serbia Innovates project). You can read more about the Creative Tech Serbia supercluster here.