Frequently Asked Questions
Program for innovative SMEs and startups from the Western Balkans. Adapt your business model, build your resilience and expand your market presence!
Q: What is the benefit of participating in the PowerUP?
The benefits of participating in this program are multiple and depend on Company’s goals. The main benefits are indicated below:
- Capacity building support aimed at expanding company’s market presence, adapting its business model by improving the companies’ resilience and increasing its investment readiness
- Participation and winning at the most unique business/pitch competition in the Western Balkans.
- Networking opportunities with business leaders, venture capital investors and experienced entrepreneurs from within the region and beyond.
- Winning “Western Balkan Entrepreneurial Excellence Award”
- Winning the exclusive, tailor-made business advisory support by local and regional experts from the eminent and world's largest consulting firm Deloitte.
- Significant exposure and recognition - promotion in the local and regional media.
Q: Who is organizing the PowerUP?
The Program is designed and evaluated by the World Bank Group, funded by the European Union under the Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) and implemented with the support of the consulting firm Deloitte.
Q: How much does it cost?
The program is being funded by the European Union under the Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility. It is free for firms to participate. However, we want to ensure entrepreneurs are committed to growing their firms. Thus, companies’ representatives will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding prior to program start committing their time to take part in the project, which includes online exercises, video pitch and pitch desk supplement submission, and in-person event attendance.” The program is being funded by the European Union under the Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility. It is free for firms to participate. However, we want to ensure entrepreneurs are committed to growing their firms. Thus, companies’ representatives will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding prior to program start committing their time to take part in the project, which includes online exercises, video pitch and pitch desk supplement submission, and in-person event attendance that would be voluntary depending on the COVID-19 concerns.
Q: Who should apply to PowerUP?
All innovative startups and small or medium sized enterprises from one of the six countries of Western Balkan (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo , North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) are welcomed to apply. We look forward to learning more about your business and offering you the opportunity to promote your company during this Program
Q: What are the eligibility criteria?
These are the eligibility criteria:
- Firm should be legally incorporated and registered in one of the six countries of Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo1, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia);
- Firms should be operating for at least 1 year;
- Firms should have between 3-100 employees;
- Firms should be innovative and have a product/service that is generating revenue in at least one market and for which the firm is looking to boost sales;
- Firms may not engage in the production of alcohol, tobacco or arms (weapons), or related industries. The organizers reserve the right to exclude firms whose activities are deemed likely to create reputational risks for program organizers, coaches, fellow participants, or others.
You will be asked to provide proof of registration/incorporation.
1 For EU, his designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
Q: How should I know if my company or its products/services are innovative enough?
Check the criteria one more time and apply, you have nothing to lose!
Q: Can I apply to the PowerUP if my business is not related to technology?
Definitely! Companies from different industries who believe they have an innovative product, service or a business model are welcomed to apply.
Q: Can I apply to PowerUP if my startup already received funding?
Yes, you are welcome to apply!
Q: What are the topics of the preparation and training package?
The training and capacity building program would provide valuable know-how and focus on the topics of customers and market; financial and internal performance; branding and pitching.
Q: How will you select the companies for the PowerUP program?
The companies will be selected based on the eligibility criteria and as there is a limited number of places in the program, the selection among those who qualify will be made considering the industry and country diversification.
Q: How will you select which companies will be invited to PowerUP final event?
The selection of companies for PowerUP final event will be made based on the registration form and insights provided; our observations on company’s willingness to invest effort in the entire program by providing our opinion on their activity, effort and attendance and; Self-pitch video prepared by the companies – companies would film their pitch and send it to us for review.
Q: What is the format of the pitch during the final event?
The pitch will consist of 5-10 minutes pitch presentation followed by 5 minutes Q&A with the jury. You will be able to use your presentation during the pitch.
COVID-19 recovery | capacity building | entrepreneurship | pitching investors | free training | SME help | Startup help | business model help | start-up program | funding start-ups | how to boost sales | program for SMEs