Macedonia to allocate funds for accelerators

Macedonia to allocate funds for accelerators
Salaries between MKD 30.000 and MKD 100.000 in start-up companies

Opening new start-up companies and businesses for youth will be financed with state aid of 3.4 million euros, through two new instruments of the Fund for Innovations and Technology Development. The state will invest in opening accelerators for the development of fast-growing businesses, which should create highly paying jobs with salaries of 30,000 to 100,000 denars, and will encourage technological expansion of small and medium-sized companies through procurement of technology and equipment for increasing of competitiveness.

Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Koco Angjusev expects at least four accelerators to be formed, which will receive funding of half a million euros.

"This is already a success story in Israel and other countries where accelerators have been formed. One of the most inventive companies in the world, which invented the model of an autonomous vehicle with sensors, was developed in this type of accelerator in Israel and later sold for 16.5 billion euros," Angjusev said.

FITD director Jovan Despotovski said that it is expected from the envisaged 3.4 million euros together with the investments from the users to generate at least 5.5 million euros. Universities, local authorities and innovative companies are expected to be the funds' beneficiaries. They will be supported by 75 percent of the total investment, while the remaining 25 percent will be provided by themselves. A maximum of 20 percent of the acquired funds should be spent on project management, while at least 80 percent should end up with the start-ups, i.e. the created companies.

"In the business accelerator, the young people and start-up companies will go through a process of idea creation and development, education and support in the business plan development, as well as direct access to funding," said Despotovski, adding that the accelerator will produce additional money for the most successful start-up companies for further acceleration of growth given the goal of fast-growing businesses.

Deputy Prime Minister Angjusev stressed that for the first time the state supports the formation of accelerators, and urged young people not to seek employment only in the administration and state-owned company, adding that there is a great joy in forming their own company.

"This is a measure in order to keep the youth in the country, recognize it as support to their ideas and stimulate the formation of many successful companies," added Angjusev.

Regarding the instrument for technological expansion, clusters and chambers will provide funds to companies for new equipment and technology, thus improving their competitiveness. The grants are part of the EUR 9,5 million loan that the FITD received from the World Bank in 2013. Only nine percent of the grant were used by 2017.


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