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Top25 Event held at IUS Campus on September 30th

About the Bosnia StartUp Cup Top25 Event


Event participants.

On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, International University of Sarajevo hosted the event called Bosnia StartUp Cup Top25. The event was organized by Gillani Consulting Group, Gillani International d.o.o. Goražde and Leadership and Entrepreneurship Centre of International University of Sarajevo.

Bosnia StartUp Cup event is being organized by a team of International and Bosnian entrepreneurs lead by Gillani Consulting Group Inc. based out of Dallas, USA, Gillani International d.o.o. Gorazde, and Gillani Foundation, based in USA, in cooperation with International University of Sarajevo, and several other partners and sponsors. The Bosnia StartUp Cup business model competition is open to any type of business idea. Entrepreneurs who compete in the Bosnia StartUp Cup are rewarded for turning their idea into a viable business, going to market quickly, testing assumptions, and modifying their business model as they learn what drives customers and revenue. Entrepreneurs of the Bosnia StartUp Cup do not have to be experts at creating polished documents or accounting wizards. Instead what they lack in experience, they make up for in passion and dedication to achieve their dream.

Today’s event had purpose of selecting the 12 best business models that would enter the final rounds of the competition. The event was held in Amphitheater in Building “B” and it was consisted out of four parts:

1st part – Welcome speeches

Montors/Coaches working with different teams of Entrepreneurs.

Montors/Coaches working with different teams of Entrepreneurs.

The participants and guests were welcomed by Ms. Sabira Bešlija the project manager of Bosnia Startup Cup. More information about the project and motivation behind it was given by Ms. Leila Hrelja, director of Gillani International d.o.o. Goražde. The audience has also been addressed by Assist. Prof. Dr. Senad Bušatlić who encouraged them to proceed in their entrepreneurship careers regardless the outcome of this competition. Further, Assist. Prof. Dr. Senad Bušatlić introduced the audience with the vision, goals and future plans of International University of Sarajevo. Miss Janet Kennedy, Economic and Commercial Officer, United States Embassy Sarajevo, offered support from the Embassy for Gillani’s efforts to establish an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Bosnia through Bosnia StartUp Cup, and mentioned upcoming entrepreneurship initiatives being launched by the United States Embassy Sarajevo.


2nd part – Lectures

After the welcome speeches, participants had the chance to attend the series of lectures regarding the entrepreneurship and business idea. First lecture, with the topic of Entrepreneurship and Sales, was held by Assist. Prof. Dr. Senad Bušatlić. After him, lecture on Managing Finance in Entrepreneurship was delivered by. Assist. Prof. Dr. Ognjen Riđić. At the end, the participants and guests were addressed by Mr. Kamal Syed who is the CEO of Gillani Consulting Group Inc., in Dallas, USA. After a very motivational speech for future entrepreneurs, Mr. Syed delivered lectures on Entrepreneurship, Visual thinking and Business planning.


3rd part – Workshop

Mentor/Coach - Azem Pleho, working with team of entrepreneurs.

Mentor/Coach – Azem Pleho, working with team of entrepreneurs.

In the third part of this event, participants were included in Entrepreneurship workshop. Each participant or group of participants was/were assigned to the mentor which depended on business area in which participants developed their business idea. During the workshop, participants were interacting with their mentors and also other participants and were able to ask questions regarding the problems they engaged in creation of their business plans.


4th part

Final part was reserved for presentations of business models by participants. Each business model was presented in front of esteemed jury that is supposed to make the decisions about top 12 and eventually about the top 3 business models in following period. At the end of this competition, the selected top 3 business plans are to be rewarded. The Top12 winners will be announced by next week.

How to Launch a Company in Bosnia, the Startup Way


Bosnia StartUp Cup is on GEW/Bosnia Website now

Bosnia StartUp Cup event has been added to the Global Entrepreneurship Week’s (GEW) Bosnia & Herzegovina website:

This will give our program visibility throughout Bosnia as well as internationally.

Approaching fast to the deadline of submissions by May 31, 2015

Just a reminder to all entrepreneurs and SME’s interested in competing in Bosnia StartUp CUP, that the deadline to submit the Business Model Applications is May 31, 2015, by 11:59 PM, right before midnight Sarajevo Time. Please make your submissions on time.

Best Wishes!

– The Bosnia StartUp Cup Team

The submissions closing date extended till 11:59 PM Sarajevo time on May 31, 2015

As Bosnia StartUp Cup is being promoted at Sarajevo Business Forum 2015 during May 12-15 (, we have extended the submissions closing date to 11:59 PM Sarajevo time on May 31, 2015.


StartUp Cup Gorazde Kick-Off Event April 29, 2015 – Intro by Leila Hrelja

Bosnia StartUp Cup Kick-Off Event at IUS Campus on April 28th – Tuesday @ 12:00-3:00 PM

Sarajevo, BiH – Entrepreneurs, small businesses (SME’s), executives, dignitaries and the media are invited to the kick-off of the Bosnia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition on April 28, 2015 at IUS Campus in Sarajevo, B Building Amphitheater. The event includes keynote presentations on Entrepreneurship, and business model and pitch coaching along with an introduction to visual thinking tools to help accelerate go-to-market strategies.
What:  Bosnia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition Kick-Off Event in Sarajevo

When:  April 28, 2015, Tuesday, @ 12:00 PM—3:00 PM

Where: International University of Sarajevo, Hrasnička cesta 15, 71210 Sarajevo.  B Building, Amphitheater 1st Floor

RSVP by April 28, 2015 to Leila Hrejla at : [email protected]


For competition application submission, visit:


Thank you!

Event Organization Committee

Bosnia Business Model Competition Kicks Off for Chance to Win in Cash and Prizes

Gorazde and Sarajevo, BiH – Entrepreneurs and small businesses (SME’s) are invited to participate in the Bosnia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition. The program includes business model and pitch coaching along with an introduction to visual thinking tools to help accelerate go-to-market strategies. The Bosnia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition is open to any business idea. Business model submissions are open from April 13, 2015 thru May15, 2015 by11:59 PM Sarajevo Time, via the webpage. Participants will be competing for cash (to be announced soon) and prizes for the first, second, and third place.

This is the first year for the Bosnia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition, part of a growing global network of StartUp Cup Business Model Competitions.

Syed M. Kamal, an American Entrepreneur with several startup ventures in BiH, has brought StartUp Cup to Bosnia in partnership with,, and  While speaking about the benefits Bosnia StartUp Cup brings to the entrepreneurial landscape in BiH, Syed said, “Entrepreneurs and SME’s are rewarded for going to market, securing customers, and generating revenue as quickly as possible.”

Leila Hrelja, current Director of Gillani International d.o.o., and Project Manager of Bosnia StartUp Cup said that, “If you have recently started a business, come see how competing can help you get feedback and mentoring that can take your business to the Next Level of Success.”

The StartUp Cup Business Model Competition process was born in Silicon Valley and proven in Tulsa, Oklahoma over the past six years. The competition has been fine-tuned based upon feedback from participating entrepreneurs, judges, coaches, entrepreneurial services providers, and community leaders.


Entrepreneurs interested in submitting their Big Idea may go to for further information and to submit their business model for consideration.

Launching of Bosnia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition Website

We have been preparing to organize the first StartUp Cup Business Model Competition in the Balkans for several months, and recently launched the program website:

With lots of help from StartUp Cup team, sponsorship of Gillani Consulting Group and Gillani International d.o.o. Gorazde, and local execution partner and event organizer International University of Sarajevo, our team continues to prepare the lunch scheduled for April 13-14, 2015.

Searching for sponsor organizations, judges and mentors/coaches to join the team.

Looking to spur entrepreneurial and SME growth, with special focus on youth and women’s economic empowerment.

Spread the word, join the team, and help us make it successful in Bosnia first, with future aim to expand to rest of Balkan countries.

The 98% Entrepreneurship Reality

An Entrepreneurial Renaissance

98IconThere is no question about it. It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur wherever you live in the world. There is more attention being given to entrepreneurialism as a viable career path and way to innovate than at any other time in history. We are at the beginning of a full-blown entrepreneurial renaissance.

Organizations and programs that support new technology companies to launch and gain access to the tools, resources, and capital that accelerate building scalable, high growth businesses are being introduced on a daily basis.

Startup programs like Startup Weekend, Lean Startup Machine, TechStars, and YCombinator are highly successful at filtering large numbers of technology companies with mentoring and funding designed to test their business models in an effort to grow big, fast.

Let’s face it, you are hard pressed to go a full day without being fed a news story about a technology company that has raised their first and second multi-million-dollar investment or the latest IPO making the founders into millionaires and billionaires. Very exciting times indeed. At least for those that are able to turn their startup into piles of cash.

Over Promoting Unrealistic Behavior

There is a little known fact behind every startup story that puts a newly funded company on a pedestal, and very few people are talking about it. What is this little know bit of information?

Only 2% of all startups are funded by angels, accelerators, or venture capitalists. Let’s state this in a different way so that it will fully sink in. Only 2% of all startups have a business model, experienced team, connections, and scalability, usually technology based, to raise money from investors.

Funding is for the elite. More and more the funding is going to ivy league college graduates and teams that have a proven track record of generating huge returns for investors.

This means that 98% of all entrepreneurs and startups are not gaining access to the tools, resources, and financing opportunities that will give their new company the opportunity to grow.

It’s Not Always a Technology World

It is time to think different about what it means to be an entrepreneur. The myth is that you have to be a rock star and grow a technology company to be the next Facebook or Google. This does not reflect the true reality of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurialism is a lifestyle, a mindset, a way to live a life with greater purpose and meaning. If we are to overcome the economic challenges we face as a world we need to focus more energy on supporting the 98% of entrepreneurs who are starting new companies.

The challenge is that the 98% do not meet the capitalistic nature of our economy today. That is to say, that they do not have a company that can grow big fast and generate handsome returns for investors. No wonder so many have so much anger towards Wall Street.

The World Needs Small Businesses

The entrepreneurial reality of the 98% is that they are low-tech or no-tech companies, have done little or no planning, are made up of unproven teams, have little to no experience starting a company, and are not graduates of ivy league universities. In addition these companies only require a few thousand dollars to start generating revenue and will only grow 2 – 20 jobs.

Startups do not need to be a technology company. They do not need to change the world. They just need someone with an idea and the passion to take that idea into the market place. Just think about how different the American economy would be if we were giving small business startups a similar level of access to networks, coaching, and team development as the 2%.

We are over promoting unrealistic behavior. Instead of focusing on raising lots of money let’s focus on the development of viable business models that connect with customers willing to pay for the value created by the startup. By focusing on the generation of revenue that drives profitability there is less and less need to raise money.

Small business is at the cornerstone of entrepreneurship. Some will become the next Apple and most will become the next corner drugstore owning their business for 20 years. Both deserve the same support and regard for making a difference in our lives.

StartUp Cup is born out of this frustration to see entrepreneurs armed with any type of idea gain access to the coaching, resources, and tools that the 2% have access to.

It’s time to start celebrating the real heroes of our economy, the 98% who work to make our lives better each and everyday.