About Us

What is Mentors & Founders?

Since 2009, our organization has been devoted to connecting and facilitating cooperation between business people and entrepreneurs with a clear executive idea, helping realization of various projects and business endeavors. This is the first organization of this type in Serbia, and because it is modeled after similar organizations from the Silicone Valley, we named it Serbian Business Angels Network (SBAN). Business Angels are high net worth individuals who invest their capital, knowledge and business contracts in growing companies and projects. In 2012, SBAN became a member of European Business Angels Network (EBAN) – the highest instance for development of private equity and venture capital market in EU. A year later, SBAN was promoted into a full board member. Through activities in EBAN, our organization expanded its reach and positive influence, supporting the development of equity capital market not only in Serbia and the region, but all over Europe as well.

SBAN has 6 years of experience in promotion of entrepreneurial and investing culture, values and practices, with dozens of organized conferences, B2Bs, pitching events and trainings – both for entrepreneurs and investors. After all the intensive dedication, we realized that we could moderate the concept of work in order to provide even better results. The business world is in a situation where most entrepreneurs are focused on how much money they can fundraise, instead on how can they organically develop and expand their business. Our organization realized that we need to educate the community by promoting the most important values that help company founders overcome numerous challenges – knowledge, network and mentorship.  It is a simple fact that mentoring, knowledge and connections provided by experienced serial entrepreneurs are much more valuable than just money investment, and also provide highly sustainable results. If there is no proper match between entrepreneur and investor, then the particular investment will become an obstacle for the development of that particular company. Therefore, we developed a concept which is focused on enabling efficient matching and cooperation between proper expert mentors and adequate company founders. We rebranded our organization to Mentors & Founders to stress the importance of this view even more. We promoted this new concept throughout EBAN and got positive reactions, with some members starting to implement this same concept as well.

PREVIOUS KEY PROJECTS:

  • The development of investment opportunities for innovative projects in Serbia, funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Outsourcing Center Serbia, 2011 – 2013,  funded by European commission
  • Integration of SBAN in the Business Angel Network community of the European Union and the development of local capacity through Kauffman FastTrac® training, funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Innovative products export promotion, 2012 – 2014, funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
  • Accelerator of business ideas and entrepreneurship, funded by Serbian Ministry of Finance and Economy
  • PartnerIT 2012, matchmaking back-to-back event.
  • FundraiseIT and PartnerIT 2013 conference.
  • FundrasieIT 2014 conference, funded by Central European Initiative and British Embassy