September 2014. Exactly one year since I first met this guy at the third edition of SWSkopje. Even though there he got valuable expert’s advice, (about his then “CoffeeBreakCourses” idea), which lead to his yearlong process of idea transformation, to gathering the right team, to getting the first investment from the CEED Macedonian Business Angels and now his startup BRAINSTER is set to launch in October.
Meet Petar Ninovski, the guy who left his well paid corporate job to pursuit his ‘startup dream’. During this past year, we’ve met on numerous occasions mainly involving startup events, meetups and gatherings. Each and every time, we would discuss about his idea, business model development and the overall situation in our startup community. Because, regardless of the current political and economic crisis in the country, when most of the enthusiasts started losing motivation, he choose to fight against the ‘bad spirit’ and make a revolution with his startup. Always with that sparkle in his eyes when talking about his startup development, he has been working hard with no days off, plus he managed to gather a great team of young professionals around him and now is in the final phase before launching. He serves as an inspirational young entrepreneur and that’s why I choose Petar to be the first guest on #StartUpSelfie from the #MKstartups community.
So, what is Brainster all about?
“Brainster.co is a marketplace for offline classes where you can teach and learn everything from local experts. We believe that everyone has valuable skills to teach, curiosity and a need to keep learning new skills. Our vision is to turn the city into university, any space into classroom and each of us in a instructor and/or student. Brainster.co aims to enable every professional to share its knowledge with the community and each individual to be able to enrich their practical knowledge. Our platform will help in the process of knowledge exchange, by making it easy and fun. But, Brainster is something bigger – it is a part of us. Part of everyone… Brainster stands for the community, for the sole purpose of giving back values, upon which generations can develop themselves further. The platform will initially have courses from instructors from the following areas: technology, marketing, business and art, and the first courses can be expected starting from this October. Skopje is our first stop, and the courses will be held in different locations as co-working spaces, accelerators, incubators, workshops and even cafes.” – explains Petar.
Sounds like a real revolution in the education right? But, before we see how this new way of learning things will work, I was interested to find out how hard it was to get the first investment. It is a public secret that the investors and business angles in Macedonia are nowhere to be found. And now, we hear that they do actually exist and not just that, they invest too!
Seal the deal
“The process duration was around three months. It all starts with arranging a meeting, then you have several pitching sessions, then you have some meetings more, that would hopefully lead you to one-on-one meeting sessions. You definitely need to be very well prepared, not just to believe that you have a great idea, but to have facts and all to convince them that this isn’t just another great startup idea, but this is the best thing they’ve heard in a long time. Selling your idea is like a sales pitch. You need to master that skill and be confident when meeting your potential investors. Luckily they did like the idea and wanted to get involved. Which, let me say has helped me a lot in this whole business development period.” said Petar.
What makes it so unique for me it’s his motivation and determination to make a change and to give back to the community. While we were finishing our cup of coffee he wanted to express his motivation, so he could motivate others that are hesitating about starting a startup.
Let’s make some rockets together
“It is our time to make some change. If you don’t step forward and get out of your comfort zone now, then when. It is all about trying and prototyping and meeting amazing people from the startup world. I can proudly say that I have met some of my team members at startup events. I have this presentiment feeling that something big is going to come out of our startup community. Some great success story is about to happen. That’s why I would like to see us work united and support each-others. And always think positive and better ask yourself: What if it succeeds? Work hard on your business idea, share it with as many people as possible and don’t be scared that someone will steal it. In the end from my experience I can assure you that entrepreneurship is way more exciting than a corporate job. Go after your dream!” – says Petar.
We had many other topics to discuss during our coffee meet-up, but we agreed to leave them for the next #StartUpSelfie, soon after Brainster launches this October. Wishing him luck and great success, and for those that are not from Skopje, the exclusive info is that in 2016 the team plans to expand the Brainster community with those who want to share their knowledge and acquire new skills in Athens, Sofia and Berlin.
Follow and subscribe to the blog, because here you can get informed when the Brainster community comes to your city, but also who’s next from the MKstartups community from Monday.
Have a great weekend!