Building start-up ecosystems in developing regions

How can local start-ups expand into international markets?


What we did

Key delivery partner across the full Tech Hub programme.

UK business exchange week: qualified meetings for start-ups with businesses including FarFetch and Paypal.

Design and delivery of the business education programme.
International collaboration with UK ecosystem, including Wayra, Digital Catapult and Tech Nation.

Ongoing business support for the most promising local entrepreneurs, from EasyPay, Dentem and Business Magazine.

Results

Expansion: The programme has grown from supporting 7 companies in 2017 to 28 in 2019. It now brings together start-ups from across the region: Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Macedonia.
Generating business: The programme has directly led to business agreements, business partnerships and knowledge sharing. It has also created qualified business meetings with UK companies - including Paypal, Busuu, BuyFair and NetworkN - which converted to sales or partnerships.

Situation

The UK Albania Tech Hub was launched by the British Embassy in Tirana to support the Albanian entrepreneur ecosystem.

Over the last 3 years, the Tech Hub has become renowned in the region for its high quality education, and most importantly, the impact it’s having. Today, the Tech Hub supports start-ups from Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro, making it a regional Western Balkans programme.

The programme’s key components include a 6-month business training programme, a pitching competition, a UK business exchange week and a graduate follow-on coaching programme.

Action

The Albanian start-up ecosystem is only in its infancy, and there’s much need for business expertise, upskilling and development. Lack of knowledge and training also make it difficult for local entrepreneurs to access international markets.

The ecosystem is small, but it’s growing. It represents an opportunity to fuel the wider economy while creating positive business role models.

As one of the main partners in our UK-Albania Tech Hub programme, True & North has delivered a high quality curriculum to our entrepreneurs. As a result, start-ups have been equipped with the right skills and tools to be able to secure business opportunities in the UK and growth in the local market.

HM Ambassador
British Embassy Tirana
True & North were great in every step of the journey. As a result of the programme, we have a partnership in place with one of the biggest online media networks in the UK: Network N. This agreement will further our globalisation starting with the UK and US.

Fatjon Sulce

GameOn

After the first workshop with True & North, I closed a B2C client, and the sales cycle was almost 5 times faster than usual.

Lazar Grujicic
True & North also supports similar programmes including the Oman Tech Fund’s Wadi Accelerator, the International Tech Hub Network (Africa and India), and Start-Up Nation Central in Israel.

Browse more case studies

Building client empathy into a marketing agency’s everyday
view case study
Making sales conferences count
view case study
Helping a communications giant be more engaging
view case study