The Balkans is a region in Southeast Europe named after the Balkan Mountains, a range that stretches from the eastern border of Serbia to the Black Sea, east of Bulgaria. Despite recent conflicts and a period of instability during the 1990s, entrepreneurship has been making a strong comeback as of late.
Women in particular are leading the charge to overcome the region’s ethnic and political differences with technological innovation. The following are the top 9 tech startups founded by women you need to know in 2016.
Kidster founders Ana Vujišić and Marija Janjušević created this app for buying and selling pre-owned children’s clothes and accessories. The interface and functionality is similar to Instagram: parents simply upload pictures of the item with a detailed description and price.
Bastet Noir started as a fashion platform for selling and promoting young and emerging fashion designers. Today, it’s a leading online retailer of custom-made women’s clothing, featuring made-to-measure women’s fashion by an array of unique designers.
Founded by Urska Srsen and Sandro Mur, Bellabeat creates beautiful and innovative connected accessories that help women easily track their overall health and wellness. For example, its jewelry doubles as a sleep, activity and reproductive health monitor.
Because lack of money and resources is still prevalent in the Balkans, swapping for needed items is a common affair. Swapp is like a Tinder for swapping things: users simply take a picture of the item, set the price, and give it a description. Other users’ items that appear can be liked or passed—if there’s a match, a trade can be negotioated.
Coffee Cloud has developed solution for precisely monitor espresso production in real time. The offering can increase revenue for coffee chains/producer/distributors by up to 20% by leveraging the cloud to analyze and monitor espresso machine usage.
Founded by Martina Cvetković, Balmaris has developed an eco-friendly system for ballast water treatment for ships. The technology was developed in partnership with several prominent European scientific and research institutions.
Ana Kolarevic developed SizemApp with this notion that every woman deserves a bra that fits. The solution is a smart bra size calculator derived from an innovative analytics-based measurement approach that is more accurate than current solutions available.
Homey is an app for organizing/assigning chores to kids and tracking their progress, eliminating the need for paper charts and sticky notes on the fridge. Notable features include automated how-to tips and gamification-driven motivation and rewards.
Nina Angelovska’s Grouper is the first Macedonian web site for group discounts. The offering was a game changer in the country, enabling thousands of local businesses to digitize their businesses.
These 9 Balkan startups founded by women have succeeded in launching their ventures in the face of both socioeconomic hardship and gender inequality in the tech world. Be sure to keep them on your radar as they ramp up to go head-to-head with the best and brightest from Silicon Valley.