Speakers at the event have shared their experiences and presented successful entrepreneurial stories from the Diaspora.
David Kramer, Deputy Director of Cooperation, Swiss Embassy in BiH
Mr. David Kramer (born in 1973) has been living and working in Bosnia and Hercegovina since August 2014. In his position as Deputy Director of Cooperation at the Swiss Embassy, he is responsible for the implantation of the Swiss Cooperation Program in BiH, with a particular focus on youth employment, labor market, and economic development.
Prior to this assignment, David spent eight years in the Infrastructure Financing team of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, managing infrastructure projects in Jordan, Bulgaria and Poland, and representing the Swiss Government in the boards of various multilateral infrastructure financing vehicles.
Before that, David worked on compliance audits for Swiss NGOs. After graduation from University he worked as a consultant, dealing with economic, energy and transport policy, and public management.
David Kramer was born and raised in Switzerland, is married and has three kids. He holds a Masters in Economics from Berne University.
Nina Miskovic, Head of Cabinet, Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees
Nina Miskovic is the Head of Cabinet of the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is focused on the implementation of Annex VI and VII of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among other things, she is responsible for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s policy on expatriates. The Ministry prepares an annual report on immigration, which focuses on emigration from BiH for the Migration Profile of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and actively works with numerous domestic and international actors in the systemic inclusion of all resources for the development of BiH. The Ministry also prepares and publishes the status and trends of emigrants.
The Ministry works with numerous organizations involved in immigration and civil society organizations focused on emigration. The Ministry believes that BiH Diaspora should be positioned as an integral part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and should be actively included it in all development processes in the country.
Zahira Virani, UNDP BiH Deputy Resident Representative
Ms. Zahira Virani assumed her duties as the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in BiH in July 2012.
Prior to her assignment to BiH, Zahira served for three years as Deputy Country Director and acting Country Director for UNDP in Tajikistan – the largest programme in the Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS. Since joining UNDP through the LEAD programme in 2002, Zahira has had two postings with the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), first as a Programme Specialist based in Panama where she provided policy advice and programmatic support in Disaster Risk Management to country offices in Latin America and the Caribbean, and more recently as Recovery Advisor based in Geneva supporting policy development and global partnerships. Between her two assignments with BCPR, Zahira served in UNDP Afghanistan as the Head of External Relations.
Before joining UNDP, Zahira spent several years working in the NGO sector. Her experience in South Asia, East Africa, and the Middle East includes heading the programme division for CPAR, a Canadian NGO, and spending several years in Uganda as Country Manager for the Aga Khan Foundation.
Zahira was born and raised in India, studied in the US, and is married to a Canadian. She holds a B.A. from Whittier College and an MSc. from the London School of Economics.
VERNISA REJHAN, APU Network
Vernisa Rejhan is 36 years old and comes originally from Donji Vakuf. She has been in Sweden since 1993 and lives today in Stockholm.
Vernisa’s academic background is in organizational communication and improvement and her professional focus has been to help companies increase customer value, productivity and efficiency through lean methodology and continuous improvement. Vernisa has held several positions within project management, quality management and business development – today she works at Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) as a lean coach, training and advising SAS leaders in applying lean towards achieving their targets.
The question of integration and building bridges between Bosnia-Hercegovina and Sweden is a mission close to Vernisa’s heart. Vernisa has been an active member of the APU Network since 2009 in different roles and since this year is chairwoman for the organization. Vernisa is also an ambassador for the Mozaik Foundation and actively supports the work of building a new generation of young social entrepreneurs for a better BiH.
HIMZO MUSIC, Softhouse
Himzo Music has his roots in Prijedor, he is 41 years old and father of two living in the city of Malmo, Sweden. As a computer science and electrical engineer, Himzo has been working as a consultant in the IT and software development business for around 15 years and for the last 5 years Himzo has worked for Softhouse Consulting. As a consultant Himzo has been working on both small and large scale software developing projects for companies like Sony, Nokia, Blackberry, E.ON, Soundcloud and Securitas.
Since 2014 Himzo is CEO and responsible for the Softhouse office in Sarajevo. The office in Sarajevo employs 8 people today and the employees work on projects for Softhouse clients in Sweden.
Himzo is also a board member of the APU Network and a member of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Igor Kovac, i-platform
Igor Kovač is a senior manager of i-platform. After finishing his studies in Business Economics at the University of Fribourg, he worked in Secoco e.K in Belgrade, and the following 2 years as a Lecturer at the Business School Bénédict in Bern. He spent seven years in Bosnia and Herzegovina working on international business relations in the automotive industry in the company Cimos TMD Ai Gradacac. This year he joined the i-platform project.
Taner Alicehic, SEE Investment Solutions
Taner who is originally from Mostar studied physics at the Swiss Polytechnic Institute and holds a master’s degree in the field of international economic strategy. He has dedicated himself to financial markets and monitoring international money flows.
As co-founder of the financial and brokerage house SEE Investment Solutions in Zurich and Sarajevo, Taner had a chance to become acquainted to the Bosnian and regional business environment.
Today is exclusively engaged in strategic consulting for selected investors from both the private and public sectors. Taner is married and a father of two girls, and lives between Zurich – Sarajevo.
Adnan Hadžić, Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Adnan was born in 1984 in Foca, and grew up and spent most of his life in Gothenburg. During and after studies of electrical engineering, Adnan gained extremely valuable work experience by working for SKF, Volvo, Göteborg Energi and others.
In 2008 he created a company in Bosnia and Herzegovina with Swedish partners, which is engaged in manufacturing, servicing and distributing turbochargers. Today, the company exports 60% of its production to Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Germany.
Since the beginning of this year, he is also the President of the Board of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in BiH, which aims to support and improve business cooperation of BiH and Sweden.
Dzenana Brkic, Stecak
Dženana Brkic is a political scientist and founder and president of the Stećak Association of young BiH diaspora in Norway. She was born in Zenica and today lives and works in Oslo.
The Stećak Association is dedicated to work on better understanding of the relationship among young Bosnians in Norway, regardless of their national, religious and other affiliations. The goal of the association is to bring together the potential and resources that we have among Bosnian youth, to avoid alienation and loss of their backgrounds, as well as losing contact with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Edin Saračević, HUB 387
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Edin Charlie Saracevic is a serial entrepreneur with his first Internet startup dating back to 1999. During his extensive career, he mastered building multiple successful B2B and B2C online businesses from the ground up, as a pioneer in web-based location mapping, geo-referenced content delivery, big data analysis, personal data applications and web-based security sharing.
In October 2013 he started his new project HUB387. This was the first technology park in Sarajevo, envisioned as a new generation of work environment fostering new methods of building a vibrant and collaborative IT community. As part of HUB387, he established NEST71, the first co-working office space and soon after he founded ACADEMY387, an open educational platform offering a range of intense expert courses covering different topics, skill-sets, and in-demand know-how. Today, HUB387 is a community of more than 25 IT companies and more than 300 engineers collocated in one place. NEST71 became a startup incubator while ACADEMY387 managed to organize more than 100 courses with more than 1100 students attending in the first 24 months of operation.
Edin Mehic, Networks
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Networks – Kolektiv d.o.o (posao.ba)
A serial entrepreneur, founder, proven business executive, angel investor/advisor, active motivational speaker and guest lecturer on several international universities, who set up his own company at the age of 19, Edin has built his career at the intersection of the technology, consumer Internet, recruitment services and entertainment sectors. With 14+ years building emerging technology start ups and working with Fortune 500 companies, Edin is passionate about growing ideas, people and money to build companies and projects.
Networks is an entrepreneurial and educational center with more than 1300 m2 of modern interactive space, within which there is a large modern coworking space, educational and business center, relaxation and yoga rooms, fun and play zone, and one of the best-equipped 3D print laboratories in the region. During the previous six months of their existence it has organized 30 intensive training programs and educations and 50 thematic meetings and gatherings through which 3,000 direct and 7,000 indirect beneficiaries (visitors) passed. As part of the co-working space there are 62 clients from 20 companies.
Kolektiv Ltd. is an innovator and leader at a regional level, providing high quality services in job creation, employment, entrepreneurship and skills development. It provides labour market intelligence, expertise and project management services to international donors and development organizations helping them to achieve a positive impact on labor market growth.
Amina Karic, Authority Partners
Her career began in Sarajevo, but the storm of war moved her to the United States, where she worked as a software developer for over 10 years. In the late eighties Amina Karic became engaged in information technology whilst still at high school. In the nineties she graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Sarajevo. Currently, she works in Authority Partners since its founding. She started out as a software developer, moving up to a director and now as vice president of operations.
Authority Partners, is an Information Technology Consulting and Talent Management company. Their mission is helping their clients create technology solutions that make them more agile, more productive, and overall more successful. Main services in Authority Partners offering are: Software Development and Architecture, Quality Assurance, User Experience and Design, Information Security, and IT Recruiting.
Most of their projects are large-scale distributed business applications with all of the associated performance, scalability, and reliability requirements. However, no project is too small for them if it presents enough of a technical challenge. Company headquarters are located in Irvine, California. They have close to 100 consultants in the US and growing.
Their largest development center is in South East Europe – Bosnia. Due to ideal time zone location, overlapping business hours in all three of our main markets, European development center grew to more than 200 consultants since its opening 11 years ago.
Damir Ibrisimovic, Atlant BH & Bit Alliance
Under Damir’s leadership, AtlantBH has been one of the most innovative B&H IT companies for the past two decades. He has been developing software for a long period of time for some of the most recognizable global companies, such as Nokia and Navteq, and many other well-known world brands whose names are not allowed to be mention (under NDA). Today, AtlantBH has 60 employees. They were pioneers of web hosting and web design (1997) in B&H, they brought outsourcing (2001) and were the first company that started to cultivate the principles of conscious capitalism (2013).
Damir worked on defining strategic objectives, starting from idea, development to final implementation of BIT Camp training program. BIT Camp is a program for young, intelligent and ambitious people, which in the first 12 months of its existence successfully trained 70 software developers, of which 75% have already found employment in IT companies. 70% of participants of BIT Camp did not have any previous knowledge in this area.
As the founder of Foundation “Knowledge” (“Znanje”), for the last two years, Damir has been actively lobbying for the idea of Technology Park construction in Sarajevo (up to 100.000m2), developing Park’s conceptual design and it’s pre-feasibility.
By opening a branch AtlantBH in distant Australia, Damir now works to promote the IT potential of Bosnia and Herzegovina on this so far unexplored market. He also participates in the preparation and development of innovative products designed for the Australian market.